High Sierra. Mt. Washington. Rocky Mountain National Park. The Tetons. Mt. Rainier. The Alpine environment is home to 1000+ foot remote granite walls, stunning ridge traverses, iconic mountaineering objectives and mixed terrain—enough climbing and adventure to keep any climber busy for a lifetime. Often referred to as regions that exist above tree-line, the alpine zone is characterized with rocky talus slopes, dwarfed trees, and limited but unique vegetation.
The often rugged, remote, and pristine nature of the alpine environment make it a breathtaking landscape to climb, but it also demands special minimum impact considerations. You should always pack out human waste in the alpine environment, since high altitude soils often lack the necessary microorganisms to biodegrade it. When traveling off trail is unavoidable, take care to tread lightly and stay on durable surfaces to avoid trampling vegetation.
Popular climbing areas of the alpine environment:
High Sierra, Tuolumne Meadows, North Cascades, Grand Tetons, Wind Rivers, White Mountains.
Use tick marks sparingly and remember to brush them off before you leave. Too many ticks can cause confusion on a route, botch on-sight attempts, and ruin the self-discovery and problem-solving aspect of climbing.
Human waste disposal is a significant issue in all types of climbing terrain. Check out the Poop: Waste Disposal Strategies for Climbers infographic to learn more about responsible human waste disposal.
Learn best practice tips for putting The Pact into practice each time you go climbing.
Ever wonder what you should do if you encounter a raptor closure? Respect the closure and climb somewhere else.
Planning on rolling to the crag or boulders with your crew? Take a look at these 5 tips for climbing in larger groups to reduce you impact.
Ever wonder how long it take for a banana peel or aluminum can to biodegrade? Check out this infographic to learn more.
Anatomy of a Responsible Climbing Infographic
Loud music and excessive noise may cause social impacts and ruin other climbers experience. Keep a low profile.
Learn tips and tricks to manage chalk use and minimize tick marks.
When transitioning from climbing indoors to outdoors, be prepared to venture outside by gaining awareness and skills to minimize your impact.
Stay on established trails whenever possible and avoid trail cutting and social trails.
Dave Wetmore shows how not to take a crap outdoors. Poop responsibly, people.
Pack up all of your trash each time you go climbing and bring a trash bag along to pick up trash left by others.
Stashing pads is often illegal and raises the alarm for land managers. Take the time and effort to pack out your pads after each session.
Clean up exess chalk and tick marks after each session to prevent visual impacts.
Learning how to evaluate bolts instead of blindly trusting them is a critical skill for any climber, and it could save your life. This content includes: the state of bolts in America, how to determine if you can trust a bolt, and identifying bad hangers.
Learn how to park like a champ to preserve climbing access.