Private Property

Many climbing areas are located within private property. Landowners are often reluctant to open their land to the public for several reasons: liability, degradation of the property, security, etc. Climbing areas have been closed due to disrespectful users, climbers or others alike, for example: Valle Encantando, in Bariloche (Argentina) and a section of Pedra do Elefante, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Users education is essential! For a few example of educational signs, click here.

Landowners usually forbid access into their property due to a fear of a lawsuit. Some countries have laws that protect the landowner by limiting their liability. For example, some states in the US passed the “Recreational Statute Use” that allow transfer the responsibility from the landowner to the climbers themselves. The American Whitewater website presents a report about these different State laws.

Climbing federations in the world usually stress the need for each climber to understand the risks and assume their personal responsibility. Laws can back it up. One tool that also help is a Liability Waiver Form signed by users when entering the property. See one example here.

When negotiating with landowners, flexibility, creativity and empathy are essential. Though there is no “ready-to-go” recipe, the chart at the bottom of this page, created by the Access Fund, is useful.

To a complete guide in negotiating with private landowners, click here. For risk management strategies in private land, click here.

Access Chart
Access Strategy (Access Fund)

* All documents and chart are reproduced here with the kind consent from the Access Fund.

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