Jim Bridwell gear


This slider nut prototype was made by Jim Bridwell. Click on the title to see more photos.

Lynn Hill climbs Midnight Lightning, Camp 4, Yosemite, 5/98.


Lynn Hill climbs Midnight Lightning, Camp 4, Yosemite, 5/98.

Allen Steck Interview, Part 2

First Ascent of Sentinel Falls.

I found these old photos from the FA of upper Sentinel Falls.

The quality is marginal but they are of some interest. For those of you who don't know Sentinel Falls is a 2,000ft or so waterfall just west of Sentinel Rock. It has an interesting history as an ice climb. Kevin Worrall, Jim Orey and I did the FA of the upper falls in Dec. 1974. This was the first real ice climb done in the Valley. Later, the lower section was climbed... by who first I am not sure. The entire falls has only been climbed once in a stupendous effort by (I believe) the late great Walt Shipley and Kevin Fosburg. (Please chime in KF)Our ascent was a fun adventure for the three of us--ice novices all. Charlie Porter first pointed out the climb to me in the spring of 1974. The previous winter Charlie had climbed some ice flow in the meadows and was interested in other potential ice climbs in the Yosemite including the Widows Tears. I had always had a interest in alpine climbing (as many of my generation did) stemming from my introduction to climbing through reading the history of the classic ascents of the Alps and other great ranges. Some element of adventure always seemed to be missing from my Yosemite climbs on the Valley's perfect sunny granite. There was a renaissance under way in the sport of ice climbing. Chouinard, among others, was busy reinventing the tools of the trade. The concept of climbing water ice as a sport unto itself was becoming a reality. I believe Jello and Mike Weiss made their ascent of Bridalviel Falls at this time. I was eager to participate and in the summer of 74 bought a collection of ice gear from a climbing buddy of mine in the bay area. As it came to pass one sunny December day in the Valley Kevin, Jim and I were all sitting atop the large Yellow pine in Leidig meadow. We had a perfect view of the Falls and formed our plan there. We would hike up through the forest and talus below the Falls, traverse up a ledge system leading to a parallel gully to the west, ascend this until we could traverse back to the upper falls. It all went according to plan. We made our way up the appraoch, which took us a day, and bivied on the ridge seperating the two gullies. The next day we continued the approach and soon had our first glimpse of the climb. I was so excited. I had never seen anything like this. A frozen waterfall!! What could be cooler than that? We made our way to the base. There was this little minny bergschund at the base forming a perfect little mouth with icicle teeth. None of us had every climbed anything like this before and we didn't really know where to start. We pounded in a warthog, clipped in a rope and all gave it a tug. It didn't pull out, so figuring the pro was good, I started up the first pitch. My climbing attire was a bit lacking. I was clad in corduroy bell bottom jeans (hey, it was the seventies)with no gators. I gingerly made my way up the near vertical ice for about fifty ft taking my first chance to exit onto the rock and belay. Jim followed this pitch first and then led a short steep section to an obvious bowl. Kevin must have led the next pitch and then I was on the lead again. By the time I finished leading the last steep section it was dark. Kevin and Jim followed. I remember being so cold at the belay, tied to this pathetic scrawny pine sapling. I was shivering away in the shade of the bright winter moonlight beliving that as soon as the moonlight reached me I would warm up. We endured our second bivy here. It was one of the longest coldest bivies of my climbing life, right around the winter solstice. Finally, dawn arrived and we made our way up the last low angle pitch to the Valley rim. We postholed east under Sentinel Dome and then headed for the Four Mile trail which took us the Valley, sunshine, and food. Shortly there after Jim took leave of us and Kevin and I turned our sights to the obvious encore--the Widows Tears.


Mark Chapman

Yosemite Facelift @ 2010 Information

Thanks for your interest in the 7th Annual Facelift in Yosemite National Park!

This year’s event will kick-off with an evening program on September 21st, 2010.  Cleanup activities will happen throughout the park from September 22nd through the 26th

Free camping for volunteers is available from the 21st through the 26th. Sites are limited and will be filled as requests are sent in. If you would like to volunteer and take advantage of the available campsites, please email the dates you would like to participate, your campground preference, and all of the names of the people in your party to yageryca@gmail.com or through contact us button. Camping is available in Yosemite Valley at Yellow Pines and Camp 4, and will most likely be available in Crane Flat, Tamarack Flat, and Tuolumne Meadows after the Valley camping fills up. 

We are also looking for Project Leaders interested in staying for the whole event. Earlier camping will be available for those interested in taking on this role, as you will need to participate in a 4-hour archeological training on September 21st

If you don’t need camping and would like to participate in the event, you can sign in as a volunteer at the following locations: 

22nd-26th – In front of Visitors Center in Yosemite Valley

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