Friday, 1 October 2010

The Name of the Game

As I have written on this blog before there is an ongoing inflamed debate in Sweden about route naming and naming ethics. To day Alpinist ( is running a story on this issue.

I have been harsh against the Swedish Climbing Federation and on solid grounds. When DN one of the major daily Swedish newspapers published a story about an upset climber (Hess) and some loud politicians called for banning of "offensive" route names. A few politicians suggested banning climbing on cliffs with offensive route names.

The first response from the Chairman of the Swedish Climbing Federation was to agree that banning offensive route names was a viable solution. How ever after internal discussions the Federation issued a more sober statement basically saying that route naming is not some thing they can influence. The statement was also filled with some BS/PC (Bull Shit/ Politically Correct) statements meant to calm the situation and promise to look at the possibility of issuing a naming policy document. bla bla bla...

Now it seams further gasoline is put on the fire as there is a bit of a misunderstanding with regards to what the Federations position is and isn't. I'd say the Federation is with out a strong position and thats right. Some other think the federation is in favor of restricting naming rights. I think its fair to say that the position the Federation has is that its not there business. Its an issue for the FA, guide book authors and publishers.

In terms of my core argument the freedom of speech and freedom of expression over ride all access issues. But more important what is the world coming to when route naming is becoming political territory? Route naming is a corner stone in the climbing culture and no one has any right to tell the FA what a route can be called. Route names is an essential part of the climbing history and shall be preserved.

Its pathetic to bend over for political pressure and accept any kind of regulation or starting issuing policy documents.