Author Topic: Slab or Slab?  (Read 168 times)

Offline rbirk

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Slab or Slab?
« on: August 29, 2016, 05:10:11 PM »
So I'm confused with the word "slab" in climbing. Some people refer to anything less than 90 to be slab, doesn't matter how many features there are. Others refer to it as something that it smooth and featureless, doesn't matter the angle (well, 90+ would be rather impossible though.. :) )  Many times it's both, but not always. So which is it? Is it both, or does one of them have a better word?

Offline NEAlpineStart

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Re: Slab or Slab?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2016, 05:57:40 PM »
Mellow Slab- Approach shoes preferred, handholds not needed
Scary Slab- Gonads required, where are the frickin' handholds?
Steep Slab- A face climb that is missing handholds


I think if it is highly featured it's more face climbing than slab climbing. Like Mt. Forist IMO is mostly mellow face climbing vrs. purer slab routes, like Whitehorse Slabs...

As with most things in climbing the distinctions can blur!

Offline Jeff

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Re: Slab or Slab?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2016, 07:17:43 PM »
I like Dave's definition-- reminds me of my friend Rocky Keeler's (RIP) 3 ice climbing grades, i.e. H(ard), VH (very H) and PFD ( pretty f'n desperate).
     As for slab, a Geordie ( Northeastern Brit) friend of mine following me on Interloper said " there's nae grips, manna" and bat-manned up the rope! He was disdainful of N.E. friction routes.
   Where does slab become what the Brits refer to as wall ( as opposed to "big wall") seems to be the key question-- probably depends on size of handholds (edges or dimples or palming) and friction or edges for the feet ( and the afore mentioned gonads) .
So, it depends ;D
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 07:20:10 PM by Jeff »

Offline dave095790

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Re: Slab or Slab?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2016, 07:39:07 PM »

Slab needs to rely primarily on friction, and mostly delicate footwork, minimal handwork.  Whitehorse Slab is the best example. 

Once it is too steep for relying primarily on friction, I consider it "low angle face."  Low angle face can still be slabby in appearance and texture, but you are mostly edging or smedging on those feature vice utilizing friction (and the bolts generally become more normally spaced, vice "slab" spacing). 

Face climbing would be the stepper version of "low angle face" and would generally be more featured, either bolt protected because of the inability to adequately protect with trad gear, or featured enough for trad protection. 

To me, the idea of "steep slab" seems impossible because your cant "friction" up "steep" slab ... thus I call it "low angle face"


Offline tradmanclimbz

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Re: Slab or Slab?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2016, 09:17:40 PM »
The modern spurt climber definition is pretty much anything that is not past vertical jug hauling :P

Offline lucky luke

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Re: Slab or Slab?
« Reply #5 on: Today at 11:05:09 AM »
So I'm confused with the word "slab" in climbing. Some people refer to anything less than 90

the reason why we use the world slab is becaude it look like the smooth face of a pavement. we call diedral because the rock make an angle between two rock plane (two slab).

when they describe route before. to help to do route finding. they use image to gave a description of what you see. of course a roof is not a part of a can be climb with different technique. but when you see climb the roof. like in dolomite wall... you know that the little corner will be hard. in moby... you can avoid the roof by the right

so a slab is an image of what look the rock where you have to do route finding. i will say avoid the slab if it begin at low angle and steepen futher up