No Climbing Allowed: Federal Proposal May Restrict Access Nationwide, Advocacy Groups Warn

November 21, 2023

Last week, the U.S. National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service unveiled a policy that would designate climbing bolts and anchors as “permanent installations,” which are banned under the 1964 Wilderness Act. That caused immediate concern among climbing groups, who said the change could threaten climbing routes across the country, from El Capitan in Yosemite National Park to Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Under the proposal, any route with fixed anchors (usually bolts drilled into the rock) would have to undergo the same federal approval process as garbage dumps or fence lines, said Erik Murdock, interim executive director of the Access Fund. That equipment has been allowed for 60 years. Gear Junkie