In sport climbing, redpointing is free-climbing a route, while lead climbing, after having practiced the route beforehand (either by hangdogging or top roping). Many climbers will frequently try to redpoint a route after having failed to on-sight or flash it, although occasionally a climber will forgo an onsight attempt if they suspect that the route is so difficult that an attempt would be pointless. Redpointing differs from headpoint, in that it is exclusive to sport routes with protection equipment fixed into the rock at regular intervals.
The English term "redpoint" is derived from the German Rotpunkt (point of red) coined by Kurt Albert in the mid-1970s at Frankenjura. He would paint a red X on a fixed pin that he could avoid using for a foot- or handhold. Once he was able to free-climb the entire route, he would put a red dot at the base of the route. In many ways, this was the origin of the free climbing movement that led to the development of sport climbing ten years later.
Modern sport climbing ethics do not consider it a redpoint if one successfully climbs a route on toprope without using or weighting the gear or rope, though leading with preplaced quickdraws is typically allowed, even in international climbing competitions. Free-climbing while leading with preplaced quickdraws is sometimes referred to as a pinkpoint.
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