Whats up with the tick marks?

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Whats up with the tick marks?

Post by Mick » Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:28 pm

So... whats up with the tick marks people?!?

I was in Rocklands last week showing a buddy some of the bouldering and was pretty shocked to see a load of really massive tick marks all over some of the boulders.

I understand the use of tick marks but come on! this was crazy, these were stripes about 10-15cm long on every single hold no matter how obvious the holds were. If you are gonna make a mark you only really need a small spot unless its a hard to see dyno or around the corner type of hold. Even then why not clean your marks after climbing the boulder?

We spent a rest day cleaning boulders and were amazed to see how much better they looked after a little scrub (its strangely addictive too). All you need is some water in a spray bottle, an old rag or towel and a soft brush. Spray the marks and any other chalked holds while holding the rag under the mark to collect any run off. Use the brush to scrub any stubborn chalk.

Cleaning around you and cleaning the boulders after a session will help keep our areas looking natural and untouched and will probably help some of our access issues.

The pictures are of one the boulders we cleaned. Sorry about the quality it was taken with my phone. It was too dark to take an after cleaning photo too but trust me the boulder looked way better :) This bouder was opposite the Wailing wall boulder at the riverside area.




Post by » Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:06 am

It's the euros for sure... they are not trying to be assholes it's just the way they do it. They need to be educated, so next time you see someone drawing a landing strip just let them know that it's good manners to clean them off and/or to not use them in excess.

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Post by justin » Tue Jan 10, 2006 7:24 am

Lot of war markings on routes at Truitjieskraal as well !
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Post by Mark » Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:23 am

Ignorant question time - what exactly is the point of marking the holds? Doesn't it take some of the challenge out of solving the \"problem\" or is the general consensus that working out the moves is not the challenge, the challenge is to actually pull them off? and marking the holds allows you more time to try and make the moves?

Paddy guest

Post by Paddy guest » Tue Jan 10, 2006 10:43 am

Spent the last week climbing at Truitjies and was stunned at the extent of ticking. The majority of routes in main climging gully had been heavily ticked, and this covered all grades. Personally I really dislike doing a route that has been ticked for a variety of reasons. My two cents is that a strong stand should be taken against ticking - no ticking at all.

Greg hart

Post by Greg hart » Tue Jan 10, 2006 11:17 am

Mark one would normally tick a hidden hold or one that you have to hit dynamically. Yes the challenge is pulling the moves off, sometimes a tick mark makes all the difference in being able to do that quickly and without dithering around which would certainly spell failure on a hard ascent. I do not see the point in ticking easy routes as seldom is this degree of speed and accuracy in climbing necessary at lower grades.

All tick marks should be wiped off with a damp cloth and all holds should be gently brushed off removing excess chalk when you are done at a boulder or route. People are just too lazy to do this (which is pretty rude really).


Post by Mick » Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:34 pm

The boulder that was so badly ticked was a rather easy boulder (5 or 6a) with all the holds being pretty obvious. The ticks were pretty unecessary.

Try the spray bottle with water method. Hold a cloth under the chalk to prevent chalk run off marks. It works really well and is strangely enjoyable to do. We spent about 20 mins after our session today cleaning boulders at Mutant snail area. I think whoever goes up there next is gonna enjoy the extra friction :)

Greg Hart

Post by Greg Hart » Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:38 pm

Cool Mick! The spray bottle idea sounds really good. Glad to see some climbers are bothering to follow this simple rule, definitely helps access to keep things tidy. Cant figure the guys using ticks on easy stuff, copying hard climbers?

Evan Wiercx

Post by Evan Wiercx » Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:24 pm

Could be kids too, which may explain why there are tick marks on an easy problem. I know that mine (12 yr old boy and 10 yr old girl) were always super-keen a few years ago to chalk up and tick every conceivable hold ... innocently trying to emulate grown-ups as kids do. Kept me busy - I can vouch for the spray-bottle approach - it works well!

PS: I promise those ticks marks Mick saw have nothing to do with my brats! :)


Post by » Wed Jan 11, 2006 5:43 pm

sure it wasn't you evan. looks like the kind of hard boulder you'd want to try.

Paddy guest

Post by Paddy guest » Sat Jan 14, 2006 10:45 am

Evan you highlight the reason why tick marking is to my mind becoming a problem. Weaker climbers will mimic the tactics of stronger climbers. However, not everyone understands the subtelties of why and when tick marks are appropriate. Hence the seeming explosion of tick marks - on boulders and sport routes of all grades. Given that they will be trendsetters, it is important that the stronger climbers make a big issue of the responsible use of ticking. Such as when it is to be used and the proper removal of ticks. However, I still think that tick marking should be discouraged on sport routes as the logistics of removal make it unlikely that climbers will bother with cleaning tick marks.

Post by » Sat Jan 14, 2006 5:05 pm

What do you mean by strong climbers? Compaired to you? Or in the world? Are you allowed to use tick marks on 8a and up or...? I know you are not a boulderer but come now, are you so ignorant that you cannot see how tick marks can benefit anyone in the right situation. No-one is going to stop using them just cause you thing it's a bad idea, education is key.

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Post by paddy » Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:54 pm

Guest, the issue is not whether they are used by strong or weak climbers or even if they benefit the climber who placed them. The issue is the impact on the climb for the person who arrives afterwards. He or she has the climb graphically mapped out and is denied being able to work out the route or boulder problem for themselves. One cannot counter with the argument that chalking has the same impact - it does not even come close. (By the way I boulder and sport climb and I definitely would not class myself as a strong climber).

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Post by paddy » Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:05 pm

As for education - Firstly that is what I'm trying to do by debating the issue; secondly and perhaps cynically, I doubt that climbers will bother with removing the tick marks they have placed (which is why I am anti placing tick marks in the first place, maybe more so on sport climbs than on boulders).

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Post by scottnoy » Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:50 am

In regards to BOULDERING: Thank you for explaining that Paddy I was struggling to make sense it ;-) Maybe try reading the previous posts and see what was said! I think tick marks are being used willy-nilly but remain part of bouldering and always will! It's no use trying to STOP something you have no control over but rather try and REDUCE the impact (read previous posts)...
Tick marks on sport routes?! Well that's a different topic all together...[/i]

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