You are hereBÙtÈ ¡nchourÈ's Lexicon of Climbing Terms and Expressions

BÙtÈ ¡nchourÈ's Lexicon of Climbing Terms and Expressions


Adz.  What you do in the southern US to get information as in, "Yo, dude, I need to adz you a kwestshun."  Also a part of basic math. "I just learnt to Adz and Subtrack".

AMS.  Acute Mountain Sickness.  Usually caused by gaining altitude too quickly or by gaining blood-alcohol level too quickly.  Also, Ate My Shorts, as in, "Man, that crack really Ate My Shorts!"

Anorak.  What to bring climbing, as in, "Don't forget your shoes, your harness, anorak.


Bare Creek Spire.  Located at Mickey's Beach.

Bugaboo.  Usually during June and July, when you blow your nose and a big schnot comes out with a mosquito in it.

Bunghole.  The only equipment not yet forgotten on a climbing trip by a well known PCS member.

"Belay On".  Signal to climber below that you're still not really anchored properly and you're busy fishing into your pocket for a candy bar.

Bivy Bag.  Lightweight, waterproof, claustrophobic, and expensive nylon tube that a marmot would not be caught dead in, used to delude climbers into thinking they have a dry place to escape bad weather.

Buttress.  The wife of a butthead.

Barometer.  Scientific instrument used to locate mountain taverns.

Boot-ax Belay.  Highly developed technique for ruining an ice ax, destroying a rope, and shortening a climbing day.

Bar-tacking.  Sideways veering when approaching or leaving a mountain tavern.

Blaze.  Unexpected result of overpriming a white gas stove.


Chimborazo.  Latest Ronald Reagan movie; this one is a documentary exploring whether there is a difference in his cognitive functioning when he is on the summit of Chimborazo as opposed to when he was running the United States.

Clydesdale Minaret.  Obscure Minaret located at the Budweiser Brewery in Missouri.  First ascent by Allan Ritter.

Crampon.  Female climbing partner's excuse for laying in the tent all day eating chocolate.

Cwm. When you arrive, as in, "you go first, then I will cwm."

Chopping the Broccoli.  Technique practiced by heavy handed ice climbers.  Usually beginners but sometimes practiced by Ukranians.


Dumbass climbers. They usually get lost on the way back to their tent in the middle of the night, which they have left to go answer an inopportune call of nature.


EnRon. This is a failed business.  It is also what happens when you go climbing with Ron, as in "Rick en Ron went ice climbing."

Exum Direct.  Classic route on Wyoming's Grand Teton.

ExLax Direct.  Beeline made for the woods after eating what you thought was your partner's chocolate bar.


Freedom of the Hills.  Isn't it great to be able to pee wherever you want?

French Technique.  Sorry, but some things BÙtÈ can never reveal.


GPS.  Green pika snot, usually found in abundance above 11,000 feet.

GPS.  Global Positioning System.  A device to tell you how lost you are.  Also useful to guide the sorry butts of dumbass climbers back to their tent after they have left it in the middle of the night to answer nature's call.

GPS.  Fancy technology common to dumbass climbers.  Most useful for BÙtÈ in locating the beer buried last night in the snow.


Hoarfrost.  When you are so ugly that you even get the cold shoulder from the professionals.

Himalaya.  What a typical climber does to his date after buying her dinner.

HAPE. - High Altitude Penile Edema.


Ice screw.  A bad date.

Icy Side.  A slippery and cold side of the mountain.  Also seen on a pissed off date (I saw his/her icy side).

Italian Hitch.  A marriage performed in Italy.


Jugging.  Technique pioneered by Warren Harding which involves freeclimbing, but only if the grade of the route you are attempting is less than the jugs of cheapass, rotgut wine you've consumed in the last 2 hours.

Jugs.  What Britney Spears climbing partner is thinking about.


Karpel Tunnel Syndrome.  Something that happens to your wrist when you do too much ice climbing.  When you are in the carpool lane and the road goes under a tunnel, it is the Karpool Tunnel Syndrome, which is different.

Kabul Klimbing Klub.  Modern day Afghan climbing club started by Ali Qeda, Ali Qat, Ali Babba, Ali McBeal, Adis Abbaba, Babba Louie, and Abba Dabba Doo.


Lavatory Retriever.  A breed of dawg from the Burmese Oberland.  Skilled in retrieving dumbass climbers who have left their tents in the middle of the night to answer nature's call and are lost on the way back.  Now made archaic by the GPS (see GPS), but still used in some remote parts of the Hindu Kush and the Kun Luns.

Lemon Luna Bar.  A food product meant for women climbers.  Some men climbers enjoy it in the secrecy of their tent-closet.  There are unverified reports of these men having developed feminine attributes as a result and they have therefore chosen to remain in the said closet.

'Ell'.  See the debate on 'Illiniza' or 'Iliniza'.  Elle McPherson is a double ell.  She can be-lay me any time.

Line of Weakness.  Long involved explanation for not attempting a route.


Mahajan Minaret.  Obscure bump located near Adams Minaret.

Mono Recesses.  Odd Sierra features named for notorious Mammoth Lakes hooker, Irene Mono.

Mount Moran.  Classic peak in the Tetons made popular by Steve Roper and Allen Steck in "Fifty Classic Climbs of North America."  Not to be confused with Mount Moron, first summitted by a dimwitted flight attendant who, after failing to lock the plane's door, fell out and landed on the top of the peak.

Munter Hitch.  A marriage performed in Munter.


Nuts.  Oddly shaped pieces that hang out of cracks.  Just as cracks come in various sizes, so do nuts.  A nut for every kind of crack, therefore, when you take to crack, remember to rack your nuts.  But sometimes, a nut gets wrongly inserted into a crack or is just not the right size for that crack.  Then it becomes tough to remove.  This is known as a 'tough nut to crack'.  See "Nut Tool".

Nut Tool.  When it is hard to remove a wrong sized nut from a crack (see above), a thin wedge shaped piece of metal is inserted into the crack to get the nut out.  This is known as a nut tool.  Sometimes, you just cannot do without it, as Mr-T has said, "I pity the fool who does not use his nut tool".


Oops.  Most commonly uttered last words among mountaineers.

Oscar Meyer.  Danielle Massetti's climbing partner.


Peg Leg Crack.  Located in Yosemite Valley but not to be confused with Stove Leg Crack.  First ascent facilitated by the use of wooden pitons cut from the leg of Captain Hook.

Pick.  When you excavate your nose.  Don't do it with the tip of an ice axe.

Peak Bagging.  To place a bag over a mountain that is so butt ugly that you can't climb it if you have to look at it.

Piton.  Contraction of "pee a ton" as in "Man, four beers an I hadta pee-a-ton".


Quick Draw.  A gun slinger.  Also, a fast sketch artist.  "Boy, that sketch was a real quick draw".


Reverso.  An expensive belay device.  It is NOT a reversed ATC.

Ripstop.  Abrupt termination of a vicious poot.  Almost always painful.

Rope.  Useful accessory for inventing new curses as in "How in the $@#**& did this %$$#&^ rope get so *&^@@#$ tangled?"  Most often practiced at rappel stations after dark.


Stopper.  What a good belayer does when a female lead climber falls.

Sticht Plate.  A flat eating utensil encrusted with last night's dinner.

SPS list.  A list of peaks in the Sierra Nevada range, many which do not deserved to be climbed.  Some climbers are so affected by this listeria that even a gargle with listerene will not cure them.


Ten Essentials.  Fallacy propagated by equipment manufacturers and backcountry meal companies.  The only essential is that you climb with a partner obsessed with being "prepared for anything."  He'll bring plenty of everything for the both of you.

Trojan Peak.  The only completely latex coated peak in the Sierra.


Uplift.  Refers to a mountain range, as in the Sierra uplift, a result of tectonic plates furiously colliding far beneath the surface of the earth.  Also, as in Spontaneous Uplift, a result of uncontrollable hormone furiously colliding far beneath the surface of your loins.

Ultralight Backpacker.  Someone who is perpetually cold and hungry.

Uriah Heap.  A peak that is a rotting scree pile.  Morrison, Kearsarge, Alice, the chute on Adams Minaret, Dunderberg etc are examples of this.

Ukranian.  Gigantic climber, often a broccoli chopper, and life threatening to belay.


Victoria's Secret.  A thin, barely there, nut on a thong wire.  Only the inventor, Victoria, knew how to correctly place it.  Consequently, it did not sell well since she did not put the secret in the user manual and so it has been retired as a climbing device.  It has apparently found its way in the underwear business but it is still a secret.


Way Honed.  See BÙtÈ's bio.

Whirled Peas.  When all of us finally get along.


Yak.  What you do after seven consecutive meals of freeze dried tuna casserole.

YDS.  You Dumb Shit.  Common refrain, heard in a wide variety of situations and almost always appropriate.  See Rope.

Yeti.  Reinhold Messner's latest climbing partner.

"Z-Pulley System".  The way Euro climbers pronounce "The pulley system".