Climbers Score Legal Win in New Hampshire

New legislation maintains wide access to private land
Wiki Commons/Yannick Gingras

Climbing the Waimea in Rumney, New Hampshire

Back in May, the New Hampshire legislature introduced a law to protect landowners from being legally liable for those injured while recreating on their land. The law stemmed from an incident involving a man who injured himself in a hunting accident, then sued the owner of the land he was hunting on.

The legislation, designed to protect landowners, contained specific provisions for road and mountain biking, camping and sightseeing, but didn't include rock climbing.  That sent a scare through the local climbing community, which feared that some of their favorite routes would get shut down.

Thanks to the efforts of local climbing guru and access advocate Tim Kemple, a revised version of the legislation was entered into books June 18.

“This is an important piece of legislation for climbers, with landowners protected from liability if someone is injured while climbing on their property, it makes it much more likely that a landowner would consider public access to climbing," said Erik Eisele, the state regional coordinator for the climbing advocacy group, the Access Fund.

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