Canyoners Code of Ethics

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T2
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Canyoners Code of Ethics

Post by T2 » 16 May 2018, 11:54

Canyons are unique and special places to visit and explore. They have their own unique challenges however so to help minimise the risks to you as well as your impact on the environment. Practise the canyon code of ethics below, take the following safety precautions, and encourage others to do likewise. (This information should be practised in conjunction with the Bushwalkers Code: https://www.bushwalkingnsw.org.au/bushwalkers-code/).

Don’t let the canyons wear you down:
  • Take responsibility for your own safety and be self-reliant.
  • Know the route, and have adequate food, water, safety and first aid gear, maps and clothing.
  • Know how to swim and self-rescue on ropes.
  • Don’t climb alone.
  • Avoid canyoning if rain is forecast or if the weather looks changeable. Unexpected and dangerous conditions are likely when water flows are above normal or when heavy rain is forecast.
  • Test the water depth before entering.
  • Teach beginner abseilers prior to canyon trips, rather than in canyons.
  • Hypothermia is a real risk — wetsuits and spare warm clothes are advisable.
  • Give way to faster groups.
  • Avoid peak use times in well-known canyons if possible as overcrowding can cause delays and safety problems.
  • Leave details of your group, route and expected return time with a responsible person.
  • Protect your skin from sunburn by using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing and a hat.
  • Ring 000 in case of emergency.
Don’t wear the canyons down:
  • Keep your group to a small and manageable size (4 to 8 people).
  • Don’t place bolts, or alter rock surfaces in any way.
  • Avoid leaving unnecessary slings and remove old slings.
  • Keep to creek channels, avoid sensitive creek banks and soft vegetation.
  • Avoid establishing new abseil routes or footpads — keep to existing paths, or spread out in trackless terrain.
  • Walk carefully in rocky pagoda areas — flaky rocks and thin ledges can break easily.
  • Do not mark tracks (signs, cairns, broken branches). Each group should have at least one competent navigator.
  • Don’t publicise ‘new’ canyons or those in wilderness areas, to preserve opportunities for discovery and to minimise impacts.
  • Use fuel stoves — fires scars are unsightly, attract rubbish and encourage vegetation damage.
  • Avoid camping in canyon environments.
  • Dispose of human waste away from canyons.
  • Leave crayfish and other wildlife alone.
  • Carry out any rubbish.



dyl_jo
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Re: Canyoners Code of Ethics

Post by dyl_jo » 22 May 2018, 20:44

I sincerely think that it is worth referencing the land managers codes too. I'm only familiar with the main land manager in NSW but I imagine other states would have something similar:
http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/saf ... rts-safety
http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/con ... ure-sports

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T2
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Re: Canyoners Code of Ethics

Post by T2 » 23 May 2018, 11:15

Thanks Dylan. Good idea. Hopefully people will be able to share guidelines from other states. I imagine Tasmania would have one, now that canyoning is becoming more of a thing down there.

tom_brennan
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Re: Canyoners Code of Ethics

Post by tom_brennan » 25 May 2018, 12:59

Also worth noting that the Code of Ethics was actually developed by NPWS and was on their website for some time, but got replaced with the similar documents referenced by Dylan - not sure when.

The original can still be found on the signs at many of the trackheads.

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T2
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Re: Canyoners Code of Ethics

Post by T2 » 25 May 2018, 14:26

Wouldn't it be great if one day there was an elected, representative body of canyoners who could engage with land managers and provide direct input into the development of their policies! It always amazes me how little input recreational canyoners have whenever National Parks (and I'm sure the services in other states) develop new policies and plans of management that impact us. I look forward to the day when our community is strong enough to actually get a seat at the table.

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T2
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Re: Canyoners Code of Ethics

Post by T2 » 25 May 2018, 15:37

Oh, and Caro's great video about canyon safety and ethics is also probably a more accessible, enjoyable way of capturing the key issues. I think the points she makes are pretty universal. Definitely something handy to share with less experienced canyoners.


AJAllchin
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Re: Canyoners Code of Ethics

Post by AJAllchin » 27 May 2018, 21:00

T2 wrote:
25 May 2018, 14:26
Wouldn't it be great if one day there was an elected, representative body of canyoners who could engage with land managers and provide direct input into the development of their policies! It always amazes me how little input recreational canyoners have whenever National Parks (and I'm sure the services in other states) develop new policies and plans of management that impact us. I look forward to the day when our community is strong enough to actually get a seat at the table.
Well, we do have an elected body of bushwalkers in NSW (and most states, and Australia for that matter...), and given the large overlap between both the activity and people involved in canyoning and bushwalking, surely the two groups could work together to benefit all? :)

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T2
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Re: Canyoners Code of Ethics

Post by T2 » 27 May 2018, 21:31

AJAllchin wrote:
27 May 2018, 21:00
Well, we do have an elected body of bushwalkers in NSW (and most states, and Australia for that matter...), and given the large overlap between both the activity and people involved in canyoning and bushwalking, surely the two groups could work together to benefit all? :)
Alex, I think the reality is that there are a lot of issues that cross over, but others that don't. For instance, no one who is purely a bushwalker (and therefore the majority of the membership of the various bushwalking bodies) would care about a minor access issue that only impact one canyon. But examples like Spring Creek, or Claustral a few years back, demonstrate how those things would be a major concern for canyoners. Likewise, as people get more experienced with their canyoning and look to go further afield, the technical side of things as well as the equipment also differ more and more. There's also the very specific issues such as bolting which is closer to the debates climbers have and not relevant to most bushwalkers.
While many canyoners operate with clubs (mostly bushwalking, but also caving), the majority of people who go canyoning in Australia are not club members. Currently, those people are not connected together and don't have any voice in these issues. My point was simply to say that I think it would be great if these currently silent canyoners had a greater voice.

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JulieB
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Re: Canyoners Code of Ethics

Post by JulieB » 01 Sep 2018, 14:11

We now have that official body representing canyoners which was established on 02July 2018 and is affiliated with Bushwalking NSW.
https://nswcanyoning.org.au/

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