Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Climbers Code of Respect


Respect the Dangers
Respect the Environment
Respect Others
Respect Access

Educate yourself about outdoor rock climbing ethics, safety conciderations and how to lessen your environmental impact at the cliff

ALWAYS ASSUME YOUR OWN RISK WHEN CLIMBING OUTDOORS. Land owners, route developers, and other climbers or user groups are not responsible for your safety.
Respect the Dangers
Outdoor climbing poses many safety concerns that are not present in a climbing gym. Make sure that you are properly prepared for rock climbing outside. 
  • Learn necessary outdoor climbing skills from a guide/mentor 
  • Learn about the cliff: style, protection, difficulty, area hazards (ie. Poison ivy)
  • Wear a helmet as rocks can break, yell “rock” if rock/gear fall
  • Watch for sharp edges that can damage/cut rope when lowering/rappelling
  • Inspect/clean your gear often. Replace when worn/expired
  • Triple check and back up your systems (harness/knot/belays/anchors/rappels). 
  • Communicate with your partner and other climbers
  • Learn how to detect if fixed gear/bolts are safe

Respect the Environment
Climbing areas are more environmentally sensitive than you may think. Lead by example and leave the cliff cleaner than you found it. 
  • ·    Pack out your trash & pick up after others
  •      Stay on designated trails to lessen impact
  • Do not urinate under overhangs or in caves. It does not wash away!
  • Use existing bathroom facilities/dig a hole, cover it and pack out TP
  • Do not feed or hurt animals
  • Do not damage trees or plants
  • Leash dogs to not disrupt wildlife & others
  • Keep gear/back-pack on non-vegetated surfaces to avoid damaging plants
  • Do not damage/chip the rock. Brush off your tick marks
  • Start fires only in designated/contained pits
  • Be aware of seasonal fire bans and follow regulations

Respect Others
Please be respectful of land owners and other people at the cliff. Stay educated about cliff rules, as well as any cliff access issues that may be present. 
  • ·        Share climbs with others
  • Climb in smaller groups
  • Check if dogs are allowed 
  • Pull your ropes when finished, yell “rope” when pulling ropes
  • Keep noise levels appropriate, no loud music/profanities
  • Do not smoke around others
  • Respect the “right of way” on multi-pitch/shared anchors

Respect Access
Local access groups and volunteers have fought hard to keep climbing areas open. It is imperative that you be on best behavior to keep it that way. Stay educated on climbing area access considerations
  • Respect land owner rules or provincial/federal regulations
  • Do not leave gear unless permitted
  • Park considerately, carpool if possible
  • Camp only in designated/permitted areas
  • Respect area closures (seasonal/permanent)
  • Pay required entrance fees/permits
  • Get involved with local access coalitions
  • Follow Transport Canada regulations for drone use

The 'Climbers' Code of Respect' has been created with the help of access groups across Canada, in an effort to unify climbing information and create a national resource for Gym to Rock Transitioning. We would like to extend a huge thank-you for their incredibly valuable feedback and support on this project. For more information about provincial access groups, check out

Poster versions of the "Climbers' Code" 




This website is not a replacement for a rock climbing course with a trained professional. Rock climbing is inherently dangerous, always assume your own risk when climbing outdoors and come prepared with the necessary skills.

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