While national parks remain closed as a result of the partial government shutdown, it seems that not everyone is staying out of U.S. wilderness parks.
The accompanying image, posted on Reddit by a user named LiquidColor a day after the Oct. 1 shutdown, shows small flecks of light on the 2,900-foot face of El Capitan in California's Yosemite National Park.
The lights are used by climbers on an iconic granite monolith that typical requires about three days to attain the summit. Climbers sleep on El Cap's sheer face on porta-ledges that they fix to the granite at the end of each day.
The image, also posted on Imgur, includes this description: "Day 2 of government shutdown: Climbers on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park don't give a [expletive]."
Outside Magazine published a story under the headline: “Climbers on El Cap Ignore Shutdown.”
Mother Nature Network’s headline: “Big Wall Climbers on Yosemite’s El Cap say, ‘What government shutdown?’ ”
However, park spokesman Scott Gediman on Tuesday explained that although the park was officially closed on October 1 (last Tuesday), visitors were given until Thursday to leave.
Some climbers did not begin their El Cap ascents until Wednesday. They were not ordered down, but were expected to leave the park after their climbs.
That said, Gediman could not say for sure whether climbers were not still attempting to scale El Cap.
The park staff has been reduced from 820 to 160, and rangers who remain on duty–whether manning entry stations or performing security patrols–are not actively looking for people to kick out.
“I can’t say authoritatively that there aren’t still climbers up there,” Gediman said. “But there shouldn’t be.”
–Hat tip to Mother Nature Network