Crag Climbing is Dangerous During Coronavirus Outbreak

"Please be mindful that this is a serious disease and if it doesn't kill you it likely does cause permanent lung damage (even in healthy young 30 year olds)"

March 16th, 2020 by | Posted in News, Profiles |

The coronavirus outbreak has infected a lot of people around the world and the death toll continue to rise. It seems everyone has been affected by it someway and it seems things will only become more restrictive for communities. The outbreak has forced climbing and fitness gyms everywhere to close, but luckily spring weather is starting to warm crags and trails. However, it’s important to remember that you can be infected by the coronavirus anywhere, including at the crag or bouldering area.

Lindsay Keegan, an infectious disease epidemiologist who works on the coronavirus covid-19, had a stark warning for members of the Utah Climber Facebook group (see below).

Remember that small climbing towns (Canmore, Squamish, Moab, Bishop) are not equipped to handle sudden increases in demand on their emergency units. Leave the travelling until later in the year so municipalities can care for their residents first.

Be sure to keep your distance, have good hygiene and keep your equipment clean. It’s probably best to stick to off-piste areas, hike in the backcountry or just stay at home and to avoid all public spaces, as many officials have advised.

Lindsay Keegan on Coronavirus

I know it’s a huge bummer that the gyms and ski hills are closed but from a disease control standpoint, this is necessary. I want to point out that while everyone is moving from gyms to the crag, you need to remember that the rock isn’t magically cleaner than the gym holds and that piling up multiple parties on a route or on a multi-pitch anchor is nearly as bad as piling up at a gym. 

I know it sucks, but the new trail/crag/ski etiquette needs to be people stay six to 10 feet apart. 

Please be mindful that this is a serious disease and if it doesn’t kill you it likely does cause permanent lung damage (even in healthy young 30 year olds) not to mention, you could transmit to other people who aren’t as fortunate as you to be young and healthy.