Climbing Stewardship Training Series Hits Yosemite

06/08/2015

Rock climbing stewardship day in Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Valley provided the perfect backdrop for the first in our series of Climbing Stewardship Trainings. Over four days, representatives from California local climbing organizations, land trusts, Park Service staff, and Yosemite Climbing Stewards and Rangers came out to learn and share best practice techniques and concepts for sustaining our climbing areas.

“As climbing continues to grow in popularity, it’s critical that we take the time to prepare our climbing areas for the inevitable increase in traffic,” says Access Fund Stewardship Director, Ty Tyler. “This training series is designed to give local volunteers and land managers the stewardship skills needed to sustainably manage our climbing areas.”

The group spent the mornings discussing the most effective ways to work within Federal lands processes and how to leverage resources for large-scale stewardship initiatives. In the afternoons, they headed out to assess approach trails and staging areas and develop strategies for sustaining these access points. They also spent two days at the base of El Cap, improving the network of loose approach trails into a durable access to the east face. The group leveraged techniques and best practices for sustainable rock work in loose, granitic soils. The approach trails were built to NPS standards, requiring a great deal of patience and perfectionism.

Rock climbing stewardship day in Yosemite National Park, California

The Yosemite Climbing Rangers and Climbing Stewards were key partners in this training, sharing their experience managing climbing activities in one of our nation’s busiest national parks.

“Meet-ups like the Access Fund Stewardship Training week are critical for building a core of climber stewards in our growing community,” says Eric Bissell, a Yosemite Climbing Ranger. “It’s critical that we take the time to come together and continue building upon our history of land stewardship."

If you missed the Yosemite Climbing Stewardship Training, don’t fret. We still have two more trainings this year:

Salt Lake City: June 24-27 (Register here)
Red River Gorge: September 9-11 (Registration coming soon)

We encourage all interested volunteers and land managers to get involved in this training series and help us continue to build momentum for climbing area stewardship and sustainability. As our sport continues to grow in popularity, we need folks like you to help us employ smart stewardship strategies that will help prepare our climbing areas for increased traffic.

For more information about contact stewardship@accessfund.org.

Rock climbing stewardship day in Yosemite National Park, California