With visits to the Yosemite Climbing Association (YCA) museum on hold due to the novel coronavirus, the non-profit has turned to crowdsourcing where supporters can buy YCA-printed photos and posters.
Black and white images hang on the walls, scenes from Yosemite’s Golden Era — back when climbers made their own tools — taken by the greats including Glen Denny and Tom Frost. Display cabinets contain early hooks and pitons, Warren Harding’s leather climbing vest that he used on the first ascent of the Nose in 1958, and the paisley shirt with manzanita buttons that Jim Bridwell crafted in the 1970s. This land of one-of-a-kind equipment celebrates Yosemite history dating back to the first modern climbs in the Park, including Half Dome, the Cathedral Spires and El Capitan.
This is the Yosemite Climbing Association (YCA) Museum, the brainchild of longtime Yosemite resident and historian Ken Yager, who has partnered with Managing Director Allyson Gunsallus and Artist in Residence and Stonemaster Dean Fidelman. Slated to open in May, the museum in Mariposa, California near Yosemite National Park, COVID-19 forced them to keep their doors closed until further notice.
They’re turning to Kickstarter to get the community involved and offer supporters a chance to order limited edition gallery prints to hang on their walls. One hundred percent of the proceeds support the museum operating costs.
“This is the first opportunity people have to purchase YCA-printed photos and posters featuring historic Yosemite climbing images,” says Gunsallus of the Kickstarter launched June 1 and extending to June 30, 2020.
Gunsallus continues, “For years, Ken Yager has worked collecting significant pieces of climbing history and has given back to our community through efforts like Yosemite Facelift (which has removed more than 1 million pounds of trash from the Park). Let’s show our support now for Ken and the YCA.”
Pledges for $35, $55, $150 or more receive limited edition Gallery prints including:
Print Option 1: Frank Tarver and Warren Harding, racking up for the second ascent of the Lost Arrow Chimney. Bob Swift, 1954
Print Option 2: Billy Westbay, Jim Bridwell, and John Long after the first sub-24-hour Nose in a Day. Mike White
Print Option 3: Corbin Usinger surfing the Taft Point Highline. Dean Fidelman
Print Option 4: Steph Davis, free soloing Outer Limits in Yosemite Valley. Dean Fidelman
YCA 24” x 36” Limited Edition Poster Option 1: Frank Tarver, after the second ascent of the Lost Arrow Chimney. Bob Swift, 1954
YCA 24” x 36” Limited Edition Poster Option 2: Warren Harding on the West Face of Leaning Tower. George Whitmore, 1959
Prints ship anywhere in the world with an estimated delivery date in August. Pledges $500 or more include an exclusive YCA Museum showing.
“I’ve seen this gallery evolve to a place where everyone would feel welcome and a part of Yosemite climbing history,” Fidelman says. “The artifacts are some of my favorite things. I marvel at people’s craftsmanship and what the stuff is used for. I’m so psyched to be here.”
Their website says, “Yosemite Climbing Association (“YCA”) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to preserving and protecting Yosemite climbing history and making it available for public interpretation”