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Retro-naming vs. Given Names
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By tcamillieri
From Denver
Oct 28, 2009
The upper committing crux of Secret of the Beehives.
Recently had a run in with Jason Seaver over the name of the Kine, Kind, In Your Face, or Standard Overhand--the classic V4/5 at Emerald Lake in RMNP. That said, more than sport climbing or trad climbing, bouldering lends itself to retronaming due to the number of problems, the exploratory nature of the climbing form, as well as the relative privacy involved.

Didn't want to get into an argument on the comment section which you can see, just look up my post on The Kine, so I though we'd have it here. (Where it can get erased later, HA!).

Essentially the controversy revolves around this issue: someone claims an earlier ascent that is not well known in the climbing community. In the climbing community the problem garners another name. What is the boulder problem called.

I have put forth that the boulder problem is called whatever the climbing community says that it is called and that while the FA'ist retains credit for the ascent I don't think if his name "sticks" then that is what it should be called.

Essentially, like grades, starts, low starts, variations, etc... I think that the name is formulated by the community.

I have been accused of being "disrespectful" in this regard and I would like to say that communities are always disrespectful towards individuals. As a representative of a responsible bouldering community (I consider responsibility the preserving of access for future generations, something that impacts the "history" of an area more than any boulder name), I suggest that the "original" (what does original even mena?) name be considered as a footnote and the problem should be continued to be named the Kine (or Kind, which is it?), until the climbing community in the future suggests otherwise.

Word.

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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Oct 28, 2009
Stabby
20 years from now your problems will be re-discovered and re-named by an entirely different generation. Just the nature of bouldering.

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By Brian Scoggins
From Eugene, OR
Oct 28, 2009
Mike Lane wrote:
20 years from now your problems will be re-discovered and re-named by an entirely different generation. Just the nature of bouldering.


I agree. It makes perfect sense that while we should try to find out who originally climbed it, what the community calls it is what the community calls it. FAs can try to fight that all they want, but that's just the way it will play out.

Mind you, if getting credit and the proper name was all that important, you'd think the FA would put the extra effort into getting that information out there. However, since renaming does seem to get some people in a tizzy, the best way to find out the real original information is by intentionally posting other information. If the FA cares that much, they'll get indignant and come out of the woodwork to explain why they didn't publish that information until now.

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Oct 28, 2009
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

I think a lot of energy has been wasted over something really silly like the name of a set of holds on a random block in a talus field. A name is only useful as a consensus description. There is no inalienable naming right in the consitution. Plenty of routes go by multiple names, and you can call it whatever you want. Climbing history is full of routes thate were re-named after the first ascent: Supercrack, Astroman just to name two.

I think its particularly ironic when people go out of their way to keep an area secret, hide information, and then act offended when people don't know the names of "their" problems.

If the FA doesn't tell anyone what the name of the problem is, then nobody will know the name. Its pretty simple. Eventually somebody else will come along. If that person freely shares their beta, then the beta that is known to the most people will proliferate.

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Oct 28, 2009
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
Brian Scoggins wrote:
since renaming does seem to get some people in a tizzy, the best way to find out the real original information is by intentionally posting other information. If the FA cares that much, they'll get indignant and come out of the woodwork



So true!

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By tcamillieri
From Denver
Oct 28, 2009
The upper committing crux of Secret of the Beehives.
Perhaps I am splitting hairs, but perhaps the better question is not what will happen, but what should happen? That is not what is inevitable but the moral duty that is placed on naming problems is there one? What about the issue of "disrespect"?

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By Brad Brandewie
Oct 28, 2009
Maya's first trip to RMNP.
In my opinion...

The name of a route is whatever the FA decided to call it.

If posting a route to a site like MP, an effort should be made to find out what the FA called the route. That way the history is preserved. A footnote can be added in the route description if there is another name that is commonly used for a particular problem/route.

If one posts a route and someone comes forward and says they climbed it earlier and that they named it X, then the route should be edited and called X.

just my .02,
Brad

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By tcamillieri
From Denver
Oct 28, 2009
The upper committing crux of Secret of the Beehives.
Should history always be preserved? What about the virtue of anonymity?

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By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From Phoenix, AZ
Oct 28, 2009
Belay
tcamillieri wrote:
Should history always be preserved? What about the virtue of anonymity?

Anonymity?

Just because you hadn't heard of it doesn't mean that it's anonymous.

And besides-- if you're extolling the virtue of anonymity then why are you giving the problem your own name?

A problem's name can serve to inflate the ego of the first ascentionist and only rarely affects the quality of the problem itself (The Hesitator in Leavenworth is the only problem I can think of where the name actually brought out an emotion while on the climb; half the people who get on the thing end up busting out laughing as soon as they get to the hesitation move), and if anonymity is so great then you should just forget about naming problems altogether; what exactly are you accomplishing by re-naming an old problem?

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By Brad Brandewie
Oct 28, 2009
Maya's first trip to RMNP.
tcamillieri wrote:
Should history always be preserved?


Yes I think so.

tcamillieri wrote:
What about the virtue of anonymity?


What is the virtue of anonymity?
If the FA want's anonymity then you will never know that they did it anyway. If someone later on want's to have an experience on the route/problem without knowing it's history, then they should not be looking up the route/problem on MP.

Cheers,
Brad

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By tcamillieri
From Denver
Oct 28, 2009
The upper committing crux of Secret of the Beehives.
@ Brad - Why?

as concerns anonymity, i guess there are always traces of other people doing climbs, chalk, lack of choss on the problem, foot rubber, etc... I guess I meant anonymity to mean that it has been done as a contribution to the climbing community, that there is an established route that is known about, but that the FA'ist and/or route name is unknown.

Isn't there a virtue in giving something to the community without taking credit for it, i.e. should credit be taken or given for problems that are essentially for anyone?

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By matthewWallace
From plymouth, nh
Oct 28, 2009
Cool movement on this line
tcamillieri wrote:
Isn't there a virtue in giving something to the community without taking credit for it, i.e. should credit be taken or given for problems that are essentially for anyone?


Have you ever done a FA that you have worked really hard for? Or even if you didn't work really hard for it, that people like, that's a compliment to the FAist, I have several FA's to my name and i would like the credit for them because i put the time and effort into establishing the route, call it ego call it whatever you want but there is an element of pride that goes into doing a FA.

If someone calls one of my routes a different name I mention it to them what the real name is, I don't take it as disrespect, i understand things get confused between people, but with that said it is respectful for other climbers to respect the FA and the given name.

That is just my opinion though. In the general scheme of things there are much more important things in climbing, like the actual route and having fun, but I do think there should be respect giving to the FAist.

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By Lanky
From Portland, ME
Oct 29, 2009
tcamillieri wrote:
Perhaps I am splitting hairs, but perhaps the better question is not what will happen, but what should happen? That is not what is inevitable but the moral duty that is placed on naming problems is there one? What about the issue of "disrespect"?

I think it's probably a good idea not to inflate the importance of climbing to the point that we need philosophy degrees to argue about it. I'm not even sure who you're suggesting might have a "moral duty" to do what. Your question is entirely unclear to me.

Here's how I'd break it down:

~FAist names problem and publicizes it - try to use the given name (andohbtw props and thanks to the FAist)

~FAist either doesn't name problem or doesn't publicize it - call it something until a name sticks (andohbtw props and thanks to the FAist)

~FAist names problem and publicizes it but another name gets applied later either because FAist's ascent is forgotten or for some other reason - if original name comes to light, try to use the given name (andohbtw props and thanks to the FAist)

~remember not to take yourself too seriously and try to be nice to people (a challenge I often fail to live up to)

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By matthewWallace
From plymouth, nh
Oct 29, 2009
Cool movement on this line
julian well said, also a good way to post the name on sites like this is post the original name then in parentheses put the name its know as here are a few examples

this entire boulder is like this:
mountainproject.com/v/new_hampshire/rumney/black_jack_boulde>>>

now here are some routes:
mountainproject.com/v/new_hampshire/pawtuckaway/round_pond/1>>>

mountainproject.com/v/new_hampshire/pawtuckaway/round_pond/1>>>

just a few of them

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Oct 29, 2009
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
Here's another example

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By Brad Brandewie
Oct 29, 2009
Maya's first trip to RMNP.
tcamillieri wrote:
@ Brad - Why? as concerns anonymity, i guess there are always traces of other people doing climbs, chalk, lack of choss on the problem, foot rubber, etc... I guess I meant anonymity to mean that it has been done as a contribution to the climbing community, that there is an established route that is known about, but that the FA'ist and/or route name is unknown. Isn't there a virtue in giving something to the community without taking credit for it, i.e. should credit be taken or given for problems that are essentially for anyone?


Yes there is virtue in giving something to the community without taking credit for it.

That's not what this thread is about though. It's about renaming routes/problems. By definition, that means that the route/problem was previously named.

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By matthewWallace
From plymouth, nh
Oct 29, 2009
Cool movement on this line
Brad Brandewie wrote:
Yes there is virtue in giving something to the community without taking credit for it. That's not what this thread is about though. It's about renaming routes/problems. By definition, that means that the route/problem was previously named.


And if was previously named that name should be used as much as possible...

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By Brian Scoggins
From Eugene, OR
Oct 29, 2009
Brad Brandewie wrote:
In my opinion... The name of a route is whatever the FA decided to call it. If posting a route to a site like MP, an effort should be made to find out what the FA called the route. That way the history is preserved. A footnote can be added in the route description if there is another name that is commonly used for a particular problem/route. If one posts a route and someone comes forward and says they climbed it earlier and that they named it X, then the route should be edited and called X. just my .02, Brad


I happen to climb in an area with a ludicrously poorly documented climbing history. And what ALWAYS happens is that somebody claims a first ascent, then the person who actually did the first ascent pipes in with "why can't you people respect what I've done?! Just because it didn't matter enough to me to actually publicize it doesn't mean you people shouldn't be respecting my achievement!" In other words, the FA wants the credit, but doesn't really understand the correlation between publicizing and getting credit. More importantly, their ego is fragile enough that they don't want others claiming undue credit, but they consider themselves too modest to actually publicize. That is to say, the FA in question is a pompous prick.

If a given FA wants credit for a given climb and wants their name to stick they MUST make the effort to get that information out there. To get butt-hurt about incorrectly named routes when the FA didn't do anything to get the information out there is just ridiculous.

That's my extended rant about how its not the community's job to read the FA's mind.

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By Bill Duncan
From Jamestown, CO
Oct 29, 2009
Leading the 3rd pitch of West Side Story.
Good points from Brad and Brian. History should be respected, but if the FA party made no attempt to make the ascent known, then they shouldn't be surprised when someone else does.

What do you think about folks that get the first free ascent of an old classic aid line? Should they get to rename it? Some think yes. I would suggest that the FA is the FA. A subsequent FFA matters not. At least with regard to the name.

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By tcamillieri
From Denver
Oct 29, 2009
The upper committing crux of Secret of the Beehives.
I guess I'd like to put out my point that names are like grades or route sequences. If an FA'ist suggests a grade, that's subject to change. If an FA'ist used a particular set of holds and an easier sequence is found then that's the new sequence. The community that comes after the FA'ist gets to "standardize" what the FA'ist did. In the same way the name of the problem--even if the name is known--can become known by the community by another name. If that sticks and that is what is known by the community I see no point in calling the name by the FA'ist's suggestion (or guidebook writers). I think it is better to go with the community's suggestion than what one individual says, whoever they might be.

That said (and yes I have an M.A. in Philosophy) I think the issues surrounding the FA'ist, creation of routes, and the relation of the individual to the community are inherently more complicated then we make them out to be. For example, any sort of social contract theory deals with the sacrifices individuals make in dealing with the larger community of which they are apart. I think being an FA'ist has more to do with the community I represent that my personal accomplishments (i.e. style of ascent, manufacturing, landscaping, access issues, etc...). I am saying that in respect to names the individual does not have priority of the group and names are ways of indicating and any indication is more or less as good as any other.

Yes I have done several FA's in Morrison, Newlin Creek, RMNP and Lumpy Ridge. I've shown the problems to many people, suggested how they might climb them, but ultimately that's up to them. Mostly what I think FA and Name information to be helpful for are those problems that are somewhat sacred in the climbing community, Midnight Lightning, The Thimble, The Mandala, and Black Lung to name a few (yes I'm mostly a boulderer).

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By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From Phoenix, AZ
Oct 29, 2009
Belay
Was that just a long-winded way of saying that you're going to continue to re-name old problems despite the objections put to you by others?

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By matthewWallace
From plymouth, nh
Oct 29, 2009
Cool movement on this line
tcamillieri wrote:
I guess I'd like to put out my point that names are like grades or route sequences. If an FA'ist suggests a grade, that's subject to change. If an FA'ist used a particular set of holds and an easier sequence is found then that's the new sequence. The community that comes after the FA'ist gets to "standardize" what the FA'ist did. In the same way the name of the problem--even if the name is known--can become known by the community by another name. If that sticks and that is what is known by the community I see no point in calling the name by the FA'ist's suggestion (or guidebook writers). I think it is better to go with the community's suggestion than what one individual says, whoever they might be. That said (and yes I have an M.A. in Philosophy) I think the issues surrounding the FA'ist, creation of routes, and the relation of the individual to the community are inherently more complicated then we make them out to be. For example, any sort of social contract theory deals with the sacrifices individuals make in dealing with the larger community of which they are apart. I think being an FA'ist has more to do with the community I represent that my personal accomplishments (i.e. style of ascent, manufacturing, landscaping, access issues, etc...). I am saying that in respect to names the individual does not have priority of the group and names are ways of indicating and any indication is more or less as good as any other. Yes I have done several FA's in Morrison, Newlin Creek, RMNP and Lumpy Ridge. I've shown the problems to many people, suggested how they might climb them, but ultimately that's up to them. Mostly what I think FA and Name information to be helpful for are those problems that are somewhat sacred in the climbing community, Midnight Lightning, The Thimble, The Mandala, and Black Lung to name a few (yes I'm mostly a boulderer).


I hear your arguments but at the same time when you showed your FA's what name did you use, did you tell them they could change the name if they see fit? Also I think most people in the climbing community would see issue with you changing names of established routes, even if they are obscure, they are the work of someone else, and that work needs to be respected. But we all have different standards and ethics we hold ourselves to, I just disagree with your ethics on the disrespect for the FA'ist of routes no matter how obscure.

If I thought a name of a route was "x" and then I found out it was "b" I would make a serious effort to use the correct name in my speech, and if I posted it on a site like this I would fix it, out of respect. I believe that is the correct way these situations should be handled.

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By Buff Johnson
Oct 29, 2009
smiley face
I will do my part and dedicate all previously climbed & then retro-claimed routes will go back to Bob Horan. Further, all the evans areas should be renamed to BH's: Sugar Shack, Beer Garden, Bunnies Cotton Club, and Sea of Love Muffins

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By Ian F.
From Phx
Oct 29, 2009
Crazy talk, nothing but crazy talk.

I think yor M.A. has just fogged up your mind to the point that you get confused too easily. This isn't that complicated. It had a name, it was addressed. Confusion is fixed, and the community you represent should be respectful of that.

But, then again you have the choice to listen to whatever community you want, but I think your answer has been given by this community.

Respect, the names the FA has given.

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By matthewWallace
From plymouth, nh
Oct 29, 2009
Cool movement on this line
Ian F. wrote:
Crazy talk, nothing but crazy talk. I think yor M.A. has just fogged up your mind to the point that you get confused too easily. This isn't that complicated. It had a name, it was addressed. Confusion is fixed, and the community you represent should be respectful of that. But, then again you have the choice to listen to whatever community you want, but I think your answer has been given by this community. Respect, the names the FA has given.



Well said!

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By SCherry
From San Diego, CA
Oct 29, 2009
Trying to onsight 12a at Holcomb Valley Pinnacles.
I agree that the original name the FA gave should be noted in an online guide or published guide book. For me its cool to know the history and what the FA intended. However, we all know that route names change over time, there are many examples, and I for one would prefer to know the name that has settled in and most climbers refer any route or boulder problem by.

The Kine/Kind is a perfect example. If you put it into the RMNP online guide on MP as "Standard Overhang" when I go to try and find beta, I'll be looking for the Kind because I have never heard anyone call it by the FA's intended name. I think tcamillieri did the right thing when posting this problem. He lists it as the Kind/Kine and then puts the original name in parenthesis.

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