Glossary of climbing terms

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This page describes terms and jargon related to climbing and mountaineering.[1]


A[edit]

Abalakov thread 
A type of abseiling point used especially in winter and ice climbing. Also known as V-thread.
Ablation zone 
The area of a glacier where yearly melting meets or exceeds the annual snow fall.
Abseil 
The process by which a climber can descend a fixed rope. Also known as Rappel.
ACR (Alpine Cock Ring)
An anchor method similar to a cordelette but that is dynamically equalizing. It employs a cord and a rappel ring.
Adze 
A thin blade mounted perpendicular to the handle on an ice axe that can be used for chopping footholds.
Aid climbing 
A style of climbing in which standing on or pulling oneself up via devices attached to fixed or placed protection is used to make upward progress.
Alpine climbing 
Generally climbing in the mountains. Probably includes a mixture of ice climbing and dry-tooling. Alpine style generally means carrying all gear in a backpack even for multi day climbs.
Alpine knee 
To use your knee as a way to gain ground on a climb.
Alpine start 
To make an efficient start on a long climb by packing all your gear the previous evening and starting early in the morning, usually well before sunrise.
Altitude sickness 
A medical condition that is often observed at high altitudes. Also known as Acute mountain sickness, or AMS.[2]
American death triangle 
An anchor which is created by connecting a closed loop of cord or webbing between two points of protection, and then suspending the rope from a carabiner clipped to only one strand of said anchor. This creates a triangular shape in the webbing or cord, which places massively multiplied inward forces on the protection, making it a dangerous, ineffective anchor.
Anchor 
An arrangement of one or (usually) more pieces of gear set up to support the weight of a belay or top rope.
Approach 
The path or route to the start of a technical climb. Although this is generally a walk or, at most, a scramble it is occasionally as hazardous as the climb itself.
Arête
  1. A small ridge-like feature or a sharp outward facing corner on a steep rock face
  2. Arête, a narrow ridge of rock formed by glacial erosion
  3. A method of indoor climbing, in which one is able to use such a corner as a hold. See also dihedral.
Arm bar 
Jamming an arm into a crack and locking it into place.
Arqué 
(from the French word meaning arched) Used to describe crimping. In this position typically the first set of knuckles are hyperextended and the second have a sharp angle of about 90 degrees. This combines muscular effort with soft tissue tensions in order to apply the load. When used often, this position has been known to over-stress the tendons in fingers and lead to injuries.
Ascend 
To climb a rope using aid device.
Ascender 
A device for ascending on a rope.
Aspect 
The direction in which a slope faces.[3]
ATC 
A proprietary belay device manufactured by Black Diamond. Has become common term for any tubular belay devices. ATC originally stood for 'Air Traffic Controller'.
Automatic belay 
A fast method for setting up a two-point anchor in sport climbing, using the climbing rope to attach to the anchor points.
Austrian floss 
When a climber falls in a manner where the rope that they are attached to runs through their legs; upon falling, the rope tightens and suspends the climber via the rope rather than the harness.

B[edit]

"B"-grade 
A grading system for bouldering problems, invented by John Gill. Now largely superseded by the "V" grading system.
Bachar ladder 
A piece of training equipment used to improve campusing and core strength.
Back-clipping 
A potentially hazardous mistake that can be made while lead climbing. The rope is clipped into a quickdraw such that the leader's end runs underneath the quickdraw as opposed to over top of it. If the leader falls, the rope may fold directly over the gate causing it to open and release the rope from the carabiner.
Bail 
To retreat from a climb.
Barn-door 
If a climber has only two points of contact using either the right or left side of their body, the other half may swing uncontrollably out from the wall like a door on a hinge.
Bashie 
A copperhead intended for pounding into a crack
Belay 
To protect a roped climber from falling by passing the rope through, or around, any type of friction enhancing belay device. Before belay devices were invented, the rope was simply passed around the belayer's hips to create friction.
Belay device 
A mechanical device used to create friction when belaying by putting bends in the rope. Many types of belay devices exist, including ATC, grigri, Reverso, Sticht plate, eight and tuber. Some belay devices may also be used as descenders. A Munter hitch can sometimes be used instead of a belay device.
Belay Loop 
The strongest point on the harness. This is the loop you use your belay device on. You should not tie anything around the belay loop such as a daisy chain or sling. The belay loop will wear more quickly.
Belay off 
Called by belayer to confirm belay has been removed from climbing rope. Response to Off belay request.
Belay on 
Called by belayer to confirm belay has been (re)applied to climbing rope. Response to On belay request.
Belay slave 
Someone that volunteers for, or is tricked into, repeated belaying duties without partaking in any of the actual climbing.
Benightment
An unscheduled overnight bivouac often due to an epic.
Bergschrund (or schrund)
A crevasse that forms on the upper portion of a glacier where the moving section pulls away from the headwall. Also called a 'shrund.
Beta 
Advice on how to successfully complete (or protect) a particular climbing route, boulder problem, or crux sequence. Some climbers believe that beta 'taints' an ascent.
Beta flash 
The clean ascent of a climb on the first attempt, having previously obtained beta or while having beta shouted up from the ground en route. Also see on-sight.
Bicycle 
A technique used to keep the feet on when climbing on overhangs. One foot is placed on a foothold and the other foot is placed behind the foothold in a toe hook position. The climber can now squeeze the hold between the feet.
Bidoigt 
(French "two fingers") A climbing hold, typically a pocket or hueco, that has enough room for two fingers. See also mono.
Big wall 
A climb on which most parties will spend more than one day. Big wall style generally refers to hauling the needed gear (food, water, sleeping bags) in a haulbag. Instead of carrying the gear on their person, the climbers put it in the haul bag and raise it in between pitches.
Biner  
See Carabiner.
Bivy (or bivvy)
From the French "bivouac". A camp, or the act of camping, overnight while still on a climbing route off the ground. May involve nothing more than lying down or sitting on a rock ledge without any sleeping gear. When there is no rock ledge available, such as on a sheer vertical wall, a portaledge that hangs from anchors on the wall can be used.
Bivy-bag 
A lightweight garment or sack offering full-body protection from wind and rain.
Bollard 
A large knob of rock or ice used as a belay anchor.
Bolt 
A point of protection permanently installed in a hole drilled into the rock, to which a metal hanger is attached, having a hole for a carabiner or ring.
Bolt chopping 
The deliberate and destructive removal of one or more bolts.
Bomb-proof anchor 
A totally secure anchor. Also known as bomber. Bomber can also refer to a particularly solid hand or foot hold (a "Bomber Jug")
Booty 
Gear left behind at a climbing area.
Bosun's chair 
To reduce pains from heavy-duty climbing using a harness; such as long-time belaying or bolting a new route, climbers attach their harness with a special type of chair, which is usually light and has multiple high endurance straps and buckles. Similar types are also used in industrial climbing.
Bouldering 
The practice of climbing on large boulders. Typically this is close to the ground, so protection takes the form of crash pads and spotting instead of belay ropes.
Bridging 
see Stemming
Bucket 
A large handhold.
Bummer 
A slang word, referring to a difficult or uncomfortable hold, often one that tears the skin on the hand.
Bump 
A climbing technique wherein a hand or foot is moved to one hold then quickly moved up immediately to a further hold. This is often done over short distances advancing from an inferior hold to a superior one.
Buildering 
The art of climbing on buildings, which is often illegal.
Buttress 
A prominent feature that juts out from a rock or mountain.

C[edit]

Cairn 
A distinctive pile of stones placed to designate a summit or mark a trail, often above the treeline.
Cam 
A spring-loaded device used as protection.
Campus 
The act of climbing without using any feet.
Campus board 
Training equipment used to build finger strength and strong arm lock-offs.
Carabiner 
Metal rings with spring-loaded gates, used as connectors. Usually oval or roughly D shaped. Also known as crab or biner (pronounced kar-uh-bee-ner).
Chalk 
A compound used to improve grip by absorbing sweat. It is actually gymnastics chalk, usually magnesium carbonate. Its use is controversial in some areas.
Chalk bag 
A hand-sized holder for a climber's chalk that is usually carried on a chalkbelt for easy access during a climb.
Chest jam 
Jamming the torso into a wide crack, for resting.
Chicken head 
see bollard, horn.
Chicken Wing 
This is a crack climbing technique. A hand is placed on one side of the crack and the shoulder on the other.
Chimney 
  1. A rock cleft with vertical sides mostly parallel, large enough to fit the climber's body into. To climb such a structure, the climber often uses his head, back and feet to apply opposite pressure on the vertical walls.
  2. The process of using such a technique (chimneying).
Chipping 
Improving a hold by permanently altering the rock, which is considered unethical and unacceptable.
Chock 
  1. A mechanical device, or a wedge, used as anchors in cracks.
  2. A naturally occurring stone wedged in a crack.
Choss 
Loose or "rotten" rock.
Classification 
See Grade.
Clawing 
Use of front points of crampons, ice axe pick and ice hammer pick to climb a slope.
Clean 
  1. To remove equipment from a route.
  2. A route that is free of loose vegetation and rocks.
  3. To complete a climb without falling or resting on the rope. Also see redpoint.
  4. In aid climbing, abbreviated "C", a route that does not require the use of a hammer or any invasive addition of protection (such as pitons or copperheads) into the rock (see protection).
Cleaning tool 
A device for removing jammed equipment, especially nuts, from a route. Also known as a nut key.
Climbing area 
A region that is plentiful with climbing routes.
Climbing command 
A short phrase used for communication between a climber and a belayer.
Climbing gym 
Specialized indoor climbing centres. See gym climbing. (Usually just called a 'climbing wall' in Britain).
Climbing shoe 
Footwear designed specifically for climbing. Usually well fitting, with a rubber sole.
Climbing technique 
Particular techniques, or moves, commonly applied in climbing.
Climbing wall 
Artificial rock, typically in a climbing gym.
Clipping in 
The process of attaching to belay lines or anchors for protection.
Clipstick 
In bolted climbing, an extendable pole which allows the climber to reach the first bolt from the ground, thus making the route safer and less committing. Ethically controversial.
Col 
A small pass or "saddle" between two peaks. Excellent for navigation as when standing on one it's always down in two, opposite, directions and up in the two directions in between those.
Copperhead 
A small nut with a head made of soft metal on a loop of wire.
Cord lock 
a lock or toggle used to fasten cords with gloved hands. Used on most mountaineering gear.
Cordelette 
A long loop of accessory cord used to tie into multiple anchor points.
Corner 
An inside corner of rock, the opposite to an arête (UK). See Dihedral.
Cornice 
An overhanging edge of snow on a ridge.
Couloir 
A steep gully or gorge frequently filled with snow or ice.
Crack climbing 
To ascend on a rock face by wedging body parts into cracks, i.e. not face climbing. See jamming and chimney.
Crag 
A small area with climbing routes, often just a small cliff face or a few boulders.
Crampons 
Metal framework with spikes attached to boots to increase safety on snow and ice.
Cramponing 
  1. Using crampons to ascend or descend on ice, preferably with maximum number of points of the crampon into the ice for weight distribution.
  2. Accidentally piercing something with a crampon spike.
Crank 
To pull on a hold as hard as possible.
Crash pad 
A thick mat used to soften landings or to cover hazardous objects in the event of a fall. See: Bouldering mat
Crater 
Hitting the ground at the end of a fall instead of being caught by the rope.
Crimp 
  1. A hold which is only just big enough to be grasped with the tips of the fingers.
  2. The process of holding onto a crimp.
Crux 
The most difficult portion of a climb.
Cup 
A hand grip which is squeezed, over the top or around the side, between the fingers and palm, forming a cup shape with the hand, or applying this type of hold on any protrusion or feature. More commonly known as guppy.
Cut-loose 
Where a climber's feet swing away from the rock on overhanging terrain, leaving the climber hanging only by their hands. Also known as "Cutting feet."
Cwm 
(Welsh) A hanging valley, or cirque—a steep-walled semicircular basin in a mountain—sometimes containing a lake; also known as a corrie.

D[edit]

Daisy chain 
A special purpose type of sling with multiple sewn, or tied, loops. It is significantly weaker than a normal sling. it is not made to support a climbers weight, but to hold gear.
Dead Ball 
Type of High Ball boulder, where one can possibly die when falling from above.
Dead hang 
To hang limp, such that weight is held by ligament tension rather than muscles.
Deadman anchor 
An object buried into snow to serve as an anchor for an attached rope. One common type of such an anchor is the snow fluke. Any object that is buried in order to make an anchor, or what you become if that anchor fails.
Deadpoint 
A dynamic climbing technique in which the hold is grabbed at the apex of upward motion. This technique places minimal strain on both the hold and the arms.
Deck 
  1. The ground.
  2. To hit the ground, usually the outcome of a fall.
Deep Water Soloing 
Free climbing an area that overhangs a deep enough body of water to allow for a safe fall.
Descender 
A device for controlled descent on a rope. Also called a rappel device. Many belay devices may be used as descenders, including ATCs, figure eights, or even carabiners. See rappel.
Desmond 
A ground fall (from Desmond Dekker, a reggae artist and 'to deck').
Dexamethasone  
A pharmaceutical drug used in the treatment of high altitude cerebral edema as well as high altitude pulmonary edema. It is commonly carried on mountain climbing expeditions to help climbers deal with altitude sickness.[2] Also known as "dex".
Dialled 
To have complete understanding of a particular climbing move or route.
Diamox 
A drug used to inhibit the onset of altitude sickness. Otherwise known as acetazolamide.[2]
Dièdre 
A dihedral.
Dihedral 
An inside corner of rock, with more than a 90-degree angle between the faces. See also corner and arête.
Direct aid 
A type of tension climbing consisting of using one or more belay ropes to haul the leader up to the next point of protection.
Dirtbag 
climbers living cheaply and supporting themselves thru odd jobs in order to maximize the amount of time climbing. Well known practitioners of this lifestyle include Jan and Herb Conn or Fred Beckey.
Double Rope Technique (DRT) 
The term denotes the use of two separate ropes, which is true of alpine and rock climbers, but not as much for tree climbers, who usually see it as synonymous with Doubled Rope Technique.
Doubled Rope Technique (DdRT) 
A method used primarily by tree climbers where the rope passes over a support/limb and continuously slides over the limb as the climber ascends or descends.
Downclimb 
To descend by climbing downward, typically after completing a climb.
Dry-tooling 
Using tools for ice climbing like crampons and ice axes on rock.
Dulfersitz 
A method of rappelling, without mechanical tools, where the uphill rope is straddled by the climber then looped around a hip, across the chest, over the opposite (weak) shoulder, and held with the downhill (strong) hand to adjust the shoulder friction and thus the descending speed.
Dynamic belay 
Technique of stopping a long fall using smooth braking to reduce stress on the protection points and avoid unnecessary trauma from an abrupt stop.
Dynamic rope 
A slightly elastic rope that softens falls to some extent. Also tend to be damaged less severely by heavy loads. Compare with static rope.
Dynamic motion 
Any move in which body momentum is used to progress. As opposed to static technique where three-point suspension and slow, controlled movement is the rule.
Dynamite starfish 
Tightly gripping hand holds, simultaneously flagging out both legs then proceeding to violently kick downwards and inwards in a desperate attempt to produce upwards motion; making the climber resemble an explosive bottom feeder.
Dyno 
A dynamic move to grab a hold that would otherwise be out of reach. Generally both feet will leave the rock face and return again once the target hold is caught. Non-climbers would call it a jump or a leap.

E[edit]

Edge 
A thin ledge on the rock.
Edging 
Using the edge of the climbing shoe on a foothold. In the absence of footholds, smearing is used.
Egyptian 
Method for reducing muscle strain in arms when holding a side grip. One knee ends up in a lower position with the body twisted towards the other leg. It can give a longer reach as the body and shoulders twist towards a hold.
Egyptian bridging 
The same position as bridging or chimneying, but with one leg in front and one behind the body.
Eight-thousander 
A mountain whose elevation exceeds 8,000 metres above sea level.
Eliminate 
A bouldering move or series of moves in which either certain holds are placed 'off bounds' or other artificial restrictions are imposed.
Elvis legs 
Wobbly knees resulting from tired legs. See Sewing machine leg.
Epic 
An ordinary climb rendered difficult by a dangerous combination of weather, injuries, darkness, lack of preparedness or other adverse factors. See Punter.
European Death Knot (EDK) 
A double overhand used to join a pair of ropes for retrievable abseils. So named as the technique originated in Europe and the Americans initially distrusted it.
Exposure 
Empty space below a climber, usually referring to a great distance a climber is above the ground or large ledge, or the psychological sense of this distance due to being unprotected, or because the rock angles away due to climbing an arête or overhang. Exposure can also refer to exposure to the elements, like wind, snow, or sun.

F[edit]

Face climbing 
To ascend a vertical rock face using finger holds, edges and smears, i.e. not crack climbing.
Fall 
To unintentionally descend under the influence of gravity. Hopefully stopped by a rope.
Feet follow 
An instruction on indoor bouldering routes requiring foot movements match preceding hand movements, with no intermediate moves.
Feature 
A protrusion or indentation on an indoor climbing wall which is permanently moulded into the wall itself.
Figure four 
Advanced climbing technique where the climber hooks a leg over the opposite arm, and then pushes down with this leg to achieve a greater vertical reach. Requires strength and a solid handhold.
Figure eight 
A belay device or descender shaped like an "8".
Figure-eight knot 
A knot commonly used to secure the climber's harness to the climbing rope.
Finger board 
Training equipment used to build finger strength.
First ascensionist 
The person who performed the first ascent.
First ascent (FA) 
The first successful completion of a route.
First free ascent (FFA) 
First ascent without aid.
Fist jam 
A type of jam using the hand. See climbing technique.
Fixed rope 
A rope which has a fixed attachment point. Commonly used for abseiling or aid climbing.
Flagging 
Climbing technique where a leg is held in a position to maintain balance, rather than to support weight. Often useful to prevent barn-dooring. There are three types of flagging:
  1. Normal flag: Where the flagging foot stays on the same side (e.g. flagging with the right foot out to the right side of the body)
  2. Reverse inside flag: Where the flagging foot is crossed in front of the foot that is on a foot hold
  3. Reverse outside flag: Where the flagging foot is crossed behind the foot that is on a foot hold
Flake 
  1. A thin slab of rock detached from the main face.
  2. A method of untangling a rope in which the rope is run through the climber's hands and allowed to fall into a pile on the ground. Useful when preparing a rope for coiling, or before starting a lead climb, to ensure the rope is fed cleanly and without twists. Often called "flaking out" a rope.
Flapper 
An injury consisting of a piece of loose (flapping) skin. A climber will usually just repair these with sticky tape or super glue.
Flash 
To successfully and cleanly complete a climbing route on the first attempt after having received beta of some form. Also refers to an ascent of this type. For ascents on the first attempt without receiving beta see on-sight.
Flat-lander 
Non-climber.
Flute 
A usually insecure fin or flake of rock or ice.
Follow 
What the second does.
Font 
The French bouldering grading system.
Foot jam 
Also known as the heel-to-toe jam. It involves jamming the foot into a larger crack by twisting the foot into place, the contact with the crack being on the heel and toes.
Fourteener 
Mountain that tops 14,000 feet (4,300 m) in the contiguous United States.
Free base 
Climbing with your only protection being a parachute that is deployed in the event of a fall. A combination of free soloing, and BASE jumping.
Free climbing 
  1. Climbing without unnatural aids, other than used for protection.
  2. Often incorrectly used by non-climbers as a synonym for soloing.
Free solo 
Climbing without aid or protection. This typically means climbing without a rope.
French free 
Also known as French climbing, or French freeing, it is the use of aid climbing techniques to bypass a section due to climbing difficulty, rock conditions, etc.; typically for only a short section of the total climb.[4]
Frenchies 
An exercise used to develop lock-off strength consisting of pull-ups that stop with the elbows locked at angles between 20 and 160 degrees.
Friable 
Delicate and easily broken rock, often dangerous.
Friction 
Climbing technique relying on the friction between the sloped rock and the sole of the shoe to support the climber's weight, as opposed using holds or edges, cracks, etc.
Friend 
A name brand of a type of spring-loaded camming device (SLCD), sometimes used to refer to any type of spring-loaded camming device.

G[edit]

Gabby 
A young female climber who shows great potential in climbing.
Gaston 
A climbing grip using one hand with the thumb down and elbow out, often thought of as a reverse side pull. The grip maintains friction against a hold by pressing outward toward the elbow.
Gate Flutter 
The action of the gate on a carabiner opening during a fall.
Gendarme 
A pinnacle or isolated rock tower frequently encountered along a ridge.
Geneva rappel 
A modified dulfersitz rappel using the hip and downhill arm for friction, rather than the chest and shoulder, offering less complexity, but less friction and less control. 'Geneva Style' is also a description used in Australia for what is commonly referred to elsewhere as 'Australian Rappelling'.
Glacier travel 
walking or climbing on a glacier; a rope is usually used to arrest falls into crevasses, but protection is not used.
Glissade 
A usually voluntary act of sliding down a steep slope of snow.
Golden Retriever 
When a climber is cleaning a route and forgets to pull out a piece or unclip the rope and begins to climb above the piece rendering the top rope ineffective.
Gorp 
Trail mix for periodic nibbling to keep high energy level between meals on long climbs or hikes.
Grade 
  1. Intended as an objective measure of the technical difficulty of a particular climb or bouldering problem. More often is highly subjective, however.
  2. The slope of an incline. (Grade (geography))
Graunchy 
A route (often off-width) requiring the use of unconventional and uncomfortable techniques.
Green Point 
Climbing a sport route with the use of traditional gear.
Grigri 
A belay device designed to be easy to use and safer for beginners because it is self-locking under load. Invented and manufactured by Petzl. Many experienced climbers advocate the use of an atc type device for beginners.
Gripped 
Scared. Also over gripping the rock.
Gronked 
Accidentally going off-route while leading and becoming lost on a rock face in an area much more difficult than the climb being attempted. The word arises from the climb "Gronk" in Avon Gorge which is notorious for this.
Grovel 
To climb with obviously poor style or technique.
A climbing route judged to be without redeeming virtue.
Gumby 
An inexperienced, unknowledgeable and oblivious climber; is a derogatory term. Gumbies are incapable of learning.
Guppy 
Synonym for cup, commonly used in bouldering.
Gym climbing 
Climbing indoors, on artificial climbing walls. This is typically for training but many people consider this a worthwhile activity in its own right.
Grease ball 
A route that has become climbed excessively, causing the rock to become slippery or "greasy".

H[edit]

HACE 
High Altitude Cerebral Edema - a severe, and often fatal, form of altitude sickness.[2]
Hamster 
The act of pulling oneself up with both arms parallel in front of your chest. Resembles a Hamster during feeding. That sloper required some hamstering to get to the next move.
Handjam 
Making progress by inserting the hand (usually vertically with the thumb uppermost) into a crack and then pushing the thumb downwards towards the palm. This expands the hand and can make a highly secure placement. In the UK this move was credited with facilitating the advances in free climbing in the late 1940s and 50s made by climbers such as Joe Brown (climber) and Don Whillans although they did not invent it.'
Hand traverse 
Traversing without any definitive footholds, i.e. smearing or heelhooking.
Hangdog 
While lead climbing or on top rope, to hang on the rope or a piece of protection for a rest.
Hanging belay 
Belaying at a point such that the belayer is suspended.
HAPE 
High Altitude Pulmonary Edema — a serious form of altitude sickness.[2]
Harness 
A sewn nylon webbing device worn around the waist and thighs that is designed to allow a person to safely hang suspended in the air.
Haul bag 
A large and often unwieldy bag into which supplies and climbing equipment may be thrown.
Headpoint 
The practice of top-roping a hard trad route before leading it cleanly.
Headwall 
A region at the top of a cliff or rock face that steepens dramatically.
Heel hook 
Using the back of the heel to apply pressure to a hold, for balance or leverage; this technique requires pulling with the heel of a foot by flexing the hamstring. This technique is notable since in most forms of climbing one uses the toes to push.
Helmet 
Also known as a brain bucket or skid lid. It can save your life, but only while worn.
Hexcentric 
A protective device. It is an eccentric hexagonal nut attached to a wire loop. The nut is inserted into a crack and it holds through counter-pressure. Often just called Hex.
High Ball 
A tall boulder problem. Falling becomes more dangerous due to the increase in height.
Hold 
A place to temporarily cling, grip, jam, press, or stand in the process of climbing.
HMS Carabiner 
A round-ended carabiner for use with a Munter hitch (from the German name for the hitch; Halbmastwurfsicherung).
Honed 
To be in peak mental and physical fitness for climbing.
Hook 
  1. Equipment used in aid climbing.
  2. A climbing technique involving hooking a heel or toe against a hold in order to balance or to provide additional support.
Horn 
Large, pointed protrusion of rock that can be slung. Typically also makes a good hand hold. Known in the UK as a "Spike". See bollard, chicken head.
Hueco 
(Spanish hueco "hole") A climbing hold consisting of a pocket in the rock, typically round and deep and featuring a positive lip. Huecos vary in size from accommodating a single finger (this is also called a "mono") to large enough to fit one's entire body. The term hueco entered the jargon of rock climbers from the Texas climbing area Hueco Tanks that is famous for this sort of hold.

I[edit]

Ice axe 
A handy tool for safety and balance, having a pick/adze head and a spike at the opposite end of a shaft.
Ice hammer 
A lightweight ice axe with a hammer/pick head on a short handle and no spike.
Ice screw 
A screw used to protect a climb over steep ice or for setting up a crevasse rescue system. The strongest and most reliable is the modern tubular ice screw which ranges in length from 18 to 23 cm.
Ice piton 
Long, wide, serrated piton once used for weak protection on ice.
Indoor climbing 
See gym climbing.

J[edit]

Jamming 
Wedging a body part into a crack.
Jib 
A particularly small foot hold, usually only large enough for the big toe, sometimes relying heavily on friction to support weight.
Jug 
A shortened term for Jug Hold, both noun and verb.
Jug hold 
A large, easily held hold. Also known simply as a jug.
Jumar 
  1. A type of mechanical ascender.
  2. To ascend a rope using a mechanical ascender.

K[edit]

Karen 
See Cairn.
Klemheist knot 
An alternative to the Prusik knot, useful when the climber is short of cord but has plenty of webbing.
Knee Drop 
See Egyptian.
Knots 
Climbers rely on many different knots for anchoring oneself to a mountain, joining two ropes together, slings for climbing up the rope, etc.

L[edit]

Liebacking
Climbing a vertical edge by side-pulling the edge with both hands and relying on friction or very small holds for the feet.
Lead climbing 
A form of climbing in which the climber places anchors and attaches the belay rope as they climb (traditional) or clips the belay rope into preplaced equipment attached to bolts (sport).
Leader Fall 
A fall while lead climbing. A fall from above the climbers last piece of protection. The falling leader will fall at least twice the distance back to his or her last piece, plus slack and rope stretch.
Leashless 
Ice climbing with your axes not being attached to your wrist, if you drop them they're gone, but the trade off is greater mobility
Liquid Chalk 
A liquid form of chalk with a longer hold time than normal chalk. It is used on very hard routes and competitions, where the act of rechalking requires too much energy or time.
Locking carabiner 
A carabiner with a locking gate, to prevent accidental release of the rope.
Lock-off 
Using tendon strength to support weight on a hand hold without tiring muscles too much.
Low-Angle 
A face climb that is less than vertical; the opposite of an overhang or roof. The same as "slab".

M[edit]

Mantel (abbreviation of 'mantleshelf') 
A move used to surmount a ledge or feature in the rock in the absence of any useful holds directly above. It involves pushing down on a ledge or feature instead of pulling down. In ice climbing, a mantel is done by moving the hands from the shaft to the top of the ice tool and pushing down on the head of the tool.
Mantle 
The external covering of a climbing rope. Climbing ropes use kernmantle construction consisting of a kern (or core) for strength and an external sheath called the mantle.
Match 
To use one hold for two limbs, or to swap limbs on a particular hold.
Moat 
A crevasse that forms where the glacier pulls away from a rock formation.
Mono 
(French monodoigt "single finger") A climbing hold, typically a pocket or hueco, that only has enough room for one finger.
Mountain rescue 
The search and rescue activities that occur in a mountainous environment, although the term sometimes also applies to search and rescue in other wilderness environments. Also see rescue doctrine.
Move 
Application of a specific climbing technique to progress on a climb.
Moving together 
Method of climbing – used on easy Alpine ground – in which two or more climbers climb at the same time with running belays between them and fixed belays not being used. Similar to simulclimbing, a technique for steeper terrain.
Multi-pitch climbing 
Climbing on routes that are too long for a single belay rope.
Munter hitch 
A simple hitch that is often used for belaying without a mechanical belay device. Otherwise known as an Italian hitch or a Friction hitch.

N[edit]

Névé 
Permanent granular ice formed by repeated freeze-thaw cycles.
No-hand rest 
An entirely leg-supported resting position during climbing that does not require hands on the rock.
Nub 
A little hold that only a few fingers can grip, or the tips of the toes.
Nunatak 
A mountain or rock that protrudes through an ice field.
Nut 
A metal wedge attached to a wire loop that is inserted into cracks for protection. See hexcentric.
Nut Key 
See Cleaning Tool.
ninja feet 
the quiet, deliberate, and precise placement of toes upon a foothold.

O[edit]

Objective danger 
Danger in a climbing situation which comes from hazards inherent in the location of the climb, not depending on the climber's skill level. Most often these involve falling rock or ice, or avalanches.
Off belay 
Called by a climber when requesting that the belayer remove belay equipment from the climbing rope (for example, when cleaning top protection from a lead route). Replied to with Belay off.
Off-width 
A crack that is too wide for effective hand or foot jams, but is not as large as a chimney.
On belay 
What an American climber calls when he is ready to be belayed. Replied to with Belay on.
On-sight 
A clean ascent, with no prior practice or beta.
Open book 
An inside angle in the rock. See also dihedral.
Overhang 
A section of rock or ice that is angled beyond vertical. See roof.

P[edit]

Panic Bear 
A panicking novice climber clinging to hand holds while searching desperately for a foot hold.
Papa Roaching 
To become desperate mid-climb and go for a hold without being sure of its quality (coming from the song Last Resort by the band Papa Roach).
Peak-bagging 
To systematically attain designated summits under prescribed conditions.
Peel 
To fall.
Peg 
A piton.
Pendulum 
  1. Swinging on taut rope to reach the next hold in a pendulum traverse.
  2. A swing during a fall when the last piece of protection is far to one side.
Personal Anchor System (PAS) 
Adjustable attachment point from climber to anchor. Allows for building anchors, cleaning routes and rappeling to be done efficiently and faster.
Phillip  
The event of falling on the first move at a climbing competition final. "to phillip".
Pickets 
Long, tubular rods driven into snow to provide a quick anchor.
Pied à main 
A movement where the foot is placed on the same hold as the hand.
Pied à plat 
A crampon technique in the French style: to climb on high-angle ice with feet flat on the ice (as opposed to front-pointing).
Pied assis 
A crampon technique in the French style: to rest on high-angle ice with one foot tucked under the buttocks, toes pointed straight down-slope.
Pied d'Elephant 
A short, light sleeping bag covering the lower half of the body only. It is designed to be used in connection with a down jacket for lightweight bivvies.
Pied en canard 
A crampon technique in the French style: to walk on moderate-angle ice with toes pointed outward; literally, "duck footed".
Pied marche 
A crampon technique in the French style: to walk on low-angle ice with toes pointed straight ahead.
Picknick stop 
A No-hand rest.
Pinch Hold 
This is a hold where you must pinch it to hold on. They come in various sizes.
Pinkpoint 
To complete a lead climb without falling or resting on the rope (hangdogging), but with pre-placed protection and carabiners. Also see clean and redpoint.
Pitch 
In the strictest climbing definition, a pitch is considered one rope length 50–60 metres (160–200 ft). However, in guide books and route descriptions, a pitch is the portion of a climb between two belay points.
Piton 
A flat or angled metal blade of steel which incorporates a clipping hole for a carabiner or a ring in its body. A piton is typically used in "aid-climbing" and an appropriate size and shape is hammered into a thin crack in the rock and preferably removed by the last team member.
Piton catcher 
Clip-on string fastened to piton when inserting or removing, so as to avoid loss.
Plunge step 
An aggressive step pattern for descending on hard or steep angle snow.
Pof 
An alternative to chalk made from pine resin. Popular in Fontainebleau but discouraged (or actively forbidden) everywhere else since it deposits a thick, shiny resin layer on the rock and friction can only be achieved by using more pof.
Polish 
On popular routes, the sheer passage of traffic can polish the rock to such an extent as to make the climbing much more difficult. This is most noticeable at the crux, and more common on certain rock types.
Positive 
A hold or part of a hold, having a surface facing upwards, or away from the direction it is pulled, facilitating use.
Pressure Breathing 
Forcefully exhaling to facilitate O2/CO2 exchange at altitude. Also called the "Whittaker wheeze".
Problem 
Used in bouldering, the path that a climber takes in order to complete the climb. Same as route in roped climbing.
Project 
A potential new route or bouldering problem that is being attempted, but has not seen a first ascent yet.
Protection 
  1. Process of setting equipment or anchors for safety.
  2. Equipment or anchors used for arresting falls. Commonly known as Pro.
Prusik 
  1. A knot used for ascending a rope. It is named after Dr Karl Prusik, the Austrian mountaineer who developed this knot in 1931.
  2. To use a Prusik knot for ascending a rope.
Pseudo Leading 
To climb a wall Toprope with having another rope connected to the climber, for practice of Lead climbing clipping. The other rope is normally not connected to any belayer below and is only there to practice the clipping. Usually practiced while learning how to Lead Climb.
Psychological protection 
A piece of protection that everyone knows will not hold a fall, but makes the climber feel better about having gear beneath them anyhow.
Pumped 
  1. To have such an accumulation of lactic acid in the forearm, that forming even a basic grip becomes impossible. A climber who is pumped will find it difficult to hold on, and may struggle to lift or clip a rope.
  2. (Psychology) A feeling of anticipation and energy before a challenging climb.
Punter 
An over-ambitious and under-prepared climber.
Purchase  
To have a solid grip on a hold or feature. "I had good purchase on that jug."

Q[edit]

Quickdraw 
Used to attach a freely running rope to anchors or chocks. Sometimes called "quickies", "draws", or "extenders".
Quicklink 
A screw-type oval-shape stainless steel carabiner which is smaller than normal oval-shape biner, particularly used for attaching to the chains of the master anchor.

R[edit]

Rack 
The set of equipment carried up a climb; also, the part of a harness (consisting of several plastic loops) where equipment is hung, ready to be used.
Rappel 
The process by which a climber may descend on a fixed rope using a friction device. Also known as abseil or roping down.
RB 
A removable bolt, similar in concept to a sliding nut, but shaped to fit into a drilled hole.
Rebolting 
The replacement of bolts on an existing climb.
Redpoint 
To complete while placing protection on a lead climb after making previous unsuccessful attempts, done without falling or resting on the rope (hangdogging). Also see clean and pinkpoint.
Rest step 
Energy-saving technique where unweighted (uphill) leg is rested between each forward step, sometimes by "locking" knee of rear leg.
Retro-bolting 
The addition of bolts to an existing climb which has already been ascended using natural protection.
Rodeo clipping 
To clip into the first piece of protection from the ground by swinging a loop of rope so that it is caught by a carabiner. This can only be done when the first piece of gear is already placed.
Climbing over a roof
Roof 
Horizontal overhang.
Rope 
A basic item of climbing equipment that physically connects the climber to the belayer.
Rope gun 
The most capable climber in the group. The person who can get the rope up there for the rest of the party.
Rope jumping 
Jumping from objects using rock climbing equipment.
Route 
The path of a particular climb, or a predefined set of moves.
RP 
A small nut, named after Roland Pauligk. Not certified for sale in Europe.
Runner 
Made of nylon and nylon/blend materials, runners, also referred to as slings, are used by climbers for a multitude of purposes.
Runout 
  1. A lengthy distance between two points of protection which in some, but not all, cases might be perceived as frightening or dangerous. May also be used as an adjective to describe a route, or a section of a route.
  2. A long portion of a route with minimal protection.
RURP 
Acronym, stands for Realized Ultimate Reality Piton. Miniature, postage-stamp sized piton originally designed by Yvon Chouinard

S[edit]

Saddle 
A high pass between two peaks, larger than a col.
Sandbag 
A climb which receives a much lower grade than deserved. Also used as a verb when referring to the act of describing a climbing route as easier than it actually is.
Sardar or Sirdar 
Head Sherpa mountain guide.
'scend
contraction of the word ascend, past tense: 'scended. See Send.
Scheißegrippen
The intense feeling of disappointment when finding a difficult Crux after a jug or good hand hold.
Scrambling 
A type of climbing somewhere between hiking and graded rock climbing.
Screamer 
  1. A long and loud fall.
  2. A nylon webbing structure consisting of one large loop sewn in multiple places to make a shorter length. The stitch-points are intentionally sewn with less than maximum possible strength. The screamer is attached with carabiners between an anchor point, particularly one of dubious strength, and the climber. In the event of a fall the stitching of the sewn sections is designed to rip apart, absorbing some of the fall energy and decelerating the climber, thereby reducing the overall shock load on the dubious anchor. Screamer is a brand name of Yates Mountaineering.
Scree 
Small, loose, broken rocks, often at the base of a cliff. Also an area or slope covered in scree. Scree is distinguished from Talus by its smaller size and looser configuration.
Screw on 
A small climbing hold, screwed onto the wall in climbing gyms. Can be used for feet in a route regardless of its colour. Also referred to as a foot chip, chip or micro.
Second 
A climber who follows the lead, or first, climber.
Self-Arrest 
The act of planting the pick of your ice axe into the snow to arrest a fall in the event of a slip. Also a method of stopping in a controlled glissade.
Self-Belay 
To perform belaying for oneself.
Send 
To cleanly complete a route. i.e. on-sight, flash, redpoint. Sometimes even on tr. See 'scend.
Serac 
A large ice tower.
Sewing machine leg 
The involuntary vibration of one or both legs resulting from fatigue or panic. Also known as "Scissor leg", "Elvis Presley Syndrome", or "Disco knee". Can often be remedied by bringing the heel of the offending leg down, changing the muscles used to support the weight of the climber
Sharp end 
The end of the belay rope that is attached to the lead climber. "Being on the sharp end" refers to the act of lead climbing, which is considered more psychologically demanding than top-roping or following, since it may involve more route-finding, as well as the possibility of longer, more consequential falls.
Sherpa 
A Sherpa is a person of the ethnic group of the same name that is located in the Himalayan Mountains. Also a generic term for mountaineering porters in Nepal (usually those working at or above base camp) regardless of their ethnic group
Short fixing 
A traditionally-belayed lead climber reaches a new belay station, creates an anchor, tying the lead rope off to the anchor. The climber then switches over to self-belaying and continues to climb. Meanwhile the second climber ascends the fixed rope using ascenders (aka Jugging) and cleans the pitch. When the second reaches the belay, he or she anchors in and starts to belay the leader in the traditional way again. When the leader reaches the next belay the process is repeated.
Side pull 
A hold that needs to be gripped with a sideways pull towards the body.
Simulclimbing 
A technique where both climbers move simultaneously upward with the leader placing protection which the second removes as they advance. A device known as a Tibloc which allows the rope to only move in a single direction is sometimes used to prevent the second climber from accidentally pulling the lead climber off should the second slip.
Single Rope Technique (SRT) 
The use of a single rope where one or both ends of the rope are attached to fixed anchor points.
Sit and spin 
A method of starting a rappel from a cliff edge, accomplished by sitting with legs over the edge and then spinning around to face the cliff while planting feet on the face.
Sit start 
Starting a climb from a position in which the climber is sitting on the floor. This is common in climbing gyms in order to fit an extra move into the climb. Noted as SS or SDS in some topo guides.
Skittling 
Climbing without following any specific color in a gym with color-designated routes/problems. Also referred to as "climbing the rainbow," since any and all colors of holds are used.
Skyhook 
A small hook which gives hold on small protrusions or watery and slippery grips. They are most often used for placements, often extremely marginal, in aid climbing, although they also feature in some extreme free routes. Additionally, the skyhook can be attached to the harness, thus allowing the climber to rest, or held in one or both hands to hold a grip.
Slab 
A relatively low-angle (significantly less than vertical) section of rock, usually with few large features. Requires slab climbing techniques.
Slab climbing 
A particular type of rock climbing, and its associated techniques, involved in climbing rock that is less than vertical. The emphasis is on balance, footwork, and making use of very small features or rough spots on the rock for friction.
Slack 
Portion of rope that is not taut, preferably minimized during belay.
SLCD 
Abbreviation for spring-loaded camming device, a type of protection device. These are better known by the term cam.
Sling 
Webbing sewn, or tied, into a loop.
Sloppy Plopping 
Poor footwork [Northumberland climbing slang] as in "Nae Sloppy Ploppin'" - "you'll need accurate footwork to have any chance of flashing this".
Sloper 
A sloping hold with very little positive surface. A sloper is comparable to palming a basketball.
Smearing 
To use friction on the sole of the climbing shoe, in the absence of any useful footholds.
Snarg 
A type of tubular ice screw that is inserted by hammering.
Snow fluke 
An angled aluminium plate attached to a metal cable. The fluke is buried into snow, typically used as a deadman anchor.
Solo climbing 
Setting and cleaning ones own protection on an ascent; climbing by oneself.
Soupy 
A hold that is wet and slimy from water or some other source.
Spinner 
In indoor climbing, a hold that is not secure and spins in place when weight is applied.
Spike 
See horn.
Sport climbing 
A style of climbing where form, technical (or gymnastic) ability and strength are more emphasized over exploration, self-reliance and the exhilaration of the inherent dangers involved in the sport. Sport climbing routes tend to be well protected with pre-placed bolt-anchors and lends itself well to competitive climbing.
Spotting 
A method of protection commonly used during bouldering or before the leader has placed a piece of protection. The spotter stands beneath the climber, ready to absorb the energy of a fall and direct him away from any hazards.
Sprag 
A type of hand position where the fingers and thumb are opposed.
Spraying 
Giving unwanted — and unasked-for - beta to a fellow climber. Also, excessive, overly prominent, or boorish proclamation of one's own (often exaggerated) skills or exploits.
Static 
Of a style of climbing or specific move, not dynamic. In general this entails movement of a limb to a new hold without the simultaneous transfer of weight. Instead weight transfer occurs after the limb has moved.
Static rope 
A non-elastic rope. Compare with dynamic rope.
Steep 
Descriptive of any climbing face that is angled beyond vertical. See Overhang.
Stem 
  1. The simultaneous use of two widely spaced footholds.
  2. Climbing using two faces that are at an angle less than 180° to each other.
Step cutting 
Scooping steps out of snow or ice with the adze of an ice axe.
Step kicking 
Scooping and stamping steps out of soft snow with the feet.
Sticht plate 
A belay device consisting of a flat plate with a pair of slots. Named after the inventor Fritz Sticht.
Stick clip 
A long stick on the end of which a climber can affix a quickdraw. It allows the climber to clip a quickdraw to the first bolt on a sport climb while still standing on the ground. This is especially useful if the first bolt is high up, and out of the comfort zone of the climber. A stick clip can be bought or easily made by attaching a quickdraw to a stick with a rubber band.
Stopper 
  1. A wedge-shaped nut made by Black Diamond.
  2. A knot used to prevent the rope running through a piece of equipment.
Summit 
  1. The high point of a mountain or peak.
  2. To reach such a high point.
Swami Belt 
A kind of proto- climbing harness consisting of a long length of tubular webbing wrapped several times around the climbers body and secured with a water knot. Largely eschewed today in favor of commercial harnesses.
Sweeper 
Refers to the last member or the tail of a climbing group. The sweeper's task is to spot and retrieve things that may have accidentally fallen from the preceding climbers; to make sure that no mess or gear is left behind; and to make sure that the rear is keeping up with the whole team. The term sweeper, a Filipino contribution to mountaineering vocabulary was introduced in 1998 and was inspired by The Cleaner character in the 1990 film Nikita, also known as La Femme Nikita by Luc Besson.
Swinging-lieback 
A dynamic form of the lieback described above, rotating off one foot while maintaining a grip with that hand, then grabbing a high handhold at the deadpoint of the swing. This move is frequently reversible, unlike more aerial dynos.

T[edit]

Take 
Called by a climber when requesting that the belayer remove all slack. See hang dogging.
Talus 
An area of large rock fragments on a mountainside that may vary from house-size to as small as a small backpack. The area, if older and consolidated, may be stable, or the rocks may be precariously balanced. Talus is distinguished from scree in that it is larger and may feature solid interlocking of the rocks, while scree is by definition loose.
Teabagging 
When, after a whipper, or long fall, a climber falls past their belayer, who is generally lifted up off the ground.
Technical climbing 
Climbing involving a rope and some means of protection, as opposed to scrambling or glacier travel.
Technique 
Specialized moves given names to help communicate what to do to another person.
Tendu 
(from the French word meaning outstretched) In this grip the fingers are close to the position when the hand is open. The relative angle between the finger bones is gradual. The load applied is coming from tension in the forearm muscles.
Tension 
A technique for maintaining balance using a taut rope through a point of protection.
Testpiece 
A climb that is representative of the hardest, best climbs in an area.
Thrutching 
Poor technique or 'body climbing', often making a move more difficult than it need be. Also: A grunting, heaving action synonymous with climbing.
Tie-In Points 
The leg straps and waist belt create two loops connecting the belay loop. The points which you tie in at. Also known as soft loops.
Toe hook 
A toe hook is securing the upper side of the toes on a hold. It helps pull the body inwards—towards the wall. The toe hook is often used on overhanging rock where it helps to keep the body from swinging away from the wall.
Top rope 
To belay from a fixed anchor point above the climb. Top-roping requires easy access to the top of the climb, by means of a footpath or scrambling.
Top-out 
To complete a route by ascending over the top of the structure being climbed.
Track 
To use holds specified out for you in any route, usually used in gym climbing.
Traditional climbing 
A style of climbing that emphasizes the adventure and exploratory nature of climbing. While sport climbers generally will use pre-placed protection ("bolts"), traditional (or "trad") climbers will place their own protection as they climb, generally carried with them on a rack.
Training 
Getting prepared to climb on difficult mountains.
Tramming 
A technique that is typically used while lowering and cleaning gear from an overhanging and/or traversing route. A quickdraw is clipped between the climber's harness and the rope that is threaded through the gear. As the climber is lowered by the belayer, the quickdraw holds the cleaner close to the wall and following the line of the route. Without the quickdraw, the climber would lower straight down, further and further from the remaining gear to be cleaned. Also known as trolleying.
Traverse 
  1. To climb in a horizontal direction.
  2. A section of a route that requires progress in a horizontal direction.
  3. A Tyrolean traverse is crossing a chasm using a rope anchored at both ends.
  4. A pendulum traverse involves swinging across a wall or chasm while suspended from a rope affixed above the climber.
Tricam 
A simple camming protection device that has no moving parts.
Tuber 
A belay device.
Tufa 
A limestone rib formation that protrudes from the wall which can sometimes fit within the pinching grasp of a climber's hand; alternatively: a plastic, bolted on bouldering hold designed to replicate such a formation on an indoor climbing wall.

U[edit]

Undercling 
A hold which is gripped with the palm of the hand facing upwards
Übergrippen 
The intense feeling of relief when finding a jug or good hand hold after a difficult Crux.

V[edit]

"V"-grade 
A technical grading system for bouldering problems, invented by John Sherman.
V-thread 
A type of abseiling point used especially in winter and ice climbing. Also called abalakov thread.
Verglas 
A thin coating of ice that forms over rocks when rainfall or melting snow freezes on rock. Hard to climb on as there is insufficient depth for crampons to have reliable penetration. See also clear ice and glaze ice.
Volume 
A large, hollow bolted-on bouldering hold.

W[edit]

WAD 
Originating in Sheffield, a WAD is a "super climber" or climber who is on-sighting 7c+.
Wand 
A bamboo stick with a small flag on top used to mark paths over glaciers and snow fields.
Wallerina 
A graceful female climber who appears to dance up the climbing wall.
Webbing 
Hollow and flat nylon strip, mainly used to make slings.
Webolette 
A piece of webbing with eyes sewn into the ends which can be used in place of a cordelette.
Weighting 
As in, "weighting the rope." Any time the rope takes the weight of the climber. This can happen during a minor fall, a whipper (long fall), or simply by resting while hanging on the belay rope (see also hangdogging).
Whipper 
A lead fall from above and to the side of the last clip, whipping oneself downwards and in an arc. Has come to denote any fall beyond the last placed or clipped piece of protection.
Wired 
A route or sequence that a climber has rehearsed extensively and thus ascends with ease. See dialled.
Wires 
See nuts.
Wolf moon 
To complete a lead climb during night time.
Woodie 
A home made climbing wall. Often specifically a hybrid between a climbing wall and a fingerboard. Specifically called such because of the wooden panels (usually left unpainted) used to attach the climbing holds to.

X[edit]

X (Protection Rating) 
A rating from the Yosemite Decimal System given to climbs that have very poor or no protection. These climbs often present risk of serious injury or death if a fall were to occur, even if the climb is properly protected.

Y[edit]

Yabo 
Another name for a Sit start, a 'Yabo start' was named after John 'Yabo' Yablonski.[5]
Yard up 
To pull on the rope to make upward progress, often with assistance from the belayer. This may be done to bypass a crux, or to quickly regain ground lost after a fall without re-climbing the section. AKA to "jug up" the rope.
Yosemite Decimal System 
A numerical system for rating the difficulty of walks, hikes, and climbs in the United States. The rock climbing (5.x) portion of the scale is the most common climb grading system used in the US. The scale starts with the easiest grades at 5.0 and is open-ended on the harder end. As of November 2013, the most difficult grade was 5.15c.

Z[edit]

Z-clipping 
Clipping into an anchor with the segment of rope from beneath the previous piece of protection, resulting in a potentially dangerous tangled configuration of the belay rope.
Zipper fall 
A fall in which each piece of protection fails in turn. In some cases when the rope comes taut during a fall, the protection can fail from the bottom up, especially if the first piece was not placed to account for outward and/or upward force.
Z-pulley 
Also Z-system. A particular configuration of rope, anchors, and pulleys typically used to extricate a climber after falling into a crevasse.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rock Climbing Dictionary". Rock Climbing.com. Retrieved 2012-10-28. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Cymerman, A; Rock, PB. "Medical Problems in High Mountain Environments. A Handbook for Medical Officers". USARIEM-TN94-2. US Army Research Inst. of Environmental Medicine Thermal and Mountain Medicine Division Technical Report. Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  3. ^ Aspect (geography)
  4. ^ Stewart Green. "French Free Climbing". About.com. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  5. ^ Carl Ockier. "The climbing dictionary". Retrieved 2007-02-20. 

External links[edit]

Some climbing glossaries[edit]