CRAG-VT has been closely following the state’s updated guidelines for outdoor recreation, specifically the governor’s recent announcement of his “Play Smart, Play Safe” addendum. We’ve also reviewed memos from the American Alpine Club and The Access Fund and in getting tons of feedback from our members we wanted to offer some suggestions for climbing outside right now. We hope people see these as ideas for our community that we’re all a part of and as helpful tips so that we can all come together again and appreciate the sport we love. These are still stressful times and people will always have their own thoughts but we hope that by following these tips, the majority of people can stay safe and enjoy some beautiful days out at the crags.
We also want to acknowledge the many differences in opinions we got through our survey. Some folks expressed serious disappointment in our conservative approach and the fact that we didn’t close crags. Yet others expressed frustration at our overreaction and our insistence in creating rules where we shouldn’t have. In the end, we hope folks can use these suggestions as common-sense norms that we can all use together and not misuse to shame or criticize others with. We have done our best to consult the most knowledgeable experts in the field amongst our community, and believe these are safe, easy-to-follow guidelines to help us climbers begin to return to normalcy.
If you’re interested in reading into the community thoughts on the topic, we received over 200 responses to our survey. You can read through the results here: COVID Survey Results
CRAG-VT is a not-for-profit (501(c)(3)) organization dedicated to preserving access and conservation of Vermont’s climbing resources. We serve the climbing community of Vermont through a variety of mechanisms:
- Preserve and aid in the protection of climbing opportunities in Vermont by building and maintaining long-term relationships with landowners. Current and future access will be fostered through outright purchases of property, obtaining conservation easements, or securing landowner agreements.
- Serve climbers, land managers, landowners, and the general public as an educational resource for responsible climbing, access status, historical information, species and habitat protection, and legal matters.
- Promote responsible stewardship and reduce environmental impacts by conducting trail maintenance, volunteer clean-ups, and producing educational materials