Many of us have marveled at climbers making their way up the vertical granite face of El Capitan and are awed by their skill and courage. These brave athletes inspire many 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 during the summer season. Visitors can use telescopes to zoom in on climbers on El Capitan and other famous walls, while rangers share information and answer questions on a range of topics, from Yosemite’s geology and natural resources to climbing techniques, tools and history. (Read some of Ask a Climber FAQs in this May 2016 blog post.)

With your support in 2015, the Ask a Climber program reached a record 24,720 visitors. Throughout the season, rangers and Climber Steward Interns also helped educate climbers about stewardship, Leave No Trace practices and Preventive Search and Rescue.

“The Ask a Climber program has enjoyed continued success because it has adapted and grown each season,” says Kristin Krischner, the Yosemite ranger who managed the 2015 program. “Climbing rangers are constantly refining the interpretive themes, looking for ways to integrate technology and finding ways to identify and connect with new audiences.”

Your support helped visitors connect with Yosemite’s world-famous vertical landscape and promoted stewardship among the climbing community.

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park and Yosemite Climbing Association.


Kristin Kirschner

Wilderness Patrol Supervisor

Project Notes

Yosemite plays a significant role in the birth of big wall climbing and the development of climbing techniques, which have since spread worldwide. This collaborative effort tells the story of climbing in Yosemite through educational programs, outreach and interpretive materials.