I have been told that climbing cracks is very much a methodical procedure. Especially in places like Yosemite and Indian creek, where the cracks can be the only feature of the rock that can be used to climb up. There is a distinct set of techniques employed to jam your finger/hands/arms/... in the crack, which can be "ordered" by crack width. Not absolute width, at it always depends on the climbers finger/hand/arm/... thickness, just to sort the techniques from narrowest to widest. Some techniques I know of but that are certainly not complete: ring lock, hand jam, fist jam, hand&fist stack, chicken wing, ...

What I am looking for is an ordered list of these crack climbing techniques.

If the names aren't self evident, a short explanation is welcome, but don't got into detail - many of these techniques probably warrant their own question.

  • I made my answer community wiki, please add to that instead of creating a dozen different answers. Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


To start with,

  • Tips
  • Fingers
  • Ringlock
  • Handjams (thumbs up, thumbs down, cupped hand)
  • Fistjams
  • Hand & Fist stack
  • Fist stack
  • "Chicken wing"
  • Arm bar

whole body (chimney):

  • frog (feet against back wall, knees aginst front wall)
  • sitting (back against back wall, feet against front wall)
  • stemming (left foot/hand against one wall, right foot/hand against other)

If you have more, just add them to the list.


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