Camp 4 in Yosemite is one of the climbing world’s most famous campsites. Many of the best climbers in history have spent at least a few nights, between days on big walls, sleeping there.
Rock & Ice recently published in their story Historic Camp 4 to Expand that Phil Powers, CEO of the American Alpine Club, said: “I’m really impressed that the Park not only adopted these improvements but has broken ground. The new bathhouse will be wonderful. This is a campground for everybody, not just climbers.”
The current number of campsites is 32 and plans call for that number to increase to at least 57 in 2018. About 130 cars will be able to park in the new lot.
In 1997, after years of friction between climbers and the National Park Service (NPS), a flood struck the area. The NPS suggested building a three-story dormitory at Camp 4. Tom Frost, once a leading Yosemite climber, helped lead the fight against the proposal.
He filed a lawsuit against the NPS with support from the American Alpine Club. In 2003, Cap 4 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for “its significant association with the growth and development of rock climbing in the Yosemite Valley during the ‘golden years’ of pioneer mountaineering.”
The history of Camp 4 is as storied as the walls that rise around it. Yvon Chouinard once sold climbing gear in the parking lot. From 1971 to 1999,the camp was officially known as Sunnyside Walk-in Campground, but was renamed Camp 4 in recognition of its historic status.
Rock & Ice reported that experienced Yosemite climber John Middendorf, climber and inventor of climbing gear, said: “According to a longtime ranger in Yosemite, there were once 3,000 campsites in Yosemite Valley, and sleeping under the stars was the primary way visitors experienced the park…
“I do hope they will be able to add a small pavilion to the project,” says Powers. “We have found that providing places for people to gather out of the sun or rain allows for the sharing of important information and storytelling.”
Midnight Lightning, one of the world’s most famous bouldering problems, is in Camp 4. Watch Chris Van Leuven send the V8 below.