Overview of Rock Climbing Terminology

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 18,922
    Rock climbing expert Crystal Norman discusses rock climbing terminology.

    Crystal Norman: Hi! My name is Crystal Norman with Earth Treks Climbing Center here in Rockville, Maryland. Today I am showing you how to rock climb and right now we are going to go over some basic climbing terminology. First I am going to start with jugs, jugs are the really big holes on the wall that you will see. You usually get most of your hand down in them and they are the easiest holes to hold on to. Next, crimpers or crimps. It's very small, you usually only can get your fingertips on the holes and there is also two ways to hold a crimp. Next, there's slopers, slopers are open-handed holes. Usually you are just pushing against them or pulling down on them. It's not something that you can grab a hold of and really squeeze on but something that you can lever away from. Another common term that you will hear in the climbing gym is matching. Matching is when you have one hand already on a hole and you take your other hand and move over to match the hole, so you have both hands on the same hole. Another term that you will hear is smearing. Smearing is when you place your foot on the wall, not necessarily on a hole; you just place pressure on the surface of the wall and you can push weight off of that in order to progress upwards. And now I am going to explain you grading system. You will notice in the climbing gyms, on the climbing walls, there are numbers associated with the climb. This explains to you the degree of difficulty. 5.9 is easier than a 5.5, most gym usually start around 5.9, 5.3 and they may go all the way up to 5.13. From time to time, you will notice a number behind the last letter, maybe a 5.13 A and this will explain that, that comes a little bit more difficult than your typical 5.13 A. And that was some basic explanation of climbing terminology. Now we are going to move on to some basic rock climbing skills.