One of the best things about climbing—besides the actual climbing part—is all of the awesome, like-minded people to might meet. Of course, there’s a certain etiquette that’ll make it all the more likely you’ll actually make friends with them. Follow these unwritten rules and you’re sure to have a great climb and make it all the more pleasant for those climbing around you.
Leave no trace
This should be common sense, but even so it’s important to note. Just as in any other outdoor adventure, like backpacking and camping, make sure that whatever you bring out to your climb you take back with you. Don’t leave a mess and ruin things for the next folks or for the natural environment.
Use rock colored chalk
If you can, research the color of the rock before you head out so you can bring the chalk that most matches it out with you. Sometimes this is even a written rule, depending on the location, but even if its not, it helps other people enjoy the experience more if you don’t leave a big chalky mess.
Don’t use too much chalk
The last thing any climber wants is to have their foot or fingers slip because someone before them used too much chalk. Be respectful and only use the amount you really need.
Be helpful and honest, but don’t feel obligated to teach
If someone needs a little help with a problem and you know how to do it, it’s a friendly gesture to offer a suggestion or two—but don’t feel like you need to walk them through it step-by-step. And never, ever steer someone in the wrong direction. Don’t forget that climbing is dangerous.
Help in an emergency situation
This should absolutely go without saying because you are a decent human being, but: in the case of emergency, do your part to help your fellow climbers out.
Don’t chip or drill holds
Although this sort of falls into “leave no trace” and should also go without saying, don’t damage the natural rock by chipping or drilling holds, even if a climb seems impossible. Maybe it is impossible, and that’s fine. Or maybe you’re just not ready for so difficult a climb. Either way, leave the rock be.
Be mindful of sound
You may like your stereo turned all the way up so you can jam to your favorite tunes while you climb, but maybe not everyone around you does. Or maybe they do, but ask first.
Don’t hog routes
Doesn’t it suck when someone is so focused on working through a problem that they don’t let others have a go between tries? Yes. So don’t do that. Besides, working through problems with friends is much more fun.
Don’t rush others
While waiting to do your favorite climb—or any climb for that matter—don’t rush anyone on the rock, even if it feels like they’re taking forever. Use the time to plot your route, chat with others, or what-have-you, but don’t get impatient and try to rush someone.
Do try things
If you’re an awesome person who is friendly and helpful then you will surely attract people who are awesome, friendly and helpful, so you won’t need to worry about embarrassed if you try something on a problem and fail. So have fun.