We believe that Arc’teryx can be a force for positive change. We create this change not only by improving the practices in our core operations, but by supporting projects and partners that align with our values.
Today, August 25th, 50% of all Arc'teryx sales Australia wide will be donated to the Climbers Club of Tasmania (CCT): an advocacy group promoting safe, respectful and sustainable climbing throughout Lutruwita (Tasmania). We met up with Alex Lawson, CCT Treasurer, to learn more about the group:
Why does CCT exist? What are you trying to achieve?
The CCT is a voice for Tassie climbers and ensures we have a coordinated approach to any management issues that affect outdoor climbing. We work with land managers and other stakeholders to help ensure cliff access stays open and we advocate for climbing as an adventure sport that brings value to the community.
We maintain up to date climbing information, support climbing cultural events and provide a consultation point for environmental and cultural issues that may impact natural cliff areas. We also convene the community as needed to help resolve ethical and cultural issues that arise within climbing subcultures.
We proudly support the CCT Vertical Rescue team (CCT VRT). This is a volunteer rescue team that trains throughout the year to assist Police and SES in complex vertical situations. With a long established Southern team and a newly formed Northern team the CCR VRT can be called on to provide technical help or just advice and logistics about local cliffs and mountains that climbers know best. With the increase in climbers flocking to Tassie from the North Island every summer we are seeing a greater need to manage climbing safety.
Through its Crag Stewardship program the CCT is working to improve engagement and coordination within the ever growing climbing community. The stewards will be the point of contact within the community for a crag or area, and their job is to gather and relay important information to the CCT and ensure issues are managed proactively. The stewards might also inform the CCT about any dangerous points of fixed protection to ensure timely replacement. The CCT is very active in ensuring high standards of safety are maintained where fixed protection exists while balancing natural values with a minimal impact approach.
What can climbers do to minimise their impact on the environment?
The environment in and around our crags needs protecting, even from climbers! The CCT attempts to recognise current or future climber impacts and plans strategies to mitigate damage. For example, we have recently teamed with Tassie Parks to introduce new signage within the Rock Cape National Park where Peregrine Falcons recently started to roost. Climbers and birds of prey often have a similar taste in terrain and thus as climbers we must be vigilant of our feathered cousins, report our sightings and respect seasonal closures.
Climbers can help minimise their impact by following the Leave No Trace Principles (https://parks.tas.gov.au/explore-our-parks/know-before-you-go/leave-no-trace) including the use of poo tubes and wag bags. These principles help these sensitive places stay wild and beautiful - especially in the alpine areas that Tassie is famous for.
With growing recognition of indigenous land ownership in Lutruwita (Tasmania), has this changed how CCT operates?
Aboriginal people climbed and lived among the cliffs of Tasmania for many thousands of years, and we continue to learn about that rich culture as we visit craggy places. In the modern era, the climbing community in Tasmania has a history of engaging with Aboriginal communities during climbing and abseiling courses, but there is growing recognition that these links need to be strengthened to support greater understanding. In particular since climbing has become more popular the CCT has moved to formalise our approach to ecological and cultural impacts.
The CCT has a heritage working group that has been actively working to form stronger links with local Aboriginal organisations and ensure heritage values are better understood by climbers. One of our beginning actions in this space has been to undertake a desktop heritage assessment of all cliffs for which we have gps information- this has helped us triage which areas need greater care, and/or closer cultural advice from the Aboriginal community.
In consultation, we have also updated our code of conduct to help climbers identify, protect and report cultural heritage. We are learning more about the Aboriginal living spaces such as rock shelters and Middens. Our goals are to build a greater understanding of heritage among climbers, protect cultural sites, welcome a greater Aboriginal voice into the climbing community, and advocate for climbing in natural spaces where appropriate.
We hope to form closer ties with the Tasmanian Aboriginal organisations and build stronger communities together. We have much common ground and will work to celebrate and respect the cliffs and mountains of Tasmania and their surrounding environments. Let's embrace that.
What are CCT’s long term goals? How will finding help you achieve this?
Long term, the CCT plans to evolve and diversify. The recent period of rapid growth has necessitated a focus on management, but future projects are likely to focus on more artistic and cultural events. Climbing was once a fringe activity - but no longer! We envisage the CCT can help lead the climbing community to co-exist and thrive within broader society.
Donations made to the CCT are used for the production of education materials, anchor maintenance programs, signage at crags, specialist gear for the CCT VRT, road and track maintenance and improvements to select climber campsites. Our membership is free as we need to hear the voice of the greatest number of climbers we can. Please get in touch if you have any rad fundraising ideas!
How can people get involved?
You can reach the CCT at email@example.com
"The Sarvo" is Tassie's homegrown online climbing guide and is the best source of up to date route and access information. It's also the home of the CCT. Membership and donations can be found here. (http://www.thesarvo.com/confluence/display/cctpublic/Home#)
Our club Facebook page is also a good place to find climbing partners and ask questions of access and conditions. Helping out could simply be contributing to the conversation on Facebook or The Sarvo, coming to one of our community events or even volunteering to run one.
Many hands make light work!