How a Plane Crash Changed Rock Climbing Forever

Dirtbaggers rolled in cash, they bought steak dinners and left $100 tips, they showed up with new gear and nice vans to live in. The winter of ’76/’77 was a crazy time to climb in Yosemite Valley. The source of the cash? Thousands of pounds of primo weed in Lower Merced Lake. Camp 4, infamous habitation of famed climbers was transformed from scraping by to climbing high. This episode examines the impact of all that new money on the climbing community of Yosemite Valley.

For further info, check out:

  • The excellent Men’s Journal article by Greg Nichols. It’s got a lot of sweet 70s pictures.
  • The Dollop, episode 236, with Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds. If you’re not subscribed to The Dollop, you’re doing it wrong. Dave and Gareth are amazing.
  • Valley Uprising, 2014 documentary about the climbing community in Yosemite.

Here’s the trailer for Valley Uprising.

The documentary is also available on Netflix. It’s well worth your time and has planted the germs for several future¬†Nature’s Call episodes.


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