Climbing Definitions in English
Abseil, Descending by sliding down a rope. Americans usually call this rappelling.
Adze The flat cutting end of the ice axe head.
Aid climbing Moving up a rock using fixed or placed protecting as a means of progression (and not just for protection). Also known in the US as sixth class climbing.
Aider Webbing ladder used for aid climbing.
Aid route Route that can only be ascended using aid climbing techniques
Alcove A belay ledge that is surrounded by vertical rock on all sides.
Alpine butterfly Butterfly knot.
AMS Acute mountain sickness. (Ask your medical doctor.)
Anchor Point where the rope is fixed to the rock.
Arete Ridge, generally one of the main ridges of a mountain
Ascenders Devices (e.g. Jumars) to ascend a rope.
ATC 'Air Traffic Controller', belaying device made by Black Diamond.
Avalanche Lots of snow or ice sliding down a mountain.
Bail To give up on a rock climb or a summit attempt because of bad weather coming in.
Barn door To lose the foot and hand holds on one side of the body. Usually causes the climber to swing like a barn door.
Base camp The lowest and largest fixed camp on a major ascent (or multiple ascents in the same area).
BelayTo secure a climber.
Belay Betty and Belay Bob The girl or boyfriend of an addictive rock climber.
Belay station A safe stance consisting of an anchor, a rope, and a belayer (aka "the belay")
Belayer The person at the belay station securing the climber.
"Belay on" When the belayer is ready to belay the climber up, he yells "Belay on". (At least in the US, "belay on" would only confuse the hell out of a British climber who prefers to hear "Climb when ready").
"Below" Used in Britain to warn for impending impact with objects coming from above (e.g. falling rock). "Rock" in the US.
Bent gate karibinerKaribiner with the gate bent to accept the rope more easily. Not uncontroversial.
"Berg Heil !" A German greeting at the summit.
Bergschrund Or just 'schrund'. The top crevasse in a glacier or snowfield that is formed when the glacier/snowfield tears away from the remaining patch of snow that is stable on the mountainside
BetaInsider information about a climb. Running or auto beta is someone telling you how to do the moves as you go (as in "can you please shut up with that running beta, I want to find out myself").
Beta flashLeading a climb with no falling or dogging, but with a piece of previous knowledge hints on how to do those crux moves. Even seeing someone do the climb already classifies as 'previous knowledge'.
Big wallRock climb that is so long and sustained that a normal ascent lasts several days.
Biner Short for Karabiner
Birdbeak A tiny hooked piton manufactured by A5. It is similar to the old Chouinard "Crack'n up", except that it only has a single side and that it is intended to be hammered in if necessary
Bivouac Or short, bivi. An uncomfortable sleeping place in the middle of a route.
Black ice Old ice that was exposed to extremely cold temperatures, scree, and snowfall. Usually found deep in shady couloirs, or on steep north faces. Very hard and dense ice that is difficult to climb.
BlastTo begin a big wall, after the line fixing is done. "We're gonna blast on Tuesday morning after we get the first three pitches fixed".
BleausardSomeone who frequents 'Bleau (or Fontainebleau, the site of some excellent bouldering near Paris).
Blue ice Very dense ice with a watery hue and few air bubbles.
Bomber Used to indicate that something is exceptionally solid, e.g. an anchor, a hold. See also bombproof.
Bombproof The illusion that an anchor is infallible
Bonehead A (novice) climber with more braves than brains. Knows just enough about climbing to get himself and others badly hurt.
Bong An almost extinct species of extra wide pitons. Now, large chocks are usually used instead.
"Bonne Grimpe !" A greeting to climbers when they start the climb.
Bootie Gear (nuts, cams, etc.) that was left behind on a climb by the previous party.
BoulderClimbing unroped on boulders or at the foot of climbs to a height where it is still safe to jump off.
BounceTo crater from an extreme height. Usually lethal.
Bowline Sailing knot (not to be used for climbing, unless backed up with a second knot)
Brain bucket Aka helmet. That all important hard shelled thing that covers our (second?) most valuable asset.
Bucket A large hold (Aka "jug", esp. in UK)
Buildering To climb buildings
Bust a moveTo successfully execute a hard crux move.
Butterfly knot Interesting but rarely used climbing knot. Alpine butterfly
ButtressThe part of the mountain or rock that stands in front of the main mountainface.
Cam Generic reference to the family of spring loaded camming devices (SLCD) such as friends, camalots, aliens, TCUs, etc. Also referred to as springs (d) Friends,
Campus A dyno executed using the arms only. Comes from the campus board where the people who do this move get the muscle to do it.
A wooden training board with finger ledges that is used for training dynos and finger power.
Carabiner The alternative American spelling of the word Karabiner. Also spelled Caribiner.
Chalk Magic powder that makes the hands stick to even the smoothest rock.
Chausey Poor rock conditions. Also spelled chossy.
Cheese graterTo slide down a slab while scraping the knees, hands, and face.
Chest harness Bra-like looking harness (to be used with waist harness)Chickenhead Sometimes phallic shaped, protruding lumps that make excellent hand or footholds on granite, etc.
Chimed Exhausted. "This climb has got me chimed."
Chimney A wide crack that accommodates (most of) the body of the climber.
ChimneyA climbing technique used to conquer chimneys. Usually requires the use of the back and feet, arms, head and other body parts.
Chipped hold A hold created with a hammer and chisel by a moron incapable of doing the climb as it is.
Chock Generic reference to the family of passive wired protection devices, also called nuts, stoppers, wires, and rocks.
Chockstone A stone wedged between a crack, a chimney, etc.
Choss In Australia, this means poor rock (you can take all the holds home...). In the UK, choss is dirt and vegetation found in cracks (or Munge in the US).
Chute A very steep gully. The word chute is French for fall and refers to the rockfall that is very common in a chute.
Cirque A deep and steep-walled basin on a mountain usually forming the blunt end of a valley. From the French word for circus. Also known as corrie.
Class A number designating the overall technical level of a route. The first number in the YDS designates the class of the climb. Here's the different classes...
Clean Climbing without falling or dogging.
Clean Aid climbing without hammering.
CleanTo remove the pro from a route. Usually done by the follower.
Cliff A vertical piece of rock good for climbing (see also Crag). Cliffhanger Not just a silly film with Wolfgang G?lich and Ron Kauk, but also the name for a small hooking device used to aid climb up small ledges and pockets.
Climb(d) Klettern, (f) Grimper, (nl) Klimmen, (i) Arrampicare/scalare, (e) Escalar, (s) Kl?tra, (pl) Wspinac sie
"Climbing" What the climber shouts after the belayer screams "Belay on".
Climbing gym The second best thing to real rock (Aka "wall" in the UK).
Climbing shoes Shoes made of sticky rubber that would have fit you comfortably when you were ten.
Climbing wall The British word for a climbing gym.
"Climb when ready" The British equivalent of "Belay on".
Clipthe reassuring action of putting the rope through a karabiner (that is attached to a piece of pro).
Clove hitch A useful, easily adjustable climbing knot usually used to tie the rope into a karibiner.
Col A steep, high mountain pass.
Coombe Welsh word for corrie or cirque. Also spelled cwm.
Cord Thin static rope (5, 5.5 or 6 mm)
Corner Inside corner (see dihedral) or outside corner. In the UK, a corner is always an inside one.
Corn snow Unconsolidated granular snow that has gone through a short freeze-and-thaw process. This type of snow is prevalent throughout the High Sierra in April and May.
Corrie Other word for cirque. Spelled coire in Scotland and coombe or cwm in Wales.
Couloir A steep gully which may have snow or ice.
Crab Short for Karabiner.
Crack, in rock A gap or fissure in the rock varying in width from nail to bodywidth.
Crag Name for a (small) climbing area.
Crampons Very pointy footware use to walk glaciers or climb ice.
CrankTo pull on a hold as hard as you can, and then some.
CraterTo fall and hit the ground, as in "I almost cratered".
Crest The very top of a ridge or arete.
Crevasse A crack in the surface of a glacier.
Crimper A very small hold that accepts only the finger tips. In the UK, this is just called a crimp.
Crux The hard bit.
Cwm The Welsh spelling for coombe or cirque.
Daisy chain A sling sewn (or tied) with numerous loops, used as an adjustable sling in aid climbing.
Deadpoint A dynamic move where the next hold is grabbed at the very top of the motion (if you lunge upwards, that is just before you start falling again). By grabbing a hold in its 'deadpoint', you place the smallest possible loads on the holds.
Death wobbles The eerie sensation of jittery legs. Aka to Elvis or the sewing machine.
Deck The usually unfriendly surface that welcomes you at the end of a grounder.
Demigod Highest form of life in the climbing cosmos. Does not need rock to ascend to great heights.
Descender Device used for rappelling.
Dihedral The US term for an inside corner (Aka "open book").
"Dirt me" US slang which means as much as 'Lower me'.
Dog (to dog a move) Climbing, lowering, climbing again till a certain move is made (the usual mode of ascent...).
Double fisherman's knot Solid knot used to tie two ropes or pieces of webbing together (Aka grapevine knot).
Double rope Same as a half rope. Also the technique using two half ropes.
Downclimbing Descending the difficult way.
Dry tool,To ascend a section of rock using ice tools - very common in mixed climbing.
Dude Generic name for a climber (in the US).
Dynamic belay A belay method in which some rope is allowed to slip during severe falls. A dynamic belay can severely reduce the impact force from a serious fall, but can also severely kill you if not done properly.
Dyno Dynamic movement towards a distant hold.
EB A legendary brand of sport climbing shoes - started the free climbing revolution.
Edge A sharp edge on a rock face.
Edging Foot technique where one uses the edge of the climbing shoe to stand on small footholds. The opposite of smearing.
ElvisTo have a sewing maching leg. Named after "Elvis, the King", who suffered from this this problem when singing before a crowd of screaming women.
Epic The story of a well planned climb that turned into a grueling adventure that turned out well in the end. As these stories are told over and over again - and they always are - the details get stretched to supernatural proportions for dramatic effect.
Etrier (Pronounce with a french accent). Webbing ladder used for aid climbing. Also known as 'aider'.
Face climbing Not crack climbing.
FallA dynamic retreat from a climb (free-solo rappel). Note that it is never the fall that kills, it's the landing.
"Falling" Yelled when a climber is (about to) fall.
Fall factor The length of the fall divided by the amount of rope paid out. FecoFile A PVC tube used to store solid human waste on big walls. Aka the **** Tube.
Fifi hook An open hook used to allow easy clipping during aid climbing. Usually found on aiders, daisy chains, etc.
Figure 8 Metal rappelling/belaying device shaped like an 8.
Figure of eight Very popular and solid tie-in knot
Fingerlock Masochistic technique to twist and wedge the fingers into a crack.
Firn Old, well consolidated snow. Often a left-over from the previous season. Closer to ice than snow in density, it may require the use of crampons.
Fisherman's knot Simple knot to tie two ropes together. The double fisherman knot, however, is more popular
Fixed pro Bolts, rings, pitons, stuck nuts and cams and other piece of unremovable pro that may be found on a climb. Use at your own risk.
FlailTo become very unsure and sketchy. When the flailing goes into frantic grabbing for holds, a fall is not far away.
Flake A thin bit of rock that is detached from the main face.
Flapper A piece of skin torn off your hand that creates a bloody wound. Usually happend when holding on too hard when gravity is winning.
Flared A crack or chimney with sides that are not parallel, but instead form two converging planes of rock.
FlashTo lead a climb with no falls or dogging and with no previous attempts on the climb. Two variations exist: the onsight flash (where the climber has never seen the climb before) and the beta flash (where the climber has studied the climb before or has seen someone do the climb). See there. Following Not leading a climb.
Free climbing Moving up a rock using only hands, feet, and natural holds. Ropes and pro are only used for protection of the climber and not for progression.
Free solo Free climbing while using no ropes for protection. You fall - you die.
Friend Trade name for the original camming devices, now also available as Camalots, TCU's, Quads, Aliens, Big Dudes, etc.
Gas The stuff your car and muscles run on. If you run out of gas....
Gate The part of the karabiner that opens
Gerry rail A hold large enough for the most senior climbers.
Glacier A slowly moving permanent mass of ice.
Gnarly Difficult, sharp, hard. Usually in reference to a hold or move.
God-save-me The type of hold one lunges for hoping it will be the perfect bucket.
Goomba Novice climber who thinks he knows it all. Unlike boneheads, goombas don뭪 know enough to get hurt.
"Got me?" A wake up call for the belayer, used to warn her that you are about to put some weight on the rope.
Grade A number denoting the seriousness of a route (not to be confused with the rating of climb, which describes the technical difficulty). In Britain, however, the word grade means both grade and rating. Look here for the different grades...
Grapevine knot Fisherman's knot.
Gravical The adrenaline high felt with a lot of air between you and ground level. 'This is gravical, dude'.
GreaseNot being able to hold on to a particularly slick hold, due to the presence of sweat, lactic acid or sand. Not uncommon in overused crags
Grodle Climbing English for awesome or cool.
Grounder A fall where the kinetic energy is not absorbed by the rope and pro, but rather by mother earth itself. Can hurt badly.
Grigri Nifty but somewhat controversial belaying device made by Petzl.
Gripped Paralyzed with fear and utterly confused.
Gully A wide, shallow ravine on a mountainside.
Gumbie Also spelled Gumby. An inexperienced or new rock climber.
HACE High Altitude Cerebral Edema. Liquid in the brain as a result of high altitude exposure. Few people live to tell what it is like
Half rope A rope of 9 or 8.5 mm that has to be used together with a second rope when leading a climb.
Handjam Slightly masochistic technique where the hand is wedged into a crack.
Handle Big banana-shaped hold often found in indoor gyms. Great for waving hello to admiring bystanders. It may sound bizarre, but I've never seen one of those outdoors...
HAPE High Altitude Pulmonary Edema. Liquid in the lungs as a result of high altitude exposure. Pretty serious condition that can quickly lead to HACE if a descent to lower altitudes is not made immediately. See also HACE.
Hardman / hardwoman A climber with seemingly superhero strength who has survived epics of grandiose proportions.
Harness Piece of clothing that identifies you as a climber. The coolness factor can be significantly enhanced by hanging things from the harness that go cling.
Haul bag Large and robust bag used to haul food, water, climbing gear, sleeping bag, television, satelite dish, and other essential equipment that is required, up a big wall. Also know as "the pig".
Headwall Where the face of a mountain steepens dramatically.
"Help" The vocal alternative to 6 signals a minute. In far away countries, try S.O.S. -- it doesn't mean anything but is understood by most.
Helmet Solid plastic device that can sometimes protect the head from falling stones or impact (Aka a brainbucket).
Herbish The opposite of grodle. Not all that awesome.
Hex Short for Hexentrix. A type of nut with an excentric hexadiagonal shape. Works for wedging (as a nut) but also for camming.
Hueco A beautifully shaped pocket with a positive lip named after these incredible features found at the Hueco Tanks bouldering area in Texas.
HMS Karibiner with one wide side used for belaying with a munter hitch (aka pearabiner). From the German term for munter hitch belay: 'Halbmastwurfsicherung'.
Hold Anything that can be held on to.
Horn Spike of rock that can be for a great hold or not so great protection. The same as a chickenhead.
Hurtin unitThat member of the climbing team that is suffering from severe exposure to alcoholic beverages the night before.
Ice axe Device used for ice climbing, glacier crossing, or scaring away burglars.
Ice screw A protection device for ice climbing. Looks like a large bolt that can be screwed in hard ice.
Italian hitch Munter hitch knot or HMS knot
JamWedging body parts in a crack.
Jingus Gnarly, sharp, hard, or radical. Often used as an expletive.
Jug Very large hold (short for jug handle) (Aka "bucket" in the US).
Jugs Big wall lingo for Jumars or any other type of ascenders.
JugTo jumar up a line (big wall lingo).
Jumar A type of rope ascending device.
Jumar ascend a rope using ascenders.
Karabiner Metal connecting device, sometimes spelled with a 'c' in the US. This most essential climbing device is also known as a "biner" in the US and as "crab" or "krab" (mostly) in the UK.
Kernmantle rope Modern climbing rope consisting of bundles of continuous nylon filaments (Kern) surrounded by a braided protective sheath (Mantle).
kN Kilonewton. An abbreviation usually found on karabiners and other climbing gear. For those of you who are not engineers, one kilonewton is about 100 kg or about 220 lbs. (And for those of you who are, don't bother lecturing me).
Knotted cord Piece of cord with a knot tied into the end that is used for protection (pretty much like a nut). The traditional method of protecting climbs, and still used in the Elbsandsteingebirge in Eastern Germany. Krab Short for Karabiner.
Largo start A climb or bouldering problem where the first move starts with a jump for high holds. Named after John Long (or 'Largo').
Layback/Lieback Somewhat clumsy looking climbing technique where hands and feet work in opposition.
Leader Person who leads a climb.
LeadTo ascend a climb from the bottom up, placing protection (or clipping protection) as you go.
Ledge Flat bit on a rock (can be miniature or gigantic).
Limestone Type of rock found in abundance in southern France (usually white and full of pockets and holds).
Locking biner Karabiner that can be locked (in the UK, a screwgate or twistlock).
Lock-off To hold on to the rock with one bent arm while using the other arm to reach up for the next hold or to place or clip protection. Lockoffs on small holds will get you pumped in a hurry.
Lowering To descend something or somebody.
Manky Term used to describe a fixed bolt that looks like it was placed before the last ice age. Use these bolts at your own discretion
Mantle Difficult balancing move useful to get up on ledges.
Mixed climbing Climbing with a combination of different methods of ascent. e.g mixed free and aid climbing, mixed rock and ice climbing, etc.
Moat The gap between snow and ice on a rock wall. Has posed problems ever since the middle ages.
Mountain rescue The people who put their life on the line when you screw up badly.
Munge The dirt and vegetation that can sometimes be found in cracks. In the UK: Choss.
Multi pitch climb Climb that consists of more than a single pitch.
Munter hitch Knot used for belaying (Aka italian hitch or friction hitch). The Germans love this knot (see HMS).
Nailing An ancient term used to describe direct-aid climbing with pitons.
Needle Rock with a characteristic pointed shape. Also known as pinnacle, aiguille, gendarme, etc.
N??Consolidated granular snow formed by repeated freeze-and-thaw cycles. Also used to indicate permanent snowfields.
Notch A small col
Nut Metal wedge used for protection in cracks.
Nut key The piece of metal that Americans call a nut tool.
Nut tool Piece of metal that can be used to remove stuck nuts or cams. In the UK: nut
"Off Belay" Yelled when the climber no longer requires a belay (e.g. because she/he has reached a stance). Once the belayer hears "off belay", he/she removes the rope from the belay device and yells "belay off". In UK, Australia and New Zealand: "Safe".
Off width A climb too wide to jam, too small to chimney. And then I've heard of people who actually like this kind of climbing.
"On Belay ???" Query to verify if the belayer is ready to secure the climber (US only).
On-sight flash Leading a climb with no falls and no dogging and without any prior attempts, watching someone do it or beta on how to do the moves.
Open book Same as a dihedral or inside corner. Two panes of rock join in an acute or obtuse corner that faces left or right.
Outside corner Also known as pillar or arete.
Over-camCompressing a cam to its absolute minimum size during placement, effectively eliminating the possibility of extraction.
Overhand knot A simple (but solid) knot in a double rope.
Overhand loop The simplest type of knot possible.
Overhang Rock (or ice) that is "more than vertical".
Over-kilned A boiler plate or flaky rock
Pass The lowest passage between two mountains. The french - but not just the french - know this as a col. The mathematicians would call this the saddle point.
Party ledge A somewhat larger ledge used to rest (and party !) during a particularly hard or long climb. Sometimes used to refer to the belay station on a multipitch climb.
Pendulum A swing on the rope, either intentional to gain a distant anchor on big wall climbs or unintentional when falling during a traverse with not enough pro in place.
Pig The haul bag using for big wall climbing.
Pillar Outside corner
PimpTo do a short semi-dynamic stab. It's not quite a dynamic move, but it's also not quite static. It's the happy median.
Pink point To red-point a climb where the pro and runners have been pre-placed.
Pitch A section of climb between two belays and no longer than the length of one rope (this used to mean 45m, nowadays pitches can also be 50 or even 60m long -- check your topo).
Piton Metal spike hammered into a crack (has come in disuse for all but some special applications) (Aka "peg" in the UK).
Pocket A hold formed by a (small) depression in the rock.
Portaledge A hanging tent with built in bed used on big walls (and big trees).
Pro, Protection Anchors placed during the climb to protect the leader. Beware: even properly placed pro does not prevent pregnancy or the transmission of STDs.
Prusik The sliding knot or the method to ascend a rope (named after its inventer Dr. Karl Prusik).
Pumped The feeling of overworked muscles. Most climbers are familiar with the forearm pump: too much finger work causes the forearms to swell and the strength to disappear. With a serious forearm pump, even holding a glass of beer can become a serious challenge.
Pumpy Describes a climb that will leave you pumped.
Quickdraw, quick Short sling with karabiners on either side.
Rack The climbing gear carried during an ascent.
Rack,To sort the rack before engaging on the next climb or pitch.
Rad Not trad. Slang for sport climbing.
RallyTo climb exceptionally well, especially on normally difficult climbs.
Ramp An ascending ledge
RappelAlso: to rap. Descending by sliding down a rope. Known in Britain (and Germany) as abseiling.
Rappeler Individual who enjoys sliding down ropes instead of climbing up rocks. The second-lowest form of life on earth (second only to the touron)
Rating A number denoting the technical difficulty of the climb. See here for more on ratings and grades.
R.D.S. Rapid Deceleration Syndrome. Military term for the very sudden illness that happens at the end of a long fall.
Redpoint To lead a climb without falling or dogging after a number of attempts. This is different from onsight, where the climb is lead without falling or dogging on its first attempt.
Resin An alternative to chalk. Resin (or "pine tree resin" to use its full name) is made from the yucky stuff that sticks to your hands when you touch a pine tree. Because resin is mostly colorless, it is preferred to chalk in some areas. But caution: Don't let the color fool you. Resin can do permanent damage to the rock and in fact is not allowed anywhere in the US for that reason
Resident protection Fixed pro.
Rib A slender buttress. Something between a buttress and an outside corner.
The high divide extending out from a peak.
Ring A large (2 inch diameter) ring that is cemented in the rock as a bolt. Rings are very common in Germany and France and are excellent for rappelling and hanging belays
"Rock" Scream let out to warn people down below that a piece of rock has been overcome by gravity. The loudness, number of repetitions, and/or panic in voice with which this word is uttered is often an indication of the seriousness of the rock. In the UK, you're more likely to hear "Below", beware!
Roof Seriously overhanging part in a climb (more or less horizontal). Rope Long and round nylon fabrication. Climbing ropes are generally between 10 and 11 mm in diameter (with the exception of "half ropes" which are between 8.5 and 9mm in diameter).
"Rope" Should be yelled when a rope is about to be thrown to the base of the crag (though most of the time it seems like "rope" is shouted about 1-2 seconds after the rope is thrown). In the UK, shout "Rope below".
Route A certain path up a rock or mountain.
Runner A loop of tape or webbing either sewn or tied (Aka sling, especially in the UK). In the UK, a 'runner' is a running belay
Runner A runner threaded or looped around chockstones, flakes, horns or chickenheads for protection.
Runout Distance between two elements of pro. A route is "runout" when the distance between those two elements of pro becomes uncomfortably long.
Saddle A high pass that looks somewhat like the horsewear. Not quite as steep as a col.
"Safe" The British equivalent of "Off Belay".
Schwag Terrible rock conditions.
Scrambling Easy climbing, usually unroped.
Screamer A very, very long fall.
Screamer Special piece of equipment meant to reduce the impact of a screamer (the fall) on the belay system.
Scree Loose rocks and stones that cover the slope below a cliff. With every step, scree slides under your feet.
Screwgate The type of karabiner that can be locked with a screw. See also twistlock. In the US this is usually called a 'locking biner'.
Scrube A hammer-in, screw-out type of ice screw.
Second The climber who follows the leader. See also following.
SendTo climb a route with ease. "I'm gonna send this route, dude!"
Serac A block or tower of ice on a steep glacier or in an ice fall. Since seracs are created by the force of gravity working on the glacier or ice fall, they can come down at any moment. pl.serak
Sewing-machine leg or arm A leg (or arm) under tension that suddenly starts jerking up and down like a sewing machine. Stretch the muscle, take a deep breath, and don't think of falling... (see also: to Elvis or the death wobbles).
Sewn-up When so much gear is on a trad route that it looks like it has been sewn shut.
Sharp end The end of the rope to which the leader is attached.
Often heard during a fall... (Well educated climbers in the UK sometimes say "sugar" - but only if they're not in too much trouble).
Short roping Technique where both climbers are tied close together into the middle of the rope. The rest of the rope is then carried over the shoulders in a coil. Frequently used for simul-climbing. The term (and technique?) is used frequently in the Canadian Rockies.
Short roping Belaying technique where the belayer keeps the leader under tension in an attempt reduce the length of a fall.
Side pull A hand hold that needs to be held with a horizontal (sideways) pull.
Sit start To start a bouldering problem from a sitting position. See also 'Yabo Start'.
Sierra wave A lenticular cloud found mostly in the Sierras, but known to be forebode of bad weather in the Mont Blanc area.
Sketch pad A cushion used for bouldering.
Skyhook A particular type of hook used for aid climbing
Slab Flat and seemingly featureless, not quite vertical piece of rock.
"Slack" Yelled when the climber needs more rope (e.g. to clip into protection).
Sling What the Americans call a runner.
Slingshot A toprope setup where the belayer belays on the ground (where the climber starts climbing) and the rope is pre-clipped through the anchor at the top of the climb. In the UK, top-roping or bottom-roping (depends where the belayer stands).
Sloper Pathetic downward slanting hold. (Usually look like buckets from below.)
Smearing Foot technique where a big part of the climbing shoe is used to generate as much friction as possible. The opposite of edging.
Snaplink A truly British word for a karabiner.
Softman / softwoman A former hardman/woman who can accomplish climbs of epic proportion in comfortable style. Always has the warmest jacket, the biggest sleeping pad, the best food, and the finest of consumables. A title to aspire for.
Climbing alone, though not necessarily without the protection of a rope (unless you're in the UK, where a solo is always a free solo).
Climbing routes of (extreme ?) gymnastic difficulty while protection oneself by clipping copiously numbered and generously spaced preplaced free protection.
SprayTo brag or gloat.
StemBridging with the feet between two holds (US only).
"Stick it" American slang meaning "hold on" or "go for it".
Sticht plate A belay device consisting of a plate with two slots in it. An original creation by Franz Sticht.
Stoked Fired up, ready to play, very excited, really wanting to finish a particular climb.
Stylin?Looking good, climbing well, having the most colorful clothing.
Stylin?Living like a softman or softwoman.
Summit The top of a mountain or rock.
SummitTo reach the summit.
"Take" American monosyllable for "Up Rope". Also used by top-ropers and sports-climbers to indicate that they have reached the top and want to be lowered.
"Take in" The British equivalent of "Up Rope".
"Taking in" Heard often in British crags, meaning the climber is "off belay" and about to pull up the slack between him and the belayer. Talus Large blocks of rock. A coarse variation of scree.
Tape knot Or threaded overhand knot in the US.
TarnA small lake.
10essentials That part of your climbing gear you don't want to leave at home.
"Tension!" Yelled out to the belayer to make sure he really takes in the slack. Usually "tension" is used by a climber that is ready to pop off. The progression of severity usually goes "up rope", "tight rope", "tension!".
"That's me" Part of the climbing dialogue. Courtesy call to the belayer to indicate that the slack in the rope is all taken up and that further pulling is pointless.
Third classing Climbing without a rope on easy ground (see also class)
Solid but not failproof knot also known as water knot or tape knot (UK), or ring bend when used on webbing.
Thrutchy Requiring a whole lot of strength (and enthusiasm in a way). Used in Australia - where all the climbing is upside down.
Tick marks Little smears of chalk used to locate holds when bouldering.
"Tight rope" Or just "Tight". Urgent request to the belayer to take the slack out of the system. Somewhat stronger than "up rope".
Toe The bottom of a buttress.
Topo A short drawing of the route. Good topos will allow you to spot the line right away, show the placement of bolts and belay stances, indicate where the crux is and what rating it has.
Top-rope Free climbing a route that has the safety rope attached to the top of the climb (usually one walks to the top to set up the top-rope belay).
Touron A cross between a tourist and a moron. Typically asks stupid questions like 밐ow did you get the rope up there??Definitely the lowest form of life on earth.
Trad Traditional climbing, characterized by the placing of protection (cams, nuts, etc.) in cracks and pockets. Trad also includes multi-pitch routes often with long runouts.
Trad fall A fall during a trad climb, sometimes accompanied by the popping sound of protection succumbing to the temptations of gravity. See also 'crater' and 'screamer'.
Traverse Horizontal climb.
Trucker Synomym for 'Bomber'. A trustworthy piece of pro.
Tunnel A tunnel through or hourglass shape in the rock that allows a runner or cord to be fed through for protection.
Twistlock A locking karabiner where the gate is locked with a spring-loaded clip.
Undercling A hold that would be a perfect bucket if gravity were upside down. As it is, underclings are usually awkward holds that require lieback type moves.
"Up Rope" Yelled by the leader or the follower when she/he wants a tighter belay. (In UK: "Take in" or "Tight" or even "Watch me").
Verglas Thin water ice on rock.
V?en Great, super. "Everything's v?en."
Warthog A roughened spike hammered into certain kinds of ice or frozen turf for protection. Very popular on mixed climbs in the UK
Call to indicate the climber is about to do something stupid -- like fall. Water ice Ice formed directly from frozen water. Water ice is clear and brittle and contains few air bubbles. Sometimes water is even flowing around the ice. Can be found in the couloirs of the High Sierra in autumn (and in many other places).
Water knot See tape knot.
Way Extremely. 밒 was way scared on that run-out?
Webbing (tubular) Flat and strong strip of nylon, that is hollow in the inside.
Webbing (loop of) A runner made of webbing.
Weighting The delicate test of placing weight on a piece of pro after placing it. Usually with aid climbing.
Whipper A very long fall.
Ice with lots of air bubbles that forms from melted-and-frozen snow. Good climbing stuff.
Wombing Doing a no-hands-rest.
Woodie A homemade climbing wall.
Yabo As in 'yabo start'. A 'sit start'. Named after John Yablonski a stud southern California climber, who was nicknamed Yabo.
YardTo pull on a piece of protection. Strictly speaking aid climbing.
YDS Yosemite Decimal System. The North-American rating system.
Zawn A deep and narrow fold or inlet in a sea cliff. British.
Zipper A fall where the protection pulls out one after the other as the leader succumbs to gravity. Often ends with a grounder (or a cardiac arrest).
Z-Pulley System Complicated rope setup that allows you to hoist heavy weights with relatively little force. Excellent for rescuing or hauling bags.
Last modified 5 December 2000. Copyright ? by Carl Ockier
-do you think Carl will mind? Besides he couldn't decide himself weather it should be copyrighted or not, check out the ? mark! Also, I edited it alot.
Good on you for all that typing. Oh well I suppose you probably just cut and paste from the web, eh? Well, thanks for the much needed info. Now I don't need to keep asking silly questions like "what is webbing?", and "what is trad climbing?"
I think we should vote and credit him with 10 extra posts....
great post rockboy! love the humorous twist!
my 2 cents...
Sonia/Yats...think this is this what we saw at wolchulsan?
Bong An almost extinct species of extra wide pitons. Now, large chocks are usually used instead.
Sounds like it. . . although now there are #5 cams and big-bros instead. . . imagine, we didn't recongnize a bong when we saw it?!
A note to "newbies": Be aware this isn't the be-all end-all "dictionary" of climbing. This is more of a list people compiled off the top of their heads. For example, you can short-rope someone by not paying attention and end up pulling the leader off. If you use use tension to try to reduce a fall (or swing) you are aid climbing! Another example: anything less than vertical is a slab. . . features or not! I would only use the term "anchor" for the beginning and ending point of a pitch, and not for anywhere the rope attaches to the rock. Overall, it's good, but I there are numerous "interpretations" and a few outright mistakes, as Rick noted with arete!
If it's copyrighted, I'd check with the person before reprinting it in it's entirety, but you do credit him and I doubt he'll sue:) However, my brother is a publisher, and for example, he can't allow just anyone to reprint the info. (Though he'll select certain topos, etc to post on various sites.) Publishers are people that have to make money, too!
I still highly recommend Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills, the Bible of mountain sports published by the Mountaineers and updated regularly (you can get the "old" versions cheap through Amazon).
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