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Glossary of Climbing Terms

Arête – An outside corner

Boulder – Unroped climbing not far from the ground (12 feet or less) with an emphasis on movement and strength

Crimp – A thin climbing hand hold that requires one to “crimp”; also known as crimper

Crimping – A rock climbing maneuver that requires a closed-hand grip on a thin climbing hold

Crux – The most difficult section of a climb

Dihedral – An inside corner

Edge – A climbing maneuver that involves placing the toe or ball of the foot on a thin climbing hold; a climbing hold that is thin

Jug – A large hand hold that will allow all four fingers into it

Heel-hooking – A climbing maneuver that involves hooking the heel around a climbing hold or arête

Lunge – A rock climbing maneuver that involves lunging

Lieback – A climbing maneuver that involves hanging to one side while the arms pull and the legs push

Mantle – A climbing maneuver that involves lifting and supporting oneself with the hands, which are palms-down on the same climbing hold

Move – Movement; one of a series of motions involved in gaining climbing distance

On sight – To successfully climb a route without prior knowledge or experience of the moves; also known as redpoint

Pinch – A climbing maneuver that requires one to pinch; a rock climbing hold that requires one to pinch with the fingers

Pocket – A climbing hold that has an opening in it for the placement of one or more fingers

Sandbag – To mis-represent the difficulty of a climb, stating it is easier than it actually is

Side Pull – A climbing maneuver that requires one to “pull” in a horizontal motion with one or both arms; a climbing hold that runs vertically, rather than horizontally

Sloper – A sloping rock climbing hold that requires an open-hand grip

Smear – A climbing maneuver that involves using the friction of the shoe sole to “stick” the foot to the climbing surface without the use of a climbing hold

Stemming – A rock climbing maneuver that involves pushing out to the sides with either, or both, the hands or legs; also known as bridging

Toe-hooking – A rock climbing maneuver that involves hooking the toe around the climbing hold

Traverse – To climb sideways, without gaining altitude

Undercling – To grab the underside of a climbing hold with the palm of the hand up