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Yosemite climbers face new obstacle: overnight permits | Coronavirus – Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada 2021-05-07 20:13:43 –

Los Angeles (AP) — The famous Big Wall Climbing in El Capitan and Yosemite National Park became a bit more difficult on Friday.

The park is physically harsh and spiritual, inching vertical granite walls where climbers take days to conquer and need to spend the night on a small platform hundreds or thousands of feet above Yosemite Valley. We added bureaucratic formalism before embarking on a tough feat.

Climbers are required to obtain a free permit after May 21st before conducting large-scale climbs such as El Capitan, Half Dome and the Leaning Tower of Pisa for several days.

The long-rumored plan will inevitably complain at the birthplace of American climbing and in a culture of embracing freedom. However, the popularity of sports has grown exponentially and can help limit the number of climbers on crowded classic routes.

“We think many climbers will whine and complain. It was really a privilege because they were given this that they think is right,” said El Capitan in 170 climbs. Hans Florine, who climbed further, said. than anyone else. “For the past 40 years in Yosemite, we have been given the incredible Wild West privilege of Ragtag. All they want is to let us know that you are there. “

The two-year pilot program will deploy backpacker-equivalent climbers who have had to obtain wilderness permits for decades to spend the night in protected backcountry areas of national parks and forests. .. However, unlike hikers, climbing permits are not initially assigned based on quotas that limit how many people can ride on a given route per day.

Yosemite Wilderness Manager Jeff Webb said the program was the first to measure the number of people climbing at night or for several days to see which areas were most used, and finally. Said to El Capitan that it could lead to restrictions on certain routes such as the nose.

The park requires voluntary compliance, but climbers who violate the rules may be fined, Webb said.

Yosemite is not the first park to require a few days of climbing permit. There are also permits in Zion National Park in Utah, Gunnison National Park in Colorado and Black Canyon in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Daniel Duane, a mountaineer and author of “El Capitan: Historical Specialties and Radical Routes,” reminded me of a time when Yosemite’s typical mountaineers weren’t crowded, so there was some sadness in development. Said there was.

Some climbers camped in the park for months and climbed every day. City residents were able to call a friend on Thursday to plan a last-minute trip, drive overnight from San Francisco or Los Angeles, and hit a rock on Friday morning.

“One of Yosemite’s strange and wonderful mysteries was that it could just appear there,” he said. “You can drive to the foot of El Capitan and start climbing, and the Yosemite Valley climbing lifestyle was such a miracle.”

However, the rise of climbing gyms has spawned a huge generation of new climbers, and this summer Olympics is the first to include this sport. A movie about some of El Capitan’s rock star feats captures the imagination of movie fans, as if they were standing on a sliver-width shelf and grabbing a small crack in a thin monolith thousands of feet above. I put them on the edge of the seat. valley.

“Free Solo,” which depicts Alex Honnold climbing El Capitan’s “Free Rider” route without ropes or protection, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2019. Any aid — using only ropes to catch their falls — also captivated the audience.

When Duane was planning an overnight climb with this girl on the south side of the Washington Column last year, a friend warned that they would not be alone. He heard that there are five parties on the route and five more are waiting to start climbing.

He canceled the trip due to a coronavirus pandemic, but he said that type of situation was “bad for all involved.”

He is not against the change, but Duane said that booking a permit required four to fifteen days in advance removes spontaneity and is considered another slap by climbers who are often in conflict with park management. It was.

“Climbers aren’t crazy about feeling that a significant portion of the park culture wants them to leave,” he said. “This little step is as benign as it looks and, frankly, as wise as it looks, but it definitely raises these concerns for all of us.”

Corey Rich, cinematographer for The Dawn Wall, who has spent his professional career hanging beside Yosemite’s largest cliff as an adventure photographer, said the move would be polarized among climbers.

Loss of freedom is a shame for him, but as the sport evolves and grows, it seems like a necessary evil and helps protect the walls they all cherish.

“I’m also one of these old dogs who have to learn new tricks on how to apply for a permit the next time they go up to El Capitan,” Rich said.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.



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