10 important terms for climbing & bouldering

If you watch different sports at the Olympics currently, you realize that each sport has its own vocabulary and so does climbing. As a long-time climber and boulderer, you only realize how many terms have become self-evident when you climb with newbies.

That’s why, just a few days before the Olympic debut, we want to clarify some basic vocabulary for those who are still rather fresh to climbing:

  1. The Jug The jug will always be your friend when climbing, because these are the really good holds, where you can reach in with your whole hand and hold onto very well.
  2. The Crimp An example of a classic crimp is  the door frame. It is a hold, which you can grab with the front limbs of the fingers only.
  3. The Pinch This hold requires thumb strength, because if you get one of these in your hands, you have to pinch your hands together tightly. Just as a crab grips with its claws, so the hands grab a pinch.
  4. The Sloper This hold is one thing above all: round! With these holds you cannot really reach in anywhere, but actually only put your hand on it and thus try to build up strength and grip.
  5. The Dyno … describes a certain type of movement in climbing, because this is about every move that has to do with jumping. Sometimes the distance between the holds is so big that you can’t reach it with your arm’s length. The solution to this is often to jump to the next hold, which is called dyno.
  6. The Mantle Mantling describes the classic movement that is also known from swimming: getting out of the water over the edge of the pool without using a ladder. This movement also exists in bouldering, for example, when you reach the top of a boulder and have to “mantle” up onto it.
  7. The Heel & Toe Hook When climbing, you need not only strength in the arms, but also good foot technique. This also includes hooks. You don’t climb with your toes on a foothold, but hook either your heel or your toes on the hold to keep your feet on the wall.
  8. Stand on friction More foot technique! This term is used when you do not stand with your feet on any foothold but only use the friction of the wall surface to stand on it.
  9. The Gaston It is called gaston when a hold is turned in a way that when you grab it, the hand is turned so that the thumb points downward.
  10. Allez allez! Gamba, Gamba! There’s a lot of cheering as you climb. Allez is the French expression for “come on” and is also used by other nations. The climbing nation of Japan cheers on with “gamba, gamba.

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