ROUTE RESTORATION

Research & Review before Restoring - Research all guide book editions and other sources of route information. Talk to experienced locals and the first ascent party (if possible) to learn the routes history and what equipment is original or may have been placed by subsequent parties. Review your plan before reaching for the hammer or drill. Honor the rock and the line by using nondestructive and removable protection wherever possible. Consider removing pitons where modern nuts and cams can be used. Replace only damaged, weakened or loose bolts which are absolutely necessary - like belay anchors - and try to use the same hole. Quality of work, not quantity should be the goal.

Environment - Take steps to mitigate damage and disruption to flora and fauna. Minimize use of chalk, crack cleaning and other aggressive gardening techniques and practice and teach minimum impact skills. Support seasonal area closures as one of the ways to protect endangered species and allow damaged flora to recover.

Slings - Remove brightly colored fabric slings. If replacing belay and rappel stations, install permanent camouflaged hangers and chains.

Trash - Collect trash on or near climber's trails, staging areas and routes. Encourage use of trash bags and poop tubes or river bags. Dispose of waste properly and deposit recyclables in appropriate receptacles. When given the opportunity, take time to educate others about "pack it in, pack it out" techniques.

Others - Work with others to accomplish your goals and share your work proudly. Seek out local climber's coalitions, clubs or network through your local climbing shop or gym. Earn the support and recognition of national organizations for your actions.

Rock - Clean off excess chalk and consider removal of loose rocks or blocks perched on ledges or stances (this dangerous activity has to be carefully coordinated). Disperse any "cheat stones" or other " improvements" at the base of routes unless they are integral to erosion control.

Egress / Ingress - Eliminate extraneous trails to and from the climb and help minimize and maintain the essential ones. In heavy use areas cooperate with land owners and managers to reroute traffic onto hard surfaces. Volunteer to help realign and mark trails to consolidate traffic and reduce or prevent erosion. In severe cases consider replanting, fencing and even signage to protect the landscape.

When climbing and in the mountains, make your own route and adventure, and always practice your best style - one to be proud of and one that will earn you respect. Remember, the best craftsmen use the fewest tools and leave no trace of their passage.

Larry Arthur, Mountain Tools 2001