Staring up at the 3,000 ft. granite face of El Capitan just does something to a climber. These glacially-polished walls of sheer granite have inspired climbers of all abilities for decades. The allure is irresistible and the challenge is inescapable.
Relax and find your balance
While strength and training cannot be overstated the real challenge here is balance. Finding places in the rock to jam your hands or smear your feet takes more mental focus than just pulling your weight up as you would at more traditional gym-climbing settings.
Easy climbs are hard to come by and you won’t find too many that are 5.7 or easier without finding a lot of other folks with the same idea. A great resource for finding easy/moderate climbs is SuperTopo.com, check out their Yosemite Valley Climbing guide.
Also it’s a great idea to go with an experienced partner. One great resource is the Yosemite Mountaineering School where you can hire a guide to take you on any kind of a climb, from a ¾ day to a 3-day grade 5 or higher and even a summit of El Cap or Half Dome.
Or you can go on the cheap by heading to the bulletin boards at Camp 4 in Yosemite Valley to make friends and find people there during your stay who might want to climb with you. All it will cost you is the price of a post-it note!
While most people think of Yosemite Valley for climbing you may also want to consider venturing up to the high county for a cooler temps, lots of cracks, knobs and a lot less traffic! Check out the Tuolumne section on the SuperTopo website for more info.
Join the Yosemite Climbing Event of the Year!
Yosemite’s Facelift is the climbing and conservation event of the year in Yosemite. Occurring annually in late September, this event brings together more than 1,400 volunteers and they pick up as much as 5,800 lbs of litter! It’s a great way to rub shoulders with well-known climbers and give back to the park that has giving so much to the art of climbing.