Rock-climbers from around the world flock to Yosemite’s granite domes and cliffs to push their sport to new levels. Some of those climbers take on the challenge of ascending El Capitan, which rises more than 3,000 feet above the Valley.

Ask a Climber is an informal, interactive program that lets visitors explore Yosemite’s world-famous walls from the ground while learning how climbers serve as environmental stewards. In 2018, rangers piloted a successful new schedule for this grant-supported program: In spring and autumn, they offered daily programs in El Capitan Meadow; in July and August, they led weekly two-hour interpretive walks near the base of the Valley’s big walls, and delivered evening presentations about big wall ecology and geology. Over the course of the season, rangers tallied up more than 17,000 interactions with visitors through Ask a Climber activities. Whether watching climbers through a telescope, getting a hands-on gear demonstration, or learning about earth science and climbing history, Ask a Climber participants come away with a deeper understanding of the vertical wilderness.

Your support helped visitors and climbers learn about and preserve Yosemite’s vertical wilderness.

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

Kristin Kirschner

Wilderness Patrol Supervisor, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

For the millions of park visitors that will never have the opportunity to climb the walls in Yosemite Valley, the Ask a Climber program allows them to explore the world of climbing and experience the connections between climbing and Yosemite’s resources.