Climbing is a community sport, more than that it’s a sport that brings us into the very heart of natural parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the impact we have as climbers. Especially when (for us) it feels paltry in comparison to some other sports. At Flow our passion is climbing. Whether indoors or outdoors you should take care to leave your climbing space in pristine condition, so we want to talk a little about crag care.
There are very few climbers who don’t care about the environment, we know a lot of people already do so many things to care for our crags. This isn’t a lecture or a rant about being “better”, these are just things we think about, and ways we try to look after crags.
Australian Climbing Association Queensland. I can’t talk about crag care without mentioning them. These guys are remarkable, they’re the reason we are able to have so many outstanding crags on the Sunshine Coast and throughout Qld. A.C.A.Q do all the boring paperwork and deal with the various governing bodies to ensure we can keep climbing. They work hard to secure funding and government/local permission to allow bolting and continued access. Check out their website and see if there’s anything you can do to help support them.
Minimize Your Impact
This is pretty simple, treat your crag with the respect it deserves. There’s nothing as awful as rocking up to your favourite place and seeing litter, food waste or even worse human waste. Anything you bring in to the crag, take it home. Carry a ziplock plastic bag for waste and bin it when you get home. If you absolutely can’t wait to use a bathroom, bury it. DEEP!
Beyond waste and litter there are a heap of things we can do as climbers to mitigate our impact. Car pooling, eco chalk, brush holds after use, avoid straying from the path, don’t break trees or pull up plants.
Expand Your knowledge
This is all part of being more involved with the climbing community. If you’re interested in bolting new routes check out http://www.safercliffs.org/queensland/ first. Keen to get into track care and help with preserving crags talk to A.C.A.Q. Climbing is an inherently dangerous sport so we need to make sure we try to do whatever we can to keep it safe, fun and most importantly keep crags open.
Unfortunately climbers got a bad wrap when the sport first started. The mental picture of 80’s dirtbag climbers sending hard, drinking hard and enjoying various illicit substances is still very much ingrained in the public view of climbing. It’s changing slowly but if we want to keep climbing at beautiful spots like the Blue Mountains, Mount Arapiles, the Grampians and our very own Glasshouse Mountains we need to show the world what climbers really are.
6 days to go!