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Posts tagged AtoC



Word: Crusty (adj)

Definition: Describes an old-school climber, often a mentor-type who passes along his knowledge of the sport to young whippersnappers even though steeped in the ways and tools of the past. A crusty mentor might rock a swami belt or alpine Bod Harness, hexes and slung chocks (“None of them fancy cammy, springy things for me”), an old pair of painter’s pants or 1980s Gramicci pants, a chalkbag over the shoulder (if he even uses chalk), a Stitch plate, quickdraws made out of tied-off webbing and creaky ovals, giant prussiks, and so on. He might also climb with a cigarette in one hand and a beer in the other while threatening to chop any “convenience bolts” or “convenience anchors” he comes across at his local stomping grounds.

Note: Any climber, even a sport climber or boulderer, can become crusty after two or more decades. Crusty sport climbers go out and joylessly chuck laps on routes they have dialed while lamenting all the “new-school hangdogs” in their way, while crusty boulderers might retreat deep into the woods in search of new, remote blocs or sulk quietly at their local area, inventing nuances of permutations of contrivances of variations to problems mastered decades earlier.

Synonyms: Cruster, old dad (page 156 in the print edition of the Climbing Dictionary), trad dad


Cold Shut/Gold Shut

Word: Cold Shut/Gold Shut (n)

Definition: Vintage 1990s bolting hardware used in lieu of anchor and lead-bolt hangers. Cold shuts are eye-shaped hardware-store links used to repair or join chain, and cost significantly less than purpose-made climbing hangers. Penurious first ascentionists would use “open shuts”—unwelded cold shuts you just drop the rope into—at anchors, and usually “welded shuts”—cold shuts welded closed to form a clipping eye—on lead bolts. There were also “gold shuts,” welded cold shuts painted gold and sold by a climber in Colorado in the early 1990s, placed often in Rifle Mountain Park, Colorado. Cold shuts vary wildly in their reliability. More info here, at the American Safe Climbing Association website.



Word: Crushbot (n)

Definition: Someone who excels at a given pursuit to the point of dominating other participants and giving the impression that he may even be a robot. E.g., “Tommy Caldwell is a crushbot.”

[Submitted by Ben C]


Attitude Sickness

Word: Attitude Sickness (n)

Definition: A state of complaining and grumbling. Often associated with carrying a heavy pack, and where the victim is well under an altitude to develop any real danger of altitude sickness. One of the side effects of this condition is a certainty that your partner’s pack is much lighter than yours.

[Submitted by Scott P.]



Word: Ass-rocket (v)

Definition: To fall off a route or problem ass-first, before clipping the first piece. Usually occurs while laybacking or heel hooking.

Example: Jon greased off the direct start of the Yellow Spur and ass-rocketed straight on top of me.

[Submitted by Steve D.]

1 Notes


Word: Brownpoint (n): 

Definition: 1. Climbing a route on toprope that you’ve been working for a redpoint.

Variant: shitpoint (chiefly Tasmanian)

Usage: ”Grog must be dumber than a bag of smashed arseholes. He fell off a redpoint of Cobwebs then jumped back on on TR and brownpointed it!” 

2. When you top out on a particularly sketchy route only to find that as you pulled through the crux you also followed through in your dacks.

Usage: ”Mate, my foot slipped on that horrible smear three metres above the No. 1 RP psycho-pro and my redpoint became a brownpoint!”

[From the Vertical Life contest]


Claw 23

Word: Claw 23 (n)

Definition: A sandbag, well in excess of the Australian grade of 26 (5.12b). On the Australian scale, 23 equates to 5.11b, and “Claw” is Mike Law, a prolific first ascentionist in the 1980s and notorious sandbagger.

Usage: “There’s no way I’m doing that. It’s a Claw 23, and on top of that the bolts are probably held in with finger tape and clag.”

Variant: Eighties 23

[From the Vertical Life contest]



Word: Arapalean (adj)

Definition: A superlative for describing anything from the type and quality of the rock, to the climbing style, to the equally dirtbag- and weekend warrior–friendly camping style that reminds one of The Best Crag in the World: Mount Arapiles, Australia.

Variant: Arapilesean

[From the Vertical Life contest]



Word: Bouldery (adj)

Definition: A descriptor, somewhat confusingly, for roped climbs that are either short and cruxy or have hard, bouldering-style cruxes—i.e., routes featuring powerful, technical, bouldering-type movement or aggressive, “bouldery” sequences.


Alzheimer’s Onsight

Word: Alzheimer’s onsight (n)

Definition: Claiming an onsight for a route you have climbed before by declaring that you don’t remember having done it.

Usage “Mate, you’ve got a memory like a sieve claiming the onsight of Lardy Lady’s Lats—I’ve climbed it with you three times. Alzheimer’s onsight, you old bastard.”

[From the Vertical Life contest]