George Whitmore, legendary climber of El Capitan, dies at 89

From left, Warren Harding, Wayne Merry and George Whitmore wave their handkerchiefs in elation at scaling the unclimbed face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park in 1958. The picture was taken by Fresno Bee staff photographer Loyal Savaria within a few minutes after they walked up to the summit. Whitmore, a member of the first team of climbers to scale El Capitan in Yosemite National Park and a conservationist who devoted his life to protecting the Sierra Nevada, has died. He was 89. Whitmore died on New Year's Day from complications caused by COVID-19, said his wife, Nancy.