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The Glossary

We, the Keepers of the Crux, are a chatty bunch. As our climbing lingo might sound like an exclusive club to those not fluent in the art of ascension, behold our glossary! It's a lineup of words, standing in alphabetical formation, reminiscent of a climbing parade on Mount Everest in the brisk days of April. Every entry gets its own VIP pass – a snappy explanation because, let's be honest, who said learning can't be a wild ride? Consider it a dictionary, but with an extra dose of sass and a sprinkle of climbing flair!

Ape Index: The scientific measurement of how much longer your arms are compared to your height. Essentially, the wingspan that makes you either a human condor or a T-Rex impersonator.

Barndooring: The unintentional interpretive dance move climbers perform when gravity decides it's time to spice things up. It's like being in a rock-and-roll band, but without the music or the coordination.


Beta: Advice or knowledge on how to conquer a problem – like getting the secret cheat codes for climbing, but without the cheat part.

Body Position: The art of contortion without looking like a circus act – because in climbing, flexibility is key, but style points matter too.

Body Tension: The Jedi mind trick climbers use to convince their feet to stick to holds on overhanging rock. Core strength and technique are the magical spells in this gravity-defying spectacle.

Bump: Making moves with your hand like you're giving the rock an enthusiastic high-five – because why settle for one when you can go for a climbing sequel?

Callouses: The battle scars of climbing, proudly worn patches of armor on your fingers and palms. They're like tiny medals, awarded for enduring the frictional warfare with rock surfaces.

Campus: Climbing a route with the grace of a spider on a caffeine high – forget feet, we're here for the upper-body workout.

Chalk: The magical dust that transforms sweaty palms into friction-friendly appendages. It's like fairy dust for climbers, minus the flying – unless you're dynoing.

Climbing Shoes: Footwear that's tighter than your deadline schedule, covered in rubber, and specially designed for rock-hugging adventures. They're basically Cinderella's glass slipper, but for scaling walls.

Crimp: Holding onto a tiny edge with your fingertips, a grip so small even a squirrel would hesitate – because in climbing, size doesn't matter, but technique does.

Crux: The climber's equivalent of hitting the boss level – the part of the problem that makes you question life choices.

Dabbing: The covert maneuver executed by a climber, often unintentionally, leading to an illicit encounter with an element not classified as part of the climb.

Deadpoint: That magical moment when you hit a hold just right, like a ninja freezing mid-air – equilibrium, but with extra flair.

Down Climbing: The art of gracefully retreating your way down a problem. It's like rewinding the climber's version of a blockbuster movie.

Dropknee: When your foot has an inside edge party while the other foot is gate-crashing with an outside edge. It's the climber's version of doing the limbo but with more rock and less limbo stick.

Dyno: The Olympic long jump of climbing – leaping from one hold to another, defying gravity and common sense.

Edging: The delicate ballet move of standing on an edge – because climbers are basically rock ballerinas without tutus.

Fingerboard: A board covered in tiny handholds that hang like a masochistic ornament to train fingers into becoming superheroes. They're like mini Mount Everests for your digits.

Flag: The delicate art of sticking your leg out like you're about to participate in an interpretive dance – because balance is essential, but style is everything.

Flapper: When your hand develops a hangnail, and you're left with a makeshift skin accessory – the price of hardcore climbing chic.

Flash: Climbing a problem on the first try, either because you're a rock ninja or you've secretly memorized the Matrix code of the climbing gym.

French Start: Jumping into a climbing problem from the ground, proving that in climbing, just like in French cuisine, the ground is an essential ingredient.


Gaston: Pushing a hold instead of pulling, named after Gaston Rébuffat, not the guy who fixed your leaky faucet – a move that's as fancy as it sounds.

Grades: The Yelp review for climbs – an indication of how difficult it is, assuming perfect conditions and a Sherpa guide whispering beta in your ear.

Half Crimp: The Goldilocks grip – not too open, not too closed, just right. It's the grip that says, "I'm serious about this, but I also enjoy a good compromise."

Hand Jam: The forgotten art of shoving your hand into a crack, because sometimes you just need to give that crack a good hand-hug.

Heel Hook: Using your heel as a grappling hook to stay on the wall – because sometimes you need a little extra oomph.

Jug: A hold so enormous you could host a barbecue on it – or at least throw a party as you celebrate grabbing onto that glorious jug.

Kneebar: The rockstar move where you press your foot against the wall while your knee strikes a pose – it's basically yoga for adrenaline junkies.

Layback: The OG move for climbers, pulling with the hands and pushing with the feet – think of it as the original climbing Pilates.

Liquid Chalk: The high-tech solution to sweaty palms – it's chalk in liquid form, because climbers demand efficiency even in their hand-drying rituals.

Lock Off: The static reach that makes you look like a superhero frozen mid-flight – achieving superhero status without the cape.

Match: Placing both hands on the same hold simultaneously – because two hands are better than one.

Mantel: That move you mastered as a kid when climbing over a wall – the gateway drug to a lifetime of bouldering addiction.

NFC (No-Flinch Climb): Climbing a problem without flinch or hesitation on the holds to emphasis technique and precision – or the art to make something easy overly complicated.

Onsight: Climbing a problem on the first try with no information or prior knowledge – the true test of skill and instinct.

Pinch: Holding onto a grip like you're squishing the last bit of toothpaste from the tube – climbers: strong fingers, weak tube squeezing skills.

Problem: A bouldering puzzle waiting to be solved – think of it as a game of rock chess, but with fewer queens and more crimps.

Project: The Everest of bouldering – a challenge you've yet to conquer, your personal quest to become the Sherpa of the climbing gym.

Reading: The Sherlock Holmes act of analyzing how to climb a problem, complete with a metaphorical magnifying glass and a pipe full of climbing wisdom.

Send: Conquering a problem without the heartbreak of falling off – it's not just climbing; it's a triumphant ascent to victory.

Sloper: A hold that's basically the rock's way of saying, "Good luck holding onto this." It's the slopey challenge that keeps climbers guessing.

Smear: The rebellious act of using a foot as if trying to erase the rock. It's like rock graffiti but with rubber soles instead of spray paint.

Spot/Spotting: Guiding a falling climber to the ground, because in climbing, teamwork makes the dream work – and no one likes a solo skydiving attempt.

Traversing: Moving sideways along the wall, because not everything in life goes up – a lateral adventure for the climber who's tired of always aiming for the stars.

Undercling: The bicep curl's time to shine – a hold that looks upside down, demanding strength, body tension, and an occasional flex for good measure.

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