Pro-Climbing Points

When talking to reporters, writing a letter or a press release or just communicating in general with the general public, take a look at these Pro-climbing points* to create or add to your arguments.

Though some of these points are specific for the US, don’ t be afraid to use them! To be more effective, we encourage you to put them into the context of your own country.

  • Climbing is a low-impact, human-powered, legitimate recreation group with more than 6.5 million annual U.S. participants (Outdoor Industry Association).
  • Climbers give back to their local trail and park systems by volunteering on public land, protecting the environment, and preserving open space.
  • The majority of climbers are responsible, considerate, and safety-conscious.
  • Climbing is a great form of exercise and helps combat the societal trend toward obesity.
  • Climbing tourism contributes to the economic vitality of a community by boosting retail,
  • restaurant, hotel, gas, and grocery sales.
  • A united recreation community – one that includes climbers and other recreation groups –
  • can be a powerful, effective voice for increased federal, state and local recreational trails and parks funding.
  • Caving, kayaking, mountain biking, canyoneering, and rock climbing are but a few examples of the types of activities that fall under heightened scrutiny for risk management. In an age when outdoor activities have been overly sensationalized by the media, the perception of risk associated with these activities is often overstated and misunderstood.
  • A research in the US by the Access Fund found no record of any legal action ever having been filed in this country in which an injured climber sued a landowner or an agency on the basis of premises liability. This is a result of the broad liability limitations that are provided for landowners, land managers, and agencies that permit and provide for recreation opportunities such as climbing.
  • Climbing: A Welcome and Historic use on our Public Lands. Rock climbing, ice climbing, bouldering and mountaineering are practiced almost universally on diverse public lands. In National Parks in the US, like Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and Rocky Mountain climbing has been a popular pursuit for more than half a century.
  • Climbing is also practiced and encouraged on open space lands, whether managed by local government, or by non-profit organizations. For example, the Shawangunks of New York, one of the nations’ most renowned climbing sites, is owned and managed by the Mohonk Preserve as part of a 7,000 acre nature preserve. The Nature Conservancy owns climbing sites in Utah and Connecticut. In Colorado, the Access Fund owns and manages the Golden Cliffs Preserve, an open space preserve that offers hiking and climbing, in additional to several other climbing areas.
  • “ Compared to hiker, hunter, skier, and other backcountry incidents, the climbing population [in 2001] fared well. According to Mike Gauthier, Chief Climbing Ranger for Mount Rainier National Park, ‘ As a group, mountain climbers aren’ t the most expensive to rescue.’ It is lost hikers and hunters who have achieved this distinction.” (American Alpine Clubs’ Accidents in North American Mountaineering, 2002).
  • Statistical example: on Mount Rainer there were 9,714 climbers registered in 2003, with only 8 major rescues and no fatalities.

* From the Access Fund website, with their permission.