Climber Say What?

Entering the climbing community can make you feel like you should’ve brought a passport; there is a different culture and a foreign language. If you’re new to this wonderful world but are feeling daunted by jargon-overload, fear not, young grasshoppers. Use this consolidated list as a point of reference:

Crux:  One of the most commonly used terms in climbing, “crux” refers to the most difficult part of a route or problem.

Route: Referred to in rope climbing, as the path the climber takes to get to the top.

Problem: Referred to in bouldering as the path the climber takes to get to the top of the boulder.

Beta: Arguably the most ubiquitous word in the climbing dictionary, “beta” refers to any information on a route or problem that will help the climber send it.

Send: Completing the route or problem from the bottom to top without falling. You might hear, “C’MON SEND IT,” yelled very loudly among encouraging climbers.

Flash: If you “flash” a problem or route, it means you sent it on the first attempt, but either:

a) beta was given to you by someone who has sent the problem before, or b) you saw someone send the problem before you.

Onsight: You have one shot at onsighting. It means you approach a route or problem you have never been on before, (nor received beta on), and you send the problem on the first go.

Redpoint: Without falling you send the climb you’ve been projecting.  This means you’ve reappointed the climb.

Project: “Project” or “projecting,” is also widely used in this world.  If you’re working on sending a “project,” it is above your onsight grade.  Good work.  Some people take projecting very seriously; breaking it down into pieces, dissecting the sequences, sussing out every detail until they redpoint that darn thing.  Some don’t give a hoot.

Sandbagging:  When a route/problem is harder than the grade given, the climb is sandbagged. It feels like you’re climbing with a sandbag on.


Of course, the best way to learn these things is full immersion, so come to EVO and bring your questions.  (Insert smiley face here.)

Feel free to comment/add/correct to this list in the comments section below.

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