YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (KCBS) — The next time you climb Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, you’re going to need a permit, even on a weekday.

During this year’s climbing season, the park conducted a pilot program that required permits to climb the granite monolith on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

“This was meant to control the number of people on the cables at any given time due to safety concerns,” said Scott Gediman, a ranger and spokesperson for Yosemite National Park.

KCBS’ Larry Chiaroni Reports:

He said they saw a spike in the number of climbers on non-permit days. Rangers counted between 700 and 800 climbers on those days during the summer, which caused gridlock on the climbing cables and put everyone at risk.

“When people can’t go up or down, people get frustrated, people get scared, people try to pass on the outside,” Gediman said. “It is a very dangerous situation. If you fall from the cables, you’re going to die.”

Permits will be available up to four months in advance, with those for May and June going on sale on March 1. Gediman said they’ll be easy to buy online at the same website used to make campground reservations, http://www.recreation.gov.

“We issue about 400 permits for the day and that caps the number of people,” he said.

Gediman said that the Half Dome cables usually go up by mid-May and stay in place through mid-October.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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