Friday, June 21, 2013

Climbing diction and an update making for a new and old kind of post.

So I have had a request for a quick run down on climbing terminology as it can certainly sound like a foreign language to the uninitiated. I would suggest buying Matt Samet's Climbing Dictionary. I haven't read it but it seems pretty comprehensive with 650+ words. Obviously I will not be going in to that level of detail.

So basically there are a few different types of climbing and this seems like a good place to begin.

Aid-This is more or less how climbing took off and is usually seen as a means to an end. Aid climbers use removable and fixed hardware in combination with nylon ladders to climb up the wall. This approach requires a bigger bankroll, more patience and less fitness (usually).
Free climbing- Free climbing includes the following categories and is simply where a climber relies on their own skillz and strength to climb using only natural features on the rock.
Trad (traditional)- Trad climbing is the style I most prefer where one takes removable protection (Pro) with them up the wall and placing the various types in cracks or pockets.
Sport- Sport climbing is another practice of free climbing however it requires that there be pre placed bolts that define a route and also protect it, this is generally perceived to be a bit safer than trad climbing and is also the style of climbing that has allowed for the hardest routes to be established.
Bouldering- a.k.a. pebble wrasslin' is pulling really hard on really small hold on (usually) boulders that may range in size from a dog kennel to a house.
Free Soloing- is what Alex Honnold does, no ropes or jingly things, just rock climbing with out the option of falling. The vast majority of climbers do not free solo as the potential consequences are not thought to be worth the risk.

Concepts behind climbing.
Leading - This is how one gets the rope to the top. It requires the leader to climb and place gear or clip bolts to prevent a fall that would end on the ground, once at the top of a climb or unable to continue their belayer/climbing partner lowers them to the ground in hopefully a controlled manner.
Toproping- Is where the rope is running through an already established anchor at the top of a climb, this method allows climbers to focus on the movement of a climb with out the distraction of a potential fall.
Following- Following is much like top roping but is where a person follows the leader to the top of the climb and both return to the ground together or on a longer climb continue up together.

Random stuff
Pitch- A pitch is the length of a segment of a climb, not usually more than 1 rope length.
Grading- The system consists of five classes indicating the technical difficulty of the hardest section. Class 1 is the easiest and consists of walking on even terrain. Class 5 is climbing on vertical or near vertical rock, and requires skill and a rope to proceed safely. Un-roped falls would result in severe injury or death (wikipedia). The grade of 5.- goes from 5.0 to 5.15(currently) there is also the option of adding on a + or - or letter a-d to indicate if the clime is difficult or easy for the respective grade.

If you have anymore questions on the terminology I've used let me know and I'll try and clear it up!

Update time. 

Basically most of my times since the last post has been occupied by work with a few trips to Rifle for some sport climbing. The biggest development has been the start of the bolting process for a new climbing area with a buddy. It looks right now like the cliff will hopefully have a range of climbs from 5.6-5.14(?) sport and trad which will be pretty exciting I think. Now it's time to order some more bolts and go crazy. 

                               The new crag.

Unfortunately it seems that work and the new crag are the only things on the schedule for the time being!

The first anchor bolt!

Occupying my free time with some cooking, chicken cordon bleu pictured.