2017 Yosemite Climber Steward Announcement

Volunteer Position Description for Yosemite Climber Steward

Climber Stewards are volunteers who work with Yosemite Climbing Management (YCM) under the auspices of the NPS Volunteers in the Parks program.  They help supplement the small number of climbing rangers to patrol climbing areas throughout the park and serve as a critical link between the NPS and the climbing community. Climber Stewards have the opportunity to learn about and develop skills related to careers in climbing management, search and rescue, resource protection, and wildlife management.  Opportunities to participate in search and rescue and other emergency services will be based on qualifications and experience.

Climber Stewards will conduct patrols of climbing areas in both technical and non-technical terrain and help maintain cleanliness of Yosemite climbing areas.  They will educate climbers on food storage and assist in the clean-up/upkeep of the food storage lockers provided. Climber Stewards will provide information about Leave No Trace climbing techniques in the vertical wilderness and general Leave No Trace ethics in other wilderness areas.

Climber Stewards will provide visitors with general information about contemporary and historical climbing in Yosemite and assist with public educational programs including Ask-A-Climber and Climber Coffee.  They will work with the Climbing Trails program restoring, and building climber access trails.  At different levels all volunteer work will be related to climbing resource protection and education.

Volunteer Qualifications for Climbing Patrols

Climber Stewards must have an understanding of the inherent risk associated with rock climbing and how to manage that risk at an appropriate level while on climbing patrols.  

Minimum Qualifications for Climber Stewards include:

  • Knowledge of Yosemite’s climbing areas and history
  • Attended a climbing self-rescue class (can include one provided by YCM)
  • Comfortable lead climbing traditional routes in Yosemite at the 5.10 level  
  • Comfortable lead aid climbing at the A2/C2 level
  • Climbed a minimum of 2 Grade VI routes, preferably one of these in Yosemite
  • First Aid certification at the WRF level, EMT is preferred

Volunteer Responsibilities

Climber Stewards play a unique role within Yosemite Climbing Management.  There are three specific outreach programs Climber Stewards assist Climbing Rangers with on a day-to-day or weekly basis.  Programs include, but not limited to:

  • Climber Coffee – An outreach program that provides free coffee to climbers on Sundays during the climbing season (May-October).  Climbers Stewards assist in brewing up and talking about the latest issues related to climbing, camping and wildlife in the Valley or Tuolumne.
  • Ask-a-Climber – An educational outreach program designed to connect the non-climbing visitor to the adventure of climbing, most specifically, big wall climbing.  Climber Stewards will have 4 hour shifts, 2-3 days a week at the El Cap Bridge talking to and educating visitors about climbing.  On certain days, Climber Stewards will be out at the bridge by themselves and other times assisting a Climbing Ranger.  
  • Climbing Trails –  Climber Stewards work with outside groups, climbing rangers and other rangers from the trails division to build, reconstruct and/or restore climbing access trails in Yosemite valley and Tuolumne.


As a park volunteer, a minimum of 32 hours of work per week is required to receive camping in Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne.  We are looking for individuals who can can commit to 3-6 months with the Climber Steward Program.

How to Apply

If you are a climber who is dedicated to the climbing lifestyle, has a desire to express their passion for climbing to other climbers and non-climbers in Yosemite and find interest in providing writings or art contributions to the climbing management social media and website, then go to volunteer.gov to apply for the 2017 Climber Steward position.

Climb hard and be safe,

Yosemite Climbing Management
Yosemite National Park

Artwork by: Ann Piersall