10 of the Gnarliest Local Ethic Debates on Mountain Project

Let’s dive into that big messy pot of opinions (many of which are conflicting) of local climbers who are invested in the culture, history, and issues facing their climbing areas. Yup, we’re talking about local ethics.

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Photo courtesy of Mountain Project Submitted By: M. Morley

While these conversations can get pretty heated—and have their fair share of entertaining trolls—it’s important to consider hot-button issues before visiting an area. As a rule, Access Fund doesn’t take sides on issues of style. We encourage climbers to follow local norms and ethics, which are sometimes crystal clear and sometimes clear as mud.

1. Joshua Tree’s Double Cross...is it out to get you? Or does it just need a bolt or two?

Dive down the rabbit hole.
California > Joshua Tree National Park

2. Montana’s “no info” ethic: selfish or preserving the adventure of climbing?

An interesting debate...
Montana > ?

3. Yelling on long routes: are you creating a safety issue for other climbers?

Get comfortable...11 pages on yelling vs. tugging.
California > Tahquitz/Suicide

4. Climbing at Indian Creek after rain: What’s more likely to kill you, failed gear placements or pissed off locals?

Here we go.
Utah > Moab Area > Indian Creek

5. Or, how about climbing at Red Rocks after the rain?

This one is a doozy.
Nevada > Red Rock

6. Retro-bolting someone else’s crack climb: does the FA style matter?

Who says the Boulder bolt wars are a thing of the past?
Colorado > Boulder Canyon > Archangel

7. Bogarting routes at the Gunks, and...do leaders get priority?

It started off so polite…
New York > The Gunks

8. Dogs at American Fork?

Yowza...no shortage of opinions here.
Utah > American Fork

9. Red Rock or Red Rocks?

Yes, the debate is real.
Nevada > Red Rock(s) :-)

10. So, you’re on Third Pillar and you gotta poop?

Warning: this one is a little graphic.
California > Sierra Eastside > Mount Dana

Local Ethics and The Climber's Pact

Following local ethics is part of being a responsible climber. Learn more by visiting The Climber's Pact page.
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