|Feather River College||
The winter camping trip has been completed, marking the end of the snow season in the Outdoor Rec Adventure Based class at Feather River College. Now, since we are officially between Adventure Based seasons (snow and river) I feel it is a fine time for a fully out of season post (also I need more time to figure out how to write about the snow camping trip). Here comes a piece about rock climbing!
Rock climbing is a sport which has a plethora of its own unique terms. Non-climbers find it difficult to understand what all these words (which are seemingly absent from the English dictionary) mean. Even climbers often have trouble keeping track of all the language and lingo used in their favorite outdoor sport. To mitigate every person's confusion I have compiled a list of some of the words and phrases a climber may use along with their definitions. I hope you can all find this to be helpful.
The author climbing a rock. Truly, a real life rock. Photo Credit: Jason Weinrich
Glossary of Climbing Terms
Alpine Butterfly - A mythical insect which leads climbers on the safest path to the top of the mountain.
Arete - "A rat" pronounced with a Russian accent.
ATC - A magic device which grants the holder the strength of many men, allowing for Ape Type Control.
Belay - An unpopular form of dance derived from ballet, the cause of many craning neck injuries.
Beta - New Zealanders use this term for when someone is performing at a greater lever than they were previously. "They are doing beta than last time."
Black Diamond - The ship commandeered by Captain Jack Sparrow after the Black Pearl was destroyed.
Bomber - An affectionate term used for the seagulls which circle popular ocean crags.
Bowline - The act of using a bow and arrow to place a rope at the top of a climb for safety (a very old technique, not highly recommended).
Camelot - The legendary home of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Everyone knows that.
Crimp - A way to make the edges of a pie look crisp and neat.
"Climb on!" - Rock. Rock is usually what you should climb on.
Clove Hitch - An ancient marriage rite involving garlic.
Daisy Chain - Bling worn by hippy climbers or simply the florally inclined.
Dyno - A common tribute climbers make to the Flinstones family pet.
Flake - Yet another sought after attribute for a delicious pie (see ‘Crimp’).
Gaston - The villain in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, attributed as lead vocalist in the manliest song ever sung in a musical.
Gri-Gri - A word which truly makes you question whether the letter R should ever follow the letter G.
Harness - A less well known lake near Loch Ness containing an even more elusive monster.
Heel Hook - A synonym for 'spurs'.
Hex - A dangerous type of spell used in various forms of witchcraft.
Jug - My favorite instrument, by far.
Knee Bar - A popular New York pub for knee height dwarves.
Live Rope - A snake.
Mantle - That wooden thing above your fireplace.
Nut - A delicious snack which provides the body with necessary fats and proteins.
Offwidth - When a crack you wish to climb is not the perfect size, rendering it useless and unclimbable.
Pitch - Boiling hot tar poured over castle walls to scald intruders on ladders. Very useful in climbing.
Multi-Pitch - When attackers are persistent and 'Pitch' must be used more than once as the pitcher climbs higher.
Piton - A powerful goddess of the sea (male form: Triton)
Prana - A popular climbing brand. You thought it was an Amazonian fish? What a ridiculous notion.
To Be Pumped - When a device (pump) is used to provide oxygen to a climber at high
Quickdraw - A term used for the way a cowboy must react if finding himself involved in a duel.
Sling - Your arm goes in this after you fail to use it properly to set an anchor and fall to the ground.
Soloing - Spontaneously bursting into song on a mountaintop.
Toprope - *See 'Bowline'
Tufa - Ugly cousin to the tuba. To play a tufa you pinch it between thumb and all other fingers while screaming at the top of your lungs.
Whipper - A mean and brutal climbing instructor.
Zazzerbranz - Not a real word, but the real end of this term list.
Two climbing photos of me that I think are really awesome cool. Photo Credit: John Holt and Joe Simenc
Written by Jonathan Simenc