Respect the First Ascensionists

In light of recent events on Outside Corner and Stuarts Ride (photos), the SLCA would like to reiterate its position regarding establishing new routes and respecting first ascensionists written by a SLCA Board Member of the past that still holds true today.

“Historically, Salt Lake climbers have been guided by a code of ethics, passed on from climber to climber. The result is a rich, colorful climbing experience that embraces changes in the sport and celebrates the local history. We’ve been fortunate to have avoided many of the bolting wars and other conflicts that have plagued other climbing areas. For this to continue, we need to respect local traditions, our fellow climbers and the service first ascensionists provide to the community.

The SLCA believes that new routes add to our climbing opportunities. As such, we support first ascensionists and the work they do, when done conscientiously, while minimizing impact and following land regulations. New routes as well as additions to existing routes should respect the character of the particular area and the generally agreed-upon ethics of the local climbing community. Historical precedent is an important guide and should be respected.”

4 Responses to “Respect the First Ascensionists”

  1. Ben March 29, 2017 at 10:40 am #

    Im curious, where can I find the local land regulations regarding a first accent and bolting a new rout.

    • Julia Geisler April 8, 2017 at 6:37 am #

      Currently the Uinta-Wasatch-Chache National Forest does not have a climbing management plan. You can look to places like the City of Rocks and Castle Rocks for examples of climbing management in relation to route development.

  2. William July 10, 2017 at 1:14 pm #

    So if i am interested in putting up a new route, where do I go to get “permission” to do so?

    • Julia Geisler August 14, 2017 at 5:33 pm #

      Hi William,

      Gaining permission to develop routes is dependent on the land owner. For example, is the land privately owned or public? If private, you’ll have to contact the owner directly to ask permission. If the land is federal property (e.g. USFS, BLM, NPS) or state property, you’ll have to follow the pertinent regulations.

      In addition, you should consider local climbing ethics and develop a relationship with other route developers in the area. If you would like, we might be able to put you in touch with other developers in the area you’re considering.

      Finally, would you be installing bolts? If so, please follow the Access Fund’s guidance on bolting:

      The SLCA spends thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours each year replacing bad bolts. We implore you to use only high quality 1/2″ stainless steel bolts as a service to the climbing community and out of respect for the finite resources that are our local crags.

      Learning to install bolts safely and developing routes that are fun to climb is a long process that is best learned from someone with years of experience. Again, let us know if you would like us to try to put you in touch with local route developers.

      The Wasatch Anchor Replacement Committee

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