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Climbers Can Help Preserve Access


by Sean Hudson

December 29, 2001

*Climbers can help preserve access* by being responsible users of climbing areas. Here are some practical ways to support climbing:

COMMIT YOURSELF TO "LEAVING NO TRACE." Pick up litter around campgrounds and the crags. Let your actions inspire others.

DISPOSE OF HUMAN WASTE PROPERLY. Use tiolets whenever possible. If none are available, choose a spot at least 50 meters from any water source. Dig a hole 6 inches (15 cm) deep, and bury your waste in it. *Always pack out toilet paper* in "Zip-Lock" type bags.

UTILIZE EXISTING TRAILS. Avoid cutting switchbacks and trampling vegetation.

USE DISCRETION WHEN PLACING BOLTS AND OTHER "FIXED" PROTECTION. Camouflage all anchors with rock-colored paint. Use chains for rappel stations, or leave rock-colored webbing.

RESPECT RESTRICTIONS THAT PROTECT NATURAL RESOURCES AND CULTURAL ARTIFACTS. Appropriate restrictions can include prohibition of climbing around Indian art rock, pioneer inscriptions, and on certain formations during raptor nesting season. Power drills are illegal in wilderness areas. *Never chisel or sculpt holds in rock on public lands, unless it is expressedly allowed* -- no other practice so seriously threatens our sport.

PARK IN DESIGNATED AREAS, not in undeveloped, vegetated areas. Carpool to the crags.

MAINTAIN A LOW PROFILE. Other people have the same right to undisturbed enjoyment of natural areas as do you.

RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY. Don't trespass in order to climb.

JOIN OR FORM A GROUP TO DEAL WITH ACCESS ISSUES IN YOUR AREA. Consider cleanups, trail building or maintenance, or other "goodwill" projects.

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