Abseiling involves safely sliding down a rope using some form of friction device. It is used in order to safely retreat from rock faces or mountainous terrain due to inclement weather or impassable sections, or sometimes to safely access the base of cliffs, typically in coastal or gorge situations where foot access is impractical.
In the early 1980s, abseiling began to develop as an activity in its own right in Western Australia. Naturally, many of the sites popular with rock climbers are also attractive to abseilers. However, abseiling can be undertaken, and is often learnt, in artificial situations such as disused quarries and buildings. Most abseiling in WA involves groups and may result in environmental impacts around the top and bottom of popular abseiling routes.
Climbers’ Association of WA (CAWA) – Climbing Ethics
CAWA encourages the following State-wide basic climbing ethics in all climbers.
- Do not damage the bush around crags or access paths.
- Use lower-offs where provided rather than walking down, which creates erosion.
- Carry out all rubbish.
- Take all body waste at least 50 metres from the crag.
- Do not retro-bolt climbs or interfere with existing routes without the permission of the first ascentionist.
- Do not place bolts in new areas unless aware of (a) who owns or administers the crag and (b) how they are likely to respond.
- We encourage that aggressive dogs should be muzzled or leashed when at crags. (Note - these are CAWA’s Climbing Ethics. When climbers are on Parks and Wildlife-managed lands, they are required to follow the guidelines for access for domestic pets.)
Climbers’ Association of WA – Bolting Ethics
CAWA asks that anyone wishing to place bolts in Western Australia respects the following ethics. These ethics were developed and are maintained in conjunction with Parks and Wildlife and the WA climbing community.
- Bolting should never be carried out by people who have insufficient experience in outdoor climbing. Good judgement needs to be employed when placing bolts, and this can only be developed from long climbing experience. Natural rock is not the place to practice bolting.
- Bolts should not be added to existing climbs or boulder problems. Existing routes should not be interfered with in any way without the permission of the first ascentionist.
- Fixed protection may only be used on new routes where there is no possibility of arranging protection by common traditional means. Common traditional means include nuts and cams of all sizes.
- New routes must not be bolted within reach of established routes.
- Bolts must be visually unobtrusive, especially in areas visited by the non-climbing public. The installer must strive to use the least conspicuous method of bolting and installation and minimize the number of bolts.
- Any bolt installer must be competent and employ only suitable fixtures and materials of sufficient strength.