Climbing Glossary
Climbing Dictionary

Letter D to J

Daisy chain
A sling sewn (or tied) with numerous loops, used as an adjustable sling in aid climbing.
Deadpoint
A dynamic move where the next hold is grabbed at the dead point of the move.
Deck
The usually unfriendly surface that wellcomes you at the end of a grounder.
Descender
Device used for rappeling.
Dihedral
Inside corner
Dirt me"
US slang which means as much as 'Lower me'.
Double fisherman's knot
Solid knot used to tie two ropes or pieces of webbing together (Aka grapevine knot).
Double rope
Same as a half rope. Also the technique using two half ropes.
Downclimbing
Descending the difficult way.
Dude
Generic name for a climber (in the US).
Dynamic belay
A belay method in which some rope is allowed to slip during severe falls. A dynamic belay can severely reduce the impact force from a serious fall, but can also severely kill you if not done properly.
Dyno
Dynamic movement towards a distant hold.
Edge
A sharp edge on a rock face.
Edging
Foot technique where one uses the edge of the climbing shoe to stand on small footholds. The opposite of smearing.
Elvis, to
To have a sewing maching leg. Named after "Elvis, the King", who suffered from this this problem when singing before a crowd of screaming women.
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.
Etrier
(Pronounce with a french accent). Webbing ladder used for aid climbing. Also known as 'aider'.
Face climbing
Not crack climbing.
Fall, to
A dynamic retreat from a climb (free-solo rappel). Note that it is never the fall that kills, it's the landing.
Falling
Yelled when a climber is (about to) fall.
Fall factor
The length of the fall divided by the amount of rope paid out.
FecoFile
A PVC tube used to store solid human waste on big walls. Aka the Shit Tube.
Fifi hook
An open hook used to allow easy clipping during aid climbing. Usually found on aiders, daisy chains, etc.
Figure 8
Metal rappelling/belaying device shaped like an 8.
Figure of eight
Very popular and solid tie-in knot.
Fingerlock
Masochistic technique to twist and wedge the fingers into a crack.
Firn
Old, well consolidated snow. Often a left-over from the previous season. Closer to ice than snow in density, it may require the use of crampons.
Fisherman
Simple knot to tie two ropes together. The double fisherman knot, however, is more popular.
Flash
To lead a climb with no falls or dogging and with no previous attempts on the climb. Two variations exist: the onsight flash (where the climber has never seen the climb before) and the beta flash (where the climber has studied the climb before or has seen someone do the climb). See there.
Flake
A thin bit of rock that is detached from the main face.
Flared
A crack or chimney with sides that are not parallel, but instead form two converging planes of rock.
Following
Not leading a climb.
Free climbing
Moving up a rock using only hands, feet, and natural holds. Ropes and pro are only used for protection of the climber and not for progression.
Free solo
Free climbing while using no ropes for protection. You fall - you die.
Friend
Trade name for the original camming devices, now also available as Camalots, TCU's, Quads, Aliens, Big Dudes, etc.
Gate
The part of the karibiner that opens.
Glacier
A slowly moving permanent mass of ice.
Got me
A wake up call for the belayer, used to warn her that you are about to some weight on the rope.
Grade
A number denoting the seriousness of a route (not to be confused with the rating of climb, which describes the technical difficulty). In Britain, however, the word grade means both grade and rating. Look here for the different grades...
Grease, to
Not being able to hold on to a particularly slick hold, due to the presence of sweat, lactic acid or sand. Not uncommon in overused crags
Grounder
A fall where the kinetic energy is not absorbed by the rope and pro, but rather by mother earth itself. Can hurt badly.
Grigri
Nifty but somewhat controversial belaying device made by Petzl.
Gripped
Paralyzed with fear and utterly confused.
Gully
A wide, shallow ravine on a mountainside.
HACE
High Altitude Cerebral Edema. Liquid in the brain as a result of high altitude exposure. Few people live to tell what it is like.
Half rope
A rope of 9 or 8.5 mm that has to be used together with a second rope when leading a climb.
Handjam
Slightly masochistic technique where the hand is wedged into a crack.
Handle
Big banana-shaped hold often found in indoor gyms. Great for waving hello to admiring bystanders. It may sound bizarre, but I've never seen one of those outdoors...
HAPE
High Altitude Pulmonary Edema. Liquid in the lungs as a result of high altitude exposure. Pretty serious condition that can quickly lead to HACE if a descent to lower altitudes is not made immediately. See also HACE.
Harness
Piece of clothing that identifies you as a climber. The coolness factor can be significantly enhanced by hanging things from the harness that go cling.
Haul bag
Large and robust bag used to haul food, water, climbing gear, sleeping bag, television, satelite dish, and other essential equipment that is required, up a big wall. Also know as "the pig".
Headwall
Where the face of a mountain steepens dramatically.
Help
The vocal alternative to 6 signals a minute. In far away countries, try S.O.S. -- it doesn't mean anything but is understood by most.
Helmet
Solid plastic device that can sometimes protect the head from falling stones or impact (Aka a brainbucket).
Hex
Short for Hexentrix. A type of nut with an excentric hexadiagonal shape. Works for wedging (as a nut) but also for camming.
Hueco
A beautifully shaped pocket with a positive lip named after these increabible features found at the Hueco Tanks bouldering area in Texas.
HMS
Karibiner with one wide side used for belaying with a munter hitch (aka pearabiner). From the German term for munter hitch belay: 'Halbmastwurfsicherung'.
Hold
Anything that can be held on to.
Horn
Spike of rock that can be for a great hold or not so great protection. The same as a chickenhead.
Hurtin unit
That member of the climbing team that is suffering from severe exposure to alcoholic beverages the night before.
Ice axe
Device used for ice climbing, glacier crossing, or scaring away burglars.
Ice screw
A protection device for ice climbing. Looks like a large bolt that can be screwed in hard ice.
Italian hitch
Munter hitch knot or HMS knot
Jam, to
Wedging body parts in a crack.
Jug
Very large hold (short for jug handle) (Aka "bucket" in the US).
Jugs
Big wall lingo for Jumars or any other type of ascenders.
Jug, to
To jumar up a line (big wall lingo).
Jumar
A type of rope ascending device.
Jumar, to
To ascend a rope using ascenders.



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