The Swiss government presented its easing plan regarding the corona situation last week. We spoke to the Swiss Alpine Club about climbing and bouldering.
Can I go climbing? Is it irresponsible? Is it all right? Many climbers asked these and other questions in the current situation. While the Alpine associations in Germany and Austria clearly oppose climbing and bouldering, the Swiss Alpine Club advised against skiing and alpine tours.
Numerous mountain sports enthusiasts, however, decided not to go on trips to the climbing garden and the nearby bouldering area. Reason: A possible injury or an accident would put unnecessary strain on the health care system. According to numerous media reports, the current situation in the hospitals is not dramatic, which is why this argument is no longer valid.
Since the gradual easing communicated by the Federal Council of the Corona measures, more and more people who did not go climbing are asking themselves whether it is now allowed to go climbing again. We contacted the Swiss Alpine Club and asked for an official recommendation.
This is what the Swiss Alpine Club SAC says
An interview with Bruno Hasler - Head of Training and Safety at the SAC
Can you climb and boulder in times of the Corona crisis?
Yes, that's basically ok.
Under what conditions is it okay to go climbing or bouldering?
One should behave in such a way that there are as few accidents as possible and risky routes are avoided. They also apply in the climbing gardens and bouldering areas Federal recommendations. In particular, it is important to “keep your distance”. If too many climbers climb in the same sector, you should change the sector. It is also important to only climb with people from the same household, or at least always with the same person. In addition, the travel distances must be kept as small as possible
The SAC recommendation thus contradicts the federal recommendation. What do you say?
We are aware of this. We try to do the balancing act between the very restrictive recommendation of the federal government "stay at home" and a somewhat open recommendation. We hope that the recommendations will be better adhered to.
In a specific case, is it okay if someone from Zurich is bouldering in the Murgtal or climbing at the Galerie Süd near Amden?
Everyone has to decide for themselves. Murgtal or Galerie is certainly better than when a Zurich man travels to the Bernese Oberland.
What about ski touring and mountaineering?
Discussions are currently taking place in this regard. Details will be communicated in good time.
Rules of conduct for climbers and boulderers in Switzerland
- Only climb in well-secured routes
- Avoid dangerous bouldering (e.g. highballs)
- Stick to the recommendations of the federal government - even on the rock
- Climb only with people from the same household or always with the same person
- Changes the sector when too many people are present
- Do not visit distant climbing and bouldering areas
Note: These rules are now (as of April 22, 2020) valid. Should the situation worsen locally or nationwide, they lose their “validity”.
This is the situation in Austria
Numerous alpine associations in Austria - including the Alpine Association and Naturefriends - have been responsible for their government's corona measures in recent weeks. Mountain tours have been avoided in many places - the clubs appeal to be low-risk on the road.
The representatives of the important local mountaineering associations are all the more pleased with the easing for outdoor sports announced by Sport Minister Kogler on April 15, 2020 in a press conference.
“We very much welcome the fact that the Sports Minister is creating perspectives for our area of responsibility. We are happy to respond to the government's call to work out implementation proposals. "Gerald Dunkel-Schwarzenberger, President of the Association of Alpine Associations in Austria (VAVÖ)
The Austrian alpine associations have been called upon by the government to develop framework conditions and implementation proposals. The concept provides guidelines for the “corona-compliant” exercise of the various mountain sports outdoor activities with people who do not live in the same household. In addition, the associations develop guidelines that regulate the gradual opening of shelters.
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Credits: Cover picture AO Productions / Pavel Blazek