A Guide to Outdoor Rock Climbing Etiquette, According to an Expert


With the rise of indoor climbing, what happens when the gym rats show up at the outdoor crags?

Auto-belay training in a gym, while delivering the basics of rock climbing technique in a safe, secure environment, simply can’t prepare athletes for all the nuances of climbing outside.

“What has shifted is the way people are attaining the proper knowledge and how that knowledge has been passed along,” Seth Murphy, director at Earth Treks climbing gym in Golden, Colorado, tells us.

“Before climbing gyms, the most popular way to get involved in the sport was by having a mentor that was an experienced climber.”

And while we can hope that trad climbers, who still train in gyms, will continue to transfer the DNA, some of the education is on the gym’s shoulders.

Earth Treks tries to…

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