German climbing vocabulary for movements

German climbing vocabulary for movements

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Today’s topic for German climbing vocabulary focuses on movements and action. Smearing, liebacking, heel hooking and jamming are all gibberish to most English speakers, because of course they don’t climb. Finding those words in a school book or dictionary can be even tougher for German learners.

Jargon is always tough and best learned by doing. I’ve stuck to constantly asking people at the gym or crag and reading German books on the subject. It’s a great way to expand both vocabulary and understand its use in context.

So let’s see how to describe the most common climbing moves and actions in German.

German climbing vocabulary for movements

EnglishGermanExample:
to climbkletternIch klettere gern / I like to climb
to fallfallen / stuerzenich bin immer beim letzten Zug gefallen/gestuerzt - I always fall on the last move
to lead (climb)Vorstieg klettern / vorsteigenKannst du Vorstieg klettern oder nur top rope? - Can you lead climb or just top rope?
to follownachsteigenWillst du vorsteigen oder nachsteigen? - Do you want to lead or follow?
to top rope (climb)top rope kletternIn Deutschland ist top rope klettern eher ungewoehnlich - In Germany, top roping is actually uncommon
to clip (a quickdraw into a bolt)eine Exe einhängenAlso ordentlich strecken und die Exe einhängen / So reach and clip the quickdraw.
to clean (a route)abbauenIch klettere zuerst, und dann kannst du nachsteigen und abbauen / I'll climb first and you can follow and clean the route.
to smear / smearing (n)auf Reibung stehen / das Stehen auf ReibungStehen auf Reibung heisst ohne Tritt, d.h Fuss direkt gegen die Wand - Smearing means not having a foot hold, i.e. your foot directly against the wall
to stemstemmenIn der Verschneidung musst du viel stemmen / You've gotta stem a lot in the dihedral
to lieback/laybackpiazenPiazen versteht man das Klettern auf Gegendruck / Liebacking means climbing using opposing force
to jamklemmenFuer Risse musst du klemmen lernen - For cracks, you have to learn to jam.
to heel/toe hookSame as English, also "hooken" sometimesDer Heelhook ist eine Tritttechnik fuer Fortgeschrittene - Heel hooking is a technique for advanced climbers.
to rap / rappelabseilenBeim Schreyfels musst du abseilen. / At Schreyfels you have to rappel.
to tie insich einbindenErstmal einbinden und dann losklettern - First tie in and then start climbing.
to give slackSeil gebenBeim Clippen musst du schnell Seil geben - When clipping you need to give slack fast
crack climbing (n)risskletternRissklettern findet man haeufiger in den USA als in Deutschland - Crack climbing is more common in the US than Germany

As always, an exhaustive list in German only is available at Wikipedia and you can all posts in this series under the GermanVocab tag.

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