Clarification of climbing tags

Mostly I want to map the locations of rappel anchors and their access trails so that it’s easier for climbers to find the path down and stomp on fewer tree roots, etc. The tags on Climbing - OpenStreetMap Wiki are a little confusing:

  • climbing=bolt is for single bolts on a sport route? But could also be used for multiple bolts at an anchor?
  • climbing:bolt=abseil / anchor lets you differentiate between the bolts in the middle of a route and the bolts at the end that are used for rappelling? But it’s possible for bolts to be an anchor without abseiling, and it’s possible for bolts to be both an anchor and abseiling.
  • climbing:bolts=<number> is for a sport route climbing=route_bottom node or climbing=route way to say how many bolts the route has? And is not for “how many bolts are at the anchor”? Later the wiki says climbing:bolts=yes / no / <nr of bolts>, so it can also indicate whether a route has bolts at all.
  • climbing:bolted=yes / no / <average bolt distance in meters>: This is also for the route itself? The yes and no options are redundant with ``climbing:bolts=yes / no`?

If a tree is slung for anchoring/rappelling purposes, I don’t see how to tag it, since it’s an abseil point but not a bolt. There are Talk page suggestions for climbing:anchor=tree or climbing=abseil or climbing:abseil_point combined with natural=tree.

Not sure how to tag a point where you set up a trad gear anchor to reduce rope drag but can’t rappel off it, either. climbing:anchor=trad or something? There isn’t actually an object here, but it’s still a point of interest on the map with coordinates.

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Not into climbing at all: Still having questions.

Climbing mostly vertical, no idea here how to recreate that in openstreetmap. PoI stacking one above the other via tags? (That when retreating in the middle?)

Is this still about climbing? Recently been watching climbers on the way down with binoculars and got me thinking, I could be of help in telling them: They looked like ants testing the surroundings. Took one of them a bit of lost height, eventually they found their way down. I guess that is part of the game :wink: GPS I suppose is not of much use, at least that is what I observed when in such terrain. What makes me wonder, why the “topo” or route description – they certainly used such going up – did not cover the way out?

Correct, being in the wrong location by less than a meter can be the difference between easy and almost impossible terrain - much less than the accuracy of a consumer GPS unit - not to mention that accuracy can be further degraded because ~half the sky is obscured by the rock.

The route looks quite different from above than from below and climbing topos are drawn from the climber’s perspective - not the perspective of someone reppeling the route. If there are fixed rappel (abseil) anchors they can sometimes be quite difficult to find when coming down, even if only an hour or so before you used them as belay anchors on the way up.

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Most long/easy routes have some horizontal movement, too. I’ve mapped a few as experiments, but I’m not sure how useful it is to map the routes themselves:


Well it’s more like hiking to find the way down.

It does, but it can be confusing, which is why I want to map the rappel anchors in OSM. Real example from last weekend: I tried to do blue route and then walk to rappel, but I took red path by accident. I had a GPS point for the start of the green route, so I noticed I had walked past it, and went back.

Now I’ve added the trail and anchor to OSM:

but not sure about tags. Hence this post. Sometimes the rappel is from a tree, not bolts.

The less time we waste trying to find our way down, the more time we have to climb. :smiley: