Michael J. Ybarra
Michael J. Ybarra (September 28, 1966-June 30, 2012) was a journalist, author and climber. Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, he graduated with a B.A. in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles and earned a M.A. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Ybarra was a former staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal, and contributed to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic and Alpinist. He interviewed numerous climbing legends for these publications including Royal Robbins, Yvon Chouinard, Dick Dorsworth, Fred Beckey, and Dee Molenaar. He is the author of "Washington Gone Crazy: Senator Pat McCarran and the Great American Communist Hunt". The biography was a finalist for The Los Angeles Times Book Prize, included in the 100 Notable Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review and shortlisted for the Ambassador Book Award in American Studies. It won the D.B. Hardeman Prize for best book on Congress from the Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation.
From 2007 until his death in 2012, Ybarra chronicled his adventures for The Wall Street Journal as its extreme sports correspondent. He wrote articles from such far-flung places as: Nepal, Thailand, the Italian Alps, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Canada, Alaska, Montana and the Sierra Nevada. Ybarra was also the recipient of the prestigious American Alpine Club McNeill-Nott Award for an attempt on the unclimbed southeast face of Singu Chuli in the Annapurna Sanctuary.
- "New Lines in Nepal", American Alpine Journal, 2010.
- "The Nose in a Day", The Wall Street Journal Feb 2, 2012.
- "El Capitan: The Movie." Alpinist Issue 40, Autumn 2012. October 2012.
- "Banff Mountain Film Festival: A Nature for the Great Outdoors", The Wall Street Journal
- "How to Survive a Rushing River." The Wall Street Journal May 21, 2012.
- "The Climbing Life." Alpinist Issue 36, Autumn 2011. October 2011: 27-30
- "Nature as artist's muse." Los Angeles Times April 21, 2008.
- "Where Does a 5,000-Pound Elephant's Handler Sit?" The Wall Street Journal January 31, 2006.
- "Cultural Conversation with Royal Robbins", The Wall Street Journal December 29, 2009.
- "Michael Ybarra on John Bachar", The Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2009.
Michael J. Ybarra Memorial Collection
Thanks to the generosity and effort of the Ybarra family, represented by Suzanne, Michael's sister, the club's Library includes many of Michael's books. These are housed with the rest of the collection in the Sherman Fairchild Library, and include both instructional material and guidebooks from climbing destinations near and far. The library is open to the public 8am-5pm, and Caltech and JPL affiliates can use their ID card for 24 hour access or to check out books from the collection.
The books in the collection are:
|Atkinson, Chris and Marc Piche||The Bugaboos: One of the world's great alpine rockclimbing centers|
|Bass, Dane||The Whole Enchilada: A climber's guide to Potrero Chico, Mexico|
|Bernhardson, Wayne||Patagonia (Including the Falkland Islands), Moon Handbook|
|Biggar, John||The Andes|
|Bird, Bryan||Zion Climbing: Free and Clean|
|Bourdon, Marc||Squamish Select|
|Burns, Cameron||Colorado Ice Climber's Guide|
|Crough, Gregory||Enduring Patagonia|
|Damilano, Francois||Snow, ice and mixed: the guide to the Mont-Blanc Range (Vol I from the Trient Basin to the Geant Basin)|
|Garibotti, R.||Gui de escaladas: Refugio E. Frey, Cerro Catedral, Bariloche|
|Genereux, Andy||Yamnuska Rock|
|Gerdes, Matt||The Great Book of Base|
|Goedeke, Richard||The Alpine 4000m peaks (by the Classic Routes)|
|Green, Randall and Joe Bensen||Bugaboo Rock: A Climbing Guide|
|Griffin, Lindsay||Mont Blanc Massif: Volume I|
|Griffin, Lindsay||Mont Blanc Massif: Volume II|
|Griffin, Lindsay||Valais Alps West: Selected Climbs|
|Halvorsen, Patricia Alejandra||Between the rio de las vueltas and the continental ice cap|
|Houston, Mark and Kathy Cosley||Alpine Climbing: Techniques to take you higher|
|Jones, Tom||Zion: Canyoneering|
|Josephson, Joe||Winter Dance: Select ice climbs in southern Montana and northern Wyoming|
|Josephson, Joe||Waterfall Ice: Climbs in the Canadian Rockies|
|Kearney, Alan||Mountaineering in Patagonia|
|Kelsey, Joe||Wind River Mountains: Climbing and hiking|
|Knapp, Fred and Mike Stevens||The Park: A guide to the crags and high peaks of rocky mountain national park|
|Lonely Planet||Nepal Lonely Planet|
|Lopez, Tom||Idaho: A climbing guide, climbs, scrambles and hikes|
|Madge, Tim||Bill Tillman: The last hero, a biography of the explorer|
|Martin, John and Jon Jones||Sport climbs in the Candian Rockies|
|Miramontes, Robert||Joushua Tree: A color guide to the 2600 best rock climbs and boulder problems|
|Moss, Chris||Patagonia: A Cultural History|
|Noyce, Wilfrid||Climbing the Fish's Tail|
|Ogden, Jared||Big Wall Climbing: Elite Technique|
|Ortenburger, Leigh and Reynold Jackson||A Climber's Guide to the Teton Range|
|Richins, Paul||50 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Summits in California|
|Ridgeway, Rick||Below Another Sky: A mountain adventure in search of a lost father|
|Roberts, Jack||Colorado Ice: Volume 1|
|Rossiter, Richard||Teton Classics: 50 Selected Climbs in Grand Teton National Park|
|Rossiter, Richard||Best of Boulder Climbs|
|Rowell, Barbara||Flying South: A pilots inner journey|
|Swindin, Les||Bernese Oberland: including Salbitschijen|
|Tillman, H.W.||The Eight Sailing/Mountain Exploration Books|
|Ulrich, Marshall||Running on Empty|
|Accidents in North American Mountaineering, 2011|
|The American Alpine Journal|
|The American Alpine Journal|
|The American Alpine Journal|
The Ybarra family has also graciously donated Michael's alpine touring ski set up. This includes Black Diamond Guru Skis (167 cm), Diamir Eagle bindings, Black Diamond Method boots (mondo size 28.5, approximately US 10.5/11), and a ski bag. These skis are available for check out from the Caltech Y.
One of Michael's climbing partners, Seth Timpano, has compiled a list of some of Michael's notable climbs, which you view here.
"Achievements come from turmoil, and some are worth the price of pain. Men have often been motivated to seek goals that have no remuneration in themselves and that lie outside any obvious path of ‘duty.’ The essence of sport is the duel between the spirit of many and the limitations of matter; the mind must dominate the body. Nowhere is the contrast between apparent peril and actual security more dramatic than in rock climbing.” -Fred Beckey
Search and Rescue
California's search and rescue teams rely on volunteers who put in huge amounts of time and effort to keep us safe. Please support them! The following two Search and Rescue teams were involved in searching for Michael
Other local teams include
- Facebook Memorial Page
- New York Times
- Wall Street Journal
- LA Times
- Huffington Post