Just in case you’re unfamiliar with some of the terms used on chalktalksa, here’s a handy little guide to some climbing lingo!

belay (v.) – the process of rope management by a belayer to protect their partner while they climb

beta (n.) – information about a route; this includes the sequence, and tips for performing the moves

bouldering (n.) – a style of climbing in which no safety gear is used, and the rocks climbed are generally smaller than those climbed in other forms of climbing (v. to boulder, to go bouldering)

campus (v.) – to climb using arms only, without using any feet holds

campus-board (v.) a ladder-like training device, that a person climbs up using only their arms

chains (n.) – refers to the final set of bolts on a route; the top of a climb

crag (n.) – a rock face; an outdoor rock climbing area

crux (n.) – the most challenging part of a climb

dirtbag (n.) – a person who dedicates their life to climbing, living off the bare minimum

flash (v.) – to successfully complete a climb, after having received beta or watched somebody else climb

grade (n.) – the difficulty of a climb; there are various systems used across the world (South Africa uses a numerical system for sport and trad climbing (ranging from about 5 to 38), and the French system for bouldering (ranging from 1 to 9c))

highline (n./v.) – a length of webbing that is suspended high above the ground; the act of balancing and moving along a highline; the highliner will generally wear a harness that is attached to the line with a leash (v. highlining)

onsight (v.) – to successfully complete a climb without having received beta or watched somebody else climb

problem (n.) – a bouldering route

project (n./v.) – a route/problem that that a climber is repeatedly attempting in order to achieve a clean send; the act of repeatedly working a route

quickdraws (n.) – a piece of safety equipment made up of two carabiners connected with a length of webbing; used in sport and trad climbing to link the rope to a piece of protective gear

redpoint (v.) – to successfully complete a climb that you have previously failed on

route (n.) – a predetermined path by which a climber moves up the rock

route-setting (v.) – the practice of creating climbing routes in a climbing gym (n. route-setter)

send (v./n.) – to successfully complete a route without falling or resting on the rope at any point; the clean ascent of a route

slackline (n./v.) – a length of webbing suspended between two anchor points along which a person balances and walks; to walk on a slackline

top rope (v.) – to climb a route on which the rope has already been set up and hangs from the top of a climb

waterline (n./v.) – a slackline suspended over a body of water; to walk on a waterline


Definitions acquired from: