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ABSEIL This is the act of sliding down a rope that you are harnessed into. Also known as rappelling.
AID CLIMBING (a.k.a. ARTIFICAL CLIMBING) Direct use of fixed or placed protection (pitons, spring-loaded cams, bolts, rivets, etc.) to support a climber's weight and assist in upward progress.
AIDERS Climbing aids made of nylon webbing used to step upward on big walls.
ALPINE START The push-off time (generally around 2 a.m. or earlier) for a summit run in order to return to camp by nightfall, as well as to avoid the dangers of melting ice and snow as the day's heat progresses, which make the climb dangerous.
ALPINE STYLE An ultra-lightweight method of climbing in which equipment and food rations (i.e., comfort and security) are trimmed to the barest essentials in order to facilitate a swift ascent to the summit.
AMS Acute Mountain Sickness. A cluster of symptoms brought on by lower blood levels of oxygen at higher altitudes. Symptoms include headache, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, malaise and disturbed sleep.
ANCHOR The point at which a rope is fixed at a belay or for a top-rope. Or as a verb, to fix the rope or the climber fast at a belay or top-rope site. "You can anchor at those two bolts over there," or "I lowered off the fixed anchor at the anchor at the top of the first pitch."
ANGLE A steel piton folded lengthwise.
APPROACH The route undertaken to reach the technical portions of a climb.
ARÊTE The sharp edge of an outside corner, as on the outside corner of a building. The term was initially used to describe a glacially-carved mountain ridge, but it has become widely used by rock climbers to describe any outside edge.
ARM BAR A method for climbing a wide or off-width crack.
ASCENDERS Mechanical sliding and braking devices used to move up a rope. Sometimes generically referred to as the brand name Jumar.
ATC Air Traffic Controller. A popular belaying and rappelling device which, when used in conjunction with a locking carabiner, provides a safety brake on the rope.

BACK CLIP Clip in from the front of the binner instead of underneath. As you continue to climb it will cause the draw to rotate into a bad position on the gate.
BAIL To give up on a rock climb or summit attempt for reasons that range from the legitimate (weather, lateness, injury, fatigue) to the suspect (hunger, thirst, discomfort, job obligations, waiting wives, husbands or significant others).
BALL-NUTS Thin crack protection utilizing sliding ball-and-ramp construction.
BASE CAMP The lowest, largest (and most luxurious) fixed camp on a major ascent.
BAT HOOK A bat hook is a hook filed to a sharp point for tapping into shallow drilled holes for aid climbing.
BELAY The process by which one manages a rope for a climber. The climber is on belay when the belayer is ready to lock off the rope in the event of a fall.
BELAY DEVICE A forged metal device of various configurations through which a climbing rope is threaded and then linked to a carabiner in order to provide friction to brake a fall.
BELAY SLAVE One who can be persuaded by any means (promises, deception, love, coercion) to stay on the ground and provide a safety belay for a procession of climbers. Grunt.
BELAY STATION A stance on a rock face of varying degrees of discomfort from which a climber provides roped protection for his or her ascending partner.
BERGSCHRUND A gap or crevasse which appears between a glacier and the upper snows of a mountain's face.
BETA Information, tricks to help you figure out the moves required to climb. From "BetaMax" - as though the climb is on tape.
BIG WALL CLIMB A technical rock climb so long and sustained that an ascent normally requires more than a single day.
BIRD BEAK A thin, hooking-type piton used to hook small cracks. Bird beaks are easily removable and used on clean ascents.
BIVOUAC A temporary camp — sometimes planned, often not — that provides little or no shelter from the elements. Bivy, or Bivi, for short.
BLACK ICE Permanent ice found in shady couloirs or on steep north faces that is usually extremely hard, dense and difficult to climb.
BOLT Are metal shafts inserted into drilled holes in the rock and used for anchor points.
BOMBER Has extremely high quality and dependability. Usually refers to a handhold, but can also describe a piece of equipment, a campsite or any generally positive or beneficial item or state of being.
BONG No, not that. It's an extra-wide-angled piton used primarily in the early days of big wall climbing.
BOOTY My lost gear. Please send to Joan. THANK YOU!
BOULDER To climb short, hard routes on low-lying rocks without protective gear.
BUCKET A large, incut handhold. A juga.
BUTTRESS A rock formation that projects out from the line of a face.

CAM Anything that widens as it rotates. Spring-loaded devices such as Friends cam or expanded as they turn. Climbers also cam a foot in a crack by sticking it in on edge and then flattening it out to make it secure.
CAMPUS Dynamic climbing move executed using the arms only, orignated by Wolfang Gullich.
CARABINER A metal snap link with a variety of uses for climbers.
CHALK  Powdered magnesium carbonate used by climbers to dry sweaty hands.
CHICKEN HEAD A protruding lump found in granite which provides excellent handholds or foot placements.
CHICKEN WING Similar to an arm bar as a method of climbing off-width crack. Foot work is essentail here.
CHIMNEY A wide crack (,ore than a foor) whichascending by weighing the whole body in and shimmying upwards, the term is also a verb referring to the act of climbing such a crack.
CHOCK Any metal wedging device that is slotted into a crack as an anchor or protection. Nuts, Stoppers, Hexes, passive wedges.
CHOSS Slang for loose rock. Also choss pile: an unappealing rock or route.
CHUTE A very steep gully. (Chute is French for "fall," and refers to the rockfall often found in such gullies.)
CIRQUE A steep-walled mountain basin which usually forms the blunt end of a valley. (French for "circus.")
CLEAN This has two meanings. As an adjective, it describes climbing a route without transgression by protecting the route without resorting to hammer or drill: "The route is safe with gear," or by climbing the route without grabbing or hanging on gear, "After falling a few times , Harry finally got the route clean." As a verb, it refers to the second's job of removing the gear as he follow a leader: "Don't forget to clean the last cholk before you traverse."
CLEANING TOOL A narrow metal device with a hooked end used for removing nuts or cams stuck in cracks. Also employed post-climb as a beer bottle opener.
CLIPPING IN The act of a climber using a carabiner to connect to belays and anchors or to connect ropes to protection.
COL A dip in a ridge that forms a small, high pass.
CONTRIBUTIONS IS WHAT I NEED TO HELP KEEP THIS WEB SITE ALIVE . Please out click on the Google Adwords to help us stay afloot. Thank you!
COPPERHEAD A malleable chunk of metal (once made of copper, but now often aluminum), swaged (attached) to a flexible wire loop, that can be hammered into small depressions in the rock for protection in aid climbing.
CORDELETTE A long (approximately 18-foot) length of cord tied into a loop, used among other things, for equalizing belay loads.
CRACK CLIMBING Free climbing up a rock by wedging one's hands and feet into a crack in the rock and pulling upward.
CRAG A small cliff or climbing area.
CRAMPONS Spiked metal devices which attach to climbing boots to provide purchase on ice and firm snow slopes.
CRANK To pull on a hold with maximum force; to expend total effort in any endeavor.
CRASH PAD Large squares of foam, much like oversized sleeping bags to cushion a landing of fall. Often times used when bouldering.
CRATER Climber's wry description of a horrendous fall in which a climber lands on the ground or other solid surface.
CREVASSE A crack in a glacier surface of varying width and depth, caused by the movement of the glacier over underlying irregularities in terrain.
CRIMPER A negligible hold that accomodates only the fingertips.
CRUX The most difficult section of a climbing route.

DAISEY CHAIN A nylon sling sewn into loops; also used to provide supplemental security at belay stations.
DEADMAN An alloy fluke or plate which is placed into deep snow to provide an anchor.
DEAD HANG To hang from a handhold with arms straight so body weight is supported by the skeleton rather than arm muscles.
DEADPOINT A dynamic climbing technique in which a hold is grabbed at the very apex of upward motion, thereby placing the smallest possible load on the hold.
DECK Fall to the ground.
DIALED To have total understanding of a route, a move, a rock problem or a situation.
DIHEDRAL A point where two walls meet in a right-angled inside corner, ie. an "open book."
DIRT ME American slang for "Lower me to the ground."
DIRECTIONAL A device used to maintain a chosen line or to maintain a stable position.
DISHY When climbing with more than 2 people, the person climbing last is also the person doing the dishes at camp! Least amount of work on the rock = maximum amount of work at camp! This person is the entertainer, and the assistant to all. You would be lucky to have a Dishy.
DOWN CLIMB To descend a mountain or a rock face without weighting a rope; often accomplished without protection, and hence potentially the most dangerous part of a climb.
DOUBLE FISHERMAN'S KNOT A solid and reliable knot used to tie two ropes or pieces of webbing together.
DRY TOOL To ascend a section of rock using ice tools, a common technique employed on routes that contain both rock and ice sections.
DYNO Short for "dynamic," a gymnastic upward leap for a distant hold.

EDGING A climbing technique in which the thin edges of the climbing shoes are used to stand on small footholds.
ENCHAINMENT The act of stringing together two or more hard routes as a single enterprise. Made possible by accelerating the descents in between climbs — by skiing, for example, or by paragliding to the base.
EPIC A climbing adventure in which abnormal events occur on such a routine basis that the feats undertaken to survive them come to seem routine as a consequence.
ETRIERS Portable "step ladders" usually made of nylon webbing clipped into protection and used to progress upward on steep, featureless rock in aid climbing.
EXPOSURE The condition of being on high vertical rock with full consciousness that nothing exists between you and the distant ground but thin air.

FACE CLIMBING Ascending rock that is predominantly made up of finger pockets and thin edges.
FALL To retreat in dynamic fashion from a climb.
FIFI HOOK The fifi hook is attached to the climber's harness and serves as an emergency or temporary method of clipping in to a piece of gear.
FIGURE-8 KNOT The basic climber's knot. When retraced, it is used to attach a climber's harness to the rope.
FIGURE-8 ON A BIGHT Secure, strong, symmetrical. It's easy to tie, and it won't freeze up if it's over loaded heavily. This knot is one of the essentials of rock climbing.
FINGERLOCK A crack climbing technique wherein the fingers are wedged (often painfully) into a crack for purchase on the rock.
FIST JAM Similar to a fingerlock except that the entire fist is wedged into a crack.
FIXED ROPE A rope anchored to a route by the lead climber and left in place for all who follow. May also be left by an unknown climber for an unknown length of time. Used to ascend and descend the route when the climbers want to sleep on the ground or are shuttling gear up.
FLAKE A slab of rock detached from the main face. Could be tiny as in finger hold or huge as a 100 foot corner.
FLAPPER A large piece of detached skin, often field-repaired with Super Glue or duct tape.
FLARED A crack or chimney whose sides are not parallel, but form two converging planes of rock to the back.
FLASH To successfully lead a climb you've never previously attempted - with no falls or "dogging," (ie. hanging on the rope), but with prior knowledge (beta) of its features or difficulties.
FLUTE A usually insecure fin or flake of rock or ice.
FOLLOW To be the second climber up a pitch, belayed by the leader OR OGL from above.
FREE CLIMB To ascend steep rock without recourse to artificial aids, using only the hands and feet to propel oneself upward. (Although ropes and anchoring devices are employed for protection, they are not used to bear the weight of the climber or for upward progress.)
FREE SOLO To climb with no protective devices whatsoever, relying solely on strength, agility, technique and an ability to accept or ignore the consequences of long falls from high places.
FRICTION CLIMBING No physical holds. You are just fiction climbing. The only thing keeping you up is YOU.
FRIEND Trade name for one of the original spring-loaded camming devices.

GENDARME A sharp pinnacle of rock on a ridge.
GLISSADE An exhilarating (or terrifying, depending on the circumstances) slide down snow or ice on one's feet or backside.
GOBIES Flesh wounds on the hands resulting in ugly scabbing, generally incurred during crack climbing.
GREASE To have difficulty grasping a particular hold due to sweat, lactic acid in the muscles, or slickness of the rock.
GRIGRI Trade name for a belaying device with an "automatic" braking system.
GRIPPED Extremely scared.
GUMBY A novice climber.
GRUNT One who can be persuaded by any means (promises, deception, love, coercion) to stay on the ground and provide a safety belay for a procession of climbers. Also the person who follows the leader cleaning up the gear. Termed due to the grunting/groveling sounds imminating from the follower while trying to get that bomber nut out!

H.A.C.E. High Altitude Cerebral Edema is the most serious form of altitude sickness, involving swelling of brain tissue. Symptoms include loss of memory and coordination, vision disturbances and hallucinations, paralysis and seizures. Immediate evacuation and treatment is imperative.
H.A.P.E. High Altitude Pulmonary Edema, is a dangerous form of altitude sickness involving fluid buildup in the lungs. Symptoms include breathlessness, fatigue, pink sputum and increased heart rate. Going to lower altitude is highly recommended.
HAND JAM See description on Dishy's how to's
HAND TRAVERSE Climbing laterally on rock where there are no footholds.
HANDING BELAY A generally uncomfortable belay stance on steep rock where there is no place to stand.
HANG-DOGGING The climber hangs on the rope after a fall in order to rest. Techically, he has made all the moves free, but the climb as a whole must be considered an artifical one.
HARNESS A strong belt made of nylon webbing with leg and/or chest loops used to secure the climber to the rope and to provide a repository for gear.
HAUL BAG Large, heavy, unwieldy bag used to carry food, water and gear on big wall climbs. Also know as a "Haul Pig," or just "Pig."
HEADWALL The point where a cliff or mountain's face steepens dramatically.
HEINOUS Awful, scary, monstrous; any activity fraught with extreme danger.
HEXCENTIC A hexagonally shaped nut attached to a flexible looped wire which is inserted into a rock crack as a protective climbing device ("Hex" for short).
HONED To be in top condition for climbing.
HOOKS Small metal devices used to grip tiny ledges or small holes.
HYPOTHERMIA Abnormally low body temperature caused by exposure to cold and wetness, symptoms of which are sluggishness, reduced mental capacity and apathy.
HYPOXIA A debilitating lack of oxygen.

JAMMING A technique for climbing cracks in which the fingers, hands, or feet are wedged inside a rock crack to gain purchase and facilitate upward progress.
JAM CRACK A crack which is wide enough to accomodate a hand, fist, arm, foot, or elbow (or combination thereof).
JUG To ascend a rope using a mechanical sliding/braking device.
JUG HOLD OR JUGA A handhold so luxuriantly secure that it can be grasped like a jug handle. Also known as a "Bomber."
JUMAR Trade name for a mechanical sliding/braking device used to ascend a rope.

KNIFEBLADE Long thin piton used to fit into cracks too narrow for even the tiniest of nuts.
LAP COIL To pull in the rope and lay on you lap while top belaying. This helps organize the rope to prevent it from falling into the trees and brush. Good rope management.
LAYBACK OR LIEBACK A technique wherein a climber's hands are positioned to pull on one side of a crack while the feet push in opposition from the other, facilitating a crablike advance up the rock.
LEAD OR LEAD CLIMBING To be the first climber up a pitch, placing protection in the rock along the way while being belayed by a partner from below.
LOCKING CARABINER A carabiner whose gate can be screwed or locked tight for increased security.
LOST ARROW Very thin piton.

MANKY Bad, heinous, atrocious, dreadful, ghastly. Usually applies to a piece of protection, but can refer to anything that is generally worthless, disgusting and/or offensive.
MANTLE A technique wherein a climber grasps a hold waist-level and powers the body upward with minimal assistance from the feet. (From "mantelpiece.")
MATCH To grasp a hold with both hands, or to place the feet side by side on the rock.
MIXED CLIMBING Ascending a route by a combination of methods, e.g. mixed free and aid climbing; also, ascending a route wherein both rock and ice, and sometimes snow, are encountered.
MORAINE An accumulation of stones and various debris pushed into a large pile by a glacier.
MULTI-PITCH CLIMB A climb that is longer than a single rope length, necessitating the setting of anchors at progressively higher belay stations as the climbers ascend.
MUNTER HITCH A belay knot through which the rope slides when pulled in one direction and brakes when pulled in the other.

NAILING A ROUTE A descriptive term that refers to aid climbing with pitons, which are hammered into a wall's cracks to provide protection.
NUBBIN A small rock protrusion, often a crystal, that can be utilized as a hold.
NUT A metal wedge with a wire loop that is inserted in cracks for protection.

OFF BELAY Vocal signal from a climber who has reached a safe stance and no longer requires protection from his or her partner.
OFF-WIDTH OR OFF-SIZE A crack, dreaded by most rational climbers, that is too wide for a hand or fist jam and too narrow to "chimney." Generally awkward and strenuous to climb, and difficult to protect.
OGL Oh Great Leader. Someone with years of experience who spends most of his/her time reviewing books, finding routes, trip planning & lead climbing but little time helping around the campsite. The master who holds the rack. aka - Climbing BUM. On Sundays we call him Oh Great Lord.
ON BELAY Ritual query from a climber to verify that his or her belayer is ready to belay the climber.
ONSIGHT Leading a climb with no falls and no "dogging" (hanging on the rope) on the first attempt without any prior knowledge (beta) of its features or difficulties.
OPEN BOOK A dihedral, or right-angled inside corner.
OVERHANG Rock that is angled beyond vertical.

PECKER A thin piton resembling a bird's beak.
PENDULUM To swing on a rope across a rock face to gain a distant anchor point.
PINK POINT OR PINKY The gear and carabiners are left in place as the leader does his so called free ascent.
PITCH A section of rock between two belay points, no more than the length of one climbing rope.
PITON Metal spike or peg of various shapes and configurations that can be hammered into the rock for protection, primarily in aid climbing.
POCKET A hole formed by a depression in the rock. Usually measured by the number of fingers that can be crammed in it.
PORTALEDGE A lightweight device consisting of stretched nylon over a metal frame which can be hung from a vertical rock face to provide a place to rest/sleep on big wall climbs.
PROTECTION OR PRO Any anchor (such as a nut, chock, camming device, piton or stopper) used during a climb to prevent a fall.
PRUSIK A sliding friction knot used to ascend a rope; to ascend a rope by means of such a knot.
PUMPED A condition of severely depleted strength and lactic acid burn caused by overworking the forearm muscles while climbing.

RACK The collection of protective devices that a climber carries on a route, attached to harness loops or on a sling slung across the shoulders.
RAMP An ascending ledge.
RAPPEL OR RAP To descend a fixed rope by means of mechanical braking devices.
RATINGS That is what is given on a route to judge the difficulty; technical climbers use the YDS system and the boulders use the V-Scale system. (see the rating system in OGL's section of this web site.)
RED POINT The climber leads the route after having worked on it in practice. The term came from the Germans, who would paint a red circle onto the rock at the route's base when he had been climbed using some aid.Once the route was climbed bottom to top without a hang or a fall, the circle would be filled in: thus the red point.
R.E.N.E. Description for anchoring systems. It stands for Redundant, Equalized, with No Extensions. This makes a "boomproof" anchor.
RIME A thin crust of icy snow which accumulates on the surface of rocks.
ROOF An overhanging rock ceiling.
ROTTEN ROCK Unreliable rock which has a tendency to break off under a climber's weight.
RP The original brass nut or taper, a small and effective form of protection for clean aid.
RUNOUT An uncomfortably long and often dangerous distance between two points of protection.
RUNNER A loop of webbing used to extend protection. Or a term referrig to the protection itself: "I went a full forty feet before my first runner."

SADDLE A high pass between two peaks.
SANDBAG To deliberately underestimate the difficulties of a climb in order to get a climber in over his or her head, often with hilarious or tragic results.
SCRAMBLING Easy, unroped climbing
SCREAMER A long fall.
SCREE Small loose rocks that gather on the slope at the base of a cliff.
SCUMMING OR SCUZZING To gain purchase on the rock with body parts other than the hands or feet, however tenuous or aesthetically displeasing.
SECOND The climber who follows a lead up a pitch, belaying from below while the lead advances, then ascending to the end of the pitch.
SEND OR SENT Recent jargon referring to success on a route: "Did you hear that Joan just sent the new 5.12d?"
SEWING MACHINE LEG An embarrassing climbing condition caused by panic and/or fatigue which is manifested by an involuntary vibration of one or both legs. Also known as "Elvis Presley Syndrome."
SIEGE To mount an extended assault on a mountain by moving laboriously upward through a series of progressively higher camps. Siege tactics include the use of oxygen, previously cached equipment dumps, and high-altitude porters to do the heavy lifting.
SIT BELAY Belaying a climber while sitting down. This can be done onj POD at Pinnacles.
SIT START Starting a climb while on your butt. As in "hey man, did you do the sit start on the nose?"
SLAB CLIMBING Climbing a smooth sheet of rock that lacks large handholds by holding the body out from the rock and using friction and balance to move around and up the slab.
SLCDs Spring-loaded camming devices, such as Friends or Camalots.
SLING A technique of applying to a rock slab as much of the sticky sole of the climbing shoe as possible to achieve maximum friction.
SMEARING Using the surface area of shoe sole rubber on a slope of rock. As opposed to edging.
SMEDGING Verb.The art of careful footwork on a foothold that is not a well defined edge, and not quite a smooth surface that would be a friction smear.  Adjective. A combination of smearing and edging technique used on a foothold.  
SPECTRA One of a host of new super strong fibers used for slings and thin cord.
SPOKE - Homemade cleaning tool from a skewer. See Bolterguist's Beta tip.
SPORT CLIMBING Ascending routes of extreme gymnastic difficulty protected by closely spaced bolts.
SPUR A rock rib on the side of a mountain
STATIC ROPE OR LINE Special climbing rope used ( usually 8 or 9 mm in diameter ) as fixed rope / line for jumaring or rapelling that does not stretch.
STEM To bridge the distance between two holds with one's feet; to push against adjacent or opposing walls with the feet.
STOPPER A trapezoidal metal wedge of varying size attached to a loop of flexible wire which is fitted into cracks and depressions in the rock to provide protection for an ascending climber.

TAKE Similar to "tension!" It means hold me on a tight rope while I rest.
TALUS An accumulation of rocks and boulders that have fallen from a crag or face to form a steeply sloping fan at the base.
TENSION Usually emphatic. It means take in as much rope as you can, actually pull and hold me. The beginner says this every few seconds, when "up rope" would probably be better. The experienced climber just climbs, confident that even if he falls, the belay will hold.
TIPS CRACK A thin crack. barely wide enough to accept finger tips.
TOPO A sketch of a route showing its line, bolt placements, belay stances, crux and rating.
TOP ROPE A climbing rope that is anchored from above.
TRADITIONAL CLIMBING Refers to all that is NOT sport climbing: placing one's own gear, attempting a route before climbing or inspecting it on a top-rope.
TRAILHEAD Beginning point of a trail.
TOUCAN A thin piton resembling a bird's beak.
TRAVERSE Moving sideways across a section of terrain instead of directly up or down.

UNDERCLING A usually awkward and tenuous hold that requires applying upward pressure on a downward facing hold.
UP ROPE Command shouted by a climber when he or she desires a tighter, more secure belay.
V-SCALE The Vermin Bouldering Scale (V Scale), developed by bouldering madman John Sherman, is unquestionably loose and should be used as a guideline only.
WATERMANS KNOT Basic know typically used with webbing.
WEBBING Flat nylon tape or tubing used for slings.
WEIGHTING To delicately rest one's weight on a piece of protection to test its security.
WIRED To have a route totally figured out.
WOODIE A homemade climbing wall.
YDS Yosemite Decial System is a standard method used for rating a technical route. (see the rating system in OGL's section of this web site.)
YO-YO A variation of the traditional theme. The climber may fall, but if he does, he lowers to the ground, leaving the rope in place as he rests for the next attempt.
Z-CLIP When leading you grab the wrong area of the rope and clip that into a quick draw or piece of gear instead of the rope attacked to you. This will cause a lot of drag and it is very unsafe.
ZIPPER FALL A fall of such length and velocity that the climber's protective devices are ripped from the rock in rapid succession.
"*!?*~!?X@!" This maybe said in various ways from a lead climber, basically it means to "take!!!!!"

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Beta Tip

Ever had a hard time getting a Nut out? (Either yours or a booty nut?) Try this - Take a long standard blade plastic handled screwdriver & drill a 3/8" hole straight thru the plastic handle about 1" from the end. Tie a short cord to it with a biner (for greater durability, grind down the blade). With the stiffness of the shaft, the extra length and the ability to use a hammer on it, you can get out 99% of all nuts (size 2 or larger) you find. For those of you out there who have lost nuts, THANKS, I've developed a nice collection! NOTE: Will not work with micro nuts - blades to thick.

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