Glen Denny first visited Yosemite at the start of the golden age of big wall climbing in 1958 at the time when first ascent of The Nose on El Capitan was underway. Born in Modesto, California, in 1939, Denny died this month.
Not long after arriving in Yosemite, Denny began climbing difficult routes on the biggest walls with climbers like Royal Robbins, Warren Harding and Layton Kor. His first ascents include the West Face of the Leaning Tower in 1961, Astroman on Washington Column in 1959, and Dihedral Wall on El Cap in 1962. In 1963, he made the third ascent of The Nose.
Denny soon began photographing the climbs and climbers in Yosemite Valley, starting in the early 1960s. He went on to study photography and filmmaking at San Francisco State University, where he earned a master’s degree in fine arts. He received several awards over the years and and his photography has appeared in of publications around the world.
In 2007, he published an award-winning book called Yosemite in the Sixties. in 2016, he wrote Valley Walls: A Memoir of Climbing and Living in Yosemite. Denny’s photos have inspired countless climbers to push themselves on Yosemite’s walls, and his routes have become some of the most iconic climbs in the world.