UKC

Nomenclature and the art of route name changes

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 Anna Fleming 08 Mar 2022

Hi everyone I'm doing some research for an article and wondering whether route names ever change? Have there been any instances of a climbing route gaining a different name to the one that was given by the first ascenionist?

1
In reply to Anna Fleming:

Illusion Dweller at Joshua Tree was originally called Candy-Colored Tangerine Flake Streamlined Baby.

 Tony Buckley 08 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

If a route was originally climbed using points of aid, the person who did the first clean ascent sometimes renamed it.

T.

OP Anna Fleming 08 Mar 2022
In reply to John Stainforth:

Ha brilliant names! Why was it changed? I'm imagining in the interests of brevity... And do you know how the change came about? Was the new name decided by one person or a communal effort?

In reply to Anna Fleming:

Only takes one itchy trigger

 Andy Hardy 08 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

Third Burglar

and

Mother's Little Helper 

E2A these were guidebook editorial changes, maybe not what you're after

Post edited at 19:38
 Michael Gordon 08 Mar 2022
In reply to Tony Buckley:

> If a route was originally climbed using points of aid, the person who did the first clean ascent sometimes renamed it.>

Yes, or occasionally when the bolts are removed, or when a route gets improved on (the line straightened, made more independent etc); this is from the FA in the new style. Changes due to the name being judged unsuitable (for whatever reason) are usually down to the guidebook writer.

 Mick Ward 08 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

There are lots of instances of route names being changed. Sometimes the first ascentionist/s changed his/their minds. (Can only think of male examples of this.)

Sometimes, as mentioned, either aid was eliminated or a route was led, as distinct from toproped and it was felt that the result constituted a new entity. 

Sometimes the guidebook writer/committee changed names because they were thought to be offensive. 

(I think there was a debate about offensive names on here, a while ago.)

Hope this helps,

mick 

 The Pylon King 08 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

I have come across quite a few occasions when a route has been claimed and named, publicised and become popular then the real first ascentionist has come out of the woodwork with their original name which it has then been changed to retrospectively. Like crag names.

 kevin stephens 08 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

There have been numerous name changes by guidebook editors when the originals were deemed to be obscene or offensive. An early example was T’ouse Wall on the Grochan, originally named Shit House Wall by Joe Brown. In Cathedral quarry (Lakes Slate) Anal Abuse was changed to An Alabuse and Rim Fister to Rim Fisher (much more appropriate for the crag). I’m sure there are many other examples. 
 

in other cases a forgotten historical route name has been reinstated, eg Main Wall at Gogarth reinstated as Mona Complex. 
 

in other cases route names have been mixed up, eg Penny changed to Final Solution and Katana changed to Penny at Holyhead Mountain, very confusing 

In reply to Anna Fleming:

I presume you know about the prominent cases of racist route names that were changed only in 2020 after the George Floyd murder and subsequent worldwide protests? If not it was discussed and argued about at great length in these forums. And I'm not sure how "official" the change was - UKC/Rockfax changed the names in their database, and I guess the UKC database is probably about as close as there is to a definitive list of UK routes. I don't know if clubs that write the definitive guidebooks to those regions have taken any steps to change the names in their databases.

 alan moore 08 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

Someone has already alluded to the one at Shorncliff with the name that white people cannot say.

Lost Boot climb/ grey slab

I think Faith, Hope and/or Charity started out as Minerva and/or something else.Someone else will know the full story...

Sometimes the line of the route changes but the name remains the same, like Central Butttess on Scafell.

Post edited at 20:38
 DaveHK 08 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

I heard a story at least second hand that Scansor on Stob Coire nan Lochan was originally written up as Piece of my Heart after the Janis Joplin song but that this was rejected by either the guidebook author or SMC journal for being 'overtly pretentious'. I wonder if anyone else has heard that?

In reply to kevin stephens:

"in other cases a forgotten historical route name has been reinstated, eg Main Wall at Gogarth reinstated as Mona Complex. "

Say what? I've never even heard of Main Wall, never mind Mona Complex.

jcm

 kevin stephens 08 Mar 2022
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

It’s a cunning line that was rediscovered just after Gogarth North was published, weaving its way up the main cliff using bits of Mamoth, Wall of Fossils, Dinosaur, Big Groove and Sebastopol at around E1/2, 5a/b

In reply to Anna Fleming:

> Ha brilliant names! Why was it changed? I'm imagining in the interests of brevity... And do you know how the change came about? Was the new name decided by one person or a communal effort?

I imagine it was for brevity. It was put up by the CA group of climbers who called themselves the Stonemasters, who were a pretty tight group, so the naming was probably a communal effort.

 Wil Treasure 08 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

Recent examples include removing racist terms, obviously. There are also tangential name changes where the route name in isolation might seem inoffensive, but combined with the routes around it the context looks different, I think there are examples in Yorkshire.

Then there are routes that had aid points removed and were then renamed, in some cases several times! Flaky Wall at High Tor had a few names for this reason I think?

There will be routes that partially fell.down and got renamed in their new form.

Refusing names offered by first ascensionists wasn't unusual back in the day, if they were considered to be in poor taste, or a claim to something that already had a name. It's slightly more recent that we've treated first ascents as higher status in this regard.

I'm working on an article about Range West at the moment and one of my favourite details is how Dave Viggers was asked to tone down his slightly racey names, and some that took a pot shot (pun fully intended) at the interactions with the military. They sent the letter to his wife to ask for this, as they thought Moira might be more amenable!

Oh, there's the Snivling Shits at Millstone for one that definitely changed.

 65 08 Mar 2022
In reply to DaveHK:

> I heard a story at least second hand that Scansor on Stob Coire nan Lochan was originally written up as Piece of my Heart after the Janis Joplin song but that this was rejected by either the guidebook author or SMC journal for being 'overtly pretentious'. I wonder if anyone else has heard that?

It rings an extremely vague bell. 

Mark Millar and Sean Smith did a new line on the Orion Face c.1990 and called it Jazz Discharge Party Hats (after the eponymous Frank Zappa song). The route was never accepted and iirc only got a mention in a little new routes supplement book which appeared around that time. I don't know if it was because of the name or that the line wasn't seen as worthy.

I think Highsteppa at the Pass of Ballater was originally called Misty Wall, a much better name even if Highsteppa describes the crux move. I was told the story of how it was changed but a long time ago, canny remember.

 alan moore 08 Mar 2022
In reply to Wil Treasure:

> Oh, there's the Snivling Shits at Millstone for one that definitely changed

Inspired band name! What did the route get changed to?

OP Anna Fleming 08 Mar 2022
In reply to Mick Ward:

Thanks Mick - is this the thread you meant? Very helpful and interesting discussion https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rock_talk/offensive_route_names-720752

It seems like most route name changing comes from a top-down model, as in a first ascenscionist, crag moderator, guidebook writer or committee member choose to change the name, and then write that into the guidebook/s. Is that right?

I'm curious, are there are any instances of more grass-roots name changing, as in the new route name comes about from bottom-up/popular demand?

 Ramblin dave 08 Mar 2022
In reply to Wil Treasure:

> Refusing names offered by first ascensionists wasn't unusual back in the day, if they were considered to be in poor taste, or a claim to something that already had a name. It's slightly more recent that we've treated first ascents as higher status in this regard.

Oh, that's interesting. I know that the reticence to rename some of the worst "can't use that word nowadays" routes was basically out of respect for the right of the first ascensionist to call a route whatever they wanted, but I'd always assumed that that was some sacred principle that had been handed down to us on tablets of (grit)stone in the dawn of time, not something that had evolved more recently.

 Darkinbad 08 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

Imagine if some talented and generous individual were to climb a new route and put the name up for a vote on UKC.

My vote goes to:

Rocky McRockface

 Fat Bumbly2 08 Mar 2022
In reply to Darkinbad:

I’m triggered by references to that television show, (nooo not the monks!)

 Darkinbad 09 Mar 2022
In reply to alan moore:

>> Oh, there's the Snivling Shits at Millstone for one that definitely changed

> Inspired band name! What did the route get changed to?

Snivelling. Although Shit might have been a better choice.

EDIT: Although it seems to have reverted to its original name (singular) in the UKC logbook. I'm just jealous because I could never pluck up the courage to lead it. It's actually quite good.

Post edited at 03:44
 Michael Gordon 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

> It seems like most route name changing comes from a top-down model, as in a first ascenscionist, crag moderator, guidebook writer or committee member choose to change the name, and then write that into the guidebook/s. Is that right?

> I'm curious, are there are any instances of more grass-roots name changing, as in the new route name comes about from bottom-up/popular demand?

Interesting characterisation. I'd say most FAs and guidebook writers are just normal climbers like you or I.

Not sure UKC moderators have much sway over route names. As for popular demand, I can't think how this would have come about in the days prior to online. But if anything, the climbing populous seems probably more reluctant to change names than guidebook writers, at least if UKC forums are anything to go by.

 flaneur 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

> It seems like most route name changing comes from a top-down model, as in a first ascenscionist, crag moderator, guidebook writer or committee member choose to change the name, and then write that into the guidebook/s. Is that right?

> I'm curious, are there are any instances of more grass-roots name changing, as in the new route name comes about from bottom-up/popular demand?

Climbing outdoors is still a niche activity.  First ascentionists, guidebook writers and committee members are the grass roots. Two more types of renaming I can think of.

In the 1980s a few routes were given names advertising a product or service. Some were tongue in cheek responses to the rise of climbing sponsorship as much as hope of financial benefit.  Andy Pollitt's Jacket (E3 5c) was originally called Berghaus Jacket after AP's new sponsor. Thankfully the guidebook team nipped this trend in the bud with a strategic renaming.

In France and other climbing cultures the route equipper - the person who puts in the work and bears the cost of bolting - names the route. In the US and UK it is the first ascentionist. When Chris Sharma climbed Biographie (9a+) he named it Realization, following the Anglo-Saxon habit, rather than equipper Jean-Christophe Lafaille's suggested name. It is now generally called Biographie, although US sources still sometimes refer to it as Biographie/Realization.

1
 Sherlock 09 Mar 2022
In reply to DaveHK:

> I heard a story at least second hand that Scansor on Stob Coire nan Lochan was originally written up as Piece of my Heart after the Janis Joplin song but that this was rejected by either the guidebook author or SMC journal for being 'overtly pretentious'. I wonder if anyone else has heard that?

Yeah,true.l heard it from the horse's mouth (GC). 

 DaveHK 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Sherlock:

> Yeah,true.l heard it from the horse's mouth (GC). 

I think I probably heard it from you!

In reply to The Pylon King:

> I have come across quite a few occasions when a route has been claimed and named, publicised and become popular then the real first ascentionist has come out of the woodwork with their original name which it has then been changed to retrospectively. Like crag names.


^^ This, especially in an off-the-beaten track location like here.  Visiting/migrant team comes in, climbs a route and names it but doesn't know where to publicise it. Local team climbs it years later and publicises it. visiting team reads guidebook and complains that they did it first.

In reply to Anna Fleming:

I know this doesn't directly answer your question but I've been thinking about this more widely and have a possible part solution to route names that no longer fit our values, and that is to ask the first ascensionist (where possible), if they'd like to rename their climb(s). In that way, we can keep the first ascensionist naming rule.

 Gary Gibson 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Sorry, The guidebook writer does not have the right to change a name due to censorship or otherwise

11
 Will Hunt 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

> I'm curious, are there are any instances of more grass-roots name changing, as in the new route name comes about from bottom-up/popular demand?

There is a route at Kilnsey called Myra Hindley.

Some climbers (I couldn't tell you how many) prefer to call it Big Vern.

Print guides don't include the Big Vern alternative, but the UKC database entry does, so perhaps this will go into Rockfax's next Northern Limestone edition.

Myra Hindley (aka Big Vern) (7c+)

Post edited at 10:05
 Pedro50 09 Mar 2022
In reply to flaneur:

> Climbing outdoors is still a niche activity.  First ascentionists, guidebook writers and committee members are the grass roots. Two more types of renaming I can think of.

> In the 1980s a few routes were given names advertising a product or service. Some were tongue in cheek responses to the rise of climbing sponsorship as much as hope of financial benefit.  Andy Pollitt's Jacket (E3 5c) was originally called Berghaus Jacket after AP's new sponsor. Thankfully the guidebook team nipped this trend in the bud with a strategic renaming.

Wild Country in Dovedale is still called Wild Country. I believe the first ascentiononist was given a set of Rocks although this may be hearsay.

 Sherlock 09 Mar 2022
In reply to DaveHK:

> I think I probably heard it from you!

Wow. People don't usually listen...😊

 Offwidth 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Gary Gibson:

>"The guidebook writer does not have the right to change a name due to censorship or otherwise."

I think you must mean something else, as they clearly have a right to do it, given so many did in the past.

2
 Wil Treasure 09 Mar 2022
In reply to flaneur:

> In the 1980s a few routes were given names advertising a product or service. 

Good point. We also have Caff's "Vision Express" from a few years back. I think improving the eyesight of the best(?) onsight climber in the UK makes their naming demands pretty reasonable.

 JimR 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

OF course a famous instance is Flaky Wall which Ed Drummond tried to rename after reducing aid points, I recall the furore in the mags at the time 

 flaneur 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Pedro50:

> Wild Country in Dovedale is still called Wild Country. I believe the first ascentiononist was given a set of Rocks although this may be hearsay.

I suppose the name is not completely obviously an advertisement (or perhaps John Godling was on the guidebook team). The first free ascentionist missed a trick by not renaming it Troll or Clog!  

In reply to Gary Gibson:

> Sorry, The guidebook writer does not have the right to change a name due to censorship or otherwise

New routes are like your children, you have a strong interest in what happens to them but total control is unhealthy. If the community judges the route name to be hateful then renaming is the right thing to do. There is a fine line between hateful and stupid but in the UK we have mostly let people be stupid and not renamed routes like Heil Hitler (7a)

1
 Fergal 09 Mar 2022
In reply to 65:

Ha that was the first route that came to mind before reading this, i think Jazz discharge party hats was never accepted as a route for a few reasons, Mark Millar was persona non grata to the SMC,  remember the most wanted poster of him in the CIC hut, do not allow this   individual access with the utmost prejudice. The route was also climbed in a very lean winter, the Orion face very bare, included a few pendulums and no one really knows where it goes, maybe it's fictional and a proper good wind up! 

 Iamgregp 09 Mar 2022
In reply to flaneur:

Weren't Agincourt and Maginot Line called something else before Ben Moon climbed them?  Wonder if they're still called those in France or if the stuck with the name the equipper gave them?

 Jamie Wakeham 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Toerag:

> ^^ This, especially in an off-the-beaten track location like here.  Visiting/migrant team comes in, climbs a route and names it but doesn't know where to publicise it. Local team climbs it years later and publicises it. visiting team reads guidebook and complains that they did it first.

I've had a situation where I climbed a number of (at the time honestly believed) first ascents, because a recently published definitive didn't contain them.  The route names were accepted by the club that manages the definitive guidebook, published on their website and in magazines, and adopted in UKC logbooks.  More than a decade later the definitive team realised the crag had become popular, and suddenly 'discovered' that they had older records and overwrote everything.  Still a little miffed.

On another note, do I remember correctly that Bentley Beetham actually named Chamonix and Little Chamonix the other way around (ie Little Chamonix was the one pitch HS and Chamonix the four pitch VD), and an early guidebook author just mixed them up?

2
 flaneur 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

Maginot Line was Le Plafond before it was climbed and often still called that in France or given both names (like Derry/Londonderry).  

Agincourt is sometimes called Azincourt, the correct French name for the battlefield, but that's not quite the same. 

 Iamgregp 09 Mar 2022
In reply to flaneur:

Interesting!

 65 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Fergal:

I heard about the poster, I'd assumed it was yet another CIC tall story. I do remember him saying that neither of them were quite sure about where it went, and that it had no gear and worthless belays.

Shame, a brilliant route name even if 'not in keeping' with the space theme on the Orion Face.

 DaveHK 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Gary Gibson:

> Sorry, The guidebook writer does not have the right to change a name due to censorship or otherwise

'Right' is the wrong word here, it's not a matter of rights. If you mean that guidebook writers should not generally change names then I'd agree but sometimes (rarely) it needs to be done.

1
 Mick Ward 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

Hi Anna,

Firstly my apologies for the delay in replying. T'internet wasn't working, which added even more justification to sneaking off climbing. 

The top-down/grass roots (routes?) one is interesting. 

IIRC Flakey Wall was also known as Hook Crook Wall and Bulldog Wall (geddit?) as aid was progressively diminished I think most climbers thought this was a bit rich and settled for Flakey Wall, even (especially?) when totally freed.

Similarly iirc Darius was renamed Burning Icicle and this went down like a lead balloon with the climbing electorate. It stayed plain(?) old Darius. 

After Agincourt (not in the best of taste), it seems the French thought enough was enough (and who can blame them?) So Maginot Line became Le Plafond (again).  

Re top-down, in the past, guidebook production was via the major clubs: the CC, the FRCC, the SMC, the YMC. However well meaning the individuals, organisationally they were hegemonies. Unequal distributions of power can sometimes work against the greater good (I'm being polite here).

In the 1990s Jim Perrin wrote a powerful essay about what he regarded as flagrant abuses of guidebook writers' power. With the specific instance he mentioned, I reckoned I could probably have sorted it out in ten minutes in the pub, with the participants and the right mixture of charm and, err... not charm. But this is exactly what didn't happen. And a couple of good guys saw their cherished route derided and renamed. Whether well meaning or not, it was wrong - certainly in my view. Injustice rankles and I can see why Jim was upset. 

Mick 

 Pedro50 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Mick Ward:

But Jim's views on anything are now utterly discredited since we are all now aware of his proclivities. Somethings are more important than route names.

Post edited at 20:24
8
 DaveHK 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Pedro50:

> But Jim's views on anything are now utterly discredited since we are all now aware of his proclivities. Somethings are more important than route names.

The rightness or wrongness of his views on route names is unaffected by his views or behaviour on other matters.

 Mick Ward 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Pedro50:

In my view, lots of things are more important than route names - and I think route names are quite important! 

You say 'we are all now aware of his proclivities'. I honestly don't know what you mean by this. 

In any case 'proclivities' don't make a person right or wrong about things removed from their 'proclivities' (whatever they may be). I'm guessing that route names are removed from...

I mentioned Jim's essay because I thought it was historically relevant. I was present when Jim learned about the route from the FA and while Jim may have pushed the argument more strongly that I might have, I don't think he was wrong. An injustice was done. (The right) ten minutes in the pub might have sorted it out. But that's what didn't happen. 

Another example. I know someone who did an historically really important route (and put his life totally on the life; if he'd have come off, he'd have died). His route was 'incorporated' into another - famous - route by a mate(!) Nearly 60 years later I'm not sure he's had proper redress - and it rankles. (He wouldn't want me to name the route and, out of respect, I'm not going to.)

All I'm saying is that shit happens. And if we want a better world we need to do better. 

mick 

1
 DaveHK 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Mick Ward:

> You say 'we are all now aware of his proclivities'. I honestly don't know what you mean by this. 

A number of accusations have been made about JPs behaviour towards a woman he was in a relationship with. The truth or otherwise of these is impossible to determine on the basis of the available info so I for one have reserved judgement. I have never met JP but I always admired his writing.

 Holdtickler 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

One of mine was renamed before the guide was published to honour and show more appreciation for the guy who had gifted it to me after he painstakingly excavated, cleaned and developed the route along with the rest of the crag. It was fair enough really as I think my ego was getting a little bit carried away expecting to name it anyway. The new name was better with a clever double meaning (one of which only 3 people will have probably got) and the goopy mud finishing hold I was naming it after probably wasn't so permanent after all.

 The Pylon King 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Toerag:

> ^^ This, especially in an off-the-beaten track location like here. 

Sorry, I just don't understand what you mean!?

 The Pylon King 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

> >"The guidebook writer does not have the right to change a name due to censorship or otherwise."

> I think you must mean something else, as they clearly have a right to do it, given so many did in the past.

Ah but doing something in the past and getting away with it doesnt mean you had the right to do it!

In reply to JimR:

Dear old Ed also caused a furore at Almscliff in the late '60s when he claimed Two Ton Sardine as a first ascent and used a peg for aid. This was actually Shuffle Crack that had been free done by Alan Austin in 1958, although I don't think it had appeared in any guidebook - so Ed had some excuse (although not for the peg!). Arthur Dolphin had top-roped this route in 1942 and called it Crack of Apollo and it is rumoured that he may have led it in about 1952 before his death. So quite a naming history.

 Darkinbad 09 Mar 2022
In reply to John Stainforth:

> Arthur Dolphin had top-roped this route in 1942 and called it Crack of Apollo and it is rumoured that he may have led it in about 1952 before his death...

A remarkable achievement, although not quite as remarkable as if he had led it after his death

In reply to Darkinbad:

Ha! Good one! I meant to say "shortly before his death"!

Post edited at 23:10
 Darron 09 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

There was quite the kerfuffle about Asolo (E3 6a) when it was first climbed as it was named to promote a new rock boot. Name still stands though.

 Michael Gordon 10 Mar 2022
In reply to Darron:

There's quite a few examples of this. Wild Country (E6 6b) I would make an exception for since it makes for a great evocative name and might not be connected to the company, but others I'm less sure about. 

 Michael Gordon 10 Mar 2022
In reply to Holdtickler:

Sounds like an interesting example. What's the route?

 Offwidth 10 Mar 2022
In reply to The Pylon King:

You have this backwards. Just because the editor/editorial team had a right to do it (being appointed by and supported by the organisation producing the guidebooks) doesn't mean they always should have, if behaving responsibly. Climbers knew this and some were pushing back against Mick's 'hegemony' and trying to 'get away with it', often humourously but occasionally childishly. The climbing world has changed and what is acceptable in a route name now is a legitimate subject for public debate (and editors have less power to overrule that): I'd hope there is reasonable balance in that debate.

 Offwidth 10 Mar 2022
In reply to DaveHK:

The issues were much wider than that, including some legal actions he took, in particular the ones against a club and another climber.

 lithos 10 Mar 2022
In reply to DaveHK: Mick Ward, GG, Offwidth,...

> 'Right' is the wrong word here, it's not a matter of rights. If you mean that guidebook writers should not generally change names then I'd agree but sometimes (rarely) it needs to be done.

i sort of agree with Gary about the name but consider the guidebook team also have a choice, to include the route or not.  Or they could use a standard placeholder name if after discussion with the FA no agreement can be reached  eg 'name is deemed inappropriate' -  nidi 

In reply to Fergal:

> Ha that was the first route that came to mind before reading this, i think Jazz discharge party hats was never accepted as a route for a few reasons, 

I remember reading about the route (although in my brain it's Jazz Hats Party Discharge - which probably just shows I've got a poor memory!). I don't know where I would have read about it besides in one of the 90s Ben guides, that I used to read cover to cover, and numerous times!

 Greenbanks 10 Mar 2022
In reply to Darron:

Yes - I was about to sift back issues of journals to remind myself of the queesiness of the establishment to this kind of practice. As I name I felt it rather at odds with the other route names on Dove. Mind you, I felt a bit that way about Blancmange Sandwich on Cloggy!

 Ian Parsons 10 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

A 1973 route in the Dawn Wall area of El Cap originally started life as 'End-All Wall'; at least it appeared as such in print, including an early topo-book. Within a couple of years, and to this day, it had become known as 'Mescalito'. I don't know the reason for the change - or whether, indeed, it was ever really given the former name - but Mescalito is much better! Sometimes a fairly outstanding line might be given an informal name before it's actually been climbed - and not necessarily by the eventual first ascensionist; Master's Wall [Mk 1] on Cloggy was so named out of respect for the attempts on it by 'The Master', Joe Brown - but this was changed to Great Wall by Crew when he made the FA. I've no idea whether anything of this sort applied to Mescalito. Paging Duncan!

M1 at Avon briefly became 'Catholics' before reverting to M1; again, I don't know the details. Maybe somebody free-climbed it and made the change, only for it to emerge that it had already been freed before that; or maybe the change was simply considered unnecessary. Or maybe it was initially thought that the reduction in height of Unknown Buttress, and the resultant shortening of the route, justified a name change. I think that generally old aid routes at Avon retained their original names when freed unless the free line was substantially different. Again - Mr Critchley might know. 

In reply to 65:

> It rings an extremely vague bell. 

> Mark Millar and Sean Smith did a new line on the Orion Face c.1990 and called it Jazz Discharge Party Hats (after the eponymous Frank Zappa song). The route was never accepted....

Fortunately guidebook teams were more enlightened in the South West. 

Jazz Discharge Party Hat (E1 5b)

 DaveHK 10 Mar 2022
In reply to lithos:

> Mick Ward, GG, Offwidth,...

> i sort of agree with Gary about the name but consider the guidebook team also have a choice, to include the route or not.  Or they could use a standard placeholder name if after discussion with the FA no agreement can be reached  eg 'name is deemed inappropriate' -  nidi 

As an individual doing and naming new routes you don't really have any responsibilities*, you can call them what you like.

The individuals and organisations producing guidebooks however have a degree of responsibility to their readers and could rightly be held accountable for publishing objectionable route names.

So new routers can call routes whatever they like but they have no 'right' to have that name published.

*other than to not be a total dick.

 Mick Ward 10 Mar 2022
In reply to Greenbanks:

> Mind you, I felt a bit that way about Blancmange Sandwich on Cloggy!

I felt that way too. It seemed a step further than Jelly Roll. (I believe Ken Wilson unsuccessfully asked the first ascentionist to change the name.)

Recently a mate did a new route nearby, called Custard Cream. So it goes...

Mick 

 Offwidth 10 Mar 2022
In reply to DaveHK:

UK law applies to route names so there are hard limits that go way beyond being a total dick, even if you can choose to commit a criminal offense knowing the likely consequences.

1
 Offwidth 10 Mar 2022
In reply to Mick Ward:

I think we should be celebrating the likes of Blancmange Sandwich, not tutting. To me it sits firmly in the tradition of climbing humour.

 Fergal 10 Mar 2022
In reply to TobyA:

it was in an independent new route supplement, not sure by whom, Garry latter might have had something to do with it. 

 Mick Ward 10 Mar 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

Yes it does - and you're probably right. I simply felt that it wasn't appropriate for a place as culturally unique and majestic as Cloggy. Each to their own, though. 

Often (but not always) I put a considerable amount of thought into devising appropriate names for new routes. I suppose I feel that naming the route is the final part of bringing it into being and I want names which reflect the quality of the route/place (if this is at all possible). 

Often people I know come up with instant, disposable names, which are usually there ad infinitum. I feel such names don't add much (anything?) to the quality of the experience. But that's just my view. They're perfectly within their rights. I've never asked someone to change a name and never would.  Personal taste is exactly that.

Mick 

1
 Gary Gibson 10 Mar 2022
In reply to Pedro50: That’s a fallacy, JC just it was a good name but didn’t get any free gear

 Greenbanks 10 Mar 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

> I think we should be celebrating the likes of Blancmange Sandwich, not tutting. To me it sits firmly in the tradition of climbing humour<.

I certainly recognise(d) the humour - and yes, it is part of the game we play. Nevertheless, it is one of the few occasions where it seemed out of keeping. The route names, with all their historical significance, sense of majesty and difference, are always a delight when returning to my Cloggy guidebooks (or The Black Cliff).  As MW has stated, each to their own...that in itself makes climbing such great fun.

In reply to Anna Fleming:

Of course, on Kalymnos, fairly recently many route names were changed and/or swopped around, on 6 or 7 different sectors, just to piss of another rival guide book, published a month or two earlier and subsequently rendered out of date, and crucially, potentially dangerous.

But I’m guessing thats not really what your had in mind with the OP???
 

 rogerwebb 10 Mar 2022
In reply to Fergal:

> it was in an independent new route supplement, not sure by whom, Garry latter might have had something to do with it. 

Rab Anderson and Gary Latter. 1986.

Thin description even by old standards.

'Takes the crest of the buttress left of Journey into Space trending right under roofs - lack of belays and runners. One pendule used.'

Post edited at 16:12
 duncan 10 Mar 2022
In reply to Mick Ward:

> After Agincourt (not in the best of taste), it seems the French thought enough was enough (and who can blame them?) So Maginot Line became Le Plafond (again).  

More likely the Volx project was named Le Plafond by the equipper in the usual French way (a similar story with Realization/Biography) so Maginot Line wasn't fully accepted. Agincourt didn't have an equipper - it was part of an old aid route with one or two more bolts added ad hoc - so Moon's name stuck despite the provocation. 

In reply to Ian Parsons:

> A 1973 route in the Dawn Wall area of El Cap originally started life as 'End-All Wall'; at least it appeared as such in print, including an early topo-book. Within a couple of years, and to this day, it had become known as 'Mescalito'. I don't know the reason for the change - or whether, indeed, it was ever really given the former name - but Mescalito is much better! Sometimes a fairly outstanding line might be given an informal name before it's actually been climbed - and not necessarily by the eventual first ascensionist; Master's Wall [Mk 1] on Cloggy was so named out of respect for the attempts on it by 'The Master', Joe Brown - but this was changed to Great Wall by Crew when he made the FA. I've no idea whether anything of this sort applied to Mescalito. Paging Duncan!

Charlie Porter originally called the route 'End All Wall' as you say but changed his mind some time after and renamed it Mescalito. I don't know why he had second thoughts although perhaps he realised, far from being an end, Mescalito was the beginning of a new generation of blank wall routes on El Cap. 

Perhaps the most famous Yosemite renaming was Astroman, formerly the East Face of Washington Column. No-one suggested The Nose or Salathe should be renamed when they went free - Todd Skinner wouldn't have passed up the opportunity if he thought there was the slightest chance of a new name being accepted - so not sure why this got a pass. Perhaps simply because it's a great and fitting name, redolent of its time. 

In reply to Mick Ward:

> Recently a mate did a new route nearby, called Custard Cream. So it goes...

Custard Pie, like the Led Zeppelin song [/pedant]

 Mick Ward 10 Mar 2022
In reply to duncan:

> Custard Pie, like the Led Zeppelin song [/pedant]

My apologies. Dave saw the line on the back cover photo of the Black Cliff, speculated further on his first visit to the crag around 1975 when he was 15 and finally did it more recently when he was about 60. The realisation of a dream - and on Cloggy. Doesn't really get any better. Most everybody who knows him was delighted for him - the nicest guy out there. 

Mick  

 Richard J 10 Mar 2022
In reply to Max factor:

> Fortunately guidebook teams were more enlightened in the South West. 

I seconded Mark on this in 1982; he was at the time in the grip of a not wholly healthy Frank Zappa obsession and there were a bunch of other routes with even less tasteful Zappa themed names from that trip, not all of which survived in the guidebooks, probably for the best.

He liked JDPH so much that he reused it for the route on the Ben (at least I think that was the order) and I remember that he was most disgruntled at the SMC for rejecting it. He thought it was the name that did it rather than his wider disrepute, but who knows. I hadn't heard the story about the CIC poster, but it seems entirely plausible. He was a dear friend and I still miss him, but his ethical code as regards private property would have been more appropriate for a steppe nomad than a modern citizen.

Post edited at 23:29
 Darkinbad 11 Mar 2022
In reply to Richard J:

Vaudeville Jazz Pooftah (E1 4c)

Seems to have survived also. I have a vague memory of you describing this route to me in a way that made me feel I wanted to go and climb it, although I'm not sure why, given the grade.

 freeflyer 11 Mar 2022
In reply to duncan:

> Charlie Porter originally called the route 'End All Wall' as you say but changed his mind some time after and renamed it Mescalito. I don't know why he had second thoughts although perhaps he realised, far from being an end, Mescalito was the beginning of a new generation of blank wall routes on El Cap. 

The name Mescalito was given by indigenous people in the central Americas as a name of honour and respect to a plant that when ingested, in their view, showed them the direction that their life should go.

This seems very in keeping with the route name and your comments.

In reply to Offwidth:

> UK law applies to route names so there are hard limits that go way beyond being a total dick, even if you can choose to commit a criminal offense knowing the likely consequences.

Not just criminal law.  When people name routes with song lyrics, product names or with implications about individuals there's all kinds of civil law could come into play and a guide book publisher may reasonably think its not worth the risk.  Which would mean either changing the name or not including the route.

 Gary Gibson 11 Mar 2022
In reply to flaneur:fair comment, I didn’t mean any offence with my route name of Heil Hitler, as it was next to Kaiser Wall which we did the first free ascent of back in 1978, but in retrospect it was a silly reference to Hitler and his saviour but if it was changed, perhaps to Heil Caesar ( a funny film) that would be fine by me..ironically the nearby name of Mein Kampf was a reference to my 4am starts to get to the crag and the hours spent swinging on an abseil rope on this massive wall, getting filthy with and later with cramp, not Hitler’s book

 C Witter 11 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

In the biography Menlove, Jim Perrin notes several name changes made in the 1930s because of prudish attitudes. IIRC, Menlove Edwards himself named a route "Sodom" and this was changed by a guidebook writer. Given that the Welsh climbing scene in the 1930s was a place where homosexuality was far more openly accepted (e.g. the circle around Winthrop Young), there is an obvious politics to such a name change beyond "prudishness".

I also get the impression  that in the early C20 route names were a little more fluid. E.g. a route might be known by the feature it climbed, but also by its first ascentionist. Reading older mountaineering literature, you also often find that the name used then is not exactly the same as the name used now. This is complicated further by there being variations on routes; by different features being climbed at different times and then amalgamated into one (e.g. Moss Ledge Direct and Jones' Arete); and later by aid routes being freed and renamed.

I hope that helps!

1
 Richard J 11 Mar 2022
In reply to Darkinbad:

> Seems to have survived also. I have a vague memory of you describing this route to me in a way that made me feel I wanted to go and climb it, although I'm not sure why, given the grade.

In that case, it's less the survival of the name that surprises me, than the continuing physical existence of the route.

 TonyB 11 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

Supercrack of the desert in Indian Creek, Utah was originally called luxury liner. the original route went from the valley floor to the top of the rim. nowadays only the first pitch is typically climbed.

In reply to Gary Gibson:

I guess there is always a danger of naming a route for personal reasons, maybe a slightly 'inside joke', then others seeing something just a bit rude or distasteful about it.

My friend and I named a winter route we did as "Better than God" as we were skiving Philosophy or Religion lectures at uni that day to go out climbing. We got a friendly but firm reply from Andy Nisbet a bit later saying that some older and more religious members of the SMC were NOT going to like that, and that Philosopher's Gully was a much better name. 26 years later I think Andy was completely right! 

They did accept the God Delusion about a decade later - but that was grade VIII not II!

 John Gresty 11 Mar 2022
In reply to Anna Fleming:

The only new route that I have ever been involved in was a crack in a grotty quarry that we aid climbed on a cold, wet, winters day about 50 years ago. It was freed  years later and given a new name, however as the new name was in keeping with it's original name I didn't make any fuss about it

It's original name was recorded in the guide book of the time.

John 

 Mick Ward 11 Mar 2022
In reply to John Gresty:

> It's original name was recorded in the guide book of the time.

And quite rightly too. 

People moaned about the thickness of the infamous 'Brick', the Lancs guide. (Always useful for getting off the ground at Pex!) But it was a terribly British, quintessentially decent attempt to make sure that every dog had its day, as it were. Can't begin to imagine the enormity of work involved - but, to their everlasting credit, the volunteer guidebook writers willingly did it. Good on them. 

Mick 

 The Pylon King 11 Mar 2022
In reply to Mick Ward:

> And quite rightly too. > People moaned about the thickness of the infamous 'Brick', the Lancs guide.

Ive got one of those. Which reminds me of a thread I meant to start...........

 Mick Ward 11 Mar 2022
In reply to The Pylon King:

Let's be having it!

Mick 

 The Pylon King 11 Mar 2022
In reply to TobyA:

Nah, Andy was wrong. Nothing wrong with Better Than God as a name. Bloody old snowflakes!

In reply to The Pylon King:

> Nah, Andy was wrong. Nothing wrong with Better Than God as a name. Bloody old snowflakes!

Off topic, but reminds me of The Rik Mayall autobiography, "Bigger than Hitler Better than Christ".

 Gary Gibson 20 Mar 2022
In reply to The Pylon King:but the Richard Dawkins name ‘ the god delusion’ is latterly quite ironic


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