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A marked traverse on Mount John Laurie / Yamnuska

A traverse is a lateral move or route when climbing or descending (including skiing); meaning any movement operation going mainly sideways rather than up or down. The general sense of 'a Traverse'[1] is to cross, or cut across; and in general mountaineering, a road or path traveled across the gradient traverses the steeper gradient of the face. In civil engineering, road bed cuttings (or 'traverses') dug by construction operations creating an navigable incline into a hillside traverse the slope, also cut across the gradient as does the skier, climber, or builder. In the engineered grade, the traverse can be level (a shelf suitable for building a new house is common) or on an negotiable incline (Railroad cut gradually climbing up a mount).

Hence, Traverse may refer to:

  • Traverse (climbing), skiing, and in the above engineering of roads into slopes.
  • Traverse (surveying), a method of establishing basic points in the field. This traversal of terrain is to establish a closed polygon, around obstructions, each side of which then becomes a usable baseline.
  • Movement of a machine slide on a machine tool, especially moving across relative to the Y-axis
  • Traverse stage, a style of theatre seating or performance where the audience is on either side of the performance, and the audience are facing one another

Other meanings:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See the many shades of meaning in the Wiktionary cases.