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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Self Regulation - What does it mean to you? 13-Jul-2012 At 1:48:45 PM climbau
Self Regulation to me is coming together as a community to decide what is acceptable practice. Sounds pretty simple, but there are so many facets that the cynic in me feels that it is an impossible pipedream.
I think most climbers climb partly due to there not being a controlling body to tell them how they should behave, bolt, develop new areas, etc..... The idea of self regulation is a simple idea when there is a small community, but as the community grows, new ideas and opinions and issues arise.
I feel that any self-regulation needs first to be formalised on a local level, then the principles can be merged with neighbouring communities. Is this too much work for a volunteer position? And would a volunteer really be able to perform the role of coordinator and convener to the level required to make such a project successful? Yes. Should we expect the regulation to be co-ordinated by regional volunteers? possibly not.
A list of decisions to be made could look something like this-
bolting policy, including the types of bolts to be used in defined situations - New Routes
rebolting/maintenance policy, sames as above for existing routes.
environmental policies for the development of new areas and routes including visual impact, physical impact, taxonomical impact, financial impact.
environmental maintenance policy for climbing areas.
Guidebook standardisation for local and foreign communities.
Emergency response policies.
Personal safety policy.
insurance policies.
competency policies.
If we want to be treated with the same respect as the local football code then we need to show the official agencies that provide funding or space within their policies to allow climbing to grow/exist then we need to produce a top notch document addressing these issues. Any thing less than a professional release will jeopardise the legitimacy of climbing in the eyes of the wider non climbing community.

The UIAA website has some great documents relating to standardising guidebooks and bolting. A good place to start perhaps.

I would like to see the development of climbing to reach the same point as where Europe is. There is wide community acceptance, it is a family oriented activity, there is funding available for the development of new areas and council groups are happy to be involved. What I see in Australia is a fragmented bunch of folks with widely differing opinions that most climbers cannot be bothered with. The clubs only see a small part of the climbing community, forums such as chockstone have even less impact on the wider climbing community and the developmental organisations seem to be aving no success in legitimising climbing within the sporting community let alone the non climbing community. I think there needs to be a fundamental attitude shift to make self-regulation a reality.

I hope my random thoughts make sense to you Tracey. :)

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