Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wikipedia's article on Beta

is climbing jargon that designates information about a climb. This may include information about a climb's difficulty, crux, style, length, quality of rock, ease to protect, required equipment, and specific information about hand or foot holds.

The original use of the term Beta in climbing is generally attributed to the late climber, Jack Mileski. "Beta" was short for Betamax, a reference to an old videotape format largely replaced by the VHS format. This was actually a play on words, as Jack would often ask, "you want the beta, Max?"

It is considered proper etiquette in climbing not to give a climber beta unless they ask for it. Many climbers find it distracting if people shout at them while they are climbing. Also, a climber can only onsight a route if he or she has received no beta. If the climber has received beta from someone else before climbing a route it is called a flash.
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