A Guide To Etiquette At The Crag

By Riley Ogier, TCA Sophomore

In the climbing community it is very important to respect the other people at the crag. I have been at crags where people immediately leave as soon as they see kids coming, because so many of the younger generation of climbers haven’t been taught how important being respectful at the crag is. However, kids are not the only ones that can ruin a climbing experience, in fact, the older generations of climbers are sometimes worse at the crag, since they feel like they have more of a right to be there. Since I have encountered so many people who have not been educated in crag manners, I have made a guide so you too can be respected at the crag.

Riley taking a break from trying hard at the Crag Six sector of Ten Sleep Canyon, WY. Photo by Aaron Hjelt

1) Don’t be loud.


There’s nothing worse than a group of obnoxious people playing loud music and yelling their climbers up the wall while you’re trying to work a proj. Some people are more offended by cursing than others. Keep it to a minimum, and be conscious of who’s around you. Just be aware and make sure to not be obnoxious with the noise pollution.


2) Be humble.

Don’t be the showoff at the crag that walks up to a boulder and flashes a problem below your level in front of someone that’s been projecting it for an hour just to show off. That might be cool in comps, but not outside. Be respectful. It’s a lot more impressive when someone humble who doesn’t show off and talk themselves up goes and sends hard, rather than someone arrogant.


3) Don’t leave stuff everywhere.

Be organized. Not only does it help you keep up with your stuff and not leave anything behind, but it lets other climbers walk by faster. Don’t leave your stuff in the middle of the trail either.


4) Be respectful.

This is the most important rule in the books. Respect fellow climbers. If someone has draws on a route you want to climb, ask before jumping on them. Brush your holds off if there’s someone working it after you. Respect the wishes of people around you. If they ask you to not do something, show some respect and don’t do it.


5) Leave no trace.

Make our impact as climbers less on the world. As it is, we stomp over land and make trails, we bolt walls, and we leave very permanent chalk marks. Do what you can to make it seem like you were never there. Pick up your trash, don’t let it fly away in the wind. Brush tick marks, not everyone loves instant beta. Pee somewhere rain can wash it away. Caves and underneath overhangs can get to smell bad. If you have to poop at the crag, make sure you do it far away from the trail, dig 6 inches, and mark it when you’re done. No one wants to step in human feces…

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