June 29, 2017

This is it.  The final volume to complete our Climber’s Dictionary.  Now you can officially talk the talk amongst fellow climbers.

Sandbag: To describe a route as easier than it is or make a hard route look easy when it is not.

Jerry totally sandbagged that climb. He just wanted an ego boost.


Send: Successfully completing a route or problem.

Get the stamps. It’s time to send.


Send Train: The magical phenomenon when one person’s successful send of a route leads to all their friends subsequently sending it too.

Jess crushed her project and was the conductor of the send train.


Sharp End: A phrase that refers to the act of lead climbing.

After always being the TRonsite queen, Natalie is finally getting on the sharp end.


Nolan on the sharp end.

Side Pull: A type of climbing hold or move when climber pulls a handhold in a horizontal, inward direction towards their body.

There’s only one way to settle this argument: Sidepull tug-of-war.


Slab: A type of rock or rock climb that is low-angle, like a steep hill.

I bet you I could climb that pyramid. It’s a solid slab.


Slimper: A sloper/crimp hybrid, a sloping crimp.

If you thought slopers or crimps were hard, try hanging off a slimper.


Sloper: A rounded climbing hold without a defined edge; often grasped with an open hand grip.

My climbing crew calls themselves the Sloper Gropers.


Smear: When a climber places the surface area on the bottom of their shoes against the wall or rock to create friction.

If I wasn’t so bad at smearing, I could trust my feet on that technical slab.


A couple smearing on some Jtree granite, Photo by Jake Carpenter

Splitter: 1) When your finger pad splits open due to overuse. 2) A perfect crack.

I got a splitter on that splitter.


Sport: A style of outdoor climbing where the climber places quickdraws in bolts and anchors are pre-placed in the rock.

Tom isn’t very good at making burritos, but he’s an animal at sport climbing.


Spray: The unnecessary or unsolicited advice on how to complete a climb from an onlooker, also known as beta spray. Also, when a climber decides they need to brag about a climb they did.

Bring a towel. Jerry’s full of spray.


Static Climbing: A style of climbing defined by slow, controlled movements.

Andrew climbs so static; he’s like a super sloth.


Take: What a climber says when they want their belayer to take up slack. Also what a climber says when they are getting pumped out and too scared to make the next move.



Thumbdercling: When a climber uses their thumb, often above head height, to place upward force on the rock and stabilize their feet.

Mindy looked like she was trying to raise the roof doing that double thumbdercling.


Thumb Stack: A type of jam used in cracks that are too wide for your fingers and too narrow for your full hand.

All those thumb stacks helped me become thumb war champion.


Toe Hook: When the climber uses the tops of their toes to “hook” their feet under a foothold and stabilize their body.

I’ve been closing all of my doors with toe hooks lately.


Devan toe hooking, Photo by Beta Bandits

Trad (traditional): A style outdoor climbing where there is no permanent gear placed on the wall. The climber uses cams, nuts, and natural features to place protection and ascend the wall.

Trad is rad.


TRonsite: An onsight done on top-rope.

Natalie is the TRonsite queen. She can onsight anything on top rope.


Type Two Fun: The kind of fun you don’t realize you had until it was over; fun in retrospect.

Getting chased by a bear on the approach was definitely type 2 fun.


Undercling: A type of climbing hold that is grasped and pulled upwards on from below, with hands facing upward.

Moving the couch wasn’t so bad. It had a really positive undercling.


A climber with his right hand on an undercling searching for the next hand hold, Photo by Beta Bandits

Whipper: When a climber takes a long lead fall due to any number of factors: gear failure, run-outs, weight difference between climber and belayer, excess slack, etc.

Bailey took that whipper like a champ, but now his pants smell sort of funny…


Zipper: When a trad leader takes a large enough fall to pop out multiple pieces of protection in a row, like unzipping a zipper.

I almost caught some skin on my last zipper.


Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3


Cover Photo by Ed Ruiz