Wall climbing

Access to climbing the Yosemite Big Wall will change in 2023; Make your voice heard

In 2023, the National Park Service will come up with a “long-term solution” to deal with the ever-increasing crowds on Yosemite’s cliffs. A long process of discussion between very involved actors is looming.

Another new permit system is on its way to the international rock climbing hub. On August 26, the National Park Service (NPS) announced that it would soon transition from its current wilderness climbing permit pilot program in Yosemite National Park to a “long-term solution” on social media.

Looking at things, the NPS will be looking to implement stricter regulations than climbers currently face in the park. The agency will accept written comments until November 13, and you can also have your voice heard in several virtual meetings.

Current plan results in ‘unacceptable impacts’

The park introduced the current management program in 2021. It changed the conditions for climbers in Yosemite by guaranteeing them night climbing permits for the first time on formations like El Capitan and Half Dome.

But the program was a little soft; it has made unlimited free permits available. The intended outcome, the NPS said, was to better educate climbers on Leave No Trace ethics and park regulations. He also sought to give his guards a clearer idea of ​​usage patterns.

In Friday’s Instagram post, the NPS said the changes failed to accomplish the latter.

“Despite considerable efforts by Yosemite rangers and climbing stewards to improve climber education and awareness, increase patrols, and coordinate targeted cleanups, there are still unacceptable impacts on the wilderness character of climbing areas. of Yosemite,” he said.

The agency qualified this assessment by stating, “[c]The cumulative effects of climbing great walls have led to the degradation of wilderness values. Problems include the proliferation of trash, human waste, abandoned properties, improperly stored food, illegal fire pits and windbreaks, and preventable accidents.

Speak out at Yosemite Climbing Plan Meetings

Now the discussions on how to move forward will begin.

The first opportunity to engage will be on September 7 in the form of a virtual “town hall” meeting from 5:30-7:30 p.m. PDT. To attend the meeting, go to Yosemite’s escalation stewardship page and follow the “Virtual Town Hall” link.


The program includes both live events and virtual discussions. An “informal outreach” session wraps up the list of four Bishop High-Ball Craggin’ Classic events on November 12.

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