50th Anniversary of the First Ascent of The Nose

50th Anniversary of the First Ascent of The Nose

The dignitaries on the stage and Superintendent Mike Tollefson presents Ken Yager the House Resolution that honors Wayne Merry, Fresno resident George Whitmore and Warren J. Harding

Huge Fresno Bee Article, Conquest of El Capitan

Conquest of El Capitan Climbing enthusiasts will gather to remember the moments that led up to taming of a landmark.

Warren Harding, Wayne Merry and George Whitmore, left to right, wave their handkerchiefs in elation in 1958 after scaling what until then had been the unclimbed face of El Capitan. The picture was taken by Fresno Bee staff photographer Loyal Savaria within a few minutes after they walked up to the summit. About three hours before the climbers edged up over the rim of the sheer face, they ate breakfast before going on up to the top.

 

Nose hammer

Nose hammer

This hammer was used on the first ascent of the Nose of El Capitan, 1958. It was made from a modified center punch. The handle broke during the climb and was replaced by John Whitmer with local oak hardwood for the final pitches. The hammer was tossed off after the climb with other gear and the handle broke once again and was replaced.

Nose: Whitmore prusiks the last pitch

Nose: Whitmore prusiks the last pitch

Wayne Merry photo.

Harding Bivy

Harding Bivy

Warren Harding bivying during the first ascent of the Nose of El Capitan in 1958. Photo by Wayne Merry.

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