Index Love Letter
We all love this place — it is one of the most amazing places to climb in the country and for many climbers, it’s the best. It’s why many move here, camp along the river, or fight traffic on a weekly basis. We share this area with our fellow climbers, other visitors, land managers, and local residents. Our actions matter. Please take the time to read through the following topics and, most importantly, spread the love.
Simply put, no littering, ever. Pack in, pack out. That includes micro-trash such as cigarette butts and tape especially. This is a beautiful, natural setting. Remind others to do the same and take the extra step of picking up others trash when you see it. Since the Town has limited garbage services, take it home when possible.
It’s pretty amazing to be able to pack in pitch after pitch on a fixed line. If you are working a project or cleaning a line for others to enjoy in the future, be considerate of others and use good judgement as to what is appropriate. Please consider that many climbers may want to lead a route that a fixed line is on. Fixed lines are also visible from long distances – let’s do our part to maintain the scenic beauty of the Town Walls and consider using a drab color. We are climbing in a shared environment and must be aware of all our impacts.
When fire danger is high, no smoking unless over a wide area of mineral soils and rock. Many staging areas are thick layers of organic material and duff that, when dry, present a fire hazard. There is no regular,historic fire regime this far west of the crest. Be considerate of others in high traffic areas — no one wants to walk through a plume of smoke.
Camping is allowed on the Forest Service property along the river, but the maximum stay is 14 days.Free camping is an awesome privilege, but if climbers abuse it, it can lead to poor relationships with Index residents and land managers.
Whenever possible, stop by the Doolittle Park toilet on your way in or use one of the porta potties to go #2, even if you have to make a run for it. Piss away from the wall and staging areas. If higher up at remote crags, use a wag bag such as the Restop 2 or dig a 6-8in cat hole away from trails, staging areas, and streams. Pack out any toilet paper.
Every spring, Washington State Parks, Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Washington Climbers Coalition work together to protect nesting raptors. Seasonal closures are critical for giving their young a fair chance of fledging. The climbing community has worked hard to serve as a responsible user group that works in partnership with land managers and conservationists. A raptor closure is only instituted when raptors are observed nesting. Respect all temporary closures, whether it is for a fire, public safety, or other immediate issues. Don’t let a small minority of people jeopardize access for everyone, and remind others if you see someone headed to a closed area.
Leave your pup at home if they are aggressive towards other people and dogs. Even the best crag dog in the world may dig a hole or get into a little trouble here and there. It’s best to make sure someone is on the ground to keep an eye on them.
Refrain from playing music at the crag and keep all noise to a minimum. Consider climbing elsewhere to avoid overcrowding. Keep your gear contained and don’t block trails. Remember, Index is not a climbing gym, it’s a natural setting — let’s keep it that way!