Self-described as "a woman of color, web developer, and climber," Melissa A. F. Utomo recently made waves by creating a proposal that asked the popular rock climbing resource Mountain Project to reconsider many of the offensive route names on the platform. Utomo calls for names like "Lynch Mob" (Colorado), "Slant Eyes" (South Dakota), and "Full Retard" (Colorado) into question.

Utomo proposed that the site adds a flagging option that would allow users to report offensive route names. This would allow the route names to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Her proposal included mock designs of the button placement and code that could be used to help implement the change.

On July 1, Nick Wilder of Boulder-based Mountain Project announced that flagging a name is now possible. Some offensive names have already been changed on the site, including the renaming of "Slavery Wall" (Wyoming) and its many slavery-themed route names. The wall is now referred to as "Downpour Wall" on the website, following suit with changes in the greater climbing community.

While some discriminatory route names have been changed, many continue to exist, including the three mentioned at the beginning of this piece, as of July 31: "Lynch Mob" (Colorado), "Slant Eyes" (South Dakota), and "Full Retard" (Colorado).

See Melissa A. F. Utomo's full proposal here.

Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee manages the OutThere Colorado digital publication as the Director of Content and Operations. He also writes about outdoor recreation, travel news, and more. In his spare time, he loves to rock climb, trail run, and mountain bike.


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get over it

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