Climbing in cliff environments: Examining the relationship among climbers motivations, environmental perceptions, and behaviour

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Alain, Mathieu A.
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University of Guelph

The increasing popularity of outdoor recreational rock climbing has raised concerns regarding the level of use that can be sustained by fragile cliff ecosystems. A better understanding of what motivates climbers to participate in the recreational activity is necessary for future management and conservation of cliff landscapes. The goal of the study is to understand the relationship between rock climbers' motivations and environmental attitudes. A 99 item online survey was completed by 142 members of the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC). Motivation was assessed using the Recreation Experience Preference (REP) scale and the Rock Climbing Site Attributes (RCSA) scale, while the New Environmental Paradigm (NEP) scale was used to assess environmental attitudes. The results indicate that the desire of climbers to explore nature and the desire to develop skills are important dimensions of motivation. Intrinsic motivational differences were found between male and female respondents, while differences in site-specific motivation were found for respondents who participated in different types of rock climbing activity. The research results have implications for the conservation and management of cliff ecosystems.

Climbers, Motivations, Environmental perceptions, Behaviour, Rock climing