Learn more about common climbing terms, recommendations for training and gear, transitioning to the outdoors, and local climbing gyms
Common Climbing Terms (https://rockandice.com/how-to-climb/climbing-terminology/)
- Top-roping: climbing in a setting where the rope runs from a climber, up through a fixed overhead anchor, and back down to a belayer on the ground
- Lead Climbing: climbing in a setting where the rope is attached to both the climber and belayer, but not to an overhead anchor, and the climber clips their rope into protective gear as they climb
- Bouldering: climbing in a setting where the climber has no rope attached to them and they are free climbing to a limited height with the possibility of falling onto pads on the ground
- Belay: the technique used to hold and manage the rope of a climber in order to arrest or catch their falls
- Beta: tips or information about how to do a climbing sequence
- Crux: the hardest section of a climb
- Send: to climb a route without falling or resting on gear (general term)
- On-Sight: to climb a route without falling or resting on gear on the first try, with no prior knowledge of the climb or beta
- Flash: to climb a route without falling or resting on gear on the first try, with prior knowledge of the climb or beta (i.e., after watching another person climb it, or being given beta)
- Redpoint: to climb a route without falling or resting on gear, after having previously rehearsed or projected the climb (their "project")
- Hueco Scale, or V scale: standard method in America for rating the difficulty of a boulder problem, in which the number after the V indicates difficulty (e.g., V0 for easy, V1 for slightly harder climbs)
- Yosemite Decimal System, or 5._ scale: standard method in America for rating the difficulty of a roped climb, in which the number after the 5. indicates difficulty (e.g., 5.6 for easy, 5.7 for slightly harder climbs)
- Arête: an edge (often able to be grabbed) formed by two intersecting planes of rock, like an outer corner of a building
- Dihedral: a corner formed by two intersecting planes of rock, like the inside of a partially opened book (opposite of an arête)
Rock and Ice Magazine's Climbing Training Tips, On the Wall and Off
Climbing Magazine's Skills Articles
Rock and Ice Magazine's Guide to Buying the Right Gear
- Outdoor Skills Videos from the American Mountain Guides Association
- Note: Watching videos on outdoor skills does not make you proficient in those skills. Before applying these skills outside, it is advised to learn these skills from a professional at your local climbing gym and practice under supervision. Accredited guide services like the AMGA also offer opportunity to get onto the rock and learn these skills first-hand.
Indoor Climbing Gyms In and Around Philadelphia
- Tufas Boulder Lounge (https://tufasboulderlounge.com/)
- Founded with an emphasis on community and collaboration, Tufas is a bouldering-only gym founded by three local Philly climbers involved in both collegiate climbing programs and the city's American Alpine Club chapter. It operates on a sliding-scale pricing system in order to promote economic justice and equitable access to the sport.
- Philadelphia Rock Gyms (https://www.philarockgym.com/)
- With five locations and counting, PRG has long been a staple in the climbing community in Philly. Their gyms have a mix of roped climbing and bouldering, and are good all-around gyms where you can do a little of everything and learn more about the climbing community.
- The Cliffs at Callowhill (https://callowhill.thecliffsclimbing.com/)
- Opened in Winter 2019, Callowhill is the first Philly location in the Cliffs organization, founded in New York. Their tall walls, speed climbing route, and robust instructional program are just a few reasons to give them a visit.
- Reach Climbing + Fitness (https://reachclimbing.com/)
- Located near King of Prussia, Reach has quickly made its mark on the Philly-area climbing scene. It features 58-foot walls, an Olympic regulation speed wall, and an expansive space built to host competitions in a sport that is gaining steam.
- Elite Climbing (http://www.eliteclimbing.com/)
- Just across the bridge in New Jersey, Elite is a well-established all-around gym. Group rentals, team building, and overnight climbing packages are all available, and their staff are ready to guide you into the world of rock climbing.