If a climber completes a route without using their protection that is called sending.

What is the term if one completes the route but had to depend on the rope either for a rest or for a fall?

Let's say using the rope lowers the climber enough that they still have to complete all moves. In other words all moves have been done properly, but the ascent wasn't clean.

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    "Hang dog" thecrag.com/en/article/ticktypes
    – endolith
    Aug 1 '19 at 17:36
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    Having a high gravity day Aug 2 '19 at 2:15
  • in the UK it's dogged, UKC, but if you lowered back down and did the moves again you may be able to call it ground up
    – ldgorman
    Aug 2 '19 at 8:57
  • Hangdogging is when someone takes a long time on the rope and is just dragging it out. You can say finished with a fall, projected, need to piece it together. I believe it is still completed but not clean.
    – Ice76
    Aug 13 '19 at 17:52

It depends on the number of rests taken

In sport climbing, when you climb a route but hang on the rope to take a rest at one point during the ascent, it is called a one-hang. If you rested twice during the ascent, it could likewise be called a two-hang. If you rest on every bolt of the entire route, it is called climbing bolt-to-bolt.

  • I like this. Judging by the other answers it sounds like this isn't in common usage generally, but it's so unambiguous that it should be understandable right away.
    – Adam
    Aug 26 '19 at 19:43
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    I had never heard these terms before moving to SoCal, they could be regional terminology.
    – Moormanly
    Aug 26 '19 at 21:10

In aid climbing this is still sending since hanging on protection is part of the game (as @StrongBad points out, hanging on the rope is a little different than hanging on protection.)

In sport climbing, however, there is no specific word or phrase. I think the most common ways to describe it are:


As in "I'm projecting Era Vella 9a." This doesn't capture the fact that you've done all the moves, but most sport climbers are focused on the clean send, and so a large part of projecting involves doing all the moves in sequence with the occasional hang.

Worked through all the moves

As in "I worked through all the moves on Predator 5.13b." This could mean that you rappelled in to try each move, but in some groups this will be understood as ground-up climbing.

...but not clean.

As in "I climbed my first 5.8 today, but not clean. I had to take once after the crux." This will usually be followed by rude people reminding you that you didn't "actually send", and nice people reminding you that you should climb however you want as long as its safe and fun.

Edit: I changed the example here from "sent" to "climbed" because after thinking more about Adam's comment, I think there is a whole connotation involved with "sending" that some climbers may not like appropriated.

I think it's important to realize, though, that not officially "sending" is no less impressive or cool than sending. My experience in sport climbing circles is that no matter how hard you send or how many times you hang, other climbers will be stoked for you if you're trying hard and enjoying yourself.

  • 2
    Hanging on protection is the WHOLE game in aid climbing (well that and pooping in a tube). That said, hanging on the rope in aid climbing is not part of the game. Technically one could aid climb without a rope.
    – StrongBad
    Aug 1 '19 at 14:59
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    What do you think about simply "sent uncleanly"? or "uncleanly sent"?
    – Adam
    Aug 1 '19 at 17:11
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    "projecting" also covers the case where the route wasn't completed (yet), so it's too broad. "I'm projecting Era Vella 9a" can mean "I'm working on this route but I've only done the first half so far".
    – Adam
    Aug 1 '19 at 17:12
  • I agree--that's why I said it "doesn't capture the fact that you haven't done all the moves." I just meant to include it as an example of something you might say had you completed all the moves but not clean.
    – jhch
    Aug 1 '19 at 18:15
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    Re: "sent uncleanly" or "uncleanly sent": While I think it'll obvious to most climbers what you mean, a lot of folks would take issue with you calling it "sending" at all. I think sending has a connotation of linking moves to do a route as cohesive whole--if you stick each move on its own with a 5 minute hanging rest in between... it kinda renounces that connotation which I suspect many climbers feel is important.
    – jhch
    Aug 1 '19 at 18:20

Without falling, wouldn’t it be hangdog, see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_climbing_terms#hangdog

With falling, I also would go for projecting.

(Speaking of Sports climbing!)

  • 3
    "Hangdog" was my first thought too, but I don't think it quite fits what the asker seems to want, which is a term you can apply directly to the whole route: you can say "I sent the route", "I flashed the route", "I onsighted the route", etc. but I wouldn't say "I hangdogged the route" -- I'd use some circumlocution like "I managed to complete it with a bit of hangdogging". But maybe there are others who do use the term like that.
    – Pont
    Aug 1 '19 at 16:31
  • @Pont that's right
    – Adam
    Aug 1 '19 at 17:13
  • Where are you located? I'm curious if this use of "hangdogging" is more common outside the Northeast USA (where I climb).
    – jhch
    Aug 2 '19 at 15:29
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    I climb in Europe (mostly) and never went to the US for climbing. I would usually just say one "did" a route (very colloquial) instead of hangdoged it, if it was done with breaks in the rope ... however I have heard of the term when other spoke in English. But I might have just gotten it wrong. Aug 2 '19 at 15:40

That is a free climb (the outcome). The term you may use is All Free (AF). It is much more established in German (Alles Frei, remember, that RP »Rot Punkt« also comes from German). It (AF) makes more sense in traditional sandstone climbing in Elbsandstein, in multipitch (big wall) climbing and in alpine climbing though. Check, for example, this book, I quote "The AF (All Free) style was developed in the Alps as the first recognized sport style of free climbing , where the climber uses only natural for advancement and and overcomes the route with his/her own strength."

  • 3
    That describers the style of climbing, but doesn't describe the outcome of a particular climb.
    – Adam
    Aug 1 '19 at 17:18
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    @Adam The outcome is a route climbed in particular style. Climbed top rope, aid, all free, red point, pink point, flash, on sight, everything describes a style in which the climb was performed. Sometimes you will hear "first free climb" of certain route (often alpine), thats this, one can rest, but climbs the whole mountain wall free.
    – Vladimir F
    Aug 1 '19 at 17:20
  • @VladimirF I don't have prove, but I very much contest the statement that for a "first free ascent" you can rest anywhere. For all I know you need to red-point for it to be considered an actual free ascent.
    – imsodin
    Aug 1 '19 at 18:41
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    @imsodin Yes, I think it is a translation of a German text with a possible Czech step in between. Originally I was thinking more about Northern Limestone Alps and Dolomites where people were originally doing a lot of aid climbing and the concept of doing all steps free came only later. Think of the interwar period and the great walls in the sixth grade of dificulty. Today's standards may require you to do all pitches RP but you can still rest at belay stations.
    – Vladimir F
    Aug 2 '19 at 8:51
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    Here is a direct comparison in original German (About Kurt Albert developing RP - in Frankenjura - as is generally well known) "Anders als beim a.-f.-Stil (a. f. = alles frei) der Sachsen durfte jedoch nicht an den Sicherungspunkten geruht werden." "Contrary to the A.-F.-style the Saxon could not even rest at the belay points." He was inspired by the free climbing scene in Elbsandstein where he was raised. here
    – Vladimir F
    Aug 2 '19 at 9:07

I would say "I've made all the moves, but not put them together yet". Usually, when I'm projecting a route, and got into that situation, I think of it as "I've made the moves, but used 120% of my energy. My challenge then is to make the moves more efficient; saving 2% here, 3% there, until I get it down to 99 or 100%: then all I have to do is make it perfectly :) No slips, no moves out of place. It works for me

  • That's the definition, yes, but is there a term that has that definition?
    – Adam
    Aug 2 '19 at 23:28

I think the general progression I use is climbed, led, freed, flashed, and on sighted. I might break freed into red point and pink point if the route or area makes if ambiguous. I generally break led into a lot of terms like groveled, hang dogged, whimpered, depending on how ugly I was. Terms like projecting to me mean you are working towards freeing the route, but if I led a route with a single fall and have no plans to go back, I would describe that as projecting.


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