I came across an interesting discussion over on Joe Kinder’s blog about the idea of red tagging a route. He was talking about how he went out to Rifle with Dave Graham and they wanted to get on this sweet line Andy Raether had bolted, but it had a red tag. They climbed on other stuff, but they were kinda tweaked about the route being “closed”. People have weighed in on the pros and cons of their argument, and I guess I see it both ways.
On all but the most impeccable stone, it can be A LOT of work to bolt a sport route. There’s choss to clean, anchors to establish, clipping stances to figure out, bolts to sink….and then you get to climb it! It’s truly a labor of love, and as they say, if it were easy, everyone would do it. As it stands, most people don’t put up new routes, and that’s fine, except most don’t understand what really goes into all those nice clip ups you enjoy.
So back to the point, are red tags cool? Yes and No. Most of the time, I don’t care. I’ve bolted routes and then let friends have the FA, it’s a really cool gift to give someone. Sometimes I know a route is going to be challenging for me, and I let a better climber nab the FA so everyone can enjoy it sooner, and then I can work on it without keeping it from the public. That being said, I have, on occasion, tagged a route. Usually these happen to be the really good lines, and/or the ones I had to put a lot of effort into. I guess I feel like since I am taking the time and energy and money (this stuff ain’t cheap) to do a service for the climbing community, I can save one or two of the gems for myself.
Anybody else got any thoughts on the topic? Should all projects be open to everyone? Do developers get a reasonable chance to send their creations? Comments are on.