Washington Climbers Coalition P.O. Box 77315, Seattle, Washington 98133

Recurring Issues Facing Washington Climbers

Son of Jesus, 5.10a, Little Si. Photo by Garth Bruce.
  Ongoing or recurring issues we face include the following:

1. Increasing recreational pressures are being placed on shrinking undeveloped lands.

2. Endangered species and other environmental regulations require governmental responses that include, in some instances, limiting climbers'
access unless other viable alternative ways to comply with federal mandates are found.

3. Government land managers face shrinking budgets as they struggle to maintain roads and trails and they are forced to spend increasing amounts on environmental and legal procedures; in some cases, the most practical solution may be an area closure.

4. If not properly cared for, popular climbing areas can suffer from unsightly erosion and plant destruction on the approaches and at the cliff edge or cliff base. A related concern (inobvious) is that climbers may unknowingly import noxious weeds through transporting seeds on their packs and clothing.

5. Visual impact from intensive removal or pruning of vegetation or the installation of brightly colored rappel slings can be disturbing to other visitors and land managers.

6. Although such behavior is generally rare, climbers do at times ignore crag closures, camp illegally, engage in behavior offensive to other area visitors, let their dogs run unleashed, or cause other "police" problems.

7. Climbers are often unaware of, and in some cases ignore private property rights because they think their presence is not harmful.

8. Parking can be a problem, with climbers' cars getting in the way on narrow roadsides.

9. Despite State law and legal precedent that land owners or managers are not liable in the event of a climbing accident, liability concerns remain.

10. Bolting practices are an ongoing area of controversy. We urge all climbers to obey pertinent regulations and to treat ethical/stylistic/environmental issues related to bolting with care.

Please join us to discuss these issues and help us to fashion coordinated responses to the challenges we face as we seek to maintain a positive presence in the State of Washington


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