Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Climbing Jargons 2
Continuing with climbing jargons:
Mantel: A technique wherein a climber grasps a hold waist-level and powers the body upward with minimal assistance from the feet.
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.
Névê: Permanent granular snow formed by repeated freeze-thaw cycles which is found above the head of a glacier.
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: 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.
"On Belay?": Ritual query from a climber to verify that his or her belayer is ready to belay the climber.
On-sight (or "On-sight Flash"): 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 or ice that is angled beyond vertical.
Pendulum: To swing on a rope across a rock face to gain a distant anchor point.
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.
Redpoint: To lead a route from bottom to top while placing one's own protection, without falling or hanging on the rope.
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.
Saddle: A high pass between two peaks.
Scrambling: Easy, unroped climbing.
Screamer: A long fall.
Scree: Small loose rocks that gather on the slope at the base of a cliff.
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.
Serac: A pinnacle or tower of ice, usually unsafe and unreliable in nature, and prone to toppling in warm weather.
Sharp End: The top, or leader's end, of the rope.
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.
Sherpas: An ethnic group of Tibetan origin living below Mt. Everest in the Solo Khumbu area. From the Sherpa's effective monopoly as high-altitude porters, the name has come to be applied generically to all who work in that profession.
Sirdar: The head Sherpa on an expedition.
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 length of nylon webbing which is either sewn or tied into a loop and is used in conjunction with the rope and anchors to provide protection. Also called a runner.
Smearing: A technique of applying to a rock slab as much of the sticky sole of the climbing shoe as possible to achieve maximum friction.
Spindrift: Loose, powdery snow.
Sport Climbing: Ascending routes of extreme gymnastic difficulty protected by closely spaced bolts.
Spur: A rock or snow rib on the side of a mountain.
Static Rope / 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.
Talus: An accumulation of rocks and boulders that have fallen from a crag or face to form a steeply sloping fan at the base.
Top Rope: A climbing rope that is anchored from above.
Topo: A sketch of a route showing its line, bolt placements, belay stances, crux and rating.
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.
Verglas: A thin coating of ice on rock which makes for extremely dicey climbing conditions.
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.
Windslab: A type of avalanche which occurs when a snow layer compacted by wind settles insecurely atop old snow; when it detaches it falls in large slabs or blocks of snow.
Wired: To have a route totally figured out.
Woodie: A homemade climbing wall.
Zipper Fall: A fall of such length and velocity that the climber's protective devices are ripped from the rock in rapid succession.