Tread Lightly. It’s more than protecting the environment.

Tread Lightly

Tread LightlyTread lightly is more than protecting the environment. “Respect the Rights of Others” includes considering the safety of others as well. “Educate Yourself” goes beyond the scope of etiquette and laws governing environmental impact.

Are you familiar with the term “trundling”? I wasn’t but some recent events have brought that term to my attention. It is a term in the context of mountaineering and refers to the practice of rolling rocks or boulders down hillsides or over cliffs. A climber may trundle to make a route safer but there’s a long list of conditions that must be met. If you are not a climber and/or are not familiar with the required conditions then you have absolutely no justification to do it. Even so it is illegal in a lot of areas because it’s extremely dangerous and has killed people.

August, 11 2007 – NOLS Director Killed by Trundled Rock.

“On Saturday, August 11, Peter Absolon (47) was killed instantly when a falling rock struck him from approximately 300 feet above while climbing a new route in Leg Lake Cirque, southern Wind River Range, Wyoming. Phil Powers, Absolon’s friend and Executive Director of the American Alpine Club (AAC), declared that the rock was trundled purposefully by a hiker, who had no Tread Lightlyknowledge of the climbers below.”

“… the hikers had no idea climbers were below them and were deeply anguished by the news of Absolon’s death.”

I can’t imagine being one of those hikers. They may have been very familiar with the trail. Had never seen a climber in that section. Thought “what are the odds…” or “it could never happen…”. If I were to wear their shoes, even if I had done everything I thought possible to educate myself the realization that my action was the cause could destroy any passion I had for the outdoors.

Tread Lightly and understand that the consequences of your actions can go beyond your education and experience.