The Rock Climbing Dictionary

An ever expanding cornucopia of climbing lingo and terminology.

Ascend: Climbing to the top of a route.


Anchor: An attachment point for rope to the rock, using protection lodged into a crack in the rock.


Batmaning: Recovering from a fall to your previous high point, by pulling on the rope ‘batman style’ (not recommended).


Belay: Is a system used to stop a climber’s fall. Safety equipment including rope and a belay device are used.


Belayer: The belayer manages the rope keeper a climber safe if they fall or slip.


Beta: Instructions or coaching to help a climber find a ‘beta’ route up the rock or wall.

Bouldering: Climbing on low height rock without a rope, usually protected by a crash mat. A great way to begin climbing and build your skills as it is within a height safe to jump off.


Crag: Referring to a cliff or climbing area.


Crimp: A powerful finger hold where you can just get your fingers into the thinnest of edges.


Crux: A route or climb’s most difficult section.


Dyno: A dynamic move when a climber leaps to reach for a difficult or distant hold.


Edging: A foot technique using the edge of a climbing shoe on smaller footholds or pockets.


Free climbing: Climbing using only hands, feet and natural holds, rope is used only for safety, not upwards progression.


Free soloing: Climbing without rope or safety equipment, falling can result in serious injury or death. Only for the craziest of climbers!


Hangdogging: Falling or resting on your rope, often used when figuring out the next sequence of moves.


Hex: A hollow six-sided chock used for camming and wedging into cracks.


Karabiner: Used to connect rope to an anchor or for racking gear to your harness, there are three types straight, bent gate and lockers.


Mantel: A tough move where your hands are gripping a ledge, one foot comes up as you rock over one hand with your elbow locked.


Onsight: Making an ascent without falling or any prior knowledge of the climb.


Quickdraw: A pair of Karabiners connected with a short piece of webbing, used during lead climbing to connect the climber to an anchor.


Rack: A collection of gear, usually attached to the gear loops of a harness, consisting of karabiners, quick draws, chocks and cams.


Red point: Getting up a climb without falling, sometimes taking many attempts.


Sent: Generally used in relation to bouldering problems, when a route is completed.


Smearing: A technical balance using pressure and friction from the rubber sole of your climbing shoe.


Toprope: Belaying from a fixed anchor point above, from the climber through the anchors and down to the belayer.


Whipper: A dramatic heavy or long fall beyond the last cam, nut or quickdraw. The risk of injury from hitting something or the impact from the rope as the fall is arrested is high and is guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping

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