Phil Powers and Alex Honnold on a Permit System for The Nose? (Ep.19)

Alex Honnold and Phil Powers discuss Big Wall climbing on Blister's All Things Climbing Podcast
Katie Sprinkel on The Nose, Yosemite.

Are we headed for a future where The Nose (or other well-traveled walls) are headed for a permit system? We started debating this “what if” scenario almost a year ago, prompted by a conversation about the recently established permit system governing the cables route on Half Dome (the standard “hiking” route to the summit). If crowds grow or rescues become frequent, could certain technical routes, such as The Nose, find themselves governed by a system similar to the one used on Half Dome?

Alex Honnold and Phil Powers discuss Big Wall climbing on Blister's All Things Climbing Podcast
Katie Sprinkel on The Nose, Yosemite.

Over the past few months we also put this question to several of our guests to bring in some expert perspectives. So for today’s episode, we’ve got American Alpine Club CEO Phil Powers explaining why he thinks a permit system is likely, and Alex Honnold and Maury Birdwell making the case against. Even after producing this episode, we’re still deliberating, so we’d love to hear your thoughts or opinions and collect more data! Let us know what you think on this episode’s Instagram post.

TOPICS & TIMES

  • Why ask whether The Nose could have a permit system? (00:35)
  • Phil Powers’ response (1:35)
  • Why a permit system for The Nose makes more sense than most climbs (2:45)
  • Two scenarios that could lead the park to instate a permit system (4:25)
  • What might that permit system look like? (9:30)
  • Presented by Rhino Skin Solutions (12:00)
  • Alex Honnold and Maury Birdwell’s response. (13:50)
  • Strengths and weaknesses in their response. (17:25)
  • How practical could a permit system be? (21:10)
  • What are the potential benefits of a permit system? (24:35)
  • Isn’t the rap route another example of adapting to crowding? (25:40)
  • Who do we agree with most? (27:05)
  • Outro (31:25)


PRESENTING SPONSOR: RHINO SKIN SOLUTIONS

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