Canyoneering Terms and Definitions

Abseil  - Verb. The act by which a person descends a rope. Also known as Rappel.

Altitude sickness - Adjective. A medical condition. Symptoms may include: dehydration, headache, nausea, disorientation and is often experienced at high altitudes.

Anchor - Noun. A number of pieces of gear set up to support the weight of a belay or top rope.
Verb. To anchor one’s self to an anchor point.

Approach - Verb. The beginning of a rout or path to a vertical wall, canyon, or sloped surface.

Arm bar - Verb. Jamming an arm into a crack and locking it into place.

Ascend - Verb. To climb a rope.

Ascender - Noun. A device for ascending on a rope.

Belay - Verb. Using friction with a belay device or body to protect or secure someone ascending or descending a rope.

Belay device - Noun. A device used to create friction to a rope so someone may ascend or descend a rope they are attached to safely.

Belay off or Off BelayVerb. Called out by belayer to confirm that the belay has been removed.

Belay on - Verb. Called out by belayer to confirm that the belay has been secured.

Biner - Noun. Short term for Carabiner.

Bolt - Noun. A metal anchor or point with a hole or loop permanently installed into the rock.

Bolt Chopping - Verb. The action to permanently remove one or more bolts.

Bouldering - Verb. The practice of climbing close to the ground.

Buttress - Noun. A prominent feature of a landmass that juts out from a rock or mountain.

Cairn - Noun. A stacks of rocks erected and placed in various parts of a trail used in navigation to lead person(s) to destination.
Verb. Cairned. When a trial is marked with erected stacks of stones

Carabiner - Noun. A ring device often containing spring-loaded gears used to connect objects.

Chimney - Verb. To climb a vertical wall using an opposing parallel wall.

Clean - Verb.  To remove equipment from a rout often leaving permanent anchors.

Clipping in – Verb. The act of attaching to belay lines or anchors for protection.

Downclimb - Verb. To descend by climbing or scrambling downward.

Dyno - Verb. To jump or leap to another point in a climb. A dynamic move to grab or hold to a point out of reach.

Exposure - Adjective. A degree of distance from a person on the side of a wall to the floor. Great amount of exposure mean a great deal of falling risk.

Figure Eight - Noun.  A belay device shaped like an "8".

Figure Eight Knot - Noun. A knot shaped like an “8”.

Hold - Noun. A place to grab, cling, grip, jam or press while climbing or downclimbing.

Jamming - Verb. Wedging your body or part or your body into a crack to aid in climbing or downclimbing.

Overhang - Noun. A section of rock that is angled beyond vertical.

Quickdraw - Noun. Equipment often using carabiners used to attach either ropes or persons to ropes together.

Quicklink - Noun. A metal device usually screw-type oval-shape stainless steel particularly used for attaching to anchors.

Rap - Noun. A shortended term for rappel. A descent of a vertical cliff or wall made by using a rope that is fixed to a higher point and attached to a harness around the body.

Rappel - Verb. The process of descend a rope using a friction device.

Scrambling – Verb. A type of climbing somewhere between hiking and graded rock climbing.

Stem - Verb. Climbing mostly horizontally using two faces on either side far enough to reach with both feet.

Traverse - Verb. Like Stemming but using the entire body to climb horizontally

Undercling – Noun. A hold which is gripped with the palm of the hand facing upwards.

Wash - Noun. A dry water way, creek or river bed. Usually dry for most of the year, usually flat and sandy. Ideal for flash flooding routes

Webbing - Noun. Hollow and flat nylon strip or material.