Saddleback has paint markers now? That's gross. Sure wasn't anything like that up there when I was in the Ads, around 1975-79.
I was happy to have them - route-finding would have been difficult without them, especially on descent where you can't see most of the face. (I think I'm more skilled today, but at the time I would have backtracked repeatedly or tried to downclimb something I wasn't ready for.)
Aw jeez. Now I feel bad for being all cocky ;-)
Still, it seems wrong to paint the route on the rock. Wouldn't cairns work?
We paint the route on trees all the time. Cairns might work but could be hard to spot and might not survive the winter, because they'd have to be small cairns: there isn't much nearly-flat ground to build them on. That little ledge Mudrat is standing on doesn't have any extra room, for example, but you really need a cairn within about twenty feet of each side of that blaze below him if you don't want hikers (as opposed to experienced climbers) losing the route.