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A Preliminary Investigation of Environmental and Social Practices Among Boulderers

Eric Frauman, Erik Rabinowitz


The primary purpose of this research was to conduct a preliminary investigation of environmental and social practices of “boulderers†(i.e., rock climbers without rope scaling rocks usually no more than 15 feet high). A self-administered survey was distributed in 2008 revealing that more involved boulderers (e.g., stay up to date on closures) tend to engage more frequently in environmentally and socially friendly practices than less involved boulderers. With the exception of boulderers letting dogs off leash, and those who climb in closed sites, more involved boulderers engaged more frequently in responsible practices (e.g., spot friends, don't place pads on vegetation). Although the findings from this study are limited, the information found may aid climbing advocacy groups and public land managers in their continued efforts to better understand boulderers while protecting the natural resources boulderers depend on.


bouldering, rock climbing, environmental behavior, recreation specialization

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