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Canyoneering Ethics

Section 6

To ensure that we preserve the environment and maintain safety during outdoor-related activities, it's important to follow the "Leave No Trace" ethics. Here are some guidelines to consider:

Do!

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  • To ensure that we preserve the environment and maintain safety during outdoor-related activities, it's important to follow the "Leave No Trace" ethics. Here are some guidelines to consider:

  • Take only pictures and leave only footprints to preserve the natural beauty of the environment.

  • Leave an "Emergency Note" in your vehicle before you leave the trailhead to inform others of your whereabouts and when you plan to return.

  • Help everyone out! Outdoor activities are team activities, so be willing to assist and encourage others.

  • Wear a helmet to protect yourself from potential accidents and injuries.

  • Bring enough food and water (plus some extra) to sustain yourself throughout the day.

  • Hike in the drainage of canyons where possible to avoid creating "social trails" or extra trails that can damage the ecosystem.

  • Avoid stepping on "crypto" (cryptobiotic soil), which takes years to grow back after being destroyed.

  • Always have a first-aid kit in your party to address injuries or emergencies that may occur.

  • On long canyoneering days (8+ hours), bring a bivy (bivouac) in case you need to spend the night unexpectedly.

  • Say "watch out below" or "I'm going to throw a rope down" instead of "rope!" when canyoneering meets the public to avoid alarming or confusing non-canyoneers.

  • When fellow canyoneers ask to pass your slower group, please let them do so to avoid causing a bottleneck.

  • Please take pictures of graffiti in canyons and report it to the rightful property owners to help preserve the natural beauty of the area.

Do Not!

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  • Do not bring your furry animals on technical canyons. Instead, take them through non-technical canyons to avoid causing harm to them and to the environment.

  • Do not horseplay when on rappel or near edges to avoid endangering yourself and others.

  • Do not overestimate your ability to do a specific canyon or the sport in general. Many people overestimate their abilities and underestimate the risks involved.

  • Do not bounce on ropes as this can cause a significant increase in load (or force) on the anchors, potentially causing damage to the environment and endangering your safety.

  • Do not create rope grooves when installing new anchor points. Instead, look at how the rope pull will be retrieved and place anchors on the wall or at a higher point to avoid damaging the ecosystem.

  • Do not talk loudly or yell when canyoneering meets the public. Most people dislike rowdy groups and individuals who show off.

  • Do not yell "rope!" when dropping or throwing a rope-bag on a rappel in public areas, as the public may not understand the term. Instead, use clear and concise communication to avoid confusion.

  • If a group of canyoneers wants to pass you, please do not inhibit or block them to avoid causing a bottleneck.

  • Do not trespass on private property to gain access to canyons. Abusing the trust of landowners can cause the entire community to lose access to these areas forever.

  • By following these guidelines, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for yourself and others while preserving the natural beauty of the environment.

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