Rock Climbing Peak District

Rock Climbing Peak District

Mountain Training Association

Glossary of Climbing Terms

abseil
To descend a cliff or rock face using a rope and a friction device, or belay. Used either as a means of getting down to the bottom of the crag quickly or when there are no other options.
anchors
Any way of attaching the climber, the rope or a load to rock, ice or buildings. The goal of an anchor depends on the type of climbing but usually consists of stopping a fall, or holding a static load.
belay
Refers to a variety of techniques used in climbing to exert friction on a climbing rope so that a falling climber does not fall very far. A climbing partner typically applies the friction at the other end of the rope whenever the climber is not moving, removing the friction from the rope whenever the climber needs more rope in order to be able to continue climbing.
bmc
British Mountaineering Council. See See www.thebmc.co.uk for more details.
bolting
The practice of fixing permanent anchors to the rock to create a European style sport climb. These anchors, or Bolts, are EU tested under the same regulations that other climbing equipment is. However are placed by local activists without a standard practice in place.
bouldering
A style of rock climbing undertaken without a rope and normally limited to very short climbs over a crash pad (called a bouldering mat) so that a fall will not result in serious injury.
carabiner
Carabiners or karabiners are metal loops with sprung or screwed gates that allow rope to be quickly inserted or removed. Carabiners can be broadly divided into two categories, non-locking and locking. Non-locking carabiners have a sprung gate that will snap back into place after the rope has been pushed through it.
e8
A traditional climbing grade using the UK grading system. Different aspects of climbing each have their own grading system, for example in Sport Climbing routes are graded using the French System. The UK grade describes the difficulty and DANGER of climbing the route. E8 is one of many such grades and is pretty tough! See www.rockfax.com/publications/grades.html for more details.
hard rock
A collection of 60 challenging routes described in Ken Wilsons's 1974 book, Hard Rock
headpointing
"leading the climb after top-roped practice". It is the style of ascent that has been used for the first ascent of the hardest routes yet climbed, and in the case of the very hardest, the only style of ascent yet achieved.
hoisting
Pulling up a static load using rope work techniques.
hs
Stands for 'Hard Severe'. A traditional climbing grade using the UK grading system. Different aspects of climbing each have their own grading system, for example in Sport Climbing routes are graded using the French System. The UK grade describes the difficulty and DANGER of climbing the route. See www.rockfax.com/publications/grades.html for more details.
lead
A climbing technique used to ascend a route. This technique is predominantly used in rock climbing and involves a lead climber attaching themselves to a length of dynamic (elastic) climbing rope and ascending a route while periodically attaching protection to the face of the route and "clipping in" to it.
multi pitch
The ascent of routes that require more than one pitch of climbing. The leader ascends the pitch, placing gear and then stopping to anchor themselves to a stance, or belay station, before bringing up the second climber.
pitches
A section of a route that requires a rope between two belays. Standard climbing ropes are between 50 and 60 metres long, so a pitch is always shorter, between two convenient ledges if possible; longer routes are multi-pitch, requiring the re-use of the rope each time.
protecting
To make climbing as safe as possible, climbers use protection, a term used to describe the equipment used to prevent injury to themselves and others
prusik
a friction hitch or knot used to put a loop of cord around a rope, applied in climbing, canyoneering, mountaineering, caving, rope rescue, and by arborists. The term Prusik is a name for both the loops of cord and the hitch, and the verb is "to prusik"
sharp end
The end of the rope that is attached to the lead climber. "Being on the sharp end" refers to the act of lead climbing, which is considered more psychologically demanding than top-roping or following, since it may involve more a bigger fall.
single pitch
A route that only requires one pitch of climbing and therefore is achievable in one rope length.
sport climbing
A style of rock climbing that relies on permanent anchors fixed to the rock for protection, in contrast with traditional climbing, in which the rock is typically devoid of fixed anchors, and climbers must place removable protection as they climb.
stance
A belay station. Normally a ledge or the top of a route where the climber can find good anchors to secure themselves to in order to belay there partner.
top roping
A style in climbing in which a rope, used for the climber's safety, runs from a belayer at the foot of a route through one or more karabiners connected to an anchor system at the top of the route and back down to the climber.
vdiff
Stands for 'Very Difficult'. A traditional climbing grade using the UK grading system. Different aspects of climbing each have their own grading system, for example in Sport Climbing routes are graded using the French System. The UK grade describes the difficulty and DANGER of climbing the route. See www.rockfax.com/publications/grades.html for more details.