Yosemite Facelift is right around the corner! Are you getting ready to join the growing community that cares about the park enough to volunteer some time in picking up after ourselves? The event kicks off with an evening program Tuesday night (Sept. 24, 2019), and ends Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019.
After another busy summer, with all those napkins and wrappers that accidentally blew away or the people that don’t know enough to pack out their trash, Yosemite deserves a little extra TLC from those who love it here.
While the heart and soul of Facelift is the act of cleaning our park, you’d be remiss if you didn’t also enjoy some of the other opportunities at Facelift. Here is a quick check list of things to keep an eye out for while you’re volunteering for the park.
Obviously. This is the core of Yosemite Facelift after all. In 2018 there were 3334 volunteer days, logging 11,700 hours of clean up time to collect 14,126 pounds of trash. And amazingly 8,745 of those pounds was micro trash – like cigarette butts, food wrappers, and toilet paper. Can you imagine? Little things can really add up – both the amount of garbage to pick up, and also the efforts of each Facelift volunteer!
The volunteer registration booths are open from Wednesday to Saturday (Sept. 25-28) from 8am to 4pm right out in front of the Valley Visitor Center. On Sunday (Sept. 29) volunteer registration closes at 2 p.m.
Yosemite Facelift volunteers picking up trash with Half Dome in the background. Photo: Dakota Snider/www.dsniderphoto.com
In addition to trash clean up, often the National Park Service needs our help with special projects. Often these projects involve somewhat larger chunks of time, and showing up to meet with project leaders at a designated time. However, if you have the flexibility these projects allow you to meet people and join a team, all while doing great work for the park. This could be anything from vertical clean-ups (climbing experience required) to removing trees that have encroached on sensitive meadow habitats.
While you’re signing up to do the clean up, take a few minutes to stop by the other booths that will be set up on the mall and say thank you to some of the generous Facelift sponsors who help make this event possible. The full list of Facelift sponsors is on the Yosemite Climbing Association website.
While you’re at it, there is an amazing team of volunteers that are busy behind the scenes for months putting this event together so that we can all participate. If you see Ken Yager, make sure you say thank you. It’s his vision that brought the Facelift to life. In fact if you see anyone on the Yosemite Climbing Association team, high fives are in order.
It’s a lot of work and your appreciation and gratitude makes a difference. Really.
Speaking of sponsors on the mall, Patagonia’s Worn Wear team is planning to be back again this year with sewing machines and expertise ready to help give a little extra life to your old beloved gear. We can all help the environment by keeping old stuff in use and out of the landfills. If you have any old clothing or gear that could use a little TLC, this is your chance! Make sure you bring it along.
It seems like every outdoor company these days has some kind of social or environmental program. What is the best way to think about these? If we want to support the companies that share our environmental and social priorities, what kinds of initiatives make the biggest differences?
Sponsored athlete, Tommy Caldwell joins representatives from Patagonia Worn Wear and The North Face for the Stewardship Panel at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019.
Members of the 2018 Stewardship Panel in discussion about environmental issues.Video: Ted Rummings & Allyson Gunsallus
Not that we need any additional incentive to help clean up the park, but when you register you also become eligible for winning prizes at the end of each clean-up day. If you’ve ever been at a Facelift before you know just how amazing these raffle prizes are. There are a lot of winners who go home with everything from brand new backpacks, to climbing ropes, to water bottles, cool hats, and oh so much more.
The kids have a special raffle all their own that starts before the adult raffle. You have to be present to win, and the raffle starts at 5 p.m. on the mall in front of the Valley Visitor Center from Wednesday to Saturday (Sept. 25-28) and at 3 p.m. on Sunday Sept. 29.
Climber Alex Honnold and Facelift founder, Ken Yager at the Yosemite Facelift screening of FreeSolo in 2018. Photo: Dakota Snider/www.dsniderphoto.com
This year promises another amazing line-up of climbers and adventurers who will be sharing their stories onstage in the evenings.
In previous years Alex Honnold screened the Oscar Award-winning film “Free Solo” here in person. Jimmy Chin was here the year before talking about the film project long before it came out. Tommy Caldwell has been on stage talking climber to climber about his Dawn Wall project long before he’d completed the climb, to say nothing of being in the Dawn Wall film that recently came out about that ascent.
This year, Tommy is back again, and so is his partner Kevin Jorgeson. Make some time in the evenings to also hear from the CEO of USA Climbing about preparing for the Olympics in 2020, and a host of inspiring people doing amazing things like Emily Harrington, Kate Rutherford, Jim Reynolds and so many more.
For the final line-up and schedule check the Yosemite Climbing Association page on Facelift 2019.
Evening programs start at 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday (Sept. 25-28).
Have you noticed the beautiful art work that is associated with Facelift each year? This year’s artists, Rhiannon Klee and Santiago Palacio add yet another link in a long chain of incredible Facelift artists. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to take home a souvenir of the 2019 Yosemite Facelift with meaningful art by people who share your love of the park.
Some items, like T-shirts, are available for purchase at the volunteer registration booth. You’ll also find the designs on the stainless steel cups that come with the 5-drink punch cards at the evening programs. (Those drinks can be used any night during the week at an evening program.)
New this year – you will also be able to buy a delicious can of Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co. beer that have the Facelift artwork on them. Look for the Art Hop Batch 2000 Hazy Pale Ale with Rhiannon’s art and the Facelift Pale Ale with Santiago’s artwork on it. These cans will be available throughout the park and in select businesses in Mariposa including The Alley Lounge, Autocamp and The Grove House. A portion of each purchase goes back to fund the Yosemite Climbing Association and Yosemite Facelift, so get out there and enjoy a beer for a good cause.
Celebrate the end of another Facelift and all the wonderful volunteers and community members that make the event what it is at the Thank You Dinner. Dinner, sponsored by Yosemite Hospitality, starts at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29th. Grab your meal and then hang out and enjoy the live music.
For even more climbing stories, don’t forget to swing by the Mariposa Museum and History Center in Mariposa along Hwy 140 on your way to and from the valley. Facelift founder Ken Yager put together a fabulous exhibit there dedicated to Yosemite’s climbing history. For only $5 for adults (children 12 and under are free), you can browse these stories and find out more about Mariposa’s fascinating history. While you’re there keep your eyes open for their ongoing climbing speaker series to hear more of the kinds of stories that you love from the Facelift evening programs.
Stop by The Mariposa Museum & History Center to see the climbing exhibit and learn more climbing history stories.
Yosemite’s natural firefall at Horsetail Fall draws hundreds of photographers for a few weeks in February when the setting sun lights Horsetail Fall and turns the water a brilliant molten orange, reminiscent of the Glacier Point firefall.
Every year, Yosemite Facelift volunteers clean up thousands of pounds of trash, but that’s not all there is to this event. Check out our top ten list of things to do while you’re at Facelift, and enjoy everything that this event has to offer.