Gym To Crag Best Practices

Adapted, with permission, from a poster provided by the Access Fund. The gym is not just a crag without walls. Please use these responsible outdoor climbing practices at the crag.

Gym to Crag Poster (PDF)

Making the transition from gym to crag: responsible outdoor climbing practices that help preserve access

In the gym At the crag Do this instead
Loud music fuels your climbing session. Loud music may disrupt others trying to enjoy the outdoors, including landowners. Leave the speakers at home or at least turn them off when others are nearby.
Lowering off the top anchors is the norm. Top anchors may not be regularly monitored for wear. Minimize impact on top anchors when lowering.
Gym staff clean up chalk spills, and provide trash cans for bar wrappers and discarded finger tape. Chalk spills and trash are your responsibility. Clean up after yourself and pack out your trash.
You stash your pack and unused gear in a locker. Sprawling gear can crush plant lift, trample sensitive soil, and disturb other climbing parties. Be aware of where you’re dropping your gear and contain it as much as possible.
Fixed draws on lead routes are standard. Landowners may not appreciate the visual impact of fixed draws. Know the rules before you go, and don’t leave draws on your project unless they are allowed.
You do your business in the bathroom. You do your business in the wild. The best methods for human waste disposal vary depending on what kind of environment you’re climbing in. Know before you go: ontarioaccesscoalition.com/poop/.
Climbing in large groups is no big deal. Climbing in large groups is not always appropriate, especially when the crag is crowded or in areas where access is sensitive. Stay low profile—climb in pairs at crowded crags and in areas where access is sensitive.
Gyms implement rules and standards to encourage safety, but it’s the climber’s responsibility to double check gear and partners. The great outdoors contains many natural elements that can create hazardous situations, and it’s the climber’s responsibility to manage those hazards. Climbing is inherently dangerous inside and outside. Be aware, find a mentor, and double check your gear and your partners every time.