Here’s another useful list of rock climbing jargon:
Aid climbing – Using artificial aids to ascend the rock
Anchor – Main protection in a roped safety system
Apron – A low angle slab of rock
Arete – A sheer knife-edged. An outside corner
Balance – Where we place our center of gravity
Barndoor – The tendency of the body to swing out from the rock when executing a layback or using a sidepull
Belay, Belayer – In a roped safety system, the belay is the point where the rope is fed out, taken in, or stopped to catch falls. The belayer is one who does this.
Beta – An explanation of the sequence of climbing movement for a particular climb
Bouldering – Climbing without ropes close to the ground.
Bucket – An in cut hand hold.
Bulge – A portion of the rock that becomes overhanging then lessens is steepness
Buttress – A large face that protrudes from a ridge or slope.
Cam – A twisting motion that uses opposing forces to hold a part of the body in place.
Case-harding – Mineralization of the surface of the rock that produces holds. Also called Patina or Varnish.
Chalk – A substance used to dry sweat and oils from the hands.
Chichenhead – A protruding erosion feature characterized by a thin neck where it is attached to the rock.
Chimney – A large crack in the rock that is big enough to fit your entire body. A squeeze chimney fits only a part of your body.
Ceiling – An overhang that juts out horizontally from the rock.
Cling Grip – Arching the fingers inward on a handhold
Corner – The meeting point of two planes of rock. Also called a Dihedral or Open book
Crab Crawl – Facing outward while descending.
Cross-hands, Cross-feet, Cross-over – the act of crossing feet or hands to accomplish further reach on the next move.
Deadpoint – The point of maximum extension while lunging.
Dihedral – See Corner
Dike – A vein of harder rock that protrudes from the surface.
Dome – A large rock that lessens in steepness towards the top
Dynamic Climbing – Junping or lunging movements
Edge, Edging, Edging boot – A squared off hand or foothold; Pressing the edge and side of the boot into the hold; A boot with stiff soles and harder rubber.
Exfoliation – The erosion of successive layers of rock
Exposure – In creased height and steepness
Finger Crack, Finger lock – A thin crack that fits only your fingers; twisting of the fingers in a finger crack
Fifth Class Climbing – Near vertical climbing where a fall would result in death
First Class Climbing – Walking up a steep hill
Fist crack, Fist jam – A crack hose width is the same as you fist; expanding your fist is a jam.
Flake – Where two layers of rock meet.
Flash accent – Completing a climb for the first time without a fall
Follower – The second person in a roped climbing party that removes the protection.
Fourth Class Climbing – Climbing on large holds on steep rock. A fall may result in injury or death.
Free climbing – Climbing using only your hands and feet. A rope may be used for safety, but not for ascending.
Free soloing – Climbing without ropes where a fall could kill you.
Friction – How hard you press into a rock
Friction hold, Friction boot – A hold that is not positive, but lower angled or sloping; a boot with a soft rubber soul.
Hand crack, Hand jam – A crack that is the width of your hand; rolling the thumb into the palm to create a jam
Hand stack – Utilizing both hands to create a jam in a wide crack
Head wall – A large expanse of overhanging rock
Heel cup – The heel of the shoe.
Heel hook – Hanging by the heel.
Hueco – A shallow depression in the rock.
Imaging – Watching climbing and recording it in your mind subconsciously.
In-cut – A hold you can get you fingers behind.
Jam – Expanding a part of your body to hold it in place in a crack.
Knee-back – Opposition utilizing the knees against one wall and the back against the other wall.
Knob – A protrusion from the rock.
Lateral stiffness – The quality of a climbing shoe that prevents it from moving from side to side.
Layback – Pulling with the hands an pushing with the feet.
Leader – In a roped safety system, the leader climbs first and places protection.
Leavittation – A method of climbing wide cracks utilizing knee lock and hand stacks.
Lip – The edge of an overhang.
Lunge – Jumping for a hold.
Mantle – Boosting yourself on a hold or ledge by locking the elbows and bringing the feet up.
Match hands, Match feet – Placing both feet or both hands on the same hold.
Mountaineering – Climbing involving snow or ice.
On-sight ascent – Climbing a route for the first time without falling, without any prior knowledge about the climb.
Off-hands, Off-fingers jam – A jam slightly larger that a hand jam or a finger jam.
Off-width – A crack that you can get your arms and legs in, but not you entire body.
Open grip – Palm open , finger tips resting on the hold.
Opposition – Pushing in two different directions.
Outside corner – Where two planes of rock meet to form a vertical Arete.
Palming – Placing the entire hand over a rounded hold.
Pinch grip – Pinching the sides of a hold.
Pinnacle – A solitary shaft of rock that is separated from or leans against other rocks.
Piton – A type of protection that is hammered into cracks. Rarely used in modern free climbing.
Pockets – Small holes in the rock formed by trapped gas or solution.
Polish – Slippery rock formed by abrasion from water or glaciers.
Positive pull – A handhold that you can pull downward on.
Protection – Devices placed in the rock to catch a falling climber.
Push-off – Pushing upward off of a positive hold.
Rand – The rubber side of climbing shoes.
Ratings – Degrees of difficulty of climbs.
Redpoint – The ascent of a climb without a fall after many attempts
Ring grip – Using the thumb to hold down a finger.
Roof – See ceiling
Second Class Climbing – Hiking up steep and uneven terrain.
Sequence – Certain movements that are needed to climb a climb.
Side-pull – A hold that is grasped sideways.
Sixth Class Climbing – See aid climbing
Slab – See apron
Smearing – Pressing both feet against opposite holds.
Static climbing – Climbing in control with no jumping or sudden movements
Stem – Pressing both feet against opposite holds.
Tape – Adhesive cloth tape used to protect the hands when climbing cracks
Thank God hold – See buckets
Tips – A crack that is too small to stick your fingers in.
Toe cam – Wedging your toe in a crack.
Toe jam – Twisting your toe in a crack.
Toeing in – Pressing the toe of the boot into a crack that is too thin to toe jam.
Top rope – A roped safety system whereby a rope is dropped from the top of a cliff.
Torque – Twisting motion of a cam.
Traverse – Sideways climbing movement.
Vertical grip – Pressing the tips of the fingers into a hold with the first digits bent out ward and the other digits bent inward.
Visualization – Rehearsing a movement in your mind before doing it.