Conduct for Mountaineering and Climbing

The MCSA, together with the UIAA, subscribes to the “Kathmandu Declaration on Mountain Activities” and the “Tirol Declaration on Best Practice in Mountain Sports”.

Mountaineers and Climbers should:

1. Access

  • Familiarise themselves with and observe all regulations regarding access to and conduct on State, Municipal and Private Land.

2. Community Relations

  • Be courteous to landowners, mountain dwellers and fellow visitors;
  • Respect other people’s needs for privacy and quiet; and
  • Assist and encourage other visitors to adhere to this Code of Conduct.

3. Responsibility and Safety

  • Ensure that they are familiar with safety concerns, both for themselves and others;
  • Not throw or roll rocks in the mountains; and
  • Be ready to help others in the event of an emergency or accident.

4. Cultural Heritage

  • Not disturb sites or objects of heritage or cultural value (e.g. archaeological items, bones and pottery); and
  • Not wet, touch or deface San rock art.

5. Natural Heritage

  • Not remove wild plants or flowers or damage them unnecessarily;
  • Not disturb animals or birds (and their nests) unnecessarily;
  • Not allow wildlife to become a nuisance, either by feeding them or leaving food or waste in accessible places; and
  • Not deface trees or rocks or leave any form of graffiti.

6. Fire

  • Take all the necessary precautions, especially in the use of stoves; and
  • Not make fires unless explicit permission has been obtained from the land owner or the responsible authority.

7. Waste

  • Remove all rubbish from mountain areas, including that of others;
  • Inspect campsites for waste before leaving;
  • Keep an adequate distance (i.e. at least 50m) away from camping spots, huts, caves, summit beacons, wetlands, rivers or lakes while defecating or urinating; and
  • Ensure that all excreta and toilet paper are buried where possible.

8. Prevent Water Pollution

  • Swim downstream from drinking water collection points;
  • Not enter streams or rivers just after applying sunscreen;
  • Use sand, grass, heated water or biodegradable soap instead of detergent for washing dishes;
  • Not use soap, detergent and toothpaste where these can cause water pollution; and
  • Not empty dirty water into streams or rivers.

9. Hiking and Camping

  • Stay on existing paths and avoid creating new ones;
  • Not take short cuts on steep slopes, since this accelerates erosion;
  • Use existing camp sites in preference to establishing new ones; and
  • Not clear vegetation, level ground or dig trenches unnecessarily.

10. Rock Climbing

  • Co-operate with managing authorities; and
  • Not place (or replace) bolts or anchors, without clearance from the relevant sport climbing/bolting sub-committee.

You can download the MCSA’s Code of Conduct for Mountaineering and Climbing below.