Draft version of an Ice Climbing Responsibility Code

Draft version of an Ice Climbing Responsibility Code
December 5, 2017 Nathalie Drotar

After the issue that took place on KittyHawk last week, the ACMG guiding community has proposed the formulation of an Ice Climbing Responsibility Code. This is still a work in progress and the ACMG will be soliciting input from the public and other organizations. As a result this is likely to change and evolve. What’s posted below is essentially a first cut for your information and to get you thinking a bit more about safety and respect on the ice.  


  1. BE RESPECTFUL – Everyone deserves a safe and enjoyable experience. Educate others with respect, and be educated with grace. Engage in online forums as you would when face to face. Pack out trash, cigarette butts and excrement (bring a wag bag to popular venues). Urinate away from the base.
  2. LEAVE A NOTE – on your dashboard, with route name, party size, and time, to aid others in their decision making. Have a backup plan for when others are on your intended route, if it will not accommodate multiple parties.
  3. PARTIES AHEAD HAVE RIGHT OF WAY – It is your responsibility to steer clear of them. Do not climb beneath, or pass others, without clear communication and a plan to which all parties agree.
  4. EXPECT FALLING ICE FROM OTHER CLIMBERS – Falling ice is inevitable. Climbing beneath others is dangerous to you, and compromises their security. Plan your movement and belay stances to maximize shelter from ice fall, which can bounce far, and in unexpected ways.
  5. AVALANCHE RESCUE EQUIPMENT – A transceiver, shovel and probe should be carried by all party members in avalanche terrain, when an avalanche hazard exists. This hazard may be present on the approach, the climb or the descent.



Leave a reply