Monday, Oct. 28, 2013
This past weekend, Oct. 25 – 27, Ken attended the 2nd Annual Oakdale Climbers’ Festival. Friday night there were four climbing films, made by climbers, shown by some of the original participants of the filming who all answered questions from the audience after each film was screened.
On Saturday, there were various presentations and discussions which focused on the development of free-climbing from before the use of ropes up through the years as told by those climbers who pushed the limits into new realms of difficulty.
Dean Fidelman presented the backstories of the people and exploits depicted in his book, “The Stonemasters”.
Dave Yerian gave a very moving account of his relationship with John Bachar and the challenges that they faced before and after they established the Bacher-Yerian Route in Tuolumne.
Alex Honnold, perhaps the best free-climber in the world today showed some photos of his recent ascents and a film depicting his un-roped (free-solo)climb up the face of Half Dome. He then talked about his life as a sponsored athlete in an easy-going and most humble way.
On Sunday, the focus of the program was on Camp 4, the traditional home of Yosemite’s climbers. Doug Robinson addressed the reasons that Camp 4 has played such a pivotal role in Yosemite Climbers’ lives. Chris Jones recounted its historical significance to the overall, world-wide development of climbing. And Glen Denny showed his fabulous photos of Camp 4 and its inhabitants, taken during the 1960’s.
Lastly, there was a panel that recounted the challenges that climbers faced in the late 90’s when the park service had a plan to build dorms in Camp 4 and how Tom Frost and Dick Duane eventually won the fight to preserve Camp 4 by getting it placed on the National Historic Register.
In addition to these formal programs, there was plenty of time for socializing, both in the mornings before the presentations and between sessions, so that participants had lots of opportunities for renewing friendships and discussing whatever topics came to mind.