A Glossary of Top Rope Terms for “TR” Lovers and Haters Alike

Kellen demonstrates the fun of hanging out on top rope.

Whether you’re a top rope (TR) champion or wouldn’t dare to be seen anywhere other than on the sharp end, we all know that toproping isn’t “real” climbing in the sense that you can’t really “send” a route on TR…right? Not to say that TRing isn’t “real” climbing in that one still scales rocks while doing it, and much enjoyment can be had while doing so; however, there should be some distinction between terms when it comes to TRing vs. leading climbs.

HERE IS A GLOSSARY OF TOP ROPE TERMS to help you make these distinctions without having to explain things like: “I finally climbed Flying Dragons without falling, but it was on TR, so I guess it only sorta counts…” when you could say: “I finally tred-pointed Flying Dragons!”

In alphabetical order:

TRACE: To place gear on TR. This is a great way to practice placements without the stress of leading or to rehearse potentially dangerous climbs before your “head point.”

TRAID CLIMBING: Pulling on gear, draws, the other end of the rope, off-limits vegetation, or anything else besides the rock to skip a difficult section on a route.

TRASH: To top rope “flash” a route, or to TR a route without falling on your first attempt. Commonly used phrases: Post climb: “Trashed it.” And “Trash it!”for encouragement.

TREAN: Why say “I’ll clean it on top rope,” when you can say “I’ll trean it” instead?

TRED POINT: You’ve been TRing the same darn route for the past three years and finally climb it (on TR) without falling. This is your “tred point.”

TopRope_coffeetapeclimb.jpgTREND: The TR send. You feel good about yourself for not falling, but we all know it’s not really sending if it’s on TR, hence the distinction.

TRONSITE: This is a difficult one to pull off. To tronsite a route, you must climb it without falling on your first attempt without receiving any beta or having seen someone else climb the route previously.

TOP-DOWN LEAD CLIMBING: This is especially effective for TRing overhung routes that otherwise would have a large swing if you simply TRed off an anchor system at the top. From above, make an anchor at or above the end of the route, then rappel or lower down to the ground, attaching your side of the rope to quickdraws or gear directionals on the way down. This is not always easy, depending on the pitch and how much the route wanders.


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