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Climbing Terms for New Climbers

Climbing Terms for New Climbers

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Whenever you’re climbing, indoors or out, you may hear or find yourself using all sorts of climbing jargon. Whether you’re new to the sport or well versed in climbing, there may be some words you may not understand. Especially with the start of Sender One LAX’s Bouldering League, you may need to know some of these words just to understand the rules! Climbers use and say so much slang, climbing pretty much has its own language. So here’s some beta (don’t worry, keep reading and we’ll define this too!) on how to navigate and translate this foreign language.


Beta: Specific advice, direction, or instruction on how to complete a climb.

Example: “Hey, what’s the beta for this climb?” “There’s a secret knee bar, my friend.”

Boulder: Climbing on boulders, often “shorter” or less tall climbs. Protection usually is the floor or a mat.

Example: “I like that boulder. That is a nice boulder.”


Bump: A technique in which you move an extremity to a hold, then move it to a subsequently higher hold.  This is done to advance short distances with poor holds.

Example: “Go to that crimp, then bump to the jug.”


Campus: Climbing without the use of your feet.

Example: "It's too difficult to keep my feet on the wall, so I'm just going to campus this."


Crimp: A small hold that you can only get the first pad of your fingers on.

Example: “Crimps are small.”


Crux: The hardest part of the climbing sequence.

Example: “The crux of the problem is the big move in the middle. And also the first move. Also, the move after the middle. And the top.”


Dyno: Short for dynamic, this is a technique where the climber will jump for a hold otherwise out of reach.

Example: “You’re a lot shorter, so you might have to dyno to the top.”


Flash: Finishing a climb on your first attempt, with beta or seeing the entire climb.

Example: “I flashed that climb, now I never have to do it again.”


Jug: A big hold that you can hold with your whole hand.

Example: “It’s good. It’s a jug.”



On-sight: Only applicable to rope climbs, on-sighting is finishing a climb on your first attempt, without any beta or being able to see the full route in detail.

Example: “I can probably on-sight a 10.a.”


Project: A climb that may take multiple sessions to figure out and complete.

Example: “I’ve been projecting the pink one in the corner for months.”


Sandbag: To underestimate a climb’s difficulty or a climber’s ability.

Example: “They’re sandbagging to score more points in Bouldering League

Send: To successfully complete a climb.

Example: “I finally sent my project at Sender One.” (OH, THAT'S WHERE WE GOT THE NAME!)


Have fun adding these new terms to your vocabulary so you can better communicate with your fellow climbers - and communicate way worse with everyone else.

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