Fixed Ropes

The Rules
Property left unattended in Yosemite for longer than 24 hours is considered abandoned and may be impounded. However, the National Park Service recognizes that there are circumstances when it is impractical for climbers to return to fixed ropes within 24 hours. In such cases we ask that you leave ropes and equipment in place only as long as you are activelyusing the lines.
  • Fixing ropes to get a head start: if you decide to fix ropes partway up a route before beginning your ascent, do so only immediately before beginning your climb and remove them once you commit to the route.
  • Fixing ropes to "work" a route: If you plan to return to a route regularly, leave your ropes in place only when you are actively working the route. (This does not include taking a week off to rest.)
  • Established fixed ropes: Ropes like those sometimes found below Heart Ledges on El Capitan are not maintained or condoned by the National Park Service.
  • Mini Traxion Lines: Same rules apply; If you fix a line for training, remove it the same day. As a courtesy, do not leave ropes or gear on popular routes that might be an eyesore or an inconvenience to other climbers.
The Reasons
Stashed gear, food, water, and fixed ropes in particular, take away from the sense of risk and adventure that climbers and other Wilderness travelers expect to experience. Most of Yosemite's climbing areas are in designated Wilderness and must remain "without permanent improvements or human habitation… with the imprint of man’s work substantially unnoticeable."
Wilderness, and climbing in particular, is not intended to be convenient or easy (ironically that's why many are drawn to it). Please do your part to maintain Yosemite's wildness. In 2001 volunteers and rangers removed over four thousand feet of trash rope from Yosemite's walls, not including a few thousand feet of junk rope from the Heart Ledge rappels by conscientious climbers.

Last updated: September 3, 2014

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