Proposal Title

SESSION 3.3: Managing Rock Climbing in Canada’s Rocky Mountain National Parks

Presentation Type

Individual paper

Location

IB 1020

Start Date

2-5-2019 1:45 PM

End Date

2-5-2019 3:15 PM

Disciplines

Environmental Policy | Land Use Law | Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration

Abstract

This research examines how to create sustainable adventure recreation destinations in protected natural spaces, with a specific focus on rock climbing in Canada’s Rocky Mountain National Parks. Climbing is experiencing a global surge in participation and will debut as a showcase sport at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Canada’s National Parks and Historic Sites are also experiencing an all-time high in popularity, with over 27 million visitors in 2017. Change is necessary to ensure the integrity of the Rocky Mountain National Parks is preserved for future generations. As tourist numbers grow, fragile alpine environments are increasingly exposed to the problems that accompany higher volumes of human traffic. Existing legislation and management planning for the national parks is outdated with regards to climbing. The bolting of climbing routes remains largely illegal under the Canada National Parks Act (S.C. 2002, c. 32), and no best practices guide or climbing management plan exists for the Rocky Mountain National Parks. Climate change creates further challenges, as increasing numbers of adventure recreationalists venture farther and stay longer in alpine environments during warmer and drier summers. There are also growing public safety concerns as climbing bolts can fail with time due to exposure to the elements), which can result in the injury or death of climbers. This paper concludes with proposing management solutions for climbing in the Rocky Mountain National Parks, and strategies in the climbing community to increase participation and compliance with environmentally sustainable development and management practices.

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May 2nd, 1:45 PM May 2nd, 3:15 PM

SESSION 3.3: Managing Rock Climbing in Canada’s Rocky Mountain National Parks

IB 1020

This research examines how to create sustainable adventure recreation destinations in protected natural spaces, with a specific focus on rock climbing in Canada’s Rocky Mountain National Parks. Climbing is experiencing a global surge in participation and will debut as a showcase sport at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Canada’s National Parks and Historic Sites are also experiencing an all-time high in popularity, with over 27 million visitors in 2017. Change is necessary to ensure the integrity of the Rocky Mountain National Parks is preserved for future generations. As tourist numbers grow, fragile alpine environments are increasingly exposed to the problems that accompany higher volumes of human traffic. Existing legislation and management planning for the national parks is outdated with regards to climbing. The bolting of climbing routes remains largely illegal under the Canada National Parks Act (S.C. 2002, c. 32), and no best practices guide or climbing management plan exists for the Rocky Mountain National Parks. Climate change creates further challenges, as increasing numbers of adventure recreationalists venture farther and stay longer in alpine environments during warmer and drier summers. There are also growing public safety concerns as climbing bolts can fail with time due to exposure to the elements), which can result in the injury or death of climbers. This paper concludes with proposing management solutions for climbing in the Rocky Mountain National Parks, and strategies in the climbing community to increase participation and compliance with environmentally sustainable development and management practices.