GOOD ROCK CLIMBING PRACTICE DURING PANDEMIC
On 22 April, UIAA Access Commission member Miłosz Jodłowski wrote the following article for the Polish Mountaineering Association, a founder member of the UIAA. The communication focused on staying safe as and when restrictions are relaxed. The below is a Google translation of the original in Polish.
Significant easing of restrictions associated with the coronavirus epidemic meant that many climbers training at home so far began planning trips to the rocks. However, remember that not all restrictions have been lifted and administrative penalties for breaking them remain very high. This applies primarily to the prohibition of assembly; in addition, according to many experts, the peak of the epidemic is still ahead of us. Therefore, we present 10 principles that we should follow in order not to endanger ourselves and others:
- Plan climbing trips in a small group of people with whom you stay every day. Try not to change this composition for future trips. Do not arrange climbing with random people or friends you have not seen since the beginning of the epidemic.
- Be very careful when traveling (the routes leading to the rocks are less crowded, but this does not mean to drive faster). Try not to use public transport.
- Choose places less popular, where the chance to meet other people is small. Climbing on Lechfora in Rzędkowice, Elephant Ass in Dolina Będkowska or Sukiennice in Sokoliki is not the best idea for the near future.
- Avoid gatherings! If you see other climbers’ cars in the parking lot after reaching them, drive to another place. When there are several people under the rock – choose another sector. Barbecue or a bonfire after climbing in a group of unseen friends – let it go!
- Limit the risk! Give up less safe (more injurious) forms of climbing. Give up climbing on your own, solving, higher and more risky highballs. In sportsclimbing seriously consider the so-called the first secure attachment and putting on a helmet (even if you don’t do it on a daily basis) – after another mild winter and low climbing traffic, there are crumbs on many roads.
- Pay special attention to the safety rules! Remember about partner control (nodes, equipment). Believe carefully, do not risk driving. Perform all hardware operations (pins, tying, sliding, etc.) very carefully, keep your eyes around your head.
- Don’t forget to warm up before climbing (a minor injury can now become a big problem).
- Follow medical recommendations – keep your distance, wear face masks in public places, often disinfect your hands. Eat well, rest. If you or someone around you is not feeling well, better give up – the rocks will wait for you to recover.
- Remember about cultural behavior, especially in the vicinity of houses and hiking trails. Do not make noise, do not swear, do not litter! In these difficult times, residents and other people can be particularly sensitive to the nuisance arising from our activities.
- And most importantly – use common sense, think about yourself and others – so that we meet in some time in the rocks.