10 Unwritten Rules in Climbing

uxOne 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.

crDon’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.

bzDon’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.