Project goal: Use education, outreach and restoration to promote stewardship and safety on and beyond Yosemite’s granite walls.
Why this work matters: Climbing offers people a way to experience the park’s remarkable landscape up close — and, like hiking, backpacking and other popular Yosemite activities, it can potentially impact natural resources. Informal “social” trails form near the walls, as people hike to and from climbing routes. Dropped gear and accidental litter linger on and around cliffs.
Good news: Those impacts are preventable! Through the Yosemite Climbing Stewardship program, the park works to protect climbing areas and climbers, alike, by using education, restoration and research to promote environmental stewardship, safety, and strong relationships with the climbing community.
To facilitate the multifaceted program, Yosemite climbing rangers and volunteer Climber Stewards work together to:
– Improve access trails for climbing and bouldering spots, often with help from corporate and Conservancy volunteer groups, to reduce erosion, prevent vegetation loss, and ensure people can get to and from routes safely.
– Educate people about climbing-related topics, including Leave No Trace principles for the vertical environment, through climbing patrols, “Climber Coffee” gatherings, events at climbing gyms and online media.
– Share safety messages related to climbing conditions and accident prevention, and train park staff and volunteers on rope-rescue techniques.
– Collect data on how many people climb popular routes in the park, to inform management decisions that help ensure safety and prevent overcrowding.
They also host stewardship-focused workshops and events with national and international groups, and they play a key role in Yosemite Facelift, an annual volunteer-driven clean-up event.
How your support helps: In recent years, with support from our donors, Yosemite’s Climbing Stewardship program has evolved from a grassroots effort into a respected, highly effective operation that has inspired similar programs at other parks. Your gifts will ensure this vital work can continue to engage Yosemite climbers in active stewardship and serve as a model program for encouraging climbing-related safety and conservation.
Partnering with Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Climbing Association, Access Fund, Sacred Rok and American Alpine Club.