Climbing has exploded as a sport over the last few years which has seen more and more people making their way from the gyms to the crags. As these areas get busier and busier it is important that we are respectful to fellow climbers so we can ALL enjoy our time on the walls and avoid any unnecessary conflict.
Here's some tips on how you can enjoy the crag without ruining it for others.
You've got your favourite climbing playlist that has taken you months if not years of careful selection and refinement to develop, you love it and it gets you super pumped to send... but the sad reality is that not everyone shares your taste in music. In fact some people don't like listening to music at all while at the crag and prefer to listen to sounds of nature instead.
So before you go blasting your speaker to max volume consider the people around you. This includes non-climbers who are in the area (i.e residents close by) who may make a complaint which could then effect crag access for everyone in the future.
If there are other climbers at the crag it is as easy as asking them if they are okay with you playing some music. If so you can go enjoy crushing it with your newly found friends to your favourite tunes and if not, respectfully turning your music off or down so you do not ruin the experience for others. Headphones were invented for a reason.
BEING A GRUB (LITTERING, POOPING & SMOKING)
As climbers we are blessed to experience some of the most beautiful places on earth and it is important that we do what we can to keep them this way. The rule of thumb is to leave the crag in the same or better condition than you left it. If you see someone littering call them out on it or pick it up yourself if you don't feel comfortable approaching them. Sure it's not your rubbish, but it is your crag.
Smoking or pooping close to a crag creates two very different but equally offensive smells. If you really need to have a smoke or take a dump go as far away as you can so that no one else needs to deal with it. Make sure you take your butts with you and bury/cover your turds as best you can.
UNWANTED BETA SPRAYING
Let's be real, if you have worked hard on discovering some great beta on a particular climb then sharing this with others can make you feel pretty good about yourself. You are just being super friendly and trying to help right?
However, the process of "figuring it out" is something that a lot of climbers really love about the sport. If you see someone struggling with a section you know well ask them if they would like some beta before you go ahead and scream it at them.
If they are open to it you can enjoy the feeling of helping a fellow climbing get the send and maybe even make a friend. If not you'll at least know you didn't take away their opportunity to figure it out themselves.
A friendly, well behaved goodest boy at the crag can add some additional fun and excitement to everyone's climbing experience. In contrast an out of control pooch can be a nightmare and straight up dangerous for everyone else at the crag (including wildlife).
If you are going to bring your dog to the crag be sure to keep it under control at all times and have a lead or rope handy. A rogue dog jumping on a belayer or knocking them over while chasing an animal could have some pretty serious consequences.
Be sure you check the local laws to ensure you are actually allowed to have your dog at the crag in the first place. The money you pay for a fine could be much better spent on climbing gear.
TAKING & GIVING FEEDBACK
If you have been climbing for a while you've no doubt seen your share of weird and wonderful techniques but when things go from "a bit strange" to outright dangerous do not hesitate in speaking up. It may feel a bit uncomfortable doing this but you know what would be immensely more uncomfortable? Watching someone get seriously injured or killed knowing you could have stopped it from happening.
Conversely if someone offers you some advice on how you could be climbing more safely do not get all huffy and puffy about it, consider that they have gone out of their way to try and keep you safe and alive. Stay humble and keep an open mind about these things and you may just learn something and live a bit longer.
Excited to document your amazing super-human abilities on the wall with some of the latest and greatest video technology? I'm stoked for you too and love what drones can do but because most of them sound like an angry swarm of electronic killer bees the people you are sharing the crag with might not share this enthusiasm.
If you are going to document your send with a drone either do it when there is no one around or ask the other crag goers if they mind you cranking it up for a few minutes while you go for your send. This way they won't be caught off guard while they are climbing and can wait until you are done before going for their own distraction free send.
At the end of the day most of these things come down to common courtesy and communication. Keep these things in mind when you are visiting crags so everyone can continue to enjoy climbing in their own unique way.