The Alpine Climbing Code of Conduct and Climbing Ethics are based on a respectful, healthy, and rational approach to climbing and the environment in which it takes place, as well as the consequences of our activities. The main purpose of the code is to ensure a respectful, sensitive, and sustainable relationship with people, mountains, cliffs, climbing, nature, and the mountain environment. The code is a guide to ensure that the mountain environment (flora and fauna) is not (intentionally) destroyed, that the approach to climbing and routes is in line with local tradition and professionally recognized mountaineering trends, that visitors to the mountain world do not negatively impact the people who live there, and that visitors to the mountains preserve the mountain environment in its pristine natural form. Slovenian climbers have always been respectful, open-minded, adventurous, and on their behalf, the desire expressed in this code is that this exploratory and sensitive spirit remains unspoiled for future generations.

Preservation of Mountain Nature


When accessing climbing areas, cliffs, or mountains, make an effort to use existing paths, well-trodden trails, and appropriate parking areas. This helps preserve the environment, prevent erosion, and avoid disputes with landowners, maintainers, and path owners. When descending from the peaks, do not use shortcuts that cut across the existing paths, meadows, or fields. If there is no path, choose a route that avoids soft vegetation and poorly vegetated scree slopes that are prone to erosion.

Do not disfigure the rock surface by carving it. The removal of loose rock, stones, or flakes should take place in accordance with natural freezing and thawing processes. If you come across a brittle block or rock that can be easily removed by hand, do so carefully.

When using a rope from the top of a mountain or cliff, protect the edge of the rock or tree trunk with an appropriate pad or a sufficiently long loop. This will prevent abrasions around tree trunks, the destruction of soft vegetation, rock, and your rope.

Where it is possible to descend on foot, avoid descending by rope over existing routes. Descents by rope should be made over areas with few or no routes. Avoid rope descents where there is steep grass at the top, as this can cause erosion despite limited use. Soil, mud, and rocks can be dislodged onto climbers below.

Whenever disagreements or disputes arise regarding the accessibility of specific areas, all interested parties - landowners, official institutions, associations, and individuals - must consult and seek solutions acceptable to all.


Rock surfaces are home to rare plant species that have survived there due to the lack of selective pressure, grazing, fertilization, or spraying. It is important to identify less common species to protect them. Do not pick or destroy alpine flowers or other vegetation, especially protected species.

In areas where vegetation and forests are endangered, make sure to have enough alternative fuel to supply all mountain visitors (expedition participants). Do not burn wood.

When establishing new routes, be cautious and considerate. Trees and shrubs should remain untouched, and care should be taken not to remove lichens and mosses that are already at risk due to pollution.

Birds and other Animals

Many animals in the mountain world, including various bird species, their nests, and eggs, are protected by the Law on Nature Conservation and annual decrees of the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning (published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia) that prohibit movement and climbing in certain areas. Therefore, it is a legal offense to disturb and harass birds and other residents of cliffs in their nests and habitats. Climbers should be cautious and mature, and during the mating and nesting season of birds, they should refrain from climbing in such areas.

Avoid disturbing birds or other animals by climbing far away from their nesting or dwelling places. Many birds and other animals become tolerant of climbers as long as there is no direct disturbance.

If the animals become agitated, you are too close. You are obliged to move away.


Avoid pollution of both water and soil and the rocks themselves. Do not leave litter behind. Remove your litter and any other litter you find wherever you are. Litter includes organic waste, food scraps, banana peels, scattered magnesium, cigarette butts, etc. Do not make fires, as the next visitors may perceive this as an established practice. In frequently visited climbing areas and bivouacs, collect your feces in bags or bottles. This is especially important near streams and sources of drinking water. If you camp in the wild, do so considerately and with minimal impact on the environment. Reduce noise in the mountains. Follow basic rules of good behavior.

Use magnesium sparingly - especially in overhanging parts of routes that are rarely washed by water. Magnesium in such places hardens and remains visible throughout the year. Do not mark holds and footholds with chalk or magnesium lines; this significantly reduces the challenge of finding the route and eliminates the charm of uncertainty in discovering movements. Do not mark routes with ticks, paint, carving, or scratches.

Community of Climbers

Members of the climbing group must be prepared to adapt to the needs of their companions and must subordinate their personal goals to the abilities of all group members. Each group member should look out for others and take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of other group members. No group member should be left alone if it could in any way jeopardize them.

Show the same respect to everyone you encounter in the mountains or on cliffs. Even in the wildest places or moments of distress, do not forget that an alpinist always behaves towards others as he would like others to behave towards him. We make an effort to minimize disturbances or discomfort to the environment and other mountain visitors. Those who are faster than us should be allowed to pass. Do not occupy climbing routes for too long if others are waiting to start them. Do everything in your power not to endanger others and warn them of potential hazards.

As visitors to the mountain world, we respect the local rules of conduct. Never forget that we are guests in foreign lands. Behave respectfully toward your hosts, respect their sacred places, including sacred mountains and their inviolability. Always treat the locals with kindness, respect, and politeness. Respect all access restrictions to the mountains and individual cliffs that apply in the host country.

Unforeseen Circumstances

Every climber or member of a climbing group must be prepared to help others in case of an accident. Assisting the injured and those in distress must take precedence over achieving our own goals in the mountains. When an accident occurs and external assistance is not expected, alpinists and other mountaineers in distress or injured must be helped to the best of your ability without jeopardizing your own safety. Severely injured or dying individuals must be provided with all possible assistance and support, pain relief, and efforts to keep them alive.

Climbing Ethics

Altering Rock

Holds or footholds should not be carved, enlarged, or otherwise made "different" or "easier." Rocks should not be ground with steel brushes or other tools, as this increases the size of holds. The responsibility of the first climbers is to minimize rock damage when cleaning it and to truthfully report their activities.

Rocks and stones should not be intentionally thrown, rolled, or dislodged anywhere.

For the same reasons, the use of sports climbing areas for dry tooling training is not acceptable.


"We need to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth, and do it immediately." Roger Payne

Alpinists are obliged to report their achievements realistically and truthfully. Ideal: free, on-sight, in a single push, with a logical conclusion at the top of the wall or mountain. Anything deviating from this ideal must be stated immediately when reporting on the ascent. Incomplete reporting is unacceptable.

Alpinists and other climbers are obliged to represent climbing ethics, style, and social and environmental responsibility in all their interactions with the public, media, and sponsors, as determined by the alpine ethical code.


To ensure safety in climbing, become appropriately skilled and learn to use all types of protection properly. Using only one type of protection is not recommended. A skilled climber reduces rock wear and tear by not overusing pitons and pegs but using cams and nuts. Respect and follow local climbing traditions.

Bolts: The installation of bolts (new and additional, at belay stations or as intermediate protection) in existing routes in the (Slovenian) mountains is not acceptable. The same applies to the placement of new bolts during winter ascents. The reasons for this are as follows:

  1. Climbing routes on our cliffs are a reflection of a specific time and certain alpinists (the authors of the routes). Therefore, we make an effort to preserve their original character.
  2. The quality of the mountaineering experience and the way we solve problems are more important than the solution itself.
  3. Equipment for protection (pitons, pegs, etc.) and climbing (climbing shoes, ropes, carabiners, etc.) is continually improving. Therefore, the installation of fixed protection should not be justified by claims of increased safety.
  4. Adventure is an integral part of alpinism. The drilling and installation of bolts alter existing routes and deny full alpine experiences to those climbers who seek them.
  5. Alpinism is inherently dangerous. We reduce risk through good psychophysical preparation and personal responsibility for taking on challenges we are ready for. Exceptions are routes for which a general agreement has been reached at the local (Slovenian) level, climbing areas with sport climbing routes governed by the regulations of the Sport Climbing Commission of the Slovenian Alpine Association, and first ascents.


Bolts may be used in first ascents if the following principles are adhered to:

  1. Mountains and cliffs are a non-renewable resource that we must preserve for future generations.
  2. Each generation reaches a point where the impossible becomes possible. We must not destroy the mountain environment (cliffs), which is already limited, for future generations.
  3. A minimalist approach: try to complete the climb with the fewest fixed protection points that still provide safe climbing.
  4. The ascent must be completed without top-rope protection.


Pitons: The use of pitons is a common practice. The same goes for their removal, even at belay stations. A minimalist approach is appropriate, ensuring the climber's relative safety without damaging the rock. The climber should check and assess the strength of a piton and take appropriate action. Repeated use of pitons in the same place causes rock damage. Therefore, utilize natural options as much as possible: snow, ice, nuts, cams, slings, etc.

Slings, nuts, cams, and similar: Whenever possible, use these types of protection correctly to ensure rapid protection with less rock damage compared to pitons. Material in old slings weakens over time and under the influence of ultraviolet rays. Unremoved protection points reduce the challenge of finding protection possibilities and hinder the placement of new protection at the same location.

Personal Responsibility of the Alpinist

Climbers, as citizens under civil law, are obliged to act responsibly toward themselves and others. Climbing is a dangerous activity with the potential for injury and death. Climbers must be aware of the risks, accept them, and be responsible for their actions that could affect other climbers, taking all necessary steps to prevent accidents that could result from such actions.

Climbers choose their objectives, taking into account their own abilities and the abilities of other members of the group in the mountains, as well as the local conditions. With their actions, they must never endanger the safety of others or the natural environment.

Before the climb, it is essential to make sure that you are adequately prepared for the chosen objective, have planned all stages of the preparation and execution of the tour carefully, and have considered all options. All the necessary personal and technical equipment must be acquired, and climbers must be proficient in its use.

Climbing Ethics

Climbing ethics encompass common-sense behavior to reduce the risk of disputes, damage, injuries, and death while climbing. Avoid rappelling when others are climbing upward, removing rock while climbing, or dropping equipment that could fall on people below. Maintain a reasonable level of noise, avoid climbing above or across other climbers, split large groups led by instructors into smaller ones, and climb routes without excessive crowding.

Follow basic rules and norms of human behavior. Set realistic objectives. The manner in which the ascent is completed is an essential part of the climb. In its purest form, climbing involves accessing the cliff, climbing, and descending without leaving a trace. Maintain an open mind and high ethical standards. The desire for instant success is a short-term shortcut and diversion from true alpine ethics. Fear is an integral part of a climber's life, serving as a safety net in the mountains. When evaluating an ascent, you are assessing the route and climbing method. Do not judge the person. Therefore, the route's grade is not a judgment of the individual. Learn to distinguish between the two.

Experience has no substitute. Beginners should seek advice from more experienced climbers and act prudently.

Mixed climbing: Use dry tooling in mixed climbing, where snow, ice, and rock are combined. Dry tooling routes are only appropriate in climbing areas specifically designated for dry tooling and nowhere else.

If you finish a route on an unclimbed ridge 50 meters below the summit, the route is not completed. It is merely an (excellent) attempt.

The leading climbers in winter have accomplished a more demanding ascent than subsequent repeaters who use tracks, information, and belays left by the first climbers.

Those who are at the pinnacle of alpine climbing establish new standards and new rules, provided they are consistent with alpine expertise and established local climbing practices. Each individual can decide what they want to climb, in a style that does not burden the environment and other mountain visitors.

A first ascent in the mountains is a creative act. It must be completed in a way that is at least equivalent to the traditionally established climbing style in the area and respectful of local climbers. In no way should it jeopardize the values and needs of future generations of climbers and alpinists.


The ability to push the boundaries of what is possible and never exceed the limits of the impossible is an alpine value. Every alpinist and climber must be aware that alpinism is closely related to danger, which can cost the climber their life. We reduce risk by improving our abilities and increasing our knowledge and experience. Reducing risk by using fixed protection is self-deception. Confronting oneself with one's own decisions

Sources: Tirolska deklaracija, Plezališča Slovenije, The Scottish Mountaineer, Andrej Štremfelj, Blaž Stres, Miha Habjan.