Yosemite’s granite domes and cliffs create a unique landscape where rock-climbers from around the world are inspired to push their sport to new levels. Many of those climbers spend days ascending El Capitan, which rises more than 3,000 feet above the Valley.

What’s it like to climb a sheer face such as El Capitan? How do ropes and carabiners help climbers? Where do people sleep during multiday climbs? Through the Conservancy-supported Ask a Climber program, climbing rangers and interns educate visitors in an informal, interactive setting. In 2016, more than 22,000 visitors stopped by the program’s base in El Capitan Meadow between May and October to ask their climbing-related questions and take advantage of telescopes that offer a close look at the walls.

As part of this 2016 grant, the Ask a Climber team also developed new educational displays focused on climbing history, techniques, geology and natural resources. Throughout the season, climbing rangers and interns conducted special programs for youth groups, including a presentation on the physics of climbing, and worked to create new stewards within the climbing community.

Your gifts helped fund a popular program that encourages visitors and climbers to learn about and preserve Yosemite’s vertical environment. Thank you for supporting your park!

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

Curious about climbing in Yosemite? Check out some Ask a Climber FAQs.

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.