Free solo … with a permit: will Yosemite’s new rules put a damper on climbing culture?


The national park is instituting a permitting system for overnight rock climbers. Many see it as inevitable as the sport gets more popular

For years, rock climbers Graham Ottley and Keith Bouma-Gregson dreamed of scaling the 2,800ft (853 meters) pillar of granite known as the Lost Arrow Spire in Yosemite national park.

In early May the pair finally got their chance, making a climb that required spending two windy nights camped on tiny ledges with harnesses holding them to the rocks. But Ottley and Bouma-Gregson realize that soon it may not be as easy to enjoy Yosemite’s anything-goes climbing culture.

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