A message to rock climbers: Be kind to nature

Millions of people had a rock climbing movement, a cliff face was a challenge, a vertical puzzle solved only the right hand and foot position. Carefully observed that these cracks, cracks also provide hand and foothold to provide housing for a variety of plants, invertebrates and other easily overlooked species.

People involved in outdoor sports like rock climbing may not consider the environmental impact of what they are doing. After all, how much impact can a person really have on a rock? But there is a potential danger, noted ecologist Andrea Holzschuh at the University of Würzburg in Germany. The evidence of the injury, however, is a challenge – a feature that makes some climbing cliffs interesting, unbelieving and also makes complex research.

Holzschuh interested climbers on the environment, in part because she was a mountain climber, part of the settlement Frankenjura region of the German rock, which is pointing out that there are some of the best rock climbing in Europe. Plants, animals and other species make cliffs in the home, she noted, and usually experts have found ways to adapt even under extreme conditions to discover the faces on rocks. They may have little or no growth from nearby places, and they usually only grow in the short term and their number grows slowly.

Then climbers, who may trample on the bottom of the cliff, dig up any crack growth to get a better grip, the species spreads more and more of the rock surface that is not a local area or stain chalk that changes pH or nutrient conditions. Climbing is not like some people that impact-free hypothesis.

But scientists have not been able to fully assess the impact. Holzschuh went looking for a study on the subject and found that only 22 studies tested how rock climbing affected plants or animals. She threw out 6 of these studies because they failed to compare him to an unclimbed area or other major design problem, making it impossible to sort out the effect. The remaining 16 studies found a variety of effects on organisms from lichen snail cedar. Bio Holzschuh’s comments appeared in December.

But the review really stresses how difficult it is to study the potential impact of rock climbing. Holzschuh says a huge challenge is finding the right unclimbed cliffs to face comparing those climbing athletes frequently – those that share features such as slopes and how much sunshine the face. “Usually, in an area where attractive cliff climbers climb, only cliffs, unlike climbing cliffs in all the abiotic features unclimbed,” she noted. “There is no reliable research to do.”

Then, of course, there are many cliffs that are incomprehensible and difficult to learn and even accessible. “How many people have these skills and the flexibility to use these projects?” Said Michael Tessler of the American Museum of Natural History and Fordham University. In addition, he noted that a subset of climbing boulders – climbers to settle rocks or short cliffs measuring less than 3.5 meters high, do not use safety ropes, especially by young people. “Professors themselves are not always young,” he points out.

Tessler and colleagues at Theresa Clark University in Nevada, Las Vegas, first published an analysis trying to quantify the impact of bouldering on the environment. This type of climbing has similar potential ecological system of destroying and persuading climbing, they point out, plus some extra: boulders often clean up the rocks and logs on the ground so they can drop in the case where they are more likely to step on a piece Stone or the top of the cliff, instead of going straight down.

Tessler and Clark tried to measure the impact of the climbers at the Shawangunk Ridge bouldering route, a popular site crawling in New York where Tessler climbed. They compared the cross-section of the rocks along the cross-section along the unclimbed section of mossy rocks, and found differences in moss and woody plants. These add up to a major threat, but conservation managers may want to monitor these activities at remote sites and close certain routes that prove too welcome, potentially damaging any growth, Tessler said in December.

While we can not yet say how much influence mountain climbers may have on their climbing rock environment, there is a clear need for more scientists to take in their climbing rock climbing shoes and solve the problem. (Have a try! Have fun!) But climbers can also do them Holzschuh and Tessler said.

“I think climbers can easily reduce their impact on the cliff vegetation if they do not want to take the plant from the cliff ‘clean’ hands, stand on the climbing route.” Climbers should not visit the cliff plateau (and should) leave the cliff Completely undisturbed part, “Holzschuh said. “At the bottom of the cliff, the inner bag and the gear should put down a small area to reduce the effect of trampling.”

Tessler also suggested. “Boulders should be aware that even a rare climb left some impression of rock-associated vegetation,” he said. “They should remove as little vegetation as possible and climb up the soil to build a climb. Likewise, if the climb is wet, dirty or covered with vegetation, maybe go to another. This is an easy way to make sure some rock walls can be more natural . ”

If climbing is restricted, because the breeding of rare birds, climbing athletes should observe the restrictions, go to other places to climb, Holzschuh said. There are many other cliffs to be conquered.