A0 – n. (Pronounced “A-zero”) Rating given to using a bolt for aid. No possibility of falling because weight is supported by something that cannot fail.
Abseil – v. UK English for rappel, from the German origin. See Rappel.
Aid Climbing – n Originally called direct aid or artificial climbing, aid climbing is a means of ascent where the climber’s weight is supported primarily, or entirely, by slings attached to a device attached to the rock, rather than by the climber’s own hands, feet and other body parts as in free climbing. Upward progress is not required: weighting the rope, or resting on gear is aid. Difficulty increases as security diminishes. (See Aid ratings.)
Aider – n. Ladder made of webbing used for Aid Climbing, or as footholds for the belayer on a multi pitch climb. See also: Etrier
Allez – v. French for “Go!” Used to encourage climbers to push on.
Alpine Start – n. The set off time on an Alpine Route to enable a summit and return journey without the worry of the snow & ice melting in the days heat. Generally very early in the morning, ie 3am.
Alpine Style – adj. Doing a mountain route without pre-placing fixed lines or using pre-supplied camp sites for any stage of the journey. Example: The British group climbed the new route on Changabang in fine alpine style.
AMS – n. Acute Mountain Sickness
Anchor – n. That which attaches the belayer to the rock, or otherwise prevents the belayer from being pulled off the belay stance if the leader falls. In roped technical climbing, one climber moves at a time, while the other belays. The belayer must be securely attached to the the rock by means of protection devices (cams, nuts, bolts, pitons), or tied to an immovable object like a boulder or sturdy tree. The attachments are called collectively the “anchor.” An ideal anchor relies on at least three bombproof attachment points. (See also belay.)
Angle – n. A type of piton made of a few inches of chromoly steel with a 90 degree angle down its spine, like a shallow taco. Comes in sizes of less than 1/2 inch (baby angle) to 2 inches wide, 4 to 6 inches long, and with an eye in the end for clipping a carabiner. Rarely used now except on aid climbs, and when left as fixed protection on free climbs.
Approach – v. The journey to the base of a crag or route.
Approach shoes – n. A sort of cross between a trainer and a walking boot used for the approach from the car to the base of the climb.
Approach Time – n. The time taken to reach the base of the route your going to climb.
Arete – n. A narrow ridge, or corner, of rock or snow. Derived from the french word for “stop”.
Ascend – v. To go up. Climbers ascend a route to get to the top.
Ascenders – n. Mechanical devices used to ascend a rope, consisting of a camming mechanism which bites into the rope when downward pressure is applied but allows movement when slid up the rope.
Ascent – n. A completed climb. ‘Everest was one of my many ascents.’ 2. v. The upward