Climbing is our passion. Many of us are drawn to the sport in part because of the traditional freedom from rules and restriction. We can become so focused on the big send that we forget to consider our impact on the land or on those around us. However, climbing (and particularly climbing on public lands) is a public activity. Many of the places we frequent are popular not only with other climbers, but also with other user groups and, in some cases, neighbors.
With freedom comes responsibility: we are citizens of this world. In order to maintain good relationships that are essential for public access we must not only take care of the land but we must follow “low impact” practices in our personal and public conduct as well. Examples of important considerations include:
- Do not litter: not organic, not just a little bit, not at all.
- Unrestrained dogs cause problems.
- Nobody wants to walk though a yard sale where you unpacked your kit.
- Others probably don’t want to hear your music or your cheers of victory after the big send.
- Some see fixed ropes and other signs of climbing development as a blemish on the landscape.
Being considerate of others will improve your climbing experience and may be essential to preserving the remarkable privilege we enjoy in this largely unregulated activity.