Code of Conduct

The Leave No Trace Climber’s code of Conduct

Climbing is a privilege and access to the crags we love should never be taken for granted. Following the Leave No Trace climbing code of conduct not only helps us look after the places we love, it will give us the best chance of keeping those places open to us.

Plan ahead and prepare

  • Research the access and take note of the right places to park, right approach and exit routes from your proposed climbs
  • Take note of any exclusions and cultural heritage issues. Always comply with the regulations attached to particular areas
  • Make yourself aware of established climbing traditions in the place you plan climbing in • Ensure you take adequate clothing and water for the forecast conditions
  • Most accidents (which always give climbing a bad name) and the resulting rescues (which can have an unavoidable impact on surroundings) are caused by inadequate planning and poor preparation

Travel and camp on durable surfaces

  • Follow established tracks, don’t cut corners
  • Tread lightly, avoid fragile vegetation at the base and top of cliffs, stick to rock, sand or gravel whenever possible when walking or choosing a tent or bivvy site
  • Wherever possible use ‘lower offs’ on the crag rather than walk down to minimise erosion of soil and trampling of plants
  • Avoid removing vegetation from cracks and ledges when developing new cliffs and climbs

Dispose of waste properly

  • Carry all rubbish out with you
  • Practice minimum impact toileting by going well away (more than 50m) from tracks and creeks. Dig a deep a hole 100 – 150 mm deep and bury faeces. Put toilet paper and tissues in a bag and carry it out. In high use areas use a ‘poo tube’ or wagbag to carry it out with you Leave what you find
  • Avoid altering what is ‘natural’ as much as possible and respect local climbing tradition
  • Take out only litter that you find but no rocks or plants
  • Chipping or enhancing of holds is unacceptable
  • Minimise chalk usage – chalk is unsightly
  • Brush off chalk after you have finished your climb remove any tick marks, don’t leave quick-draws hanging for the next time you visit
  • Don’t modify existing climbs
  • Bolting can be unsightly; place them with consideration for low visual impact as well as safety
  • Bolts are inappropriate on climbs that can be protected by natural means. Bolts should only be used as a last resort to enable a climb to be led without fatal consequences, not just to reduce the size of a fall. Bolts/chains/fixed hangers should be kept minimal
  • When choosing a site for a “lower-off” point, consider proximity to other climbs below as well as visual impact • Avoid marking the start of climbs
  • Recognise and follow the established and accepted climbing practices at any given established climbing area
  • Respect Aboriginal and other cultural/historical heritage that may exist

Minimise campfire impacts

  • Avoid having camp fires except in established fire places
  • Be aware of and respect fire bans
  • If you have a campfire away from an established fire place, choose a place on sand, dig a pit, enjoy your fire then extinguish it completely and eliminate all trace of it. Do not leave ugly fire scars, especially lined with rocks

Respect wildlife

  • Avoid disturbing wildlife, do not feed animals.
  • Avoid active birds nests and respect any raptor nesting times

Be considerate of other visitors at the crag

  • Avoid monopolising climbs and crags. Think of others waiting their turn
  • Try to avoid peak times at popular crags
  • Take care with loose rock at the top of climbs or on climbs. Signal immediately and loudly with “ROCK” or “BELOW” if any is accidentally knocked down
  • Look below for others before throwing down ropes
  • Climbers are not the only users of some areas. Respect the rights of these other users
  • Consider the possible dangers of bringing small children to the cliff face. Is it really safe for them? Could they be a nuisance to others?
  • Dogs are not allowed in National Parks and must be kept on a lead on Council owned lands
  • Do not bring your ‘boom box’ to the crag and try to keep shouting down to the minimum needed to communicate clearly and safely