Some routes have names that conjure up a wonderful image e.g. A Dream of White Horses. A fitting name for this famous climb.
Other routes have names that perfectly explain them e.g. Mike's Mistake
And some are just funny:
Take That Effing Chalk Bag Off, Or I'll Nick Your Rope And Give It To Terry "The Chainsaw" Tullis And He'll Keep It For Ever And Ever
What are your favourite route names?
I like those that sound well ‘ard, such as:
A Widespread Ocean of Fear, Darkinbad the Brightdayler, Down To A Sunless Sea
Two of those are quotes, but what the hell. Also think Johnny Dawes’ are great:
Sad Amongst Friends, Braille Trail, etc.
My own personal favourite with its conjuring up of all the romanticism, struggle and exhilaration of the climbing experience:
The easy way down.
As an approach description makes me smile every time. Makes you think you could take your mum along it. Little is further from the truth.
King Dong, wintours leap. I feel it describes me well.
Always amuses me for some reason.
Mohamed the mad monk from Moorside home for mental misfits.
I always liked Kipling Groove, named because it was Rudyard.
I enjoy route names that play on other route names. My favourite - and a great route in its own right - A Dream of Wild Turkeys at Red Rocks. Very meta. I've had my own (Joycean) version ready to go for a while: Barking Mad the Night Soiler. Sadly, I've never put up a new route to justify it.
I'd like to take this opportunity to plug my two articles on climber-poets which are in the current and the next issues of Climber magazine, and which include a bit of a riff on route names. Please buy it and help keep printed media alive!
Oedipus ring your mother (I think named after the same was graffitied on a bus shelter)
Or 'fear of rejection' siad route being a gruesome offwidth
"Ejector" at Harrisons is apt and is one of my favourites.
'What Have The Vikings Ever Done For Us' at Fast Castle on the Northumberland coast.
Purity of line and dominant position on the wild side of Mont Blanc. Possibly still the hardest way to the top of western europe. Great story on the fa to justify the name.
"I Learned to Swim at Dunkirk", a minor route but a great line from an old Portlander.
> Oedipus ring your mother (I think named after the same was graffitied on a bus shelter)
It was on the toilet wall at Stoney caf
Most of the stuff on Manure Pile Buttress describing Chouinard's debauchery.
Fifty odd years later and I still didn't want to touch anything on the belay ledges hahahah
I've always thought the names of the North Wales slate routes are rather brilliant. "Snakes and Ladders", "Looning the Tube" etc
The Gay Dwarves And Mr Plod Go To The Tupperware Party.
Went to the Roaches for the first time the other day and found the gem that is Clive Coolhead Realises the Excitement of Knowing... (E5 6b).
It doesn't show the whole thing in the name, but the UKC description shows the complete name.
Dick Van Dyke goes ballistic. Love that.
The Ordinary Route
I don't think you could invent a better route name for a companion route to Cenotaph Corner than Cemetery Gates.
I like Keep Taking the Pillars (E1 5a) in Morocco. An amusing name that points you exactly where to go.
Mur y Niwl (Wall of Mists)
I've always thought there's a book waiting to be written about route names and their history, sadly it won't be by me tho'.
Not a route I've done but a place I know well.......Zennorphobia.
This one never ceases to amuse me.
> This one never ceases to amuse me.
I had come on this thread specifically to mention this one
This is one that was chosen but then rejected as my climbing partner said he'd never speak to me again if I used it. Th neighbouring route is Major Slab and the new route was on the edge of that slab. As it was a short time after our ex-PM was revealed as an adulterer I hit upon A Little Bit of Curry on the Side, which I was quite pleased with.
because I went as this to a club Xmas fancy dress do - theme was route names.
fa soon after the book was published.
Conan, the librarian.
Brilliantly conjures up the image of an oiled, uber buff Arnie staring down through the visor of a horned helm, pursing his lips and "shhshhhhh"ing the unruly mob into silence.
> For a clever play on words:
I like that one. I did a new route once that I called Jihad to be there (S 4a). I remain quite proud of the pun.
I still think the best route name anywhere is Face Mecca (E9 6c). It's just perfect.
Poultry in Motion
> I did a new route once that I called Jihad to be there (S 4a). I remain quite proud of the pun.
In a similar vein, I bolted a new line near to Islamabad, in Pakistan, and called it Osama bin Climbin'
Bifurcated Headplate Max ar Stanage always amused me, although the reality is an ungainly 4c belly flop.
Punishing Pembroke in the Palm.......or it would have been if I'd ever got round to doing a new route there.
I don't know if I have a shortage in the sense of humour department, or whether there are references to things I'm not acquainted with, but it seems to me there is an endless number of route names in this genre and none of them has ever even raised the beginning of smile with me. Is there something wrong with me?
Satan's Slip on the Devil's Slide fits so perfectly that it can easily be overlooked as a nice route name.
I with you on that. I think such names are puerile.
My own little route on Giggleswick.....
Resins to be Cheerful ....guess the number of bolts?
I like route names that have some relationship to the route or the climber rather than a collection of clever, sometimes offensive words that make sense only to the first ascensionist or no sense at all. Having said that it would be very difficult to maintain that discipline. I have no imagination in that regard and the only route that I had published was the very boring, in retrospect, "Solus" because I soloed it on the first ascent. I have nothing but respect for climbers with more imagination than me.
We just all have different tastes and humour. It wouldn't do if we all liked the same.
However how can you not be amused and or outraged at the dastardly deed of stealing a treacle sponge. Absolute treachery of the highest order!
Highball boulder ln Hueco Tanks I think,
Run Spot Run
Take it to the limpets.
Both Fast Castle sea cliffs.
> I like route names that have some relationship to the route or the climber rather than a collection of clever, sometimes offensive words that make sense only to the first ascensionist or no sense at all.
I agree absolutely. There's another of mine I'm quite pleased with. It goes up an area of rock that everyone else thought looked very tumbledown.To Hell in a Handcart (VS 4a)
"CAN of worms" has relevance to some of us who used to dangle on ropes
No mention for Cover Me in Chocolate and Feed Me to the Lesbians (E6 6c)?
> I don't think you could invent a better route name for a companion route to Cenotaph Corner than Cemetery Gates.
Cenotaph Corner itself is a great name for such an obvious feature.
> I like Keep Taking the Pillars (E1 5a) in Morocco. An amusing name that points you exactly where to go.
In a similar vein, and also a Jefferson Airplane reference, Surrealistic Pillar.
Nothing comes close to Wings of Unreason!
Kiss my Wrasse down in Cornwall has a certain something.
...and it's partner on the next crag round https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/pabbay-3512/i_suppose_a_cormorants_out_of_the_question_then-128773
My favourite punny name:-
"Edging Skills or Hospital Bills" 5.10b at Tuolumne Meadows always makes me chuckle, and tells you something about the climb too.
Nice Face, Shame about the Ledge (6b+) is one of my favourite names. It both accurately describes the route, and is a good play on the old expression.
Hm... And when it all falls down on someone daft enough to try it, you'll be able to recycle whatever's left and claim a new FA, called 'Fresh from the Hospital'.
> Mornington Crescent....?
Nothing so witty I'm afraid. It was a barely disguised attempt to comment on AEIB's post. The guy(?) is either a troll or lacking something up top.
> Nice Face, Shame about the Ledge (6b+) is one of my favourite names. It both accurately describes the route, and is a good play on the old expression.
"Spear of Destiny" on Portland has a next door neighbor called "Spear of Brocolli". Makes me chuckle.
Call me a late baby boomer fuddy duddy if you will but rather then try to compete with all the stand up comedians one liners, my top five are
Supercrack of the Desert.
Bed Bugs Bite My Bollocks VS 4c on Lundy - leaves little to the imagination.
> I like Keep Taking the Pillars (E1 5a) in Morocco. An amusing name that points you exactly where to go.
Have you done it Dave? Me Andy and Alan did what we think was 2nd ascent then had a word with 1st ascensionist (Twid) in Les Amandiers suggesting E1 due to the unprotected wall half way up. Good route, as are all 3 I've done there.
Goats That Gnash in the Night (E2 5c) is my old time favourite, just a handful of routes left of a well known Gary Gibson E5!
> I agree absolutely. There's another of mine I'm quite pleased with. It goes up an area of rock that everyone else thought looked very tumbledown.To Hell in a Handcart (VS 4a)
Thanks for mentioning it Rog. I'd overlooked that. I shall look it out next time I'm there. Trouble with places I've been going to for over 50 years is even tho I've got the latest guide book I don't bother looking at it, making the assumption there can't be owt new that might be within my waning powers.
Completely agree with your views re route names - in jokes or sometimes even banal personal references won't really do now, will they? One of the worst I've come across was "Carlyn went shopping instead". I mean...
because he didn't get to finish
I liked a 'A Nightmare of Blackpool Donkeys '!
I've always been impressed with Visually Stunning Underpants (E5 6b), because of the louche redundancy of 'visually' combined with the word 'underpants', which is just funny on its own. Reminds me of seconding in the 80's, when everybody had holes in their tights.
Way Fruitsome Experience and I Got Horribly Drunk (E3 6a) are pretty good too.
Sounds like you're surviving the plague OK. Hope to do another route or two with you sometime....
"Spear of Destiny" has a story behind it. Whilst we were cleaning up the crag a large 'spear' of rock dislodged and impaled itself on the ground between us. Another one of the nine lives gone.
> Sounds like you're surviving the plague OK. Hope to do another route or two with you sometime....
So far so good Rog. Even done a few easy climbs in The Lakes in recent weeks but a daft slip resulted in a fall which damaged my chronic shoulder. Sound familiar?!!
> I liked a 'A Nightmare of Blackpool Donkeys '!
Sorry Eric - pedantry alert - unless I'm misinformed it's Nightmare of Brown Donkeys (E3 5c) at High Tor.
Oddly enough I was at Blackpool today having biked from Fleetwood. Very quiet for 10 miles of beach and not frantic even at North Pier in the centre - certainly no Bournemouth style Covid worries.
Depends if you want something evocative, some nice wordplay or something more absurd:
> Call me a late baby boomer fuddy duddy if you will but rather then try to compete with all the stand up comedians one liners, my top five are
> Divine Providence.
> Supercrack of the Desert.
> Face Mecca.
> Ichabod .
Then you'll like Supercrack of the East Mendips (E1 5b)
Sorry to hear that (from one shoulder sufferer to another). Done the odd route or two. Last w/e we did a couple of V Diffs in Northumberland (without aid!).
There's something about route names that tell you everything you need to know from miles away. As above, Cenotaph Corner - "Where does that go?" Smack.
Similarly, Silly Arete.
At the other end of the spectrum, for pure logic - Point Five Gully.
For a pun, I've always like The Hoarmaster
Irritable Owl Syndrome E6 6c
> Irritable Owl Syndrome E6 6c
Took me a bit to get that.
Rock Hard (E3 5c) - particularly when you know Jon's reason for the name. Amusingly, I climbed it, thinking it was an FA and called it "Time Waits for No Man", thinking I'd beaten a mate to it...
The best route name is crib goch keep on saying it and you’re say something else 😂
> Sorry to hear that (from one shoulder sufferer to another). Done the odd route or two. Last w/e we did a couple of V Diffs in Northumberland (without aid!).
Yes Rog - my reference was to the fact that last time we venture out together we hadn't gone 200 yards before you slipped and put your shoulder out. Look forward to a day out together. maybe when things are nearer "normal"?
Sticking with Gogarth, Dinosaur (E5 6a) was supposedly so called because you'd need small brains and a long neck to do it.
Epoxy clips now..next to it?
‘turks’ is one of the best trad routes I have ever done. Did it with Harold Walmsley in 2011 and it is named after a blend of whiskey as was the the theme on the wall from the team that climbed it...Sour Mash and others as examples.
I thought the quote was ‘a long neck and no brains’?
If I remember rightly that was a concoction of ideas tgat Roy Thomas and myself came up with, with epoxy clips now to the right of it.
Quite possibly. Memory is a fickle beast, and I didn't check it.
It had a direct reference to the goat that inhabited the vicar’s field in Bosherston that had an unhealthy habit of stealing your food when you chose to dine
Cunning Stunts (Pillar E2)
"Phone the Hallamshire"...... Bold 6a.
Gentleman's Support which John Byrne put up next to Y Front on Simon's Seat. He was the better climber, I, the better route namer.
Yes ago, first time climbing in Spain, did a route that was horribly loose, bits fell off all the way up. It had a long name which we couldn’t translate, having 20 words in Spanish.
Barman that evening translated: “Don't touch me or I’ll break”
an bealach rúnda which roughly translates into the hidden way/the secret path which sums up the climbing quite nicely.
Early Bird Gets The Clap, Second Mouse Gets the Cheese - E3 6a on Gola
The Tegness Monster "well-protected hard climbing at Tegness Quarry on good rock? Not a mythical beast"
Unfortunately it turned out someone had already beaten me to the first ascent and called it "Evening Light"
Reading the guidebook in my "library" I stumbled about a few more:
Fight Gravity (obvious, really, that is what we do...)
Quäl Dich Du Sau! (Bölts to Ulrich, some TdF or other)
Russ Meyer Gedächtnisweg (transl. memorial route)
Always liked Perhaps Not (HVS 5a) at White Ghyll.
And Perverted Staircase (HVS 5a) as a dark and sadly neglected twin to the popular Inverted Staircase at The Roaches.
> It had a direct reference to the goat that inhabited the vicar’s field in Bosherston that had an unhealthy habit of stealing your food when you chose to dine
Apart from your dinner, its ultimate gastronomic treat was rubber - it would chew the rubber trims out of the side and door panels and the windscreen wipers out of any car left within its reach (it was often left tethered in the vicararage's walled garden, which was the first campsite). I'd occasionally see the vicar dragging it across the road into the carpark for the lily ponds where he'd tie it to the fence at the far side of the car park where it would equally wreak havoc...
I used to treat a patient who was rescued from Dunkirk as well as driving the DUKs onto the beaches at the D Day landings and I doubt he’d Much appreciation of that route name.
Nice to see you back in the fray Gary. Are you suitably recovered?
Where the Green Ants Dream always impressed me as a route name ever since I saw the FA write-up in the book in Pete's. Never realised until just now that it's a film title.
Why has nobody mentioned Mohammed the Mad Monk of Moorside Home for Mental Misfits? Or Clive Coolhead Realises the Excitement of Knowing You May be the Author of Your Own Death is More Intense Than Orgasm?
There's probably a Plenty O'Toole route out there somewhere. If not, there should be.
Hi Al, I am back to cleaning and new routing again..and bouldering! You in kalymnos this year?
No, I'm Kalymnosed out and my climbing mojo is on life support. Mad keen on down hill mountain biking at the moment. Bought myself an e mountain bike which makes the uphill climbs bearable.
Criag y longridge has a few out there problem names:
stoning a leper
push to prolapse
Anal cave in
then on the other end of the spectrum “traverse of the gods” and “going down” are 8b+ and 8c+ sport graded traverses that I think definitely deserve the names
> Criag y longridge has a few out there problem names:
> stoning a leper
> semen stain
> smeg city
> push to prolapse
> Anal cave in
Hardly inventive and not really that humorous.