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How to Tread Lightly to Protect Climbing Access
Climbing, once an obscure activity with few participants, has become a mainstream form of outdoor recreation. And our impact on the environment and others around us is under increasing scrutiny. As climbers, we must show a healthy respect for the places and policies where we climb. This mindset helps assure continued climbing access by showing landowners and managers that we take care of the places where we play.
Slip into stealth mode and follow these easy guidelines to help protect climbing access every time you’re at the crag …
Clean up excess chalk – Chalk is a necessary part of climbing, but it also creates visual evidence of climber impact. Clean up spills and brush off tick marks after each session.
Respect closures – Respecting the wildlife (e.g., nesting birds) and cultural resource (e.g., petroglyphs) closures will help ensure that they don’t turn into unreasonable closures. Visit www.status.accessfund.org
Keep tabs on your dog – Dogs at the crag can have a serious impact on climbing access due to their ability to disturb the peace of those around them, including that of the landowner. Consider leaving Fido at home. If
Pack it out – Don’t trash the crag. Carry an extra plastic bag and pack out your own trash (yes, even climbing tape counts). Human waste counts too—do your business away from cliffs, boulders, trails, and water
Pad and tread lightly – We know you’re focused on sending that sweet boulder problem, but remember to think about the life on the ground around you. Avoid trampling or throwing crash pads on vegetation.
Educate others KINDLY – If you see someone hiking off trail, blaring music, or throwing trash on the ground, kindly let them know that their actions could threaten access for everyone. In many cases people simply don’t
For more information on stealthy climbing practices, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illustration by Kristin Marine