in non-corona times anyway). Distance rules must be observed: ideally, the room should be ventilated continuously to exchange air as often as possible and to dry the grip surfaces. Last but not least, the rental equipment (ropes, harnesses, carabiners) can be disinfected as described above. However, one thing must be made very clear: the best protection against infection is trying to prevent anyone with a SARS-CoV-2 infection from entering the climbing wall. All other measures for hygiene and material disinfection are absolutely secondary.

How could we manage this? The answer at the moment is: hardly at all or at least not perfectly. The first rule should be that no one with cold symptoms should go to the climbing wall. However, this doesn’t help in cases where people are

infected without having symptoms. Another thing you can do is consider the number of infections in the area. In a district where there is only one new infection per week, the risk of getting infected is 100 times lower than in a district where there are 100 new infections per week. Such a positive reduction factor is not nearly achievable with any other measure (ventilation, disinfection and hand washing).


The best risk reduction here would be to always go climbing with the same partners from your own household, and to cough and sneeze away from any climbing kit or in the crook of your arm. With partners from outside the home, the distance rule should of course be observed. Washing hands before and after sport must become routine and contact of hands with mouth, nose and eyes should be avoided.

R Use a soft brush to clean cams thoroughly. Lubricate the cam axle with a suitable lubricating oil after washing

R Carabiners can be easily washed by hand with soap and water

R There's no chance of keeping your distance on a hanging belay! Alexandra Schweikart and Christopher Igel on El Corazón, El Capitan


According to the current state of knowledge, the risk of infection from human-to-human transmission through droplet infection is considerably higher than through contact infection (e.g. climbing kit). If an infected person is present, the amount of virus and thus the risk of infection is significantly higher in closed rooms than in the open air.

By avoiding hugging at the summit, we can greatly reduce

our risk of infection: keeping your distance is the motto! By observing the rules for sneezing and coughing and by washing your hands, the risk is reduced even further.

In order to dry out even the last cough drop, after use, store kit in quarantine. For private users, 24 hours may be sufficient, in professional environments up to one week may be necessary. At the climbing wall, the best way to protect others from infection is to stay away if you have any symptoms. For your own safety you can also take into consideration the current numbers of new infections per week in your area. The lower the numbers, the lower the risk of infection wherever you go, including the climbing wall. All other measures (disinfection, ventilation and so on) are secondary.


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