Aid Climbing Dictionary
Aid climbing has a vocabulary that is unique the climbing circle. Here are some common terms and their definition or what they should mean. Anyone who rock climbs long enough will eventually hear some of these terms or may even become interested in trying aiding.
Aid Climbing Dictionary
A1 Aid rating system that denotes a (bomber) reliable placed protection of any type whether stoppers, cams or pitons.
A2 Aid rating system that denotes protection that is tricky to place or may only hold a short fall of any type whether stoppers, cams or pitons.
A3 Aid rating system that denotes a series protection placements that will hold only body weight and could result in a 30 foot fall if a protection placement should fail. This rating also necessitates the use of brown pants. (See diaper drop)
Aid climbing- Act of climbing rock using the protection placements as a means of moving upwards. Typically done with the use of aiders and daisy chains. (see aider and daisy chain)
Aider- A 5 or 6 step ladder made of rope or webbing. There are various types manufactured by various companies.
Ascending- The act of using ascenders to move up a fixed rope. There are a variety of methods to be used depending on the steepness of the rock. The Yosemite method is typically used on rock that is less than vertical. On steeper rock there are a variety of methods to employ. The original ascender was called a Jumar (see jumar).
Big Wall Any shear rock face that causes one’s saliva to instantly dry up and causes a server case of cotton mouth.
Bounce testing- The act of testing a protection placement of any type (stopper, cam or piton) by aggressively dropping your body weight onto the placement. This must be done correctly or one can create a hazard should the protection fail. This is typically done on A2 placements or harder.
Cleaning- The act of removing protection. Typically done while ascending the fixed lead line in ascenders or jumars. One must know when to clean while ascending and when to clean while being belayed. Otherwise one may encounter the need for a change of clothes. Some cleaning may require a funkness device.
Daisy Chain- This is standard equipment for aiding and is a leash between your harness and either the aiders or a jumars depending on whether you are aiding or ascending. Daisy chains are used for leading and cleaning pitches and are essential equipment. Daisy chains come in either a series of fixed loops that are always the wrong length or adjustable types.
Diaper Drop (1) A term used to indicate what happens after a lead fall while aiding. (2) Actual name of an aid route named so after this phenomenon occurred on the first ascent.
Fifi hook- A hook shape device attached to your harness for connection to the protection piece. Fifi hooks are prone to popping out when least desired; usually resulting in a need for a clothing change (see diaper drop).
Fixed line- A rope that is tied into the anchor. This is either a static jugging line or the lead line depending on the situation.
Funkness device- A cable with two loops on each end. Design to yank the protection out of the crack. Typically results in a loss of one’s glasses, teeth or both.
Haul bag An extremely durable backpack designed to be hauled up the rock. See Burlyequipment.com, Fish.com or Metholius
Hauling The act of raising the haul bag with all the goodies in it. Usually accomplished by the rookie in the group (AKA: Wall hauler).
Head - A specialized protection piece made of aluminum or copper that is designed to be beat into the rock with a wall hammer. It generally has the IQ equivalent of the person who places such device and believes it will actually hold them; also referred to as Mashhead. They typically come in several types straight and circle heads in either a duck bill or round shape. One should know how and when to place a head BEFORE actually doing so on lead. Failure to learn this may result in instantaneous jettison of the climber in an anti-upward vertical motion.
Jumar Brand name of an ascender. Most older wall aces use this term for denoting any ascender. Newbie’s don’t understand this term.
Lower out Process of lowing a person or haul bag off an anchor point that may be fixed. Ideally one knows how to do this before actually doing this on the wall, otherwise this could result in awkward or scary moment that one desires not to repeat.
Nailing The act of driving in a piton with a wall hammer. Although this sound easy nailing pitons requires practice and knowledge to do properly without the total destruction of the rock. Failure to learn nailing properly may also result in instantaneous jettison of the climber in an anti-upward vertical motion.
Pecker A specialized piton that looks like a tomahawk. Generally Peckers are easy to place, difficult to trust and impossible to get out.
Piton A steel pin that is driven into the rock like a nail. See Nailing. Most useful are blades, lost arrows and sawed off blades. Peckers are useful on thin seams which is the most common use of pitons these days.
Portaledge A collapsible ledge designed to provide an opportunity to sleep and rest on the wall in the absence of a real ledge. However, one rarely sleeps on this swinging contraption because one is constantly worried about said contraption falling apart and / or swinging upside down resulting in an instantaneous jettison of the climber in an anti-upward vertical motion.
Wall hammer A really nice hammer.
Wall hauler (1 )A device that makes hauling a bag easy or (2) the tag- a- long person who has to do all of the hauling. Freeing the others to enjoy the climbing.