The Bishop Area Climbers Coalition, Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association (ESIA), and Friends of the Inyo in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office, and the Inyo National Forest have hired two climbing rangers to patrol the increasingly popular climbing and bouldering areas in the Bishop area. The Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce, Geraldine C. and Emory M. Ford Foundation, Touchstone Climbing Inc., along with individual organization fundraising events have contributed funds to help support the two climbing ranger positions.
The rangers will be focused on the Tablelands, Happys and Sads, the Buttermilks, Pine Creek, the Owens River Gorge and Upper Gorge, the Sacreds, and the Druids.
One of the main goals for the rangers is to provide education to climbers about where to park and camp, Leave No Trace principles, and climbing etiquette. Events like climber coffees will help develop a community forum for climbers in the area.
The climbing rangers will also track visitor use patterns including documenting parking and camping uses and tracking changes over time.
Lastly, the rangers will oversee restoration and stewardship activities such as campsite clean-up, trail delineation, educational signage, planting native plants in heavily used areas, etc. They will help coordinate volunteer events and look to remedy issues such as off-road travel and otherwise recommend long-term solutions to increasing use patterns.
Alexa Flower grew up near Vail, CO, doing a lot of different outdoor sports with her mom and twin sister. In her Senior year of college, she found rock climbing. She graduated with a marketing degree and, after working in that field for a year, she realized she was on the wrong career path. She moved to Yosemite to flip burgers at the Tuolumne Grill. She moved into the National Park Service and worked as a Climber Steward, with YOSAR for three seasons, and most recently Climbing Ranger for Yosemite National Park.
She spent past winters working ski patrol in Breckenridge, Colorado near where she grew up. She is a frequent contributor to Climbing Magazine and The Climbing Zine.
Jimmy Capangpangan found his love for being outside and enjoying our public lands early on when his family took him to Sequoia National Park. He found a passion for climbing and started bouldering outside visiting places like Joshua Tree, Yosemite, and Tramway. Ultimately, he found Bishop, CA and absolutely fell in love with the Eastern Sierra.
He started seasonally with the National Park Service in Devils Tower National Monument, working along the climbing rangers there, became one of the SAR team members, and got his Wildland Fire Certification. After the summer in Devils Tower ended, he beaome the Climbing Steward in Joshua Tree National Park; educating climbers to reduce use impacts to assist the Climbing Ranger. He returned to Devils Tower to work as a Law Enforcement Ranger there with an emphasis on climbing.