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July 8, 2010 – One Year Park Ban for Climbers Not Wearing Helmets

Bon Echo Provincial Park in Ontario is the center of controversy over the recent banning of two climbers for not wearing helmets.

July 8, 2010 –  One Year Park Ban for Climbers Not Wearing Helmets

Bon Echo Provincial Park in Ontario is the center of controversy over the recent banning of two climbers for not wearing helmets. Witnesses report that park officials confronted the un-helmeted climbers and requested they use helmets or stop climbing. The discussion escalated as the climbers challenged the park’s authority to dictate helmet use, which resulted with the park officials banning the climbers for one year and threatening to ban all other climbers from the cliff during that weekend.  Mandatory helmet laws have never existed in Ontario climbing areas and some speculate that park’s seemingly heavy-handed actions were a result of officials being on-edge over the traumatic body recovery of a non-climbing cliff jumper that occurred the previous week. The precedent set by the park’s actions could have serious long- term implications in other climbing areas and may create unnecessary bureaucracy as the parks attempt to over-dictate safety practices.

Bon Echo Provincial Park has historically had a positive relationship with the climbing community and is the location of the Alpine Club of Canada’s Toronto Section hut.

More details here.