Pinnacle Challenge
Outdoor Outdoor Section
Corprate Section Corporate Section
Home Home
News News
Insights Insights
Fun Days Fun Days
Multi-Activity Day Multi-Activity Day
Previous Clients Previous Clients
The Gallery The Gallery
Links Links
The Staff Room The Staff Room
The Glossary Glossary
Contact Us Contact Us

Abseil – Sliding down a rope under control, useful for climbers as a means of retreat from a climb either because you cannot walk off or due to not being able to complete a route for some reason. Also used as a stand alone activity for kids and adults alike. Our charity fundraising abseils normally take place from the roof of a building.
Adrenaline"a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands in response to stress". This is what makes you "feel alive" when taking part in exciting activities such as climbing and abseiling.
Belay – The act of holding the rope for your partner through a belay device. It is vital to learn exactly how to do this in order to make climbing safe.
Belay Device – The generic name for a device designed to add friction to a rope system allowing the belayer to hold the fall of a climber without having fingers of steel.
Bespoke"Made to the customers specifications" Most of our events fall under this category.
BMC – British Mountaineering council. They take care of access issues and the general interests of rock climbing both indoors and outdoors in Britain.
Bridge – The term for climbing up a corner when one foot is on one side of the corner and the other foot on the other side, affectively bridging the gap and taking weight off your arms.
Camming Device – This is a piece of climbing protection which a climber places in cracks to hold a fall, They have either 3 or 4 cam lobes which when pulled try to expand into the crack, the more you pull the stronger they hold. Can be placed even in parallel sided cracks.
Challenge"invite to take part in a contest" - "is difficult but stimulating"
Charity"the giving of help to those in need" Often an organisation which raises funds for their own cause. We organise Abseils, Dragonboat races and Zip wires for charity.
Cliff – a steep piece of rock, often relating to a sea cliff, we like these as they have climbing on them.
Climbing – Moving upward, normally over steep ground. The usual name given to rock climbing both indoors and outdoors.
Corporate Event – An event for a company or organisation aimed at either team bonding, staff rewards, product launches, or dedicated team and management training, the choices are endless.
Crag – The generic name for a piece of rock or rock outcrop which has climbing on it.
Dragonboat – effectively a giant canoe to hold either 10 or 20 paddlers plus a drummer on the front and a helm steering from the back. Paddlers sit in pairs, and timing is key. The boats have ornate dragon heads and tails and are often raced during dragon boat festivals and charity events.
Dyneema – Trade name. A type of polyester fibre with a very high tensile strength. Typically used to reinforce woven fabrics used in high wear areas. Cannot be dyed, so is always white in colour. Most modern climbing slings are made of Dyneema.
Dyno – A dyamic climbing movement, where you push as hard as you can with your legs, both hands come off the wall at the same time and you catch a hold/s much higher up. The world record distance for a dyno is 2.65m from handhold to handhold at a 45-degree angle leftwards on a 20-degree overhanging wall, set by Stefan Hadfield.
Effort"Physical or mental exertion", often needed to climb.
Event"anything that takes place" We refer to lots of our activities as events, e.g. a corporate event or a charity fundraising event.
Exercise"Activity to train the body or mind; set of movements or tasks designed to test a person's ability"
Experience"direct personal participation" or "accumulated knowledge". We offer people a great range of experiences through our many events and activities. We use many years of industry experience to ensure your event is the very best it can be.
Family Fun Day – Generally run by companies to allow there employees families to come together and try some fun activities in a fairly informal environment, a great way of increasing morale in the office.
Friend“Person who one knows well and likes” In climbing terms a friend is a piece of active protection also called a camming device, listed above.
Fundraising“the organized activity of soliciting and collecting money for a non-profit-making organization” A lot of our events facilitate fundraising for a wide variety of charities. Normally through the means of participants being sponsored to take part in an abseil or a zip wire.
Gritstone – A very gritty rock mainly found in the Peak District as small outcrops such as Stanage and The Roaches. Often not very positive to climb on but great fun. The friction is at its best when its really cold.
Harness – The thing that connects the climber to the rope. Either a sit harness, which consists of a waist loop and leg loops, or a full body which also includes a chest strap. There are hundreds of models available so everyone should be able to find a comfortable harness.
Helmet – A vital piece of outdoor climbing kit, we use helmets as standard when working with young people, on mobile climbing walls and also on all abseils, zip wires and many other activities. Climbing helmets always have a chin strap to keep them attached and are rated for a side impact as well as an impact from above.
Hex – Or a hexcentric, is a piece of passive climbing protection placed in cracks whilst trad climbing, they are generally larger than nuts and can be used in a variety of ways, the work best in constricting cracks however the do have a camming action if placed correctly.
Indoor Climbing – Normally on artificial walls with bolt on climbing holds. Traditionally these walls were built and used for the sole purpose of training for outdoor climbing and keeping on climbing through the wet winter months. Nowadays it is a sport in its own right, with thousands of people using facilities every day, various disciplines including Top Roping, Leading and Bouldering are all well catered for. Pinnacle Challenge construct indoor walls and manufacture the bolt on holds.
Instructor – Someone who offers advice and instructions, normally to people of lesser experience to help them improve. There are many qualifications that instructors can hold in most activities. All our instructors and hand picked and superb. Take a look at our staff page to see some of them.
IOL – The Institute for Outdoor Learning, They body who try to develop the provision of outdoor instruction making it safer and more widely available, aimed quite a lot at young people. We follow their code of conduct at all times and are corporate members.
Jam“A sugary fruit preserve” Or in climbing terms the act of Jamming your hand, fingers, foot, toe, elbow or any other body part into a crack to aid your upward movement or prevent rapid downward movement. Hand Jams often result in a loss of skin and require a lot of practice to master.
Jumar – A device used to ascend ropes, basically a mechanical Prussic Knot. They will slide one way on a rope and grab the other, meaning that with two you can move efficiently up a rope. Used extensively in Roped Access and big wall climbing
Knot“a fastening in a string or rope created by twisting, looping and passing through” There are hundreds of knots but in climbing we only use about 5 regularly, Knots like the Figure of Eight, Bowline, Clove Hitch, Alpine Butterfly, and Italian Hitch are all useful.
Landing Zone – This is what we call the area at the bottom of an abseil where participants touch down, we always cordon off this area and man it with an instructor.
Lanyard – A length of webbing or rope that connects your harness directly to something. Also refered to as Cows Tail. Often used on Via Ferrata (although these must have a shock absorber built in), at the top of sports climbs and for industrial access work
Layback – Leaning back from a crack or hold with a straight arm, allowing more pressure to be forced through your feet giving more grip. All holds are best used at 90 degrees to their most positive edge, with your arm close to the wall.
Management“The organising and controlling of the affairs and people of a business or sector of a business”
Mantleshelf“the projecting top of the mantel of a fireplace, used as a shelf” In climbing terms this is a move which would be the same as trying to climb onto you living room mantelshelf where there are no holds above, you have to push downwards and stay in balance, your foot needs to come on as well as your hands, then you crank and hope as you rock towards that foot.
MIA – Mountaineering Instructor Award, One of the highest levels of climbing, walking and general mountaineering qualifications in this country. MIA’s have a large amount of experience and undergo rigorous training and assessments.
Mobile Wall – A climbing wall on a trailer, ours is 6.5M long until we use the hydraulics and jack it up, then it is 6.5M high. It can be set up in 45minutes and is great for any event, being fully mobile means we can tow it anywhere in the country.
Mountain – A large hill, normally rocky and with rough terrain, there are various definitions of a mountain, some say anything over 1000m or 3000feet. Mountaineering could take place on something much lower in many places such as the Lake District or Snowdonia.
Mountain Guide – The highest level of mountaineering qualification, recognised around the world, These guys have huge levels of experience and to even be considered you must have a list of ascents which would be the envy of any climber or mountaineer.
Nut – A piece of passive climbing protection which was originally a threaded nut, drilled out with a piece of rope tied through it used to jam into cracks. Now they are highly engineered with various shapes and a wire through them, designed to fit many different cracks.
Organise“to apply or impose efficient working methods in order to work effectively or make somebody else work effectively” “to arrange the components of something in a way that creates a particular structure”
Overhang – The name for any climbing face that is leaning back such that you have to hang off it. Anything past vertical is called an overhang. If it goes horizontal for a way that is called a roof. These are much more strenuous on the arms than a slab.
Palm Off – This is when you push down or sideways off a wall using your palm, can be used to move upwards or just to keep you in balance. Very useful technique when climbing corners and bridging.
Pinnacle“the highest or topmost point or level of something” or “a natural peak, especially a distinctively pointed one on a mountain or in a mountain range”
Prussic – A loop of cord tied using a double fisherman’s which can be used to ascend ropes or grab ropes in various ways. There are several ways of using prussics. They are an invaluable tool as for rescues and abseiling and are light enough to carry on your harness at all times.
Quickdraw – Two snapgate or wiregate carabiners connected by a short sling used to connect the rope to the protection when lead climbing. This means the rope can run straighter which reduces friction (rope drag) and means the ropes movements are less likely to pull the piece of protection out of the crack.
Rappell – Another (American) name for an Abseil
Rope – The lifeline for all climbing and mountaineering. Now made of Kernmantle construction where an intertwined core is very strong then an outer sheaf to protect it. Low Stretch ropes are used for abseiling so you don’t bounce too much and dynamic (stretchy) ropes are used for climbing so falls don’t hurt.
Runner – A name given to a piece of protection fastened to the rope using a quickdraw when lead climbing, it allows the rope to move (run) through it so the climber can move upwards, if they fall off they will be held by their belayer.
Slab – A piece of rock or wall that leans away meaning you can stay in balance on it. Or used to describe a large blank piece of rock.
Sling – A piece of tape which makes a circle, either tied or sewn back to itself, used to drape over spikes of rock, pass through holes/threads or wrap around rocks. You can also use a sling to make a Lanyard.
Smear – Placing your foot flat on the rock where there are no footholds as such. You should keep your heels low and try to push the rubber against the rock to create the friction needed for your foot to stay in position.
SPA – Single Pitch Award, the standard climbing qualification for teaching climbing and abseiling on single pitch crags, meaning within 1 rope length and with easy access to top and bottom.
Summit – The top of a mountain or piece of rock, also the name of the magazine published by the BMC.
Task“a piece of work that somebody is given to do, usually quite short in duration or with a deadline”
Teambuild – The general name given to bringing a group together and trying to make them work better collectively as a team, can be achieved in many ways, using fun activities or more serious structured learning.
Top Rope – Climbing when the rope is fixed above your head so if you slip off you will not fall. You can be belayed from the top (traditional top roping) or from the bottom (bottom roping). Most indoor walls use bottom roping however it is generally still refered to as top roping, try not to get confused.
Trad Climbing – The shortened for Traditional. Climbing outside using leader placed protection which can be removed easily by the second climber attached to the other end of the rope. We take great pride in the rock in our country and try not to damage it or leave any marks.
Training“the process of teaching or learning a skill or job”
Tyrolean – A rope or wire tensioned horizontally or at a slight angle giving a way of crossing a gap. A Zip wire is effectively a Tyrolean at a slightly steeper angle so you can slide down it attached via a harness to a pully.
UIAA – Union Internationale Des Associations D’Alpinisme. The Official International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation, partner of International Olympic Committee.
Undercut – A climbing hold which you must grip from underneath, the higher you are compared to the hold the easier it becomes to hold onto it.
Vertical“in an upright position, or running lengthways up or down, positioned at a right angle to the horizon”
Vertigo“a condition in which somebody feels a sensation of whirling or tilting that causes a loss of balance” Normally due to the feeling of height and/or exposure.
Volunteer“somebody who does something voluntarily, especially something undesirable”
Wall – The general term for an artificial climbing structure,
X – Find one that should have a place here and win a prize, email your suggestion to
Yosemite – A valley in California, USA. With some of the biggest sheer rock faces anywhere in the world, Lots of big wall climbing where you can be climbing for several days in one go, sleeping on a portable ledge, hauling all your food etc behind you.
Z Clipping – Clipping the rope from the underside of the last quickdraw into the next one up accidentally, creating a z shape in the rope and not giving the climber any further protection. Also gives lots of rope drag which means you should notice pretty quickly. Normally a problem on indoor walls where the clips are close together.
Zip Wire – A giant slide, down a rope or cable. Small ones are created in play parks which you sit on a button and hold on. We build them from structures and buildings from 10 – 40m high and from 30 – 300M long. You are attached via a harness to a pully on the cable then away you go for a ride of your life.

Copyright Pinnacle Challenge 2008 ©

Pinnacle Challenge Limited Unit 1, Minton Business Centre Main Rd, Far Cotton, Northampton NN4 8ES
Tel: 01604 875 996 Email: Web: