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New Climbing Center in Yosemite Valley

Original Post
Erik Sloan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 139

Yo Gang,

Just wanted to send a shout out to all the Valley climbers - temps are perfect right now, and it's empty, so re-lace those TC Pros and get up here!

Also, each year for the last fourteen years we have gathered at the Yosemite Facelift to talk about pursuing a dedicated climbing history space in the Valley. Each year progress is negligible. 

So I started thinking - maybe we don't need a stale museum with Royal Robbins boxer's behind glass, maybe the public would be more interested in getting behind a dedicated climbing center in Yosemite, the Mecca of climbing, if you could actual climb there. Yosemite National Park has a golf course, four swimming pools, tennis courts, two stables, etc. What better place than to give people the opportunity to climb? And how awesome will it be to have a place to train in the Valley (maybe the AAC can operate the facility?). We could have historical displays, hang boards, and a spot for all the latest beta / conditions / changes / new routes for the Valley. 

A perfect spot for the new climbing center would be the Yosemite Lodge Pool - Yosemite has four pools and no climbing center, so we could get by with three pools (you never hear Michael Phelps talking about how swimming in Yosemite was the highlight of his nautical experience). There are already mens and womens locker rooms, so that's taken care of, and the pool is a pretty big area. It is right across from Camp 4, and would be a awesome compliment to Yosemite experience for both climbers and non-climbers.

What do you guys think? I looked around the web and couldn't find any amazing climbing gym photos, so grabbed this one of Tommy (Corey Rich photo) - at least at the new center we could teach climbers and tourists how most folks prefer to use both feet in aiders when jugging overhanging terrain, lol.


Erik Sloan -  

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

I think Yosemite needs a climbing gym, too.

Chad N · · Central California · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 1,842

I think Yosemite needs a massage center and a giant hot tub. 

But seriously, Yosemite has everything it needs. Why change it?

simplyput . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 60

Your post was verbose but still fully vague (no surprise there). Do you want a climbing gym or an information center? Do you want a place for climbers to do hangboard routines and swap beta or a place for tourists to further gawk at the elusive climber? Who cares how many pools and tennis courts there are. Climbing outside (especially in a place like Yosemite) is about being outside, not in a locker room equipped facility.

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 430


Sloan wants us to pay for a gym for him to use in the Winter.

Jeff Luton · · Ventucky Ca · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 5
Paul Morrison · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 0

I'm all for it, but only if Aleks Zebastian is the manager.

jg fox · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 5
Paul Morrison wrote:

I'm all for it, but only if Aleks Zebastian is the manager.

... and Old Lady H as route setter.

R. Moran · · Moab , UT · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 140

I'm going to the valley to do repeaters but should I use 7 on 3 off or 10 on 5 off? 

jg fox · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 5

I remember the first time climbing at Yosemite, I sat on the top of some climb near the Swan Slabs, with two lesbians cuddling nearby enjoying the vista, I look out and thought to myself, "this place could use some more fucking buildings."

Go ahead and build it Erik, you can bolt it right next to The Nose.

Forever Outside · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 240
ColinW · · San Diego, CA · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 70

Erik, while I highly commend you for your efforts and a proud owner of both your books as a #1 source for beta(750 best free routes & Yosemite bigwalls), I think to best preserve the climbing history of The Valley, we should escape from bringing a gym atmosphere into the heart of it. That'd be like putting a totaled and rusty Corvette on display in a Ferrari museum. "Most tourists" that aren't climbers come to The Valley for a miniature escape from whatever life they live to be in the outdoors momentarily. I'd be willing to bet most ol' timer tourists or non-outdoorsy people would enjoy a museum for the history of The Valley much more than to try a plastic 5.4 route with an auto-belay by the pool-side.  Show the climbing history in a small museum with photos, stinky boots, stories to read and old rusty pitons. Not with a climbing gym. Leave the climbing experiece for our adventurous souls and leave the tourists on the ground to gawk at us in amazement. They have climbing gyms in their city. We have so much more in the Valley. Keep it sacred to us.   

Grant Kiessling · · Ben Lomond, CA · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0

Let’s help the surrounding towns out and put one in Mariposa or something. Seriously, the Valley doesn’t need anything else except for some Mexican food!

mpech · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 2

Opening a gym in Mariposa seems like a viable business model....

Grant Kiessling · · Ben Lomond, CA · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0
mpech wrote:

Opening a gym in Mariposa seems like a viable business model....

Thanks! I definitely agree especially with the amount of locals that drive to MetalMark and how many climbers hit up the Pioneer Market

Erik Sloan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 139

Yo Gang! Interesting thoughts.

Yeah I'm definitely more into the information desk / historical side of a potential site than for endlessly teaching people how to jug, haul, french-free, or watch them do pull ups - but hey, climbers need to train so maybe we can combine a spot to hangboard / train with a place to share climbing history new and old. Folks definitely need some specific skills for climbing in Yosemite, so it would be great to have a dedicated place to show off those techniques (hauling, french-free, etc.).

The building is already there, so no more impact, and how cool would it be to seem grandma and the kids from plainsville trying to haul!



Eric Engberg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 0

You've got C4 to train in,  You've got the visitor's center for museum purposes.  Don't need anything more.

Chad N · · Central California · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 1,842

Who trains in the Valley anymore? Hondo, sure. I would think most save the juice for their climbing objectives. 

Erik, sounds like to me, you wanna guide people. Get certified and do that. From your writing, sounds like that's where you wanna be. 

M. Morley · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 6,605

Sloan: "Hey everybody, wouldn't it be a great idea to have a climbing gym in the Valley?"

Everybody: "No."

Sloan: "So what I'm hearing is that everybody is on board! Woot!"

rafael · · Berkeley, CA · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 50

if it means that you wont put more bolts in areas like church bowl, and instead make your aid practice routes up where tourists can gawk, I'm all for it

Auden Alsop · · Baltimore, MD · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 5

Please no. I have been to the Valley once, and found it crowded enough as is. There is no need to build a climbing center in the hub of American climbing.(Edit:) Please listen to the people on this one Erik- I too appreciate your guidebook, but cannot understand things like the bolting of GSR. Please listen when the people say no.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Northern California
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