Yosemite’s granite walls are steeped in centuries of historic ascents, from the inaugural summit of Half Dome in 1875 to the record-setting free solo of El Capitan in 2017. As climbing’s popularity soars ever higher, Yosemite is focused on promoting stewardship, safety and continued strong relationships with the climbing community.

Yosemite’s Climbing Stewardship program addresses those goals through education and restoration. In 2019, climbing rangers and seven volunteer Climber Stewards educated people on and off the walls about climbing-related topics, including Leave No Trace principles for the vertical environment, through climbing patrols, “Climber Coffee” gatherings and gym-based events. This grant also supported restoration work on access trails for climbing and bouldering areas, including near El Capitan and Washington Column; safety-related outreach and trainings; and a pilot study to document climber numbers and wait times on popular routes.

Your contributions supported active stewardship and better understanding of Yosemite’s natural vertical landscape.

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Climbing Association, Access Fund, Sacred Rok and American Alpine Club.

Kristin Kirschner

Wilderness Patrol Supervisor, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

The climbing stewardship program encourages lifelong stewardship of Yosemite National Park through innovative and diverse outreach, education, and conservation projects.