In climbing what do the terms Redpoint, Pinkpoint, Flash and Onsight mean?

Where does it come from?

  • 2
    I think there is ample amount of information about this on wiki : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redpoint_(climbing)
    – WedaPashi
    Sep 4, 2014 at 14:42
  • 3
    Rather this is a very good link to have a look at: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_climbing_terms
    – WedaPashi
    Sep 4, 2014 at 14:43
  • @Liam would you be open to adding Pink Point to your question as there is only one small difference, pink point the draws are on the rock, red point you put the draws up...
    – AM_Hawk
    Sep 4, 2014 at 14:44
  • @AM_Hawk Feel free to elaborate further if you wish?
    – user2766
    Sep 4, 2014 at 15:43
  • 2
    Kurt Albert, R.I.P.
    – Wills
    Sep 4, 2014 at 21:05

1 Answer 1


The two terms specifically refer to the finer aesthetics of Lead Climbing, in which a climber will either create intermediate anchors using gear (referred to as traditional climbing), or will use the bolted anchors on a wall (referred to as sport climbing), and clip the rope to them as he/she ascends for protection.

To understand the two terms, you will need to understand some other terms first: Onsight, and Flash.

  • Flash: If you were to climb a route using either of these two methods, and made it to the top of the route both without falling, and without resting your weight on the belay chain, you have successfully flashed the route, congratulations!
  • Onsight: If you did all the above without getting any Beta, then you have successfully on-sighted the route, you get a double congratulations! (Beta is defined as any information pertaining to the climb, like where the hardest moves are or the best ways to get through or avoid them).

If you fall or rest on the rope (held by your belayer) during your first attempt to flash or on-sight a route, but know that you could have done better, you may decide to try again after coming down.

  • Pinkpoint: A successful second, third, or twentieth attempt to climb the route from start to finish, without either falling or resting on the rope, will net you the pinkpoint, hi-five!

  • Redpoint: Lastly, the redpoint, which is only slightly different to the pinkpoint, refers to climbing the route in exactly the same way, but while having to place the gear to protected the route as you ascend. If you managed to do this, you have redpointed the route, double hi-five!

The difference between redpoint and pinkpoint can seem subtle, so here is a picture from Alli Rainey's site to better explain. The route he is climbing on the left side already has some quick-draws in place to clip to, the route to his right however, does not. A climber going up the right side of the picture would have to take quick-draws with to attach to these hangers.

Alli Rainey Climbing in Scotland

The term redpoint originates from German climber Kurt Albert in the 70's. He painted a red-circle at the base of a climb which he later filled in once successfully free-climbing the entire route.

  • 6
    +1 Good answer. Today, most times a pinkpoint is also referred to as a redpoint. People mix that up. I edit the "rest on the rope" part. You aren't allowed to "rest on the belay chain" to get a redpoint ascent.
    – Wills
    Sep 4, 2014 at 21:19
  • 2
    Oh, that is what pink point means. I though term for that was "Climbed the route"
    – user5330
    Jan 10, 2018 at 1:03
  • If you have followed (top-roped) a route in the past, and then led it cleanly on your first (lead) attempt, is that a redpoint or a flash? Obviously the top-rope counts as beta, but does it count as an attempt?
    – endolith
    Nov 18, 2021 at 17:53
  • Wikipedia says it does: "redpointing is free-climbing a route, while lead climbing, after having practiced the route beforehand (either by hangdogging or top roping)"
    – endolith
    Nov 18, 2021 at 17:59

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