The Climbing Dictionary

Scroll down to see more

Just a small collection of words you should probably know. This is by all means not all of lingo you will hear but it should get you started at least.
Climbing Types

Bouldering- This is generally below 30ft or so and falls are protected through the use of crash mats. The shortness of Bouldering routes generally make them more about power and difficulty than other disciplines.

Sport Climbing- This is generally up to a maximum of 30m and relies on bolts drilled into the rock for protection that you clip into as you climb. 

Traditional/Trad Climbing- These routes can be as long as you like and protection is placed between cracks in the rock to catch you should you fall.

Aid Climbing- Gear is placed which you use to help you ascend the rock. This is often done when the rock becomes too difficult to free climb.

Free Climbing- You ascend the Rock without pulling on any gear however protection may be used to catch you should you fall.

Free Solo Climbing- You climb above the "no fall zone" without the use of any protection.

Lead climbing- As apposed to seconding. You climb ahead of your partner. it Is your job to place any gear or clip to any bolts. 

Speed Climbing- this is done on a globally standardised route and is simply about getting to the top as fast as possible. If this is mentioned in a climbing gym I recommend the phrase "its not real climbing though is it really".

Hold Types

Crimp- This is a small edge, you hold a crimp with your finger tips. 

Sloper- An adversely sloping hold. You generally hold these with at least the full length of your fingers.

Pinch- You squeeze these between you fingers and thumb

Jug- a really good hold, you can usually fit all your fingers in these right down to your palm

Pocket- these are holes that allow you to get a limited number of fingers inside.

Mono- a type of pocket. These are only large enough for one finger.


Types of movement

Belay- holding the rope, giving and taking slack as needed whilst your partner climbs.

Dyno- a jump, both your hands leave a hold before you grasp another

Dynamic- this is a fast paced move

Static- this is slow calculated movement

Lock off- holding your weight from a bent arm

Figure 4- a leg is wrapped over an arm. this is useful when there is a lack of footholds on an overhang

Flag- One foot is placed out to one side to aid balance.

Heel Hook- The back of the heel is used to pull from a hold.

Toe hook- The top of the foot is used to pull from a hold

Edging- Standing on a small edge

Campusing- Climbing using arms only (no feet)

Knee bar- wedging your lower leg in a feature (often used as a rest)



You may also like

Back to Top