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This site presents the images from the ebook High: Advanced Multipitch Climbing, by David Coley and Andy Kirkpatrick. In order to keep the cost of the book to a minimum most of these were not included in the book. Although they work best when used in conjunction with the book, most are self-explanatory.


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Note: Many terms that single pitch climbers would be familiar with are not included.


Ab or abseil – see rap.

Aid climbing – ascending the cliff by pulling and standing on the protection.

Alternating leads – see swinging leads.

Baby bouncer – keeping the middle climber of a team of three safe on a traverse by having both the climber in front and behind him belay him on separate ropes.

Banshee belay – a belay built by connecting the pieces in the belay in series rather than in parallel.Back cleaning – removing the pieces of protection lower down to use later on the pitch.

Batman up a rope – climb the rope hand over hand with your feet on the rock. (Hopefully another rope will be used to protect you.)

Beef it up - to make something stronger.

Bivi or bivvi – sleeping, or a place to sleep, on a route or at the top or bottom of a route.

Block leading – leading a set number of pitches, or for a set amount of time, before swapping leader.

Carabiner factor – represents the friction of the rope or sling on a carabiner. This leads to the load either side of the carabiner not being equal, or the arms of a sliding-X failing to load share very well.

Chariot belay - hanging the belayer a long way belay the belay anchors with the belay being used as a Jesus piece. Used to reduce the fall factor if there is hard unprotected climbing directly above the belay.

Cliff – another word for rock face.

Combo style – when the leader takes a Reverso-style device to directly belay the second with and the second uses a Grigri to belay the leader. This means that both members of the team are belayed on a device that proves some form of backup.

Cord – thin rope used for making prusiks etc.

Cordelette – a large sling made of webbing or nylon cord used to form belays.

Cordelette blindness – only looking for anchor pieces that are near enough to each other to be connected by a cordelette, rather than looking for the best pieces.

Cordelette conundrum – that the more pieces you use in the belay the less cord you have to connect them together, in part because the amount of cord used in the powerpoint increases rapidly with the number of pieces. The solution is to either use the rope to form the belay, or use slings to connect some of the pieces together before using the cordelette to connect this smaller number of points.

Counter piece – a piece in a belay that counteracts forces in directions other than that where the main strength of the anchor lies. For example, a low piece placed to stop a belayer being lifted up and hitting a roof.

CowÕs tail – 120cm sling girth hitched (larkÕs footed) to the harness with one or more overhand knots in it. Used as a temporary daisy chain.

Crag – another word for cliff or rock face; normally applied to smaller faces.

Daisy chain, or daisy – long sling sewn so as to create a series of pockets. Used to attach you to the belay without the use of the rope.

Double (half) ropes – a pair of ropes designed so that runners are clipped to one strand for part of the climb then the other strand for another part of the route.

Down rope – the rope that is being pulled when pulling the ropes down on a rappel. Or a rope that is travelling downwards – where the term is used to distinguish it from the up rope that is travelling upwards.

DIL belay – see direct isolation loop belay.

Direct belay – hanging a suitable belay plate directly off the anchors to bring up a second.

Direct isolation loop belay – a way of tying off to the anchors using the rope that also creates a powerpoint.

Dog bone – an extender with stitching running most of its length.

Draw – see extender.

Dyneema webbing – super strong and light webbing used to form slings. Difficult/impossible to tie, therefore only really of use for sewn slings. (If tying it in an emergency to use as a rap sling, use a triple fishermanÕs.)

Equipped – a route equipped with in-situ belay stations and possibly in-situ protection (usually bolts); or a rap route with in-situ rap points (these might be bolts, pegs or slings around trees).

Extender - sling (normally short) with a pair of carabiners usually clipped to a piece to reduce the chances of the piece being pulled out, or used to clip the rope to a bolt during a pitch. Also termed a draw.

Faff or faffing – spending too much time sorting out ropes and equipment, building belays, etc. and generally wasting time.

Fifi – a hook used to attach yourself temporarily to a carabiner, sling or piece. Only used in aid climbing.

Fixed line - A rap rope that will be left in place. For example when descending to the base of a sea cliff.

Floating rap hitch – a clove hitch tied near the end of the rap rope and around a carabiner then clipped to a gear loop. Forms a partial backup that you canÕt forget to remove before you pull the ropes.

Flying swap – a very quick method of changing leaders at a stance by pre-clipping the first bolt on the next pitch.

Free climbing – climbing the cliff using the rock, rather than pulling and standing on the protection (the opposite of aid climbing).

Frig or frigging – cheating by pulling on protection or the rope.

Gear - equipment, as in climbing gear.

Gravity-limited fall. A situation where the weight of the belayer helps to give a soft catch; only used to compare the situation created by an inertia-limited fall.

Guide mode – using a Reverso or similar device as a direct belay to bring one or more seconds up.

Half ropes – same as double ropes.

HMS – a large pear-shaped locking carabiner which is particularly useful for tying Munter (Italian) hitches to, or if several ropes will be tied to the same carabiner.

Holster method – keeping the abseil ropes clipped in coils onto the gear loops using 60cm slings and hoping they will self-feed as you descend. (An alternative is the stacked butterfly.)

Jumar or jug – ascend the rope using mechanical devices specifically designed for the job. Jumar and jug are also used to indicate such mechanical devices.

In-situ – Ņin placeÓ. Normally used to refer to anchors that have been placed and left for others, for example bolts.

Indirect belay – belaying with the belay device clipped to the harness.

Inertia-limited fall. A situation where the weight of the belayer does not help to give a soft catch; only used to compare the normally much better situation created by a gravity-limited fall.

Isolation loop – loop used as for the tie-in point in a DIL belay.

Kit - another word for equipment, as in climbing kit.

Lanyard – a separate short length of rope used like a daisy to attach the climber to the belay without the use of the main rope. Also a generic word for tails and daisies.

Locker - locking carabiner such as a screwgate or twist-lock.

Maillon - a carabiner-like item where the gate is formed by a screw thread. Smaller, cheaper and more robust than a locking carabiner. Often left in-situ at rap stations.

Marginal runner – a poor runner that is likely to fail if loaded.

MicroÕs – micro wires (micro nuts), for example, RPÕs.

Nut tool, nut key, or cleaning tool – metal tool for removing stuck protection.

Obligˇ – a word used in France to indicate the maximum difficulty of the free climbing; anything harder than this can be frigged by pulling on the protection.

Personal Anchor System – see PAS.

PAS or Personal Anchor System. Similar to but stronger than a daisy chain. Made from a series of short sewn slings, therefore harder to mis-clip.

Piece – piece of protection, such as a cam or wire.

Rap or Rappel – descend the rope using a friction device. Same as ab or abseil.

Rap ring – an in-situ metal rig threaded through the webbing or cord at the rap station, or a larger then normal link in the metal chain at the station.

Rap station – the place you rap from. Normally a set of in-situ bolts or pegs, or slings around a tree or boulder.

Re-direct – passing the rope from the belayer upwards to a carabiner and then down to the second.

Red pointing – climbing a route after practising all or part of it.

Retrievable abseil/rap – abseil where the rope is not tied to the anchors, but simply looped through the anchors. This allows you to pull the rope down after you.

Run out – long section of climbing with little or no protection.

Runner – in this book this used in the British way. Meaning a piece, peg or bolt clipped mid-pitch to the rope with a carabiner and used by the leader to protect herself. Short for running belay - a term which has fallen out of use. (In North America the word runner is normally used for a 60 or 120cm sling used to extend a piece.)

RPÕs – micro wires (micro nuts).

Sack-block – using a backpack or haul bag as the blocking device in a single line rap. Possibly a good way to get killed.

Screamer – an extender designed to limit the peak force of the fall by either ripping stitching or by extending through an integral friction device.

Short pitching – walking the easier sections of a long alpine-like route carrying coils, then stopping to belay short sections that need to be rock climbed. This can be faster than trying to pitch the whole route, even if it means more pitches.

Simultaneous abseil/rap – a retrievable abseil with one climber on each line.

Sling draw – an extender tripled up to allow you to carry it on the harness and use it as a long or short extender.

Slip-back – the length of rope a clutch (ratchet) lets slide back during each stroke of a haul.

Snap gate – a non-locking carabiner.

Spectra cord – super strong and lightweight cord. Must be tied with a triple fishermanÕs knot.

Stacked butterfly – similar to the holster method of abseiling with the ropes and paying them out as you go, but with the ropes in a series on butterfly coils with each coil jettisoned when required.

Stance – the place where you stand, sit or hang to belay from.

Stripping the pitch – when all the runners on the pitch fail when the leader falls, or the act of the second removing (cleaning) the runners as he ascends.

Swinging leads – changing the leader at the end of every pitch; also called alternating leads.

Tandem rap/abseil – a rap where both climbers hang from a single abseil device.

Tat – old piece of webbing or cord typically found at a rap station, or carried by the climbers to build emergency rap stations from.

Tiger clip – a carabiner or other item inserted into the knot of the powerpoint to make it easier to untie. This is a potentially dangerous practice. With two bolt belays it is much better to just use an alpine butterfly.

Trading Plates – swapping belay device when alternating leader. When done correctly this is a very fast and safe way to change leader without having to temporarily tie in.

Tramlining – lowering off a steep pitch with an extender clipped between your harness and the up rope to keep you near the rock face.

Twin ropes – a pair of ropes that are used like a single rope most of the time, i.e. both strands are clipped to each runner through a single carabiner.

Up rope – see down rope.

Wire – another term for a nut or stopper threaded on wire.

Yarding – see Batman.

Y-hang – using a sling or slings to simultaneously extend the abseil device away from you and to hang the casualty from when descending.



Please use the following links to buy the book: Amazon USA (kindle) / Amazon UK (kindle) / itunes / kobo

Back to Other Chapters

v 7 October 2014

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