Glossary of Outdoor Jargon

Glossary of Outdoor Jargon--Because we all want to sound cool

This list will be an ongoing project.  Comment with things I haven't defined yet and I will add them!

Alpine Draws: Two carabiners connected with a sling/runner (often doubled over).  Used primarily in Trad climbing to give flexibility to the ropes connection to the gear placement so that the movement of the rope doesn’t wiggle the pro and so that you can get some distance from the wall to prevent the rope from dragging over features.

Beaners: Carabiners. Peeps are not being racist.

Beta: Beta is basically directions and can mean slightly different things in different contexts.  On a climbing route, beta usually refers to specific moves and advice on how to tackle the climb.  In Trad climbing (see below for “Trad”), it can also encompass what type of pro (again see below) to take on the climb.  In other outdoor contexts, if someone asks for the beta, they are saying “tell me what I need to know to accomplish this objective bro.”  If you are giving unrequested advice or mansplaining, you are spraying beta. Do not spray beta.

Free Climbing: Free climbing is the climbing most people participate in.  You are roped up but you are not using climbing aides like ladders (Aid Climbing).  This is not Free Soloing.

Free Soloing: This is the crazy thing people do when they climb actual grades with nothing but their shoes and a chalk bag, aka - no protection.  See Safety Third for more information.

Sling/Runner: A completed loop of webbing fused and stitched together for catching strength.  So many uses!

Trad: Trad is short for traditional climbing.  This is the antithesis to sport climbing. Trad climbing means that you are carrying gear to set your own protection as opposed to a bolted line that you merely clip your quick draws to.

Pro: Short for Protection.  This is the term for the gear (cams/nuts) a person climbing trad will place on the wall in hopes of staying alive in the event of a fall.

Quick Draws:  Quick draws are two carabiners linked together by stiff webbing.  You use these primarily in sport climbing to link your rope to the bolt as you climb.   

Annie LawsonComment