The ClimbSmart!® program is a national public awareness campaign addressing the elements of risk in climbing sports, climbers’ safety, and personal responsibility. It was created by ORCA in 1993 and first appeared in print in Climbing magazine and Rock & Ice magazine in July and August of that year. Today, the CWA owns and maintains the ClimbSmart!® program and is working to expand the program to include a full line of stickers, posters, brochures, and other educational resources.
The ClimbSmart!® program is based on a Universal Warning which includes four simple points for climbers to remember. Materials including these four points are currently distributed to retailers, climbing gyms, outdoor education programs, and individuals in the form of posters, videos and brochures.
Professional climbers Chris Sharma, Sasha DiGiulian, Paul Robinson, and Jason Kehl discuss why they climb, the associated risks, and climber responsibility. This new video is ideal as a complement to facility orientations, social media, websites, or looped viewing in facilities.
Climbing is Inherently Risky
In a growing world of adventure sports, people are entering the sport of climbing without fully comprehending its hazards and risks. Climbing offers positive benefits and rewards such as adventure, enjoyment, and fitness. Climbing also offers risks, including the risk of injury or death, which cannot be entirely eliminated from the sport. You must be willing to accept both the risks and the rewards of climbing.
Qualified Instruction Is Required
In the past, climbers developed their knowledge, skills, and judgment through years of mentoring, training, and exposure to a variety of environments and experiences. The proliferation of advanced equipment, improved techniques, and easy access to indoor climbing venues, has made climbing accessible to many more people. New climbers, for example, are now able to develop the ability to ascend difficult climbs rapidly through intensive coaching and training. However, these new climbers may lack the knowledge, breadth of experience, and good judgment that builds a solid foundation to be a successful climber or mountaineer in unpredictable outdoor environments. If you are unfamiliar with any aspect of climbing, seek qualified instruction.
Use Equipment According to the Manufacturer’s Instructions
Manufacturers and distributors of gear find that climbing equipment is sometimes used incorrectly. Please use climbing equipment for its intended purpose and according to the manufacturer’s instructions for use, care, inspection, and retirement.
Your Safety is Your Responsibility
If you climb, you must assume personal responsibility for your own safety. You must acquire knowledge about climbing, develop climbing skills, and exercise good judgment to be a safe and responsible climber. Climb for a lifetime, ClimbSmart!™
|To order your ClimbSmart!® posters, click here.|
The ClimbSmart!® program has grown into an educational forum for climbing sports. Dedicated individuals have volunteered time and resources to organize local events. Manufacturers, retailers, gyms, and nonprofit organizations such as the American Alpine Club, the Access Fund, and USA Climbing have sponsored or played an active role in these events. The events have included new product demonstrations, clinics on gear and systems, slide shows, and other educational seminars.
The ClimbSmart!® program is a public information program of the Climbing Wall Association, Inc. (CWA). The ClimbSmart!® program information does not describe all of the risks associated with climbing. For more information about the CWA, our programs, services, or publications, please contact the CWA office.