a summiteer’s jargon

a summiteer’s jargonLanguage is always fascinating, no matter what kind. Be it a bastardization of a traditional one or studying it in its purest regional context, it is always interesting to observe. Its evolution through the years is likewise noteworthy. I encountered an internet meme once about how certain words acquired different meanings on account of the introduction of computers and the internet. I actually laughed out loud when they noted how words like save, hack, grab, paste etc. have different contexts depending on how you use them these days. 😀

Another fascinating aspect of language is jargon. I like the way it defines inclusion and exclusion in a particular cultural and social circle. We all have it, no matter what our industry is. When I started adopting the hobby of mountain climbing, I kind of got exposed to their specific vocabulary which I got used to over time. Characteristically, I would say that the mountaineer’s jargon heavily relies on acronyms and shortened words, especially for mountain names. It’s actually quite pretentious if you think about it but as I said before, you can’t help picking it up so might as well get used to it.

Here are some of the terms that I’ve heard coined that had to do with mountaineering in my years of climbing mountains. This would probably make no sense whatsoever to other people but if you’re a mountaineer, then you’d probably get it at once. 😀

G2 – Mt. Guiting-Guiting in Romblon
D2 – Mt. Dulang-Dulang in Bukidnon
D2K – A Dulang-Dulang to Kitanglad Traverse climb…I don’t think we say “K” on its own to mean Mt. Kitanglad though, it has to be used in conjunction with D2 or else it would make no sense. 🙂
Manta – means dream climb. 😀 No, it means Mt. Mantalingajan in Palawan
PDL – Pico de Loro in Mt. Palay-Palay in Ternate, Cavite
BDL – Mt. Banahaw de Lucban in Quezon
Trav – means ‘traverse’ and is actually the most used word in conjunction with other shortened mountain names. Just put it after a mountain’s name and the meaning is clear. Examples of well-known traverse routes with abbreviated names are the following. These are examples wherein saying the first syllable alone is non-sense. Therefore, we don’t say “Aaakyat ka ba ng Mak? Ng Cris?” You’d probably get a WTF face as a response if you do.

Maktrav – Makiling traverse from Batangas to Laguna
Cristrav – Mt. Cristobal traverse
Taptrav – Mt. Tapulao traverse from Tarlac to Zambales

But for everything else, it’s pretty acceptable to append it after every mountain name imaginable (Pulag trav, Apo trav, Damas trav etc)

Backtrail – I’ve heard people use this before to mean taking the same trail that they took to ascend on their descent.
Reverse Traverse – this is a weird one. I’ve also recently encountered mountaineers coining this one to mean traversing a mountain in reverse order of the traditional or usual route. For say, Mt. Ugo for example, the traditional trail traverses from Itogon to Kayapa so I guess a reverse traverse would be the opposite. Although technically, it is still a ‘traverse’. Mountaineers huh?
Amba – Ambangeg trail of Mt. Pulag. Amba-Amba means hiking up and back down through it, Akiki-Amba means hiking up Akiki and descending through Ambangeg etc.
Nasugbu Trilogy – Climbing mountains PDL, Talamitam and Batulao
3-2-1 – The trio of Mt. Pulag, Tabayoc and Timbak which are the highest peaks in Luzon
711 – Convenience stores on mountain campsites that sell everything from Fudgee Bars to libations. See Maculot and Batulao (and apparently, PDL as well) for reference
TL/EL – no, it is not a mountain. It means the designated team/expedition leader of a climb
WFA – the wilderness first aider or medic
Lead man – the person who always lead the group on the trail
Sweeper – the last person on the trail responsible for accounting everyone
Preclimb – a meeting of participants to discuss the details of an upcoming climb. When I first told my sister that I was going to one, she took it to mean as if we were going to climb the mountain beforehand, test the trail as it were. So her first response was, “Okay, kalian ka uwi?” To which I was like, “Huh? Meeting lang yun diyan sa may Aurora Ave.” 😀
Postclimb – is another meeting to discuss the experiences on the last climb. Sharing of pictures, problems encountered that sort of thing
Dayhike – while ‘night trek’ means trekking through the night, dayhike does not necessarily mean hiking through the day. It means ascending a mountain’s summit and descending at the same day.
Self-contained – a mountaineer who represses all of his/her problems and emotions inside without telling anyone. Nah…it’s a mountaineer who can compress him/herself to a small enough size to fit a backpack. Nah…it’s actually a climber who has a complete set of equipment and other mountaineering gears. Basically those that you need not worry about when it comes to stuff allocation. 🙂
Carab – another pretentious way of saying carabiner
Beachineering – when mountaineers choose to hit the beach instead, I usually like to do this after a climb 🙂
Sabit – when you join a climb that you had no part in organizing, usually with a group that you’ve never joined before.
Advance – when you want to go on ahead of someone while on the trail. “Sir makiki-advance lang po.” 😀
Assault – ascending through a steep part of the trail, as such, summit assaults mean heading towards the summit
Socials – a ‘getting to know you’ kind of thing with co-climbers at the campsite, usually before turning in at night
Social climber – a light-hearted jibe at mountaineers who prefers gears and apparel from well-known and relatively expensive outdoor brands. 😀

There are a lot more terms that I have encountered but then again, they weren’t as mountaineering-specific as they could be so you could actually understand them outside of context. In any case though, I’m still new to this mountaineering thing (and would probably take a break after a last hoorah to get my shit together …) so I’ll probably encounter some more in the future. 😀


4 thoughts on “a summiteer’s jargon

  1. Eto pa isa:Tumandoks – mga tumanda sa bundok. Fetus pa lang tayo, umaakyat na sila. Marami nang alam na survival skills at malalimang wisdom tungkol sa mountaineering. Okay kasama sa climb, marami kang matututunan. Parang doraemon bag rin ang backpack nila, lahat ng kelangan sa bundok meron. Pati mga bagay na di mo naisip eh kelangan pala, meron din.

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