‘Go Big and Send It:’ Yosemite climbing group to host fundraiser in South Lake Tahoe

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The Yosemite Climbing Association will be celebrating 20 years of protecting outdoor spaces at its upcoming annual fundraiser at the UNR 4-H Camp in South Lake Tahoe. 

The YCA started in 2003 as a Facelift event to clean climbing areas in Yosemite National Park as well as preserving the historical climbing record for YNP. It has since grown to hosting Facelift events all over the United States and recently, internationally. 

“[Facelift events] are clean-ups, we do other things like trail maintenance, even trail building, graffiti removal, special projects but it’s a lot of litter sticks and leaving it better than we found it,” said Timmy O’Neill, YCA executive director and professional climber 

O’Neill lives in South Lake Tahoe and 2022 marked the first Lake Tahoe Facelift for the nonprofit. This year, YCA has 20 Facelift events, including another in Lake Tahoe.

But, while the organization got its start in one of the world’s top climbing meccas, they has since expanded their clean-ups to include non-climbing areas and even urban areas such as Oakland, Calif. and Dallas. 

“Essentially, what our organization does is take the theory of ‘Leave No Trace’ and put it into practice,” O’Neill said. 

The expansion happened mainly because of COVID-19. O’Neill said they had taken for granted that people would come to them for the events but once people couldn’t travel, they realized they had to start organizing groups elsewhere. 

To help fund the Facelift events, YCA will be throwing a fundraising party from 2-6 p.m. June 4, called Go Big and Send It. World-class climber Peter Croft, who has bagged several first ascents in Yosemite, will be speaking at the event. 

Climbing legend Mike Sherrick, who helped build one of the United States first really technical ascents in Yosemite, will also be attending the event.

“It’s going to be cool to see old school, medium school, and new school all together,” O’Neill said. 

The event will also have live music, food, drink, a live auction and a beautiful cake designed by local artist Julia Schwadron Marianelli. 

To get tickets for the fundraiser or view the live auction, visit

The Lake Tahoe Facelift is scheduled for Oct. 7, more details to come. 


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