1) Seek out a mentor who has their climbing skills and minimum impact behaviors dialed. Sometimes we pay for mentorship through coaches or guides, other times they happen naturally through creating relationships with other climbers at the gym, gear shops or through climbing friends.
2) Get the low down of the places you want to climb outside so you can keep a low profile when you climb there. What are the sensitive issues of the area? Are there closures? Where do I go to the bathroom, park and camp? Is this an appropriate place to bring my dog or should I leave her at home?
3) Be mindful. It’s a buzzword, I know, but many of us roll through our routines and just don’t think about how our behaviors might have a negative impact. We are on automatic. Practicing minimum impact behaviors takes time and effort. If each of us committed to being more aware of how we impact climbing areas and consider ways to minimize our footprint at the crag or boulders, it would go a long way to embedding these behaviors into the culture of climbing.
4) Respect other users. I feel like the word “respect” sometimes gets a bad rap, but often it is the foundation of positive relationships and community. Basically, be kind to others and assume positive intent. Treat other users as you would want to be treated. The golden rule works … practice it.
5) Be an upstander, not a bystander—Steer others toward minimum impact behaviors at the crag. Don’t be afraid to speak up when you see someone doing something that threatens access. They might not know that their behavior impacts the climbing area they’re enjoying.