Canyoneering Terminology E-P

murkyElevator a short section of slot or chimney which provides the right geometry to allow one to elevator down.

Epic The story of a well planned trip that turned into a grueling adventure that turned out well in the end. As these stories are told over and over again and they always are the details get stretched to supernatural proportions for dramatic effect.

Etrier Webbing ladder used for aid climbing. Aka ‘aider’.

Exposure Being high off the ground with one wrong move equals maiming or death

Figure 8 Metal rappelling/belaying device shaped like an 8.

Fixed Bolts, rings, pitons and other piece of unremovable protection that may be found in a canyon. Use at your own risk.

Ghost To complete a route leaving no evidence of your passage other then footprints.

Gumby An inexperienced or new canyoneer. Unlike posers, gumbies don’t know enough to get hurt.

Happy Hooker A long pole with a hook attached to one end. Aka Cheater Stick.

Hardman A canyoneer with seemingly superhero strength who has survived epics of grandiose proportions.

Harness Gear required for rappelling. Hanging things from the harness that make a loud clanking sound can significantly enhance the coolness factor.

Human Anchor Where a rappel is necessary, and in the absence of rock bolts or other reliable anchors, a rope may be secured to a fellow canyoneer (usually the heaviest, or most skilled in the group) in order to provide a way for the rest of the group to rappel to the base of the drop.

Keeper Pothole A pothole that is too deep to scramble out of without the assistance of specialty pothole escape techniques (ie, partner assist, potshot, packtoss, or happy hooker).

Kelsey Exit An exit marked in one of Kelsey’s books. May be a brilliant exit from a canyon with few exits; may be a dangerous and as-yet untired potential escape route.

Mae West a slot canyon so narrow that it is impossible to pass through. Usually requires climbing over with major exposure.

Natural Anchor Trees, rocks, or gear that is placed in cracks, pockets or around objects so that it can be removed with no harm to the rock.

Packtoss Throwing a full backpack with a rope attached to the escape side of a keeper pothole in order to assist escape.

Picket A natural anchor consisting of several sticks jammed into the ground in sequence, each tied together.

Pitch A section of climb between two belays and no longer than the length of one rope.

Piton Metal spike hammered into a crack.

Poach To complete a route without the proper permit, permission and/or authorization.

Poser A novice canyoneer who thinks he knows it all.

Potshot A small but durable bag that is filled with sand or rocks which is then tossed on the escape side of a keeper pothole, in order to assist escape.

Prusik A sliding knot method used to ascend a rope or as a secondary brake when descending a rope

Pull Cord A rope used to retrieve a fixed rappel line. Typically pull cords are more light-weight than rappel lines, and are used exclusively for the retrieval of fixed rappel ropes after descending.


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