Letter A to C
Descending by sliding down a rope. Americans usually call this rappelling.
The flat cutting end of the ice axe head.
Moving up a rock using fixed or placed protecting as a means of
progression (and not just for protection). Also known in the US as sixth
Webbing ladder used for aid climbing. The word was probably coined by
someone who couldn't spell the french word étrier.
Route that can only be ascended using aid climbing techniques
A belay ledge that is surrounded by vertical rock on all sides.
Acute mountain sickness. (Ask your medical doctor.)
Point where the rope is fixed to the rock.
A narrow (more or less - but often more less than more - horizontal) ridge.
In the US, the word arete is also used to indicate an outside corner.
Devices (e.g. Jumars) to ascend a rope.
'Air Trafic Controller', belaying device made by Black Diamond.
Lots of snow or ice sliding down a mountain.
To give up on a rock climb or a summit attempt because of bad weather
The lowest and largest fixed camp on a major ascent (or multiple ascents
in the same area).
Liquid consumed in large quantities after climbing.
To secure a climber.
A safe stance consisting of an anchor, a rope, and a belayer (aka "the
The person at the belay station securing the climber.
When the belayer is ready to belay the climber up, he yells "Belay on". (At
least in the US, "belay on" would only confuse the hell out of a British
climber who prefers to hear "Climb when ready").
Used in Britain to warn for impending impact with objects coming from
above (e.g. falling rock). "Rock" in the US.
Bent gate karibiner
Karibiner with the gate bent to accept the rope more easily. Not
Or just 'schrund'. The top crevasse in a glacier or snowfield that is formed
when the glacier/snowfield tears away from the remaining patch of snow
that is stable on the mountainside.
Insider information about a climb. Running or auto beta is someone telling
you how to do the moves as you go (as in "can you please shut up with
that running beta, I want to find out myself").
Leading a climb with no falling or dogging, but with a piece of previous
knowledge hints on how to do those crux moves. Even seeing someone do
the climb already classifies as 'previous knowledge'.
Rock climb that is so long and sustained that a normal ascent lasts several
Short for Karabiner
A tiny hooked piton manufactured by A5. It is similar to the old Chouinard
"Crack'n up", except that it only has a single side and that it is intended to
be hammered in if necessary.
Or short, bivi. An uncomfortable sleeping place in the middle of a route.
Old ice that was exposed to extremely cold temperatures, scree, and
snowfall. Usually found deep in shady couloirs, or on steep north faces.
Very hard and dense ice that is difficult to climb.
To begin a big wall, after the line fixing is done. "We're gonna blast on
Tuesday morning after we get the first three pitches fixed".
French term. Going to boulder at 'Bleau (short for Fontainebleau, the site
of some excellent bouldering near Paris)
Very dense ice with a watery hue and few air bubbles.
Used to indicate that something is exceptionally solid, e.g. an anchor, a
hold. See also bombproof.
The illusion that an anchor is infallible
An almost extinct species of extra wide pitons. Now, large chocks are
usually used instead.
Climbing unroped on boulders or at the foot of climbs to a height where it
is still safe to jump off.
To crater from an extreme height. Usually lethal.
Sailing knot (not to be used for climbing, unless backed up with a second
Aka helmet. That all important hard shelled thing that covers our most valuable asset.
A large hold
To climb buildings
Interesting but rarely used climbing knot.
The part of the mountain or rock that stands in front of the main
Generic reference to the family of spring loaded camming devices
(SLCD) such as friends, camalots, aliens, TCUs, etc. Also refered to as
A dyno executed using the arms only. Comes from the campus board
where the people who do this move get the muscle to do it.
A wooden training board with finger ledges that is used for training dynos
and finger power.
Magic powder that makes the hands stick to even the smoothest rock.
Cheese grater, to
To slide down a slab while scraping the knees, hands, and face.
Bra-like looking harness (to be used with waist harness)
Sometimes phallic shaped, protruding lumps that make excellent hand or
footholds on granite, etc.
A wide crack that accomodates (most of) the body of the climber.
A climbing technique used to conquer chimneys. Usually requires the use
of the back and feet, arms, head and other body parts.
A hold created with a hamer and chisel by a moron uncapable of doing the
climb as it is.
Generic reference to the family of passive wired protection devices, also
called nuts, stoppers, wires, and rocks.
A stone wedged between a crack, a chimney, etc.
A very steep gully. The word chute is french for fall and refers to the
rockfall that is very common in a chute.
A number designating the overal technical level of a route. The first
number in the YDS designates the class of the climb. Here's the different
Climbing without falling or dogging.
Aid climbing without hammering.
To remove the pro from a route. Usually done by the follower.
A vertical piece of rock good for climbing.
Not just a silly film with Wolfgang Güllich and Ron Kauk, but also the
name for a small hooking device used to aid climb up small ledges and
What the climber shouts after the belayer screams "Belay on".
The second best thing to real rock (Aka "wall" in the UK).
Shoes made of sticky rubber that would have fit you comfortable when
you were ten.
Climb when ready
The British equivalent of "Belay on".
The reassuring action of putting the rope through a karabiner (that is
attached to a piece of pro).
A useful, easily adjustable climbing knot usually used to tie the rope into a
A steep, high mountain pass.
Thin static rope (5, 5.5 or 6 mm)
Inside corner (see dihedral) or outside corner.
Unconsolidated granular snow that has gone through a short
freeze-and-thaw process. This type of snow is prevalent throughout the
High Sierra in April and May.
A steep gully which may have snow or ice.
Crack, in rock
A gap or fissure in the rock varying in width from nail to bodywidth.
Name for a (small) climbing area.
Very pointy footware use to walk glaciers or climb ice.
To pull on a hold as hard as you can, and then some.
To fall and hit the ground, as in "I almost cratered".
The very top of a ridge or arete.
A crack in the surface of a glacier.
A very small hold that accepts only the finger tips.
The hard bit.