Valley Uprising – a great film about the history of the wild climbers, Base Jumpers and wing suits of Yosemite.

The Valley Uprising

Valley Uprising

I have been lucky to spend time in the climbing Mecca of Yosemite and what a place to be. It is a place John Muir loved and yet has been so commercialised almost making this place of wildness seem out of place. Yet away from the people it in an incredible place. I loved the history of the area and the battles to keep its wildness.  I was very lucky to be working with the Yosemite SAR on my lecture tour in the USA in 2008. i made contact with many of the climbers including the “rock guns” the young climbers from camp 4 who helped the Rescue services and built up a trust with each on what was a rocky past between the Rangers and the climbers. It was a wonderful time and I learned so much about this incredible place. I met so many great people and must get back before I am to old.  Three times a week they held a theatre near the Visitor Centre and there were various plays about John Muir and others like the Buffalo soldiers and the fight to keep the land for the people.

What a setting for some culture.

USA - Heavy Yosemite Falls

USA – Heavy Yosemite Falls

I loved it and most days I went for a wander to the waterfalls and trails doing half Dome before the snow left. I walked many of the trails before most were up to miss the crowds and the trees,waterfalls and wild life showed me many things that only nature can bring. It made me think about the environment and added to a month at Unity College in Maine a free thinking Environmental place where it shaped my thinking for the future.

Indian Paint brush.

Indian Paint brush.

I was advised by an old pal to get the DVD “Valley Uprising and it was well worth the effort. It is not just the climbing, Base Jumping or crazy other wild things that happen in the Valley. I love the place and the film is magic, you have to watch it and see for yourself.

Crazy things happen in Yosemite

Crazy things happen in Yosemite

For the past fifty years, Yosemite’s massive cliffs have drawn explorers and madmen to leave materialism behind and venture onto the high, lonesome granite. The larger-than-life characters of Yosemite carved out an extreme bohemian lifestyle in the valley: living in the dirt, clashing with the National Park authorities, and pioneering the boldest climbs on earth. The torch has been passed across three generations of climbers; through rivalries, tragedies and triumphs, the art of Yosemite climbing has advanced beyond anyone’s imagination. Narrated by acclaimed actor Peter Sarsgaard (Garden State, Jarhead, An Education) and produced by Emmy® Award-Winning Sender Films with Big UP Productions, Valley Uprising deftly recounts the history of Yosemite’s bold tradition: half a century of struggle against the laws of gravity, and the laws of the land. Starring Yosemite climbing legends Dean Potter, Alex Honnold, Lynn Hill, Jim Bridwell, Royal Robbins, Warren Harding, Yvon Chouinard, John Bachar, “Chongo” Chuck and so many more… Special Features include Bonus footage, extras, and behind the scenes. A Film by Peter Mortimer and Nick Rosen Edited by Josh Lowell Produced by Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen, and Zachary Barr.

Royal Arches

Royal Arches

If you visit to climb or walk worth a visit to the  Yosemite Theatre features nightly performances, films and talks that reveal Yosemite’s history and little-known stories. Visitors will enjoy new shows with sing-alongs about the park and performances about the characters who have helped shape the nation’s natural lands, along with popular favourites about seeing Yosemite through a climber’s eyes, the park’s natural phenomena and, ranger search and rescue operations.

Yosemite SAR

Yosemite SAR

One of several programs to premiere this year is “Creative Fusion: Exploring the Nature of the Sierra Nevada” in which Ranger Erik Westerlund uses the whimsical art of renowned minimalist artist Charley Harper, music, games and storytelling to take the audience for an armchair nature walk. Another new program is “Yosemite by Song and Story,” a toe-tapping evening of storytelling, music and singing with Gail Dreifus about nature and ecology involving the whole audience. In “Ask John Muir,” every show is new as actor Lee Stetson embodies the father of our national parks, John Muir, in a Q-and-A format with the audience.

John Muir

John Muir

Yosemite Art Center programs in the Valley give visitors a chance to paint Half Dome, capture wildflowers on paper, or learn a new, artistic way of looking at Yosemite’s wonders. Artists of all levels and ages create permanent mementos of fun-filled days in the park with help from acclaimed artists.

2008 Sierrar Nevada Yosemite flowers 1

For the first time, the Yosemite Art Center will offer a workshop called “Bits and Pieces” with artist Laura Morales showing visitors of all ages how to create mosaics with materials ranging from the traditional to the recycled. A new workshop by artist Bill Bartelt teaches painters of all skill levels basic watercolor techniques and how to use these techniques to depict scenes achieving a “sepia” effect, similar to early photographic studies of the Valley, in “Capturing the Splendor of Yosemite in Sepia.” Visitors will learn to break conventional rules of watercolor through bold compositions, unusual perspectives and fascinating textures with artist Patricia Osborne in a fun day of sketching and using color for all skill levels in “Watercolor Fun and Loose.”

Rescue on El Cap

Rescue on El Cap

Art workshops run now through October 31, 2015 and are held outdoors Monday through Saturday starting at 9:45 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m. at the Yosemite Art Center, located near the Village Store in Yosemite Valley. Registration is $10 per person. There is also a workshop for beginners on Sunday afternoon for $15. Advance sign-up is recommended by calling 209-372-1442 or by emailing

Also this season at Yosemite Theater, visitors can see the beauty of Yosemite in all four seasons in a stirring film narrated by world renowned rock climber Ron Kauk. Filmmaker Steve Bumgardner conveys untold stories about subjects in the making of the popular “Yosemite Nature Notes” series ranging from high-altitude plant species to stunning natural phenomena, such as Yosemite moonbows and frazil ice. The Yosemite Search and Rescue team will share thrilling stories and cautionary advice with photography from actual Yosemite rescue operations.

Big bags on El Cap

Big bags on El Cap

Yosemite Theater performances and programs are held seven nights a week at 7 p.m. at the Yosemite Theater behind the Valley Visitors Center. Tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for children under 13, and children under 4 are free. Tickets are available at Yosemite Conservancy Bookstores and at Tour & Activity Desks.

Through the support of donors, Yosemite Conservancy provides grants and support to Yosemite National Park to help preserve and protect Yosemite today and for future generations. Work funded by the Conservancy is visible throughout the park, in trail rehabilitation, wildlife protection and habitat restoration. The Conservancy is also dedicated to enhancing the visitor experience and providing a deeper connection to the park through outdoor programs, volunteering, wilderness services and its bookstores. Thanks to dedicated supporters, the Conservancy has provided more than $92 million in grants to Yosemite National Park. Learn more at or call 1-800-469-7275.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Films, Rock Climbing, Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Valley Uprising – a great film about the history of the wild climbers, Base Jumpers and wing suits of Yosemite.

  1. ptsd17 says:

    I hope you’ve packed away your wingsuit these days Heavy!


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