• TNB: Climbing's Big Mistake
  • TNB: Trad Dads and Dad Bods
  • TNB: Do the Right Thing
  • TNB: Big Wall Soloing Sustenance – Cookies vs. Bugs
  • TNB: When Your Rope Falls Off—and 5 Ways to Prevent the Nightmare
  • TNB: Before I Die - What Would Climbers Think?
  • TNB: Raphael Slawinski - Firsthand Account of Everest Earthquake
  • TNB: Point Break - Sharma, Andrada on the Big Screen
  • TNB: Muscle Shoals - Rock and Soul
  • TNB: Naked Soloist is Saner Than Me
  • TNB: The Hard Climb to Heaven
  • TNB: Summer Camp
  • TNB: Suicide in Our Sights
  • TNB: Ethan Pringle's 10 Tips for Sending Your Project
  • TNB: Hawaii Rocks - Totally Aloha
  • TNB: PointGate - Why Comp Climbing Is Not The Future
  • TNB: My First Epic
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Avoid Braking Bad - The Art of the Soft Catch
  • TNB: #Dawnwall and The Creation of Alex Honnlove
  • TNB: Vision Quest - Benji Fink and Mexico’s Steepest Big Wall
  • TNB: The New Dawn (Wall) of Climbing
  • TNB: The Top 5 Weekend Whippers of 2014 (Plus the Comments)
  • TNB: 10 Tips for Jolene Kay, Professional Climber (and Hot Actress)
  • TNB: The Story Behind the Craziest of Rescues
  • TNB: The Risk of Climbing
  • TNB: How to Get Stronger by Doing Nothing for 5 Minutes a Day
  • TNB: Eight Ways to Improve Your Footwork
  • TNB: In Praise of the Weekend Warrior
  • TNB: Joe Kinder Visits the World's Hardest Cave
  • TNB: Celebrating Insomnia in Chamonix
  • TNB: Run, Rabbit - Hermann Gollner, 71, Cranks Pump-O-Rama (5.13a)
  • TNB: Five Best Photos of 2014
  • TNB: Clip Like A Pro - 5 Tips from Sasha DiGiulian and Sean McColl
  • TNB: Five Things Every Gym Climber Must Know About Climbing Outside
  • TNB: Still Jeff Lowe
  • TNB: Moving Over Stone With Doug Robinson
  • TNB: Wheels Up—The Top 5 Climbing Rigs
  • TNB: Is K2 The New Everest?
  • TNB: Things—Besides Us, That Is—That Fall
  • TNB: When Homemade Gear Works, Sorta
  • TNB: The Outsiders
  • TNB: R.I.P. Homero Gutierrez Villarreal - The Padrino of El Potrero
  • TNB: A Short Talk with Sierra Blair-Coyle
  • TNB: Ian Dory, Ninja, or The Craziest Thing I Ever Seen
  • TNB: The Best Crag Dogs of All Time
  • TNB: 5 Ways to Make People Love Your Routes
  • TNB: Hudon and Jones, and Don't Forget It!
  • TNB: Climbing's Tribal Rites
  • TNB: Sasha DiGiulian and Alex Johnson On How to Be a Modern Pro
  • TNB: Is Dean Potter A Bad Father?
  • TNB: Silly Places We’ve Slept - Tales of Unplanned Bivies
  • TNB: Forgotten Hero - Frank Sacherer 1940-1978
  • TNB: The World-Class Weekend Warrior – Martin Keller Climbs V15
  • TNB: Everest Sherpas No Longer Willing to “Grin and Bear It”
  • TNB: Hardheaded Helmet Lesson Learned
  • TNB: Six Most Awesome Jobs for Climbers
  • TNB: The Coolest Climbing Deal Breaker
  • TNB: Sharma and Glowacz Send World’s Steepest Rock Climb
  • TNB: An Encounter with a Legend - Patrick Edlinger, Plus A Whipper Vid
  • TNB: Six Things Every Climber Should Do Before They Die
  • TNB: Falling from the Top
  • TNB: Weekend Whipper
  • TNB: Band of Crushers
  • TNB: Charlie Porter, We Hardly Knew You
  • TNB: Climbing's Greatest Route Names
  • TNB: Hot Women Die and Have Sex on Everest
  • TNB: The Great Tragedy at Carderock
  • TNB: Thoughts On Death, and Last Words
  • TNB: Climbing's Next Big Story
  • TNB: Next Level? Honnold Pushes the Game on El Sendero Luminoso
  • TNB: Jeff Lowe Invented the Sport
  • TNB: The Most Popular Weekend Whippers of the Year
  • TNB: If Ondra Isn't The Best Climber In The World, Who Is?
  • TNB: Storm Years or Typhoon? The Biggest Issue in Climbing
  • TNB: Jim Bridwell Speaks
  • TNB: Honnold's Biggest Solo
  • TNB: Death on Forbidden Peak - Was the NPS Complicit?
  • TNB: Ice Climbing Goes to Sochi Olympics
  • TNB: When Gear Attacks
  • TNB: 8a.nu: The Best Climber in the World is the One with the Most Points
  • TNB: Shutdown: Illegal Climbers in Yosemite—Ninjas or Criminals?
  • TNB: Who is the Best Climber in the World?
  • TNB: The New Courage in a Rucksack
  • TNB: Unsolved Mystery - The Ten Sleep Shooting
  • TNB: The Pad Problem - Honnold, Kehl on Headpoints and Highballs
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  • TNB: Love on the Road
  • TNB: Is Pakistan Safe for Climbers?
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  • TNB: DR's Crazy Brain Puzzle. Get It Correct or Else.
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  • TNB: Super Unknown - Austin Dark Horse Establishes 5.14d in Random Texas Cave
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  • TNB: Traveler's Advisory - El Potrero Chico, Mexico
  • TNB: A Year Ago - Athol
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  • TNB: Derek Hersey's Magic Carpet
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  • Video Spotlight
    Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher Send Zodiac (VI 5.13d) on El Cap
    Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher Send Zodiac (VI 5.13d) on El Cap
    Whipper of the Month
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer

    TNB: Climbing's Greatest Route Names


    Like snowflakes, no two climbs are identical. Whether that path follows a flute of ice high on the face of an alpine wall, or a swath of rock via a series of edges to an anchor midway up a sandstone bluff, each route or boulder problem any climber ever touches will have an identity all its own.

    But what's an identity without a name? Great climbs have great names, and these names will be forever burned into the brains of all climbers who follow the path. Naming climbs is rich with tradition, and every first ascentionist aspires to capture the perfect name for their creations. Some first ascentionists, however, are better than others at naming routes. So in celebration of great route names, I've compiled a short list of my personal favorites. 

    Don't hesitate to add your own favorite route and boulder problem names to the bottom of this list.

    The <em>Thaw&#39;s Not Houlding Wright</em> is the route on the far right of this photo. Courtesy of Rolando Garibotti.


    1. The Thaw's Not Houlding Wright
    Patagonia, Argentina (1,400 meters, 5.10+, Aguja de I'S West Face)

    This alpine route tackles the shortest summit of the Cerro Torre skyline. Though the grade is fairly moderate, the technical climbing starts at glacier level, which makes for one of the longest technical routes in the Torre range. The first ascent, as you may have guessed, belongs to American Cedar Wright and Britons Leo Houlding and Kevin Thaw. While experiencing the "classic bad weather" of Patagonia in 2004, the team found little climbable objectives during their month-long stay.

    "After a failed attempt on what would later become Arco de los Vientos [Cerro Torre], we managed to climb this new route on our last day before leaving Patagonia," remembers Wright. "We decided on the name after realizing that all of our names had a meaning, and put them together in kind of an esoteric way ... the weather is shit here."


    2. A Steep Climb Named Desire (5.13d) Donner Summit, California.

    For anyone who watched Eric Perlman and Mike Hatchett's masterpiece Masters of Stone II, you likely witnessed a skinny white dude in a tank top crushing a then-futuristic bolted line of granite dubbed A Steep Climb Named Desire.

    Mike Carville cranking down on <em>A Steep Climb Named Desire</em> (5.13d). Photo by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.readyforyourcloseup.com/">Scott Fischbein</a>."It took me six hours to figure out the crux move!" says the route's creator Scott Frye, in the old-school film.

    The year was 1991, and Frye's route was an instant California classic for the strongmen of the country. Yet, as the years faded since that video debuted, you may have forgotten the details surrounding that route. But you probably didn't forget the iconic name. A Steep Climb Named Desire , riffing on the famous Tennessee William's play cum Marlon Brando movie, "A Streetcar Named Desire," holds legendary status for route names worldwide. “Stella!”


    3. Trent's Mom (V10) Joes Valley, Utah.

    Bouldering has always seemed like the punk rock of climbing. From the early days of no pads, when all falls were groundfalls (as unforgiving as punk rock's own adopted sport—skateboarding), to the fact that seemingly every area you visit has a barrage of vulgar names peppering your guidebook (Hueco Tanks anyone?), bouldering screams counter-culture.

    But among all the innuendos and double entendres littering the pages of bouldering guidebooks, my personal favorite is simple and elegant: Trent's Mom.

    "Every time I go to Joe's, I work on Trent's Mom." And of course, if you take down this proud and powerful problem, you then have the pleasure of exclaiming, "I finally did Trent's Mom."

    My only questions are: who’s Trent and what did he do to deserve this?


    For the beta on Trent's Mom, skip to 3:51 in the video below:


    4. Over Yourself (V10) Flagstaff Mountain, Boulder, Colorado.

    Bob Horan repeating <em>Over Yourself</em>. Horan collection.Skip Guerin was "aloof and competitive" according to Climb! A History of Colorado Climbing. He was also one of the strongest climbers of his generation, and his legendary exploits in both climbing and partying have been discussed in hushed tones around Colorado campfires since the late 1980's. Guerin claimed the third ascent of Midnight Lightning (V8) back when the problem was still touted as one of the world's hardest. Yet, Guerin found the line so easy that he also climbed it barefoot—up and down! Guerin is also responsible for some of Boulder, Colorado's, fiercest problems. One in particular was a line he established in the early 1990's on Flagstaff Mountain. This pebble-pinching traverse on The Pebble Boulder held the stratospheric grade of V10 at a time when few other problems did, and Guerin jokingly dubbed the line Over Yourself, specifically so he could ask other possible suitors, "Did you get Over Yourself yet?"


    5. El Sendero Luminoso (5.12c/d) El Potrero Chico, Mexico.

    Kurt Smith follows the Shining Path during the 1994 first ascent of <em>El Sendero Luminoso</em> (5.12c/d). Photo by Jeff Jackson.With the name El Sendero Luminoso flying off the tongues of people worldwide since Alex Honnold blew minds with his historic free-solo, I figured I could shed a little light on this route’s name. In 1994, Jeff Jackson, Kurt Smith and Pete Peacock established a 15-pitch sport climb up the 1,750-foot limestone wall of El Toro, in Mexico's Potrero Chico. The route was one of the first of its kind. A big-wall sport climb? Get outta here! In a time when bolts were still controversial, the idea that an entire wall could be bolted was sacrilege to some. Yet Jackson (who sits right beside me here at  Rock and Ice World Headquarters) told me this morning that the name was an inside joke. 

    “We wanted something that would take the piss out of the ultra-serious trad climbers who were denouncing sport climbing at the time," says Jackson. "The name, which means Shining Path sounds grandiose, but it’s really a reference to the line of shiny bolts and cleared vegetation.”

    With all the great, clever and symbolic route and boulder problem names in the climbing world, please add your personal favorites below, and don't be scared to get weird!

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