Rock Climbing
in Summit County

Ethics, Rules, and Regulations  Counter

Summit County is far, far away (thankfully) from the Boulder, South Platte, and other more developed climbing areas in Colorado.  Because of this, there won't be the density you'll find on the Flatirons, Eldorado, Turkey Rocks, or the domes in the Splatte - but this doesn't mean that climbers can go and change the area to be like those areas!  The local climbers have spent years developing natural, trad areas with pins and bolts only where absolutely necessary, to maintain the natural setting, surroundings, and ideals.

First and foremost, please, please, please only bolt where absolutely necessary for safety (replace anchors, bolt a face pitch where trad gear cannot protect it otherwise, etcetera), and please respect the rock in our National Forest areas.  Bolting climbs on TR that cannot be climbed on lead, bolting cracks, bolting every 4 feet for added 'safety,' clipping existing bolts or pins and leaving scars:  These types of actions will not be tolerated at any of the climbing areas referenced in this guide.  That doesn't mean (certainly not!) to do it in other undeveloped areas, either!  Because of the alpine weather and rock, this area will remain inherently more dangerous than the types of sport climbs found in many other Colorado locales.  If you cannot climb trad and mixed routes, these areas may not be meant for you.  Please do not ruin the area for those who enjoy the natural conditions this particular location provides.  A poorly set sport route will only have loose bolts and and unclimbable route a couple of years after you set it.

If it is necessary to bolt or set manmade anchors, please use 3/8"x2-3/4" bolts and camoflauged hangers, and chains only at anchors.  Please only use natural-colored slings and try not to leave sling protection at belays or pin locations; the slings will deteriorate within 2 weeks to an unusable state because of the precipitation, temperatures, and intense UV found at the higher altitudes here in Summit County.

In short, play well with others.  If you don't, don't be surprised when you're lynched by other climbers.

The rules: (standard, but taken from the original guide)
1.  Safety - Be aware of old bolts and pitons in poor condition in these areas.  Freeze-thaw in the area and climbers chopping poor or unsightly protection can and will make these climbs more severe than the ratings suggest.  Only climb these on lead if you are technically able to do so; otherwise, find a good leader or toprope (TR) these climbs when possible.  If it is necessary to replace bolts (not retrobolt), pull out the old bolt (do not chop), and drill the old hole to the current standard of 3/8"x2-3/4" and use epoxy and camoflauged hangers.

2.  New routes and bolting - Do not retrobolt any climb, at risk of lynching.  When putting up new routes, do not bolt closer than necessary or bolt traditionally protectable lines (particularly cracks).  Make your new route safe and fun, then tell us about it.  Use only cold shuts for rap stations, but not as route pro.  Clean the route as thoroughly as necessary for safety, but not beyond.  Chipping holds/steps and drilling pockets/holds will not be tolerated.  Place bolts on lead or after a clean TR, only as absolutely necessary, to prevent unclimbable bolted routes and over-bolting.

3.  Rappel stations - Use only chain, cable, or cold shut anchors for all rap stations.  Never place a single anchor for rap or TR anchors, and as noted elsewhere never use or leave slings; they are dangerous after only a short time, unsightly, pollutants, and seriously prohibited.

4.  Toilets - None.  Stay at least 100 feet from the crags, trails, water sources, roads, etcetera.  Pack out in ziplocks feces and toilet paper, please.  There is nothing worse than stepping in someone else's dung 'cause they weren't prepared.

5.  Trash - Pack out any of your own, and any you see.  This is common sense and keeps our areas pleasant, as well as it prevents complaints from people who don't see climbing like we do.

6.  Trails - Use them, stay on them, do not make new or more, do not cut switchbacks, and do not destroy vegetation to make your little hike a bit more pleasant.  The trees and shrubs were not only there first, they were there gaining their tenuous foothold in the short growing season since probably before your parents were born.

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