The Yosemite Climber Stewards
A grant-funded (thanks to Yosemite Conservancy), volunteer fueled, climbing conservation program in Yosemite. Climber Stewards perform a variety of duties, including:
— Access Trail Work: Access trails, for the most part, are not maintained by the NPS, since they are classified as “Use” trails. This means that their maintenance is not budgeted. Together, Climbing Rangers and Stewards work with other volunteer groups, such as, the American Alpine Club, the Mazamas, and Planet Granite to decrease social trails and delineate single access trails to climbing areas helping to protect the natural state of the land.
— Climbing Patrols: Cleaning up areas such as, access trails, cliff-base areas, and the routes themselves. Every year piles of tat and old fixed lines are removed from both obscure and popular climbing areas.
— Food Storage Education: Stewards work to inform the climbing (and non-climbing) public about this high-priority issue. Over the past few years bear boxes have been placed in specific high climber use areas, such as, the base of Manure Pile (and the parking lot), Middle Cathedral, and El Cap bridge parking. Note: if you use these bears boxes, please tag your food with the dates you plan for storage, food without dated tags can be removed by bear or climbing rangers.
— High-Angle Projects: Last year, Climber Stewards along with Climbing Rangers hauled 300lb of old cable off of Half Dome, and hauled three Grade VI bags of trash and refuse off of the Nose.
— Peregrine Falcon Monitoring: Keeping tabs on nesting Peregrines enables climbing areas to be opened as soon as possible after the chicks fledge. It also offers a closer connection to this amazing species.
— Climber Interpretation: Informing and educating climbers about Yosemite, its ecology, history, conservation guidelines, and route beta, whether at the base, on top, at a belay, or while chalking up for another go.
Climber Stewards come from all walks of life. Some are young, some older, some new to Yosemite, some veterans. We’re all united by a desire to give back, and to be here on an extended basis. Stewards serve for a minimum of 12 weeks during the high season, and take on both their own projects, as well as more generic duties. They are classified, in NPS parlance, as Volunteer Interns, and qualify for limited expense reimbursement, free camping, and an extended stay in the valley and Tuolumne Meadows.
Contact the Yosemite Climbing program to find out how you can get involved as a Climber Steward.