Aguja de la Virgen, Piedra Parada, Chubut Region, Patagonia (Argentina). Photo by Dani Reyes-Acosta.

A Cheatsheet to Spanish Climbing Vocabulary

Dani Reyes-Acosta
6 min readAug 6, 2019


A version of this article was originally published on on January 19, 2016. I first wrote this after spending 5 months rock climbing in Argentina and Chile, when all I wanted to do was help out my new non-Spanish-speaking climbing friends, who I knew to be welcoming but definitely Spanish impaired.

If it’s in print, it must be true, right?

At the time, I didn’t know who Fred Beckey was or what role dirtbagging played in mountain culture. I had never heard of “The Circuit,” and didn’t even know about #vanlife. I was so psyched on climbing that all I wanted to do was use the one technical skill I had (Spanish) to bridge cultures and communities. My idea was to simply provide a resource for non-Spanish speakers to connect with local climbers on their travels.

Flash Forward to August 2020:

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Rock climbing: it’s involved. For some, it’s a lifestyle so enveloping that we sell our belongings and move into a car so that we can configure our lives around the next big climb. For others, maybe it’s a thing you do on the weekends. Wherever on the spectrum you fall, you’ve had to learn the ridiculous climbing-specific jargon that makes the uninitiated roll their eyes.

Today’s mission is different than your others, though. You’ve decided that instead of heading out to your local crag or making the 8 hour drive to the closest zone featuring one of the 50 classics, the feisty ants in your pants that normally propel you up routes have given you the tingles to head somewhere exotic. No, I’m not talking Thailand or Italy…I’m talking about SOUTH AMERICA. Patagonia sounds like a really cool place, and ever since you saw 180 South, you’re sort of obsessed with taking a break from everything you know and love in the United States. You. Hunger. For. Adventure.



Dani Reyes-Acosta

I help frame up the future with brand strategy that makes next-gen consumer connections @nomadcreativa // Find more writing at