Crag Etiquette

Editor’s Note: This presentation was prepared by Bill Ramsey and The Southern Nevada Climber’s Coalition (SNCC) in unison with The Red Rock Climbing Center in Las Vegas, NV. theDIHEDRAL was granted permission upon request to share this information in an effort to raise awareness about climbing outdoors.

PREPARE BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME

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  • Learn safe practices, belaying, spotting, cleaning anchors, etc. BEFOREHAND.
  • Do Your HOMEWORK!!!
    • Always have a back-up plan.
  • Do NOT climb on sandstone if it rained in the last 36-48 hours!!! 

PROPER PREPARATION

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  • DETERMINE THE WHAT AND WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO CLIMB ON THE BASIS OF WHO IS GOING!
    • SKILL LEVEL, PREFERENCES (GRADE AND STYLE), NUMBER OF PEOPLE
    • EQUIPMENT RESTRICTIONS, SPECIAL NEEDS/DOGS/KIDS
  • READ THE GUIDEBOOK!
    • STUDY APPROACHES, EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS, ROUTE DESCRIPTIONS, ETC.
  • PACK CAREFULLY AND COMPLETELY!
    • ADEQUATE FOOD AND WATER, WAG BAGS/TP/DOG POOP BAGS, ADEQUATE CLOTHING FOR DESERT EXTREMES, FIRST AIDKIT.
  • COMMUNICATE AND COORDINATE WITH EVERYONE
    • CARPOOL AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!!

AT THE CRAG

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  • GENERAL RULE: Always have situational awareness at the cliff, and always, always be courteous  and accommodating!!

ARRIVAL

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  • ASSESS THE CRAG SITUATION
    • CROWDS, KIDS, EXPERIENCED CLIMBERS, NOVICES  
  • STAY ON DESIGNATED TRAILS/AREAS AND AWAY FROM CLOSED AREAS; AVOID VEGETATION
  • DO NOT CONGREGATE IN LARGE GROUPS
    • NO MORE THAN 4: OTHERS SHOULD CONSIDER GOING TO DIFFERENT CRAG OR BOULDER
  • FIND EMPTY AND APPROPRIATE AREA TO DROP PACKS AND PADS
    • NOT UNDER CLIMBS; NOT ON WALKWAYS
  • KEEP YOUR SH#T TOGETHER 
    • DON’T SPREAD OUT

DURING THE CLIMBING DAY

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  • DISPLAY ROUTE COURTESY!!!
    • LIMIT TIME ON PROJECT WHEN OTHERS ARE WAITING
    • DO NOT LEAVE TOPROPES UP IF OTHERS ARE AROUND
      • USE YOUR OWN GEAR ON ANCHORS IF MANY PEOPLE ARE TOPROPING
    • OFTEN LET FASTER/BETTER/REDPOINTING CLIMBERS GO AHEAD — NEGOTIATE
    • OFFER TO ALLOW OTHERS TO USE YOUR DRAWS/PADS — NEGOIATE
    • RESPECT THOSE WAITING IN LINE 
    • LEAVE FIXED OR OTHERS’ GEAR IN PLACE
      • REPLACE ONLY IF DANGEROUS – NEGOTIATE
  • CONTROL YOUR DOG – LEAVE IF NUISANCE
    • NO BARKING, RUNNING AROUND UNLEASHED, EATING OTHER PEOPLE’S FOOD, ETC.
  • NO MUSIC IF OTHERS ARE PRESENT
    • USE HEADPHONES IF SAFE
  • BRUSH HOLDS!
    • ALWAYS BRING A BRUSH
    • DON’T MAKE OR LEAVE EXCESSIVE TICK MARKS
    • CLEAN SHOES BEFORE CLIMBING
  • MINIMIZE NEEDLESS CHATTER
    • DO NOT GIVE UNSOLICITED BETA; BE SUPPORTIVE
    • NO DRAMA, WOBBLERS OR TANTRUMS ALLOWED!!!

SAFETY ISSUES

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  • LEARN SAFE CLIMBING, BELAYING, SPOTTING, FALLING, ROUTE CLEANING, ETC. BEFOREHAND
  • IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING
    • FIRST INSURE YOU AND YOUR PARTNER’S SAFETY
      • CHECK KNOTS, BELAY DEVICES, LOWERING OFF TECHNIQUE, KNOT IN END OF ROPE, ETC.
    • OBSERVE OTHER, ESPECIALLY INEXPERIENCED CLIMBERS 
  • IT IS NOT ONLY OK, BUT MANDATORY TO WARN OTHERS IF THEY ARE DOING SOMETHING UNSAFE! LISTEN TO MUCH MORE EXPERIENCED CLIMBERS ABOUT YOUR OWN SITUATION
    • SPEAK UP ABOUT HAZARDS LIKE DOGS, WANDERING TODDLERS, BAD BELAYS/SPOTS
    • WARN OTHERS OF BAD BOLTS, LOOSE HOLDS, OTHER DANGERS
      • REPORT BAD BOLTS
    • SHARE THE STICK-CLIP! 

END OF THE DAY

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  • LEAVE NO TRACE!!!
    • PICK UP ALL TRASH, HUMAN AND DOG WASTE, TAPE, ETC.
    • REMOVE YOUR DRAWS
    • SOME EXCEPTIONS ALLOWED
      • NOTE: IF YOU LEAVE YOUR DRAWS UP, OTHERS CAN AND WILL USE THEM
    • BRUSH TICKS AND CHALK OFF BOULDERS

We encourage all climbers to join their local climber’s coalition, and participate in land protection and conservation when possible.

Click HERE For more details on SNCC.

Click HERE For more details on R2C2.

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