The system for naming climbing routes is about as unofficial as it could possibly be. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the first person to climb a new route simply makes up a moniker, starts using it, and eventually it catches on. There is no vetting process, no checks and balances, in the world of route-naming.
Most of the time, the results of this system are creative, wacky, and intriguing—democratic free speech at its finest. Occasionally, however, that free speech acidifies into hate speech, and routes end up with names that range from the subtly problematic to the blatantly racist.
Recent events have once again called attention to this problem. Just this week, the longtime publisher and editor-in-chief of Rock and Ice, Duane Raleigh, resigned after admitting that he had created racist route names decades ago.
We want to know: Have you ever encountered a racist route name while climbing? If so, more than once? Or were you unaware that the problem even existed?