10 rock climbing terms that could also make cool rock band names


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If a survey was given to new rock climbers on why they started climbing, responses would probably indicate that at least 25% did so for the cool stuff you get to say. Words like “sketchy” and “bomber.”

This is probably because rock climbing terminology doesn’t have a lot of purpose in other societal contexts. “So hey, I’m not sure I can get this sale done by the quarter, it’s getting cruxy.”

This got me to thinking, where else could rock climbing jargon make sense? How about in the nomenclature of rock bands?

So check it out: here are what I think are 10 rock climbing terms that could be best used to title … wait for it … a rock band.

1. Precipice
Kind of esoteric, probably best reserved for one of those somewhat sophisticated arena rock bands, similar to Rush or Queen.

2. Black Crag
These guys have already broken up but rest assured they have a dark collective of fans that will testify to their influence on the genre. Whatever that might be.

3. Smear
Think Cake, or Weezer. A tongue-in-cheek, lyric-driven triad of guys who managed a radio hit or two but still pump out EPs.

4. Splitter
Oh hell yes. Straight-up speed metal.

5. Ascender
Guitar heavy, tricky chords and fans across all demos. But then it becomes cool for Internet people to not like them.

6. Slab
One of the founders of Splitter left and started this group. They kicked him out too.

7. The Crux
Probably a one-time twisted, Devil-praising type group who are now more cliche than innovative.

8. Handjam
A team-up of well-known singer-songwriters who got together once for a benefit or some stoner fest somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

9. Deadpoint
Also a cool name for a comic book villain. Maybe Deadpool’s sister.¬†

Easily an underground German death metal group. Fans wear goat costumes to their bizarre concert/stage dramas.

So what do you think, got a few more?

Oh, and if any of these are the names of actual, existing bands, I don’t know it; and no, I’m not Googling these terms to find out.¬†Feel free to promote yourself in the comment section. Except you Smear, no one listens to your crap.

Alex Honnold is right: risk is subjective


Alex Honnold looks frustrated. The word “risk” seems to bother him, and I see his point.

Because it’s all relative.

He starts off by quickly juxtaposing risk with consequence, citing the latter as his primary concern. He states that if you’re an expert at your activity, the level of risk decreases. Frankly, he seems tired of answering the question.

It’s clear that the Black Diamond PR team assembled the questions ahead of time in search of a theme to carry over into additional interviews with other sponsored athletes, not knowing that Honnold would quickly dismiss the concept of risk, rendering the remainder of the interview tedious and rather un-revealing.

Honnold’s points are solid and made even more relevant on the backside of the 2014 Mavericks Invitational, a big wave surfing event at the El Cap of California breaks.

It’s easy to watch from a televised distance and ignore, or be unaware of, rather, the skill being demonstrated on the face of those frothing monsters. We shake our heads, enthralled with the size and conditions, afraid for the riders who don’t make the shoulder or take off too late. But once again, we’re confusing risk with consequence. Maybe for the contestants it’s not as bad as it looks.

What kept me watching the Honnold interview for more than four minutes was how candid and realistic he is about his big wall soloing habits. In fact, that’s what makes me tune in to news of all his exploits.

I think there’s a faction of the outdoor world that wants to frame Honnold or the guys at Mavericks as fly-by-the-tower hotheads who will soon end up in conditions not just literally over their heads.

Yet despite Honnold’s outdoor pursuit of choice, he remains grounded in good judgement and motivated by the will to live, not the adrenaline of risk.

In short, the guy’s not nuts.

“The Summit” brings 2008 K2 tragedy to vivid life

Like giant waves, giant mountains frighten me. I have no problem face climbing or approaching cruxy roofs a few hundred feet above where my feet are most comfortable. However, throw in crumbling snow, creaky ice slabs, an unpredictable forecast and little chance of rescue and something in my man parts cowers inward and runs for cover. In short, I stand in awe of big-time alpine climbers.

K2 has long-earned its reputation as the world’s most dangerous mountain. In 2008, it chose to remind us just how seriously it takes that moniker. This is what the movie is about.