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?


Rock climbing at Malibu Creek

Poll | Who makes the best climbing shoes?

Whether you hit the rock climbing gym every once in a while or you're constantly rushing out of work to get in as many routes at the local crag before the sun goes down, we know you have a favorite pair of shoes. Some brands have been cobbling for decades and others are new to more

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Poll | Who makes the best climbing harnesses?

Back in the 1970s, climbing harnesses were nothing more than a few straps. Now, buyers consider the weight, material, number of gear loops, durability, and so on. Our friends at Climbing Magazine put together a little history on the essential piece of gear. Vote now for the brand more

Shot of approach shoes from Climbing Magazine 2017 review

Poll | Who makes the approach shoes?

An approach to a crag could be walking across a road or scrambling straight up scree, but either way, you want to feel safe and secure on asphalt or while traversing rocks. And you also don't want to be left lugging heavy, leather hiking boots up a route. These 11 brands seek to more

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Poll | Do you listen to podcasts?

From Climbing Magazine's new podcast to Kristin Carpenter-Ogden's Channel Mastery to the dozens of others out there, podcasts have become a staple storytelling platform. We want to know if you're listening, and then in the comments, tell us which outdoor podcasts are your more