Aide Climbing: Type of climbing where the climber use devices or placed protection to pull themselves up a climb.

Anchor: Top of the climb. A traditional Sport Climb there will be two chains to clip in to. Some climbs have other anchor points such as trees, bushes, boulders, etc. The key for safety is to have two as the anchor supports the climber being lowered off the climb.

Belayer: The person in charge of the climber’s life. They are responsible to keep the rope from slipping if the climber should fall. They take out slack, give slack and lower the climber as needed.

Beta: Pointers of the route. Might be found in an information book or given by another climber. Ex: Right under the roof, there is an excellent undercling.

Bolt: Hardware installed on the wall, only found in Sport Climbing. It has a ring like shape where equipment can be clipped on.

Bouldering: A type of climbing that is ropeless. Short climbs, that involve power muscle moves. For the most part climbers stay less than 10 feet off the ground and use pads and a spotter to stay safe.

Chausey: (See Chossy) Not solid rock. Lots of crumbly pieces ready to fall and hit a helpless belayer.

Chimney: Type of area that the climber is essentially boxed in by at least 3 sides. Can be larger than the body length, or very, very, narrow. Picture Santa climbing out of a chimney on Christmas.

Choss: Sucky rock. Very crumbly, not solid

Chossy: (See Chausey) Not solid rock. Lots of crumbly pieces ready to fall and hit a helpless belayer.

Clean: Refers to the action of removing personal gear from the wall.

Crag: The wall that is being climbed. Mostly used in reference to outdoor climbing. i.e. you wouldn’t go to the gym to climb at the local crag.

Daisy Chain: Type of gear that has multiple loops. The loops act to extend or retract allowing flexibility for the climber to choose the needed length.

Decking: When the climber falls, and instead of being caught on the rope, is caught on the ground. Typically the phrase is only used in some sort of lead or trad climbing when the climber can take significant falls (larger than 1 foot)

Dog Boning: A type of Aid Climbing where the climber uses their quickdraw to assist them in the climb by grabbing the webbing in-between the carabiners of a quick draw. Terrible habit, never start it.

Dyno: short for “Dynamic move”. Dynamic moves involve large motion with the climber often having to jump in order to reach the next move.

Edging: Foot placement technique where there is a very small lip to place the toe, or side of the shoe.

Fall Factor: is a numeric value = length of the fall/rope given out. A fall factor greater then one, would only happen on a multi pitch where the climber could falls below the belayer.

Flash: Flashing a route happens if the route is completed the first time the route is climbed without the climber falling.

Figure 8: A belay device, it is also commonly used for rappelling.

Figure 8 follow through: Knot used to connect the rope to the climber’s harness. Fun fact: this knot is self tightening. The more weight on it, the tighter it gets.

Free Solo Climbing: A type of climbing where the climber has no partner, ropes or protection. If a free solo climber were to fall they would get severely injured, or die.

Free Climbing: Art of climbing without using any aides. Free climbing can use rope and safety measures. Free climber’s do not use techniques used in Aid Climbing, but relay on their hands and feet to go up.

Hard Catch: Describes how the belayer catches a lead fall. Hard catches involve very sudden stop for the climber. For example, consider a light weight climber taking a fall while being belayed by a heavier climbing partner. The light climber gets a very jolting stop. A hard catch can also happen if the belayer tightens the rope as the climber is falling.

Jug: A very great large hold.

Lead Climbing: (see Sport Climbing): Type of climbing where protection is installed into the rock due to a lack of cracks to place trad gear. The climber starts at the bottom of the wall and clips in to bolts along the route. If the climber falls above the bolt, they fall twice the distance that they are from their last bolt.

Leader: The designation given to the climber who is lead climbing.

Multi-Pitch: Climb that is longer then one rope’s length. The climber is tied in at one end, and the belayer tied in at the other. Not necessary, but often the climber/belayer will leap frog past each other. Climber one will set the route, while Climber two cleans it on the way up. The next pitch, Climber 2 sets the route, and Climber 1 cleans it. This is done for ease, since the cleaning partner has all the gear. Otherwise the gear can be switched back and forth from the cleaner to the climber.

On site: Onsiting a climb means the climber has not attempted this climb before. A good metaphor is sight reading in musical terms, as opposed to a well rehearsed piece.

Pitch: A climb that is less than one rope length. In the US that is typically less than 70 meters. Don’t trust me, trust the Topo!

Project: Refers to the route a climber is working towards sending. A project typically takes multiple tries to reach the top, and is not flashed.

Protection: refers to gear placed along the wall to catch a climber if they should fall.

Pump: When the forearms become swollen, burns or otherwise feels uncomfortable. It can noticeable affect hand strength as the climber is unable to squeeze hands together, or even untie a Figure 8 Follow Through knot.

Quickdraw: Gear used to catch a Sport Climber from a fall. It consist of two carabiners connected with webbing. One carabiner, attaches to a bolt on the climbing wall, while the other attaches to the rope.

Reverse Clip: Method of clipping the rope to the Quickdraw that is bad. The rope is attached to the Quickdraw where both ends (the climbers side, and the side going down) are both leading away from the wall. The rope comes from the climber, around the Quickdraw and clips in with the rope leading to the belay coming out the draw away from the wall.

Roof: Very steep area of climbing. Doesn’t have to be parallel to the ground, but is often close to that, like a ceiling in a house.

Rope Solo: Climbing done without a belay partner. While there is no partner, the rope, and other equipment (like a microtraction, etc.) can be used to keep the climber safe.

Route: The way from the bottom of the wall to the top of the wall the climber should follow. It is only embarrassing to get off route, if the climber cheats and still doesn’t reach the top. 😉

Send: Reaching the top of a climb without falling. Flash could be used if the top was reached on the first attempt. Send refers to any attempt the climb is completed in full.

Slab: Climb that is very smooth. Typically is not vertical. Like climbing a very steep hill where you feel like it is possible to slip and fall at any time.

Slack: The art of a belayer giving extra rope to the climber. Not necessarily oodles of extra rope, but can be as needed.

Smearing: Foot technic while climbing a Slabby climb. Involves putting as much of the foot down as possible to create the most friction will little to non foot holds.

Soft Catch: A lead climbing fall, where the belayer is either (1) pulled off the ground, or (2) jumps. Coming off the ground creates a longer fall for the climber, but a softer catch as there is not sudden stop, but a gradual stop. The weight difference of the climber and the belayer determines if it will happen naturally, or if the belayer jumps.

Solo Climbing: Climbing without a second person. There are many times, such as a Rope Solo and Free Solo. Even though there is no belayer, the solo climber can have some kind of protection. Although, sometimes they do not.

Sport Climbing: Climbing where the rope move up as the climber moves up. Sport climbing is relatively new, since the invention of drills that can drill into rock. Protection in the form of Bolts are installed in a rock face that otherwise would have no other protection such as a crack for Trad Climbing placement. The climber clips in to the Bolts as the climber moves up.

Take: Taking is when the belayer takes out excess rope out of the system making the rope tighter for the climber.

Top Rope: Type of climb where the rope comes from anchors above the climber. If top rope climbing is working correctly, the climber never falls more than a few inches.

Trad Climbing: Trad climbing is the first form of climbing known as Traditional Climbing. Started in a time where Bolts could not be installed on rock. Instead cracks were used and protections was placed into the cracks. Also called Trad.

Undercling: Type of handhold. Instead of having the palm of the hand facing the wall, it is typically turned around and below the climber. Typically underclings happen on roofs or cliffs.

Whipper: Terminology typically refers to a large fall taken on purpose. Instead of clipping in to the anchors at the top of the climb, a climber takes a full length fall from the top, to their last protection. Some people use this phrase if they fall a full bolt-length during or at the end of the climb. Ex: That was whipper length fall, dude.

Z-Clip: A Bad type of clipping where the Bolts are clipped in badly. As the climber moves to clip into the next bolt they grab the rope below the last clip, instead of the rope right at their harness.

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