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Yosemite Facelift: The Camp 4 Scrub

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
This fall, Black Diamond athletes and employees joined a record-breaking 750 people to participate in the 13th annual Yosemite Facelift, where we rapped for trash and gave the Camp 4 boulders a well-deserved scrub.

Yosemite is the birthplace of rock climbing and it’s very apparent why. The towering cliffs lining the valley floor, world-class bouldering and a 10-minute flat walk to the base of El Cap make this place more than incredible. But for those same reasons, the Valley gets hit with staggering amounts of people every year, from climbers to tourists, and unfortunately, with lots of people comes high impact.

The Facelift’s overall theme is to remove trash and solidify relations with the National Park Service. Yosemite is a bustling town, with tons of tourists littering the streets literally and figuratively. The Facelift raises awareness of how much traffic Yosemite gets, how much help is needed and how many climbers are willing to put down their rack and grab a litter stick. The specific goal of this year’s facelift was to pick up 20,000 lbs. of micro-trash. This can be plastic bottles and gum wrappers or piles of toilet paper just a stone’s throw away from the road.

Glacier Point Cleanup

Black Diamond’s role in years past has been to help orchestrate vertical cleanups on the side of Yosemite’s big-walls. This year, we set our sights on the ever-popular hiking destination, Glacier Point. Glacier Point is a breathtaking overlook with a phenomenal view of Half Dome and the surrounding valley. This tourist attraction also allows for a lot of pesky trash to sneak over the side of the railing that guards a 2,000-foot drop to the Valley floor. The BD crew decided to rap in, and see what we could find. We didn’t care whose trash it was—we just didn’t want it on the side of the pristine cliffs.

We pulled over 30 lbs. of trash off the side of Glacier Point—from sunglasses and ball-caps to children’s toys and pop-sickle sticks. The climbing park rangers were there to assist in our needs and help with rigging the ropes. They even got the crowd to give us numerous rounds of applause as we swung around with our litter sticks and haul bags picking up dirty trash.

Camp 4 Scrub

Camp 4 is one of the oldest bouldering areas in the world. It was an honor to participate in the first ever “Camp 4 Scrub.” We took water from backpack sprayers donated by the fire department, and soft bristle brushes to remove the heavily chalked and rarely rained-upon boulders. This was a fantastic opportunity to clean up behind climbers, reduce our impact and let the park know that we care deeply about these areas. The “before and after” effect was amazing to see, as the Camp 4 boulders hadn’t been in that condition since they were first climbed decades ago.

–Black Diamond Employee Tyler Willcutt