CLIMBING TERMS

 

Here you will find a variety of terms used both on this website and during a typical day at the gym or crag.

Anchor: Point at which the rope is fixed to the rock.

Aggregate:  A material formed from loosely compacted mass of fragments and particles we use on our gym rock lite to create our proprietary texture.

Arete: A narrow horizontal ridge, an outside corner of rock.

Ascenders:  Devices used to ascend a rope.

ATC:  Also known as a belay device used by the belayer to help take/give rope or control falls by the climber.

Belay:  To secure and manage the rope for a climber.

Belay Station:  A safe stance consisting of an anchor, a rope, and a belayer.  Also known simply as the belay.

Belayer:  The person at the belay station managing the rope for the climber.

Beta:  Information about a climb sometimes as the climber climbs, sometimes before the climb.

Bomber:  Used to indicate that something is exceptionally solid for example, an anchor or a hold.

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.

Campus Board:  A wooden training board with finger ledges used to train for dynos and overall finger strength.

Carabiner:  Metal connecting device also known as a biner.

Chalk:  Beneficial in climbing as it increases friction between hands and climbing surfaces.

Crag:  Name for a small climbing area.

Crash Pad:  A cushion used for bouldering.

Crimper:  A very small hold that accepts only the finger tips.

Crux:  The hardest part of a climb.

Edging:  Foot technique using the edge of your climbing shoe to stand on small footholds.

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.

Figure Eight Knot: Very popular and solid knot used to connect a rope to a harness.

Grigri: A belay device made by Petzl.

Hand Jam:  The technique of wedging your hand into a crack.

Harness:  Important piece of equipment that creates an attachment point between the climber/belayer and the rope.

Jug:  Very large hold.

kN:  A kiloNewton is about 100 kg and is used to measure ratings of climbing gear.

Lead Climbing:  Climbing a route where the climber clips the rope into protection that is spaced out usually every 4-8 feet.

Locking Carabiner:  Carabiner that can be locked (sometimes called a screwgate or twistlock).

Overhang: A climb that is beyond vertical.

Pitch:  A section of climb between two belays and no longer than the length of one rope.

Protection (aka pro):  Gear placed during the climb to protect the leader in the event of a fall.

Quick-Draw:  Short sling with carabiner on each end. Typically used on lead climbs.

Route:  A particular path up a climbing wall, rock, or mountain.

Slab:  Flat and seemingly featureless, not quite vertical piece of rock.  Smearing is a technique useful when climbing slab.

Smearing:  Foot technique where a big part of the climbing shoe is used to generate as much friction as possible.  The opposite of edging.

Top Rope:  Climbing a route that has the safety rope attached to the top of the climb (usually one sets up a top-rope belay before climbing in such a manner).

Traverse:  A horizontal climb.

Vertical:  A climb that is straight up.

Whipper:  A very long fall.