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The Boot Flake on The Nose on El Cap is Gone, April Fools

And that time a top climber was baited into the decades-old joke

On April 1, climbernews.com posted a story that the Boot Flake on The Nose on El Capitan had been removed by parks to be re-soled. “It is tradition that Boot Flake is stolen by climbing pranksters on April 1 each year and returned a few days later.

“Locals will then remark that the landmark ‘fell off’ After some damage to the famous El Cap landmark in the last prank, the parks service decided this year to preemptively move it into protective custody. After re-soling the boot it should be back in action ready for the upcoming season.”

Of course, the joke goes back decades with the most successful troll taking place in 2002 on SuperTopo. A user posted: “I just got off the phone w/ a friend who is up in the valley! I guess it was a spectacular crashing sound (that much would be obvious) really early this morning as it slid down and broke up, crashing onto the apron and then the talus below.”

It prompted SuperTopo owner Chris McNamara to inquire with Yosemite rangers. He said: “I took the bait and called the Yosemite Mtn Shop and they hadn’t heard of any rock fall. Of course, the Boot Flake falling off is not improbable. As Largo mentioned, there isn’t any visible means of attachment to the wall. On the second ascent of the Nose, Royal Robbins was nailing it and it expanded so much and made such a terrible hollow sound that he added a chicken-bolt midway. That bolt was chopped on the next ascent by Roper and since then everyone has more or less assumed its permanent… or is it?”