On August 29, the American Safe Climbing Association placed 39 solar-powered LED lanterns along Half Dome's Snake Dike route in Yosemite National Park. The ASCA, self-described as a "bare bones nonprofit organization of dedicated climbers," replaces unsafe anchors along climbing routes and works to reduce the visual and environmental impacts of climbing. The organization has replaced more than 14,000 old quarter-inch bolts (known for poor reliability) and fixed anchors with sturdier, camouflaged (old stainless steel anchors created sun glare) versions to aid in climber safety and, in general, keep all the natural wonders of our parks looking natural.
For the project on Snake Dike of Half Dome, the ASCA placed red lights on all of the bolts and anchors, while white lights were used to illuminate the rest of the route. Snake Dike is clean and exposed — making it the easiest, and most popular, climbing route to the top of the iconic Half Dome. It rises up an 800-foot red-hued dike on the southwestern face of the dome and features eight pitches of climbing.
The ASCA has also rebolted other iconic routes in parks across the U.S., such as Seward Highway in Alaska, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, Red Rocks in Nevada, and Chimney Rock in Idaho. If you have a suggestion for a route that needs rebolting, instructions for submitting the climbing area information can be found on the ASCA website.
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