Help protect the site, the environment, and the visitors
When climbing at Frank Slide, it is important to recognize that you are not only bouldering at one of the largest boulderfields in Canada, you are also visiting a unique historic site that protects historic resources associated with one of Alberta’s greatest natural disasters. In the spring of 1903, a vast rockslide on the from the north face of Turtle Mountain destroyed part of the town of Frank, as well as several surrounding farms, mine buildings, and work camps, resulting in the deaths of more than 80 people. As such, climbers need to respect not only the boulders and natural environment of Frank Slide, but also the history of the area.
All visitors – including climbers – should be on their best behavior while visiting the Frank Slide Historic Site. Following simple guidelines will ensure that rock climbing can continue to be an enjoyable part of visiting the historic site.
RESPECT THE HISTORIC SITE
1. Protect the historical resources of the area. Do not move or alter any historical and/or cultural materials found in the boulderfield (e.g. remnants of buildings). Do not alter the landscape in any way that influences the historical nature of the site (e.g. building cairns).
2. Maintain a low profile and respect other users of the Historic Site. Avoid excessive shouting, and do not play music. Other groups (e.g. historians, tourists, hikers, and fossil enthusiasts) also enjoy visiting the Slide, so be sensitive to their experience.
3. Climb without leaving a trace. Brush off excessive chalk when you are finished climbing a boulder, and ensure that you haven’t left any gear or trash behind. Pack out all trash (even apple cores, etc.) and pick up after others if necessary. Don’t damage or chip the rock.
RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT
4. Dispose of human waste properly. Given the history of the area (more than 80 people were killed during the collapse of Turtle Mountain) and the dry, rocky conditions of the Slide, it is absolutely inappropriate to defecate in the boulderfield. Plan your day accordingly, and walk out of the Slide if you need to use the toilet. There are bathrooms available at the visitor center.
5. Stay on trails where possible. This will help minimize impacts to the environment and the historical resources of the area. It is also much more efficient to move through the area if you use the trails.
6. Protect sensitive plant and animal species. The Slide is home to a surprisingly diverse community of plants and animals (from lichen and trees to insects, spiders, and mammals). Take the time to learn about them, and do your best not to disturb or damage them in any way.
7. Adopt a common-sense approach to area stewardship. When visiting Frank Slide, park appropriately in designated areas, take care when crossing or walking along roadways, do not light fires, and do not camp within the boulderfield.
8. Share climbs with others. If you arrive at a boulder, and it is already busy, try to gauge whether or not they want company. If not, move on to one of other thousands of boulders in the area.
9. Climb safely. Climbing outdoors poses many risks that are not present in climbing gyms, so ensure that you are properly prepared for hiking and climbing in the rough terrain of Frank Slide.