Valley Walls: A Memoir of Climbing and Living in Yosemite

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9781930238633: Valley Walls: A Memoir of Climbing and Living in Yosemite
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Half a century ago a rag-tag group of innovators was building a foundation for modern American rock climbing from a makeshift home base in Yosemite. Photographer Glen Denny was a key figure in this golden age of climbing, capturing pioneering feats on camera while tackling challenging ascents himself.

In entertaining short pieces enlivened by his iconic black-and-white images of Yosemite's big wall legends, Denny reveals a young man's coming of age and provides a vivid look at Yosemite’s early climbing culture. He relates such precarious achievements as hauling water in glass gallon jugs up the east face of Washington Column, nailing the 750-foot Rostrum in a punishing heat wave, and dangling overnight on El Capitan’s Dihedral Wall in a lightning storm. Each true tale captures the spirit of historic Camp 4, where Denny and others plan the next big climb while living on the cheap and dodging park rangers.

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Before the first free ascent of the Dawn Wall on El Capitan captivated the world, a rag-tag group of innovators built the sport of modern American rock climbing from a makeshift home base in Yosemite’s Camp 4. Photographer Glen Denny was a key figure in that Golden Age of climbing, capturing pioneering feats on camera while tackling challenging ascents himself. Now, in prose both exhilarating and poignant, he gives us true tales of colorful characters and a legendary locale, of brotherhood and sky-high quests, and of living cheap and dodging park rangers.

Denny learned the game with the mythic Warren Harding, hauled water in glass gallon jugs up the east face of Washington Column, dangled overnight on El Capitan’s Dihedral Wall in a lightning storm, and felt rock that had not been touched since it emerged from the ice a million years ago, clean and white.”

A young man comes of age in these pages, at the dawn of a new era.

About the Author:

Glen Denny is renowned for his photographs of the golden age of Yosemite climbing and life in historic Camp 4. His first ascents include the west face of the Leaning Tower, the Prow on Washington Column, and the Dihedral Wall of El Capitan. He lives in San Francisco.

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