Camp 4 And The Rock Climbing Movement

I came across this video, of Dean Potter (of slacklining fame), Rick Cashner (who completed the first one-day ascent of El Cap with Steve Schneider), Ed Barry, Don Reid (former chief guide for the Yosemite Mountaineering School) and Alan Bartlett. This video was originally shot in 1998 at Camp 4, which is famous for it’s boulders.

Camp 4 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its nationally significant role in the development of rock climbing as a sport.

Camp 4 played a pivotal role in mountaineering and rock climbing activity in the park. Since Yosemite was such a nexus point during the birth of rock climbing as a sport (Yosemite Grading system anyone?), that Camp 4 is one of the most significant individual places on earth as far as rock climbing is concerned. Within the mountaineering community, knowledge, skills, and philosophical concepts were largely passed on through word of mouth and hands on climbing activity.

Now that's old school

Camp 4 especially, with its camping area and boulders for climbing, was the acknowledged starting point for Yosemite climbing activity and an important spiritual/cultural center for comradeship, instruction, planning, and training. At the outset of the movement few, if any, manuals or guidebooks were available. As a result, the campgrounds and base camps at climbing locations played important roles beyond just the provision of overnight accommodations. They were vital meeting grounds and equipment, and the comradeship and esprit-de-corps that defined the early days and history of the sport.