Put simply, the local crag is not the same as the local gym. Certain rules of etiquette exist for outside climbing that don’t typically apply in gym environments. The ethics of responsible outdoor rock climbing are nuanced and mostly unwritten––for this reason, we’ve compiled a list of guidelines for you to follow as you enter the spring climbing season. Take a look!

1. Leave No Trace (LNT)

The seven Leave No Trace principles should always be the overarching ethic you aspire to while enjoying the outdoors. These principles were developed by the Forest Service in the 1960’s, “as public land use expanded and land managers witnessed the biophysical effects of this use.” In 1994, the 501(c)(3) non-profit Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics was founded to expand the reach of the original principles.

Pick up trash at the crag! Even if it’s not yours

Whether you’re rock climbing or just out for an hour-long hike in the woods, follow the Leave No Trace guidelines below (our comments in italics):

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