Canyoneering Jargon

Canyoneering Jargon
Starting out with any new sport or activity can be a daunting task. Beginners will need to learn etiquette, techniques, and many other important aspects of whatever activity they are starting. From basketball to skydiving, every activity will require a lot of dedication and practice to build skills and become comfortable with the sport.
Many activities have their own lingo that must be learned, as well.
One of the most jargon-filled sports out there is canyoneering. There are terms for setting ropes, conquering different obstacles, and even for different types of canyoneers. Below is a list of the most commonly used canyoneering terms and their meanings.

Climbing rope with a carabiner and a double overhand knot.

Anchor
A place in the climbing surface to attach climbing ropes.
Approach
The hike into the entrance of a climb or the base of a climb.
Belay
A system of protection, including rope friction, that stops a canyoneer from falling. This usually includes rope, anchors, a belay device, and a person at the bottom managing the rope, known as the belayer.
Bouldering
The act of climbing close to the ground without the use of ropes. This is usually to practice techniques like grip, foot holds, and weight transfers.
Bridging
To place the hands on one side of a crevice, feet on the other side, and shimmy along with the belly down.
Chimney
A crack or crevice that is just wide enough for the canyoneer to fit inside. To chimney is also to use the body and feet to press against the opposing surfaces and shimmy up the chimney.
Crux
The toughest part of a climb, require a skilled sequence of moves.
Downclimbing
Some skilled canyoneers will climb down sketchy surfaces rather than rappel down them.
Drag
This is the friction that is caused when a climbing rope has multiple pieces of protection creating friction on the rope. Drag can throw a canyoneer off balance easily.
Edging
Rather than having a strong foothold, canyoneers stand on small ledges with the very edge of their climbing shoes.
Face
A smooth, vertical portion of a cliff. Canyoneers must use rope friction and hand holds to conquer a face.
Gripped
When a canyoneer is so afraid or confused they are unable to move.
Gully
A wide but shallow opening on the side of a mountain.
Hang dog
This is to rest by putting weight on the rope rather than on the rock.
Jam
Forcefully using the fingers, hands, or feet to lodge into spaces to create a hold on the rock.
Lead
This is the first person on a climb. They are responsible for setting the ropes and placing protection.
Multi-pitch
A climb that requires multiple rope lengths.
On sight
To lead a climb without prior knowledge of the obstacles.
Poach
To complete a route without proper permits or permission.
Pumped
When a canyoneers arms so tired from a strenuous climb that they feel weak or painful.
Rack
This term refers to the gear needed or brought along for a climb.
Scree
Loose, gravel-like covering on a slope below a cliff.
Solo
To attempt a climb without any backup protection.
Truck
A very solid anchor.
Whipper
A very long fall.
Zip line
Canyoneers rig up a slanted rope to zip line their gear from a high point to a low point, usually to avoid water.

There are many more exciting things to be learned in the world of canyoneering. By getting into the sport, getting familiar with the jargon, and practicing techniques, anyone can enjoy the pride and excitement that goes along with being a canyoneer.

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