Public Liability

Safer Cliffs


Technical information

KP Bad Bolts Notification


Important Note: This section is not about ‘bolts’ that get climbers riled-up because they feel another climber has been less than ethical, but about ‘bolting’, the action of placing bolts, which can bring one into conflict with land managers.

 ACAQ does access, so why get involved in bolting?


Dave Reeve

The answer is simplicity itself. Sport climbing is the predominant climbing style, and sport climbing it totally dependent upon the provision of bolted infrastructure. To a land manager, infrastructure is a magnet for potential, public liability claims, regardless of whether the land manager installs such infrastructure themselves, delegates climbers to install it, pretends to know not of its existence, or actively proscribes its installation. Climbers need to understand this. Fear of litigation should a bolt failure lead to serious injury has historically made land managers shy of encouraging rock climbing on both the public and private estate. Both here and overseas, there are abundant examples of how fear of litigation has stymied the development of the sport.

For a detailed discussion of the historical perspective here in Queensland see my blog entry. 

How does ACAQ get involved?

  • We get involved in the broader public liability discussion with respect to ‘risk sports’.
  • We work with QPWS with regard to processes by which bolting might be managed.
  • We support initiatives within the climbing community to establish ‘best practice’ installation of bolts.

Thus we attack the problem on three fronts, all of them essentially educational. We strive to manage the perceptions of the general public, the perceptions of the land managers and the perceptions of the climbing community itself.