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Yosemite celebrates 99 years with free entry -- and selfies with climbing ace Conrad Anker

Yosemite celebrates 99 years with free entry -- and selfies with climbing ace Conrad Anker
The view from the nose of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

Yosemite National Park will waive entrance fees Tuesday in honor of Founders' Day, the day the National Park Service turns 99 years old.

Mountaineer and big-wall climber Conrad Anker will be outside the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to pose for photos and chat with visitors. He has been named Yosemite Centennial Ambassador in anticipation of 2016 celebrations.

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Anker, 52, holds many "firsts," including a climb with others to pioneer a route called Continental Drift on the park's El Capitan.

He's also one of three climbers featured in the new action documentary "Meru" about climbing Mt. Meru in the Himalayas.

In 1999 on Mt. Everest, Anker discovered the body of British climbing great George Mallory, who died on a summit bid in 1924.

The park also will set up a camping lounge in a "village" outside the visitor center where you can play camping-themed games and access interactive maps of national parks.

In anticipation of its centennial, the Park Service this year rolled out a Find Your Park website where you can find out more about parks and post your own photos.

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