Rock Climbing

Rock climbing, like any sport, has rules. But climbing is such an individualistic activity that rules must not be allowed to interfere with the efforts of the climber to truly free his/her spirit. However, the influx of new and inexperienced people into the sport has caused untold damage to the rocks. Therefore, some considerations should not be ignored. Please keep in mind that the actions of the individual reflect and effect other person's experiences on the rock.- Jack Dickey

Every climber has a responsibility when climbing in the outdoors. Protect nature and yourselves by considering the following:

Climber's ethics

Be aware of your surroundings:

  • Find out what the local rules and regulations are before climbing
  • Intentionally disperse your activity by selecting more remote areas; avoid the most popular crags
  • Limit your group size to no more than 4-6 climbers
  • Know whose land you are climbing on and what rules govern the property

Camp and travel on durable surfaces:

  • Follow established trails to reach the rock
  • Where no trails exist, spread out on durable ground, such as rock or gravel to avoid creating new paths
  • Choose a campsite at least 300' from water, trails, clifflines and rock shelters

Pack it in, PACK IT OUT!!!

  • All food wastes, including fruit cores and peels, should be carried out. (Even fruit can alter the food habits of local wildlife, encouraging their dependency on humans)
  • Please pick up trash where you find it. Discarded tape and CIGARETTE BUTTS are unsightly, so bring a small plastic bag for your trash

Properly dispose of what you can't pack out:

  • Use toilets where available
  • If toilets aren't available, urinate away from vegetation, climbing routes, streams and trails
  • Dispose of solid human waste in a "cathole" at least 200 feet away from trails, the bases of climbs, water sources, or campsites; carry your own trowel for this.
  • Pack out your toilet paper in re-sealable plastic bags

Leave what you find:

  • Avoid trampling the vegetation at bases of climbs and cliff lines
  • Avoid disturbance to all living things on cliffs (plants, lizards, salamanders, snakes, pack rats, bats, or nesting birds
  • Do not cut, prune or remove trees, shrubs, or vegetation to improve a climb
  • Cliff bases and rock shelters have been the sites of occupation by humans for centuries. Do not dig or collect artifacts. Archaeological sites are protected by Federal law.

Minimize use and impact of campfires:

  • Fire rings and pits at the base of any cliff are UNACCEPTABLE. Campfires contaminate cultural resource sites. If you find one, dismantle it and scatter the rocks in a nearby creek.
  • Fire rings are unnecessary if a fire is required. Do not make new rings. Use existing rings if necessary.
  • Cook on a camp stove instead of a fire, it's quicker, easier, and less harmful.
  • If a fire is required, collect only downed and dead wood. DO NOT CUT DOWN LIVE TREES OR SAPLINGS. Collect only that which you will use. Scatter unused wood after you leave.
  • Make sure the fire is extinguished completely before you leave. Remember, only you can prevent forest fires.

Minimize climbing impacts:

  • Chipping or creating new holds is UNACCEPTABLE.
  • Use removable protection and natural anchors whenever possible
  • Use slings when rappelling from trees instead of rapping with ropes directly around the tree trunk. Choose natural colors for slings if they must be left behind.
  • Minimize chalk use and clean chalk off where you climb.
  • Remember you are in the forest, not a gym: radios are UNACCEPTABLE. Enjoy the wild for a change. Keep your voice within reason: while searching for that killer line and when you flail on that "easy" 5.9
  • Keep dogs on a leash at ALL times.

WMTH Corporation P.O. Box 51153 Bowling Green, KY 42102 (270) 781-6858 FAX (270) 781-2949