Red markings at base of route

Original Post
Timothy Brady · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

My partner and I were at summersville lake this weekend, and went to get on a warmup route. It was the rightmost climb on the wall according to our guide book, so we found the bolt line and got out great ready. I noticed 5.10a marked in red chalk on the rock. We realized this route was not in the guide book, and moved over to the intended 5.7. We went back later and climbed the red chalked route, but found a red x at the third of four bolts. Did we climb somebody's project and steal the FA? We are both relatively new climbers and I had not heard of red tagging until doing more research after getting home. Our first thought was that the red x indicated a loose or unsafe bolt, but it appeared secure to us. Just wanting to be sure we know for the future what these marking might mean, both for safety and etiquette.

BBQ · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 11,386

I think you probably should have stayed off the route. I have seen developers wrapping a red wire or zip tie around their first bolt hanger to indicate that the route is an unfinished project. A red X strikes me as a symbol used to indicate the route is not safe to climb. Just a heads up for next time. However, it seems that you survived the climb so the red X might have just been graffiti. If I were you I would find a local developer for your area and ask them about it.

BrianWS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 790

Which specific area did you visit, and what route was this climb next to? Most developers tag the bolt, I've never seen any mark routes with red chalk.

I also can't imagine a competent developer needing to project 10a, so you probably didn't shark anyone's FA.

amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20

Sounds like you climbed Whippoorwill?
I would ask at Waterstone, of NRAC,

Climbing red tagged, even red-chalk tagged routes, maybe dangerous to your life. Sometimes developers close the route due to bad placement or bad quality of bolts. A few years back a climber got injured after falling off a redtagged route - developer noticed that bolts were bad, put the tag on, while climber chose to ignore the warning.

Excerpt from

There are several new routes up on the Aimee's Jugs/Wendy's Jugs wall. I will provide some details here based on the reports I have received, but if someone has better info please expand on this:

5.10a(?) - About 3ft L of Wendy's Jugs - harder moves to first two bolts then great holds on overhanging route to the top. I believe it is 6 bolts to its own set of anchors.

5.8 - About 2 ft R of Aimee's Jugs. I believe it is shorter and fewer bolts than Aimee's Jugs. Has its own set of anchors.

5.10+ - Starts just L from Straight outta Lockmont (5.9) under smallish roof. Climbs up dirty face to cool pockets and small roof. Not sure on the number of bolts, but has its own anchors.

5.11+ - Climbs just L of this new 5.10+. Similar start and then detours L around first bolt. Not sure on number of bolts or anchors.

Timothy Brady · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

It was at Narcissus cave, on the far right of the face just before orange Oswald. 4 bolts and an anchor.

Cory Furrow · · Blacksburg, VA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 25

The 5.7 you climbed, was it Hippie Dreams? Was it the bolt line to the left or right oh Hippie Dreams?

Could you describe the route? I'm wondering if it was Fabulous Groupies which is left of Hippie Dreams.

Oh wait: It only had 4 bolts. Nevermind, its not Fabulous Groupies.

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,135

If someone is working a new route the standard has been to tie a red cord to the first bolt. Given there was none I would not worry about it.

An X on the rock in any color but typically white chalk is a warning of loose rock or some other hazard (bad bolt, bees/wasps)

BrianWS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 790

But given the fact that the routes grade was written in the same red chalk... Probably not a warning, just bad form.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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