Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Anthropology

First Advisor

Bonnie Clark

Second Advisor

Christina Kreps


Ahwahnechee, Ahwahnee, Climbing, Heritage, Spirituality, Yosemite


Yosemite Valley is a transformative landscape that helps to shape climbers’ identities and fosters a unique sense of community, which continually reinforces its status as a renowned and evolving climbing destination. The historical influence of Yosemite Valley on rock climbing began in the 1950s and has since defined itself as a prominent destination for climbers worldwide. This ethnographic research analyzes how climbers forge a meaningful connection with the Valley by forming a deep sense of place that intertwines with their personal identities as climbers and investigates the intricate relationship between climbers’ identities and the Yosemite landscape. This research also explores the social dynamics within the Yosemite climbing community, and how climbers validate and reinvent their identities through shared practices, rituals, and narratives. The findings of this research underscore the importance of recognizing the cultural and personal dimensions of climbing experiences in this iconic destination. By understanding the historical and cultural influences that have shaped Yosemite’s climbing heritage, this work provides insight into the broader context of rock climbing and its ever-evolving relationship with the natural environment, particularly within National Parks.

Copyright Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Vanessa Taylor


Received from ProQuest

File Format



English (eng)


159 pgs

File Size

4.3 MB


Cultural anthropology, Cultural resources management, Museum studies