AMCI Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC) 2002
Whenever you go climbing, it is a good idea to study the rockface from some distance away, as you will be able to identify many more features than you can when close up. This enables you to plan out your choisen climb with much less difficulty, especially if the base of the cliff is hidden in trees or vegetation. Route finding can be difficult on mountain crags, and you will find that a general overview of the cliff is ectremely useful.
FEATURES OF A ROCKFACE
Corner: refers to a a wide "open book" type of feature with an angle of between about 60° and 120° between the faces. Where the angle is less than 60°, the feature is usually called an "open chimney" whre it is over 120° a groove.
Overlap: term commonly used for a small overhang. True overlaps are formed where one layer od rock is displaced in relation to its neighbor.
Ridge: often used synonymous with "arete", ridge also refers to shallow, linear projections from the main rockface.
Groove: a small shallow corner where 2 faces of rock meet an angle of 120° or more. Grooves can have rounded backs.
Chimney: a deep crack, wide enough to admit a person
Overhang: any piece of rock at an angle greater than 90° to the horizontal. Large horizontal overhangs area called "roofs", small limited ones are known as overlaps.
Wall: a face of rock at ang angle between 60° and 90° to the horizontal.
Slab: a rockface lying at ang angle of between 30° and 90°.
Scree: an accumulation of loose rocks, often lying at a steep angle below a cliff.
Glacis: a rockface lying at an angle of up to 30° to the horizontal
Arete: the opposite of a corner.
Nose: a local protuberance; a prow of rock that juts out from the main body of the cliff.
Tape slings/tapes : lengths of strong nylon webbibg that are sewn into slings using bar tacking.
Karabiners/krabs : metal snaplinks, with sprung opening gates used as connectins between a range of climbing equipment
Descendeurs : friction devices used to control the speed of an abseil (controlled descent of the rope)
Sit harness : consists of a waist belt and leg loops
Climber’s belt : a length of wide nylon webbing that is secured around the waist by a lock buckle
Your climbing rope os the most important equipment that you will use and, as such, must always be respected accordingly and treated the same way. You must use one that has been specially made for climbing. such ropes are dynamic (which means they stretch slightly when under load) which helps them absorb the shock of a fall.
Hawser-laid rope : constructed from 3 separate bunches of continuous nylon filaments that arfe twisted together
Kernmantle : consists of a core—or "kern"—of many hawser-laid cords. Each of these cords is made up of twisted nylon filaments which run the full length of the rope. The cords are held together by atightly plaited sheath called "mantle". It is this structure that makes kernmantle ropes so strong while being extremely flexible and easy to handle.
BELAYING : one person providing security to another with a rope.
Belay on : belayer to climber; belayer is ready to protect climber
Climb : belayer to climber; said in addition to or in place of belay on to more strongly indicate to his partner to come ahead
Climbing : climber to belayer as climber starts up
Belay off : said by either belayer or climber; indicates the belay is being dispensed. Keep the belay on until the climber says belay off or equivalent.
Rope : climber to belayer. Short for up rope which means to take in rope up or down
Slack : climber to belayer. opposite of rope. Never say "take up slack" when you mean rope.
Tension : climber to belayer; means to hold the rope tight
Rock : a shout of warning upon dislodging a missile
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