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About Climbing Areas

Please contact the MCSA before visiting unknown climbing areas which might be sensitive to access, very often negotiations are in progress and you visiting the area can upset them or even close the access. A great deal of work is done by the MCSA to keep access to climbing areas open, please adhere to all access arrangements and help keep climbing and hiking areas open to all. We are seeing many climbing areas overseas losing access and the same is happening in South Africa. Please support our efforts and help stem the trend.

Always keep noise levels down at climbing areas, never litter, preserve the fauna and flora, do your ablutions far from rivers and bury them thoroughly. Remember that fires are usually prohibited in most areas, please respect this and other access conditions the owners may have set (e.g. in many areas you may only arrive and leave in daylight hours). 

Protect the Mountains                                                                  

Some important points to follow:
  •   Stay on established trails – Even if the trail is not the most direct line to the base of a route or boulder, avoid the temptation to blaze your own path. Hiking off trail promotes erosion and destroys vegetation.
  • Keep a low profile - We know that route you’re working requires a lot of moxie, but yelling, swearing, screaming beta at your partner, and even playing music at the crag can seriously disrupt those around you, including the landowner.
  • Clean up excess chalk – Chalk is a necessary part of climbing, but it also creates visual evidence of climber impact. Clean up spills and brush off tick marks after each session.

  • Respect closures – Respecting the wildlife (e.g., nesting birds) and cultural resource closures will help ensure that they don’t turn into unreasonable closures. 

  • Keep tabs on your dog – First of, only if dogs are allowed at the crag 'it can' have a serious impact on climbing access due to their ability to disturb the peace of those around them, including that of the landowner. Consider leaving Fido at home. If you must bring your dog to the crag, keep it with you at all times, control its barking, and clean up after it.
  •   Pack it out – Don’t trash the crag. Carry an extra plastic bag and pack out your own trash (yes, even climbing tape counts). Human waste counts too—do your business away from cliffs, boulders, trails, and water sources and pack it out. 

  •   Pad and tread lightly – We know you’re focused on sending that sweet boulder problem, but remember to think about the life on the ground around you. Avoid trampling or throwing crash pads on vegetation.

  •   Educate others KINDLY – If you see someone hiking off trail, blaring music, or throwing trash on the ground, kindly let them know that their actions could threaten access for everyone. In many cases people simply don’t recognize that their actions might negatively impact the environment or access to the area.

    Chris Sharma:
      "The boulders have been here for thousands of years. It’s a privilege for us to be able to
  • climb on them, and its our responsibility to treat them with respect."

Climbing, once an obscure activity with few participants, has become a mainstream form of outdoor recreation. And our impact on the environment and others around us is under increasing scrutiny. As climbers, we must show a healthy respect for the places and policies where we climb. This mindset helps assure continued climbing access by showing landowners and managers that we take care of the places where we play.