Climb Ethic

Illustrative Examples of the Charter of Climbing Ethics


In order to illustrate the practical usefulness of this charter, and in particular the raising of awareness about potential ethical risks, below are examples of typical ethical issues that tend to weaken climbing values, as collected from climbers in 2015-2016:

  • Weakening of the values « Community and Passion », for instance because of an excessive search for fame or money, because of an inappropriate development of climbing or because of the development of a form of competition that breaks away from climbing values.
  • Weakening of the values « Freedom and Diversity», for instance because of overvaluing a form of climbing at the expense of another or because of an inappropriate evolution of the power of institutional, economic or political actors.
  • Weakening of the values « Nature and Sustainability », through the degradation of natural areas, their closing, a lack of ecological consciousness, the development of an irresponsible climbing tourism, the excessive opening of routes which leaves no space for future generations or the chipping of holds for instance.
  • Weakening of the values « Performance and Pleasure », with the organisation of climbing competitions whose results are not credible, by giving too much media importance to grades which are partly subjective or by training inappropriately young climbers for competition.
  • Weakening of the values « Friendship and Sharing» by developing a false image of climbing, by succumbing to inappropriate pressure from money or media or by developing too much a competitive spirit.
  • Weakening of the values « Movement and Beauty », for instance abusing the usage of chalk, by marking systematically the holds with chalk, by constraining the activity in a particular form of climbing, by not valuing enough the quality of route-setting in competition or through the development of doping or anorexic behaviours.
  • Weakening of the values « Risk and Safety », for instance by bolting cliffs excessively, by trying to sterilize nature or avoiding risk at all, by not being careful enough in equipping or re-equipping, by badly sharing the culture of climbing with new climbers or by developing competitive events that promote an excessive taking of risks.