Many of us have marveled at the awe and courage of climbers making their way up the vertical granite face of El Capitan. These brave athletes inspire countless questions: Do climbers eat and sleep along the way? Who were the first people to climb this wall?

Through the Ask a Climber program, climbing rangers provide informal interpretive programs each day during the summer season near the El Capitan shuttle stop. Telescopes are available so visitors can have a closer look, while experts provide real-time commentary about climbing tools and techniques, the peregrine falcons that nest on the cliff walls, Preventive Search and Rescue operations, and more. The program also serves as a way to engage and educate the climbing community, with climber-steward interns teaching climbers about Leave No Trace practices for big-wall climbing and collecting data about climber use patterns.

In 2014, approximately 14,000 visitors, as many as 225 per day, attended the programs. Visitors often spend hours watching the wall with the rangers, and return multiple times to check in on people making their way up El Capitan and learn more about Yosemite’s climbing history.

Your support helps educate visitors about rock-climbing and climber stewardship.

Partnering with Yosemite National Park and the Yosemite Climbing Association.

Ken Yager

Yosemite Climbing Association

Project Notes

Providing accurate information and perspective from actual climbers is a unique opportunity. Many tourists have said that tracking climbers up El Cap has been the best part of their visit.