Letter R to Z
The climbing gear carried during an ascent.
Not trad. Slang for sport climbing.
To climb exceptionally well, especially on normally difficult climbs.
An ascending ledge
Also: to rap. Descending by sliding down a rope. Known in Britain (and
Germany) as abseiling.
A number denoting the technical difficulty of the climb. See here for more
on ratings and grades.
To lead a climb without falling or dogging after a number of attempts. This
is different from onsight, where the climb is lead without falling or dogging
on its first attempt.
An alternative to chalk. Resin is made from the yucky stuff that sticks to your hands when you touch a pine tree. Because resin is mostly colorless, it is preferred to chalk in some areas. But caution: Don't let the color fool you. Resin can do permanent damage to the rock and in fact is not allowed anywhere in the US for that reason. reason in the US.
A slender buttress. Something between a buttress and an outside corner.
The high divide extending out from a peak.
A large (2 inch diameter) ring that is cemented in the rock as a bolt. Rings
are very common in Germany and France and are excellent for rappelling
and hanging belays.
Scream let out to warn people down below that a piece of rock has been
overcome by gravity. The loudness, number of repitions, and/or panic in
voice with which this word is uttered is often an indication of the
seriousness of the rock. In the UK, you're more likely to hear "Below",
Seriously overhanging part in a climb (more or less horizontal).
Long and round nylon fabrication. Climbing ropes are generally between
10 and 11 mm in diameter (with the exception of "half ropes" which are
between 8.5 and 9mm in diameter).
Should be yelled when a rope is about to be thrown to the base of the crag
(though most of the time it seems like "rope" is shouted about 1-2 seconds
after the rope is thrown). In the UK, shout "Rope below".
A certain path up a rock or mountain.
A loop of tape or webbing either sewn or tied (Aka sling).
A runner threaded or looped around chockstones, flakes, horns or
chickenheads for protection.
Distance between two elements of pro. A route is "runout" when the
distance between those two elements of pro becomes uncomfortably long.
A high pass that looks somewhat like the horsewear. Not quite as steep as
The British equivalent of "Off Belay".
Easy climbing, usually unroped.
A very, very long fall.
Special piece of equipment meant to reduce the impact of a screamer (the
fall) on the belay system.
Loose rocks and stones that cover the slope below a cliff. With every
step, scree slides under your feet.
The climber who follows the leader.
To climb a route with ease. "I'm gonna send this route, dude!"
Sewing-machine leg or arm
A leg (or arm) under tension that suddenly starts jerking up and down like
a sewing machine. Stretch the muscle, take a deep breath, and don't think
The end of the rope to which the leader is attached.
Technique where both climbers are tied close together into the middle of
the rope. The rest of the rope is then carried over the shoulders in a coil.
Frequently used for simul-climbing. The term (and technique?) is used
frequently in the Canadian Rockies.
Belaying technique where the belayer keeps the leader under tension in an
attempt reduce the length of a fall. Tony Bubb will gladly give you an
expos?on the dangers of this technique.
A hand hold that needs to be held with a horizontal (sideways) pull.
A lenticular cloud (quite rare in the Alps).
Flat and seemingly featureless, not quite vertical piece of rock.
Yelled when the climber needs more rope (e.g. to clip into protection).
A toprope setup where the belayer belays on the ground (where the
climber starts climbing) and the rope is pre-clipped through the anchor at
the top of the climb.
Pathetic downward slanting hold. (Usually look like buckets from below.)
Foot technique where a big part of the climbing shoe is used to generate
as much friction as possible. The opposite of edging.
Climbing alone, though not necessarily without the protection of a rope.
Climbing routes of (extreme ?) gymnastic difficulty while protection
oneself by clipping copiously numbered and generously spaced preplaced
Bridging with the feet between two holds.
American slang meaning "hold on" or "go for it".
A belay device consisting of a plate with two slots in it. An original
creation by Franz Sticht.
The top of a mountain or rock.
To reach the summit.
American monosyllable for "Up Rope".
The British equivalent of "Up Rope".
Heard often in British crags, meaning the climber is "off belay" and about
to pull up the slack between him and the belayer.
Large blocks of rock. A coarse variation of scree.
A small lake.
Part of the climbing dialogue. Courtousy call to the belayer to indicate that
the slack in the rope is all taken up and that further pulling is pointless.
The British equivalent of "Up rope" ???
The bottom of a buttress.
A short drawing of the route. Good topos will allow you to spot the line
right away, show the placement of bolts and belay stances, indicate where
the crux is and what rating it has.
Free climbing a route that has the safety rope attached to the top of the
climb (usually one walks to the top to set up the top-rope belay).
Solid but not failproof knot also known as water knot (or ring bend when
used on webbing).
Traditional climbing, characterized by the placing of protection (cams, nuts,
etc.) in cracks and pockets. Trad also includes multi-pitch routes often
with long runouts..
A fall during a trad climb, sometimes accompanied by the popping sound
of protection succumbing to the temptations of gravity. See also 'crater'
Synomym for 'Bomber'. A trustworthy piece of pro.
A tunnel through or hourglass shape in the rock that allows a runner or
cord to be fed through for protection.
A hold that would be a perfect bucket if gravity were upside down. As it
is, underclings are usually awkward holds that require lieback type moves.
Yelled by the leader or the follower when she/he wants a tighter belay. (In
UK: "Take in" or "Tight" or even "Watch me").
Thin water ice on rock.
Call to indicate the climber is about to do something stupid -- like fall.
Ice formed directly from frozen water. Water ice is clear and brittle and
contains few air bubbles. Sometimes water is even flowing around the ice.
Can be found in the couloirs of the High Sierra in autumn (and in many
See tape knot.
Flat and strong strip of nylon, that is hollow in the inside.
A runner made of webbing.
A very long fall.
Ice with lots of air bubbles that forms from melted-and-frozen snow. Good
A homemade climbing wall.
Yosemite Decimal System. The North-American rating system.
A fall where the protection pulls out one after the other as the leader
succumbs to gravity. Often ends with a grounder (or a cardiac arrest).
Complicated rope setup that allows you to hoist heavy weights with
relatively little force. Excellent for recueing or hauling bags.