I'm lifting the discussion here but making a concrete proposal. That discussion is also very old but no action step was taken so I believe a clean "feature request" question is better. My question is also duped to my answer there. The other answers are quite pertinent and may include better proposals, but I see this proposal as best.

Ban "Climbing"

It's hard for me to imagine a proper question about "climbing" that is not rock climbing, although surely something like "If a bear chases me is it safe to climb a tree?" (though an ignorant example) may plausibly come up. In that case it needs a better tag than . Perhaps , or , or any more specific term from that community, but is too general.

Tagging a question as + would be appropriate. It's okay to have "tag" and "subtag", but, swallows up way too much of for this to be practical. For instance, once a tag hierarchy reaches depth 6, SE doesn't support this.

This fixes at least two problems. One, it's confusing for a user, especially a new user, as they don't know which to use and must either pick at random or educate themselves on the subtle differences between the two (the subtle differences led me to post this question, at least). Two, clicking on or searching by tag yields incomplete results, as the users were a bit random when applying the tags in the first place.

I believe you could as an option support requiring a subtag, but this is probably not worth the complication for this stage of outdoors.SE's development.

So it's a judgment call, and in my opinion "rock climbing" is a good, meaningful tag although questions would benefit from also being tagged "bouldering" or "top roping" or "trad", and "climbing" is a meaningless tag, because the part of climbing that means things besides rock climbing can only be muddled up with rock climbing.


Most questions should be retagged to , or removed if is already present. Things like and (to run away from land mammals maybe?) may need to be applied or created. This may require domain expertise or at least the ability to create tags, as my ignorance in the second category shows. This is the burnination phase (I believe...), then we ban. That's all.

  • Yeah, it seems every [climbing] question is also a [rock-climbing] question
    – endolith
    Apr 21, 2021 at 20:44

2 Answers 2


I'd be against this for a couple of reasons:

  • While you may not be able to imagine much climbing other than rock climbing, there are other types, and as there are many general climbing skills that are relevant across rock, ice, mountain, tree?, whatever - then a general climbing tag makes sense.
  • We can always use more than one tag.
  • Tags are an indicator for helping folks search - and if I search for a climbing technique it may be that I'd like to get answers back that are general, as well as specific ones.
  • More queries look for climbing than rock-climbing

And most importantly, What is the problem this proposed activity will fix?

I think @TheJollySin's answer on your linked question is ideal. Let's have all those suggested topics as tags. I'm tempted to use this question as a prompt to nudge me to implement Kevin and JollySin's suggestions, as they have some good strong upvotes.

  • #2 is false when the tags don't have clear meanings, which these don't currently. (See how many "rock climbing" questions are just tagged "climbing" for proof). #3 I simply don't buy, you know what you are trying to find. #4 search engines will handle.
    – djechlin
    Oct 13, 2014 at 12:04
  • As for #1 should it always be used when "rock climbing" is used? That's kind of the assertion and is what I feel is wrong, because people won't apply consistently. Usually you have to destroy overextended tags.
    – djechlin
    Oct 13, 2014 at 12:05
  • On smaller sites we very rarely have to destroy overextended tags. On all the sites I moderate, we have had to burninate maybe 4 or 5 tags, ever. This is very different to SE.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Oct 13, 2014 at 12:18
  • while you may disagree with #3, it is absolutely what I would want. And #4 is very useful.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Oct 13, 2014 at 12:19
  • re. fixed problem, see edit (two bold faced points near middle)
    – djechlin
    Oct 13, 2014 at 19:08
  • Also, re point #3, I actually disagree that it's what you want at all. If you click "climbing" you get mostly rock climbing questions and a morsel of some others. If you click "rock climbing" you get most of the rock climbing questions, except for the ones tagged climbing. In other words there's too much noise in the first case and only half the signal in the second. This is broken in both cases, not useful.
    – djechlin
    Oct 13, 2014 at 19:10

I agree with @djechlin that most climbing questions are about rock-climbing and when asking I am always pretty unsure which tag to choose so I take both. This seems a bit redundant to me.

I could live with a ban of because it is extremely broad (this is somehow the same with tags like or ... we could also apply a tag called earth or outdoors if you know what I mean). I would prefer to just use those sub-tags like , , , , , , ...

If we are asking about a topic which relates to several types of climbing we can just use several tags (like you said Rory). And if we are searching for these kind of Q/A, we can search for several topics/tags too.

Still I understand the point of Rory. It's not that urgent and just a minor fix. I am interested what others think...

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