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.
Last edited by rockboy : 04-26-2006 at 10:14 PM.