AAAS: Australian Adventure Activity Standard – See Preface for details.
Anchor: Any load bearing attachment to which any part of a belay system is attached.
Anchor system: a group of individual anchors to which any part of a belay system is attached.
Abseiling: descending vertical or near vertical natural surfaces or artificial surfaces using ropes and descending friction devices to manage the decent. It is also known as rappelling.
Activity leader(s): collective noun for canyoning assistant guide(s), guide(s) and/or instructor(s).
Belay System: The means by which the climber or abseiler is protected from an uncontrolled fall or descent.
Belayer: A person that operates the belay system.
Bottom belay: Belaying a climber or abseiler from the bottom of a pitch.
Bottom braking: The controlling of the descent of an abseiler, by a belayer located below the abseiler applying tension to the abseil rope. Used as a method of belaying the abseiler if they lose control of the descent.
Bouldering: A form of climbing activity, limited in height and for which fall safety can be achieved by the provision of an impact absorbing system, by a spotter providing control of a fall or by a combination of these measures. (Also see deep-water belay and spotter.)
Buoyancy aid: a device that provides additional buoyancy in water. (For example, inflatable mattress, waterproofed backpack, kickboard, noodle, etc.) Also see Lifejacket.
Bushwalking: walking in natural areas.
Camping: the use of a temporary site for overnight camping.
Canyon: geological formations that involve flowing or dry watercourse(s). (Also known as gorges.)
Canyoning: the descent, traversing and/or ascent of a canyon using a range of techniques.
Carabiner: (refer connector).
Caving: entering and/or moving though underground passages and/or caverns.
Climbing: ascending, traversing or descending vertical or near vertical natural surfaces or artificial surfaces. (Also see rock climbing).
Competence: ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve expected results.
Competencies: the plural of competence. Having competence in more than one ability.
Competent: leader/participant/person/assessor: someone who has the competence to perform specific functions.
Connector(s): a metal device used to link components together. A connector may be:
• Non-locking: a connector that cannot be locked to prevent it opening.
• Locking: a connector that can be manually locked and unlocked to reduce the possibility of it opening
• Auto-locking: a connector that will automatically lock to prevent it from opening and requires two or more deliberate actions to unlock.
Contact rescue: a rescue requiring an activity leader to manoeuvre to the persons actual location to physically assist them.
Descent system: the belay system that an abseiler operates to control their descent.
Deep-water belay: a safety system relying on deep water in a fall zone.
Direct supervision: where a nominated person responsible for supervising others during all or part of the activity is able to intervene immediately (also see indirect supervision and remote supervision).
Dynamic rope: a specially constructed kernmantle rope that is somewhat elastic under load. The elastic ‘stretch’ under load is what makes the rope ‘dynamic’. (Also see static rope.)
Fall factor: is the ratio of the height of a fall (h) (measured before the rope or lanyard begins to stretch) and the rope or lanyard length available to absorb the energy of the fall (L). It is used as a representation of the severity of a fall when arrested by a belay system. It is calculated by (h) divided by (L).
Fall height: The vertical distance between the climber’s or abseiler’s lowest body element and the surface beneath.
Fall zone: The surface that can be hit by a climber or abseiler falling.
Feature: a part of a natural surface or artificial surface.
Flash flooding: is flooding in a localised area with a rapid onset, usually as the result of relatively short intense bursts of rainfall.
Flying fox: a means of travel along a sloping rope or cable by attaching to it using a free moving pully and being propelled by gravity.
Forward abseiling: abseiling while facing towards the ground.
GPGs: Good Practice Guide(s) – See Preface for details.
Guided rappels: an abseil that uses a track-line.
Horizontal canyoning: the ascent, traversing and/or descent of a canyon where any fall safety required can be achieved using spotting.
Hydraulics: refer river hazards.
Indirect supervision: where a nominated person responsible for supervising others during all or part of the activity is in the vicinity but unable to intervene immediately (also see direct supervision and remote supervision).
Lead climbing: where the climber ascends a pitch while periodically attaching their rope to fixed or removable protection.
Lifejacket: a worn device that provides the wearer with additional buoyancy in water. (Also known as Personal floatation device (PFD))
Lowering: a descent which is controlled by a rope from above. Also known as ‘passive abseiling’.
Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS): is the magnitude of a load that may permanently distort or damage equipment but not cause it to break. (Refer Appendix 4 – Equipment load ratings).
Multi-pitch: a section of a natural surface or artificial surface that to ascend, traverse or descend, progress is made by using more than one pitch and establishing belay systems mid route.
Natural surface(s): the geologic structure and flora that forms a cliff or steep face.
Non-actively participating: a participant that is waiting to but is not currently doing the activity.
Non-participating contact: a suitable person not involved in and not located with those conducting the activity, who is the nominated person to act on behalf of those undertaking the activity in accordance with the emergency management plan. This may include but is not limited to responsibility for alerting authorities on the failure of those undertaking the activity to report in as being safe or return on time.
Personal floatation device (PFD): See lifejacket.
Personal thermal protection: clothing worn to mitigate the effects of the temperature of the canyon environment.
Pitch: a section of a natural surface or artificial surface that requires no greater than one length of rope to ascend, traverse or descend. (Also see multi-pitch and single-pitch.)
Rappelling: see abseiling.
Releasable rigging: a system where the abseil rope may be lowered in a controlled manner, even while weighted by a abseiler, by releasing part of the system.
Remote supervision: where a nominated person responsible for supervising others during all or part of the activity is not involved in direct or indirect supervision and is unlikely to be in the vicinity, and would therefore take time to respond (also see direct supervision and indirect supervision).
Responsible person: a competent person who is able to complete delegated elements or tasks during an activity that does not require the activity-specific competence of a leader or assistant leader.
River hazards: a hazard created by a watercourses’ geology and flora, the water within it or a combination of both. Common river hazards include but are not limited to: aerated water, drops, eddies, entrapment points, fast flowing water, floating objects, undercut rocks, re-circulations (also called ‘holes’), rapids, sieves, strainers, submerged objects etc. (Some hazards (e.g. eddies, re-circulations) are also known as hydraulics.)
Rock Climbing: ascending, traversing or descending vertical or near vertical natural surfaces. At times also used to describe climbing on artificial surfaces. (Also see climbing.)
Safety factor: the ratio between the Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) and Safe Working Load (SWL) to provide a safety margin. It is expressed as a ratio (e.g. 8:1). (Refer Appendix 4 Equipment load ratings).
Safe Working Load (SWL): is the magnitude of load that does not permanently distort, weaken, damage or break equipment and includes a safety margin. (Refer Appendix 4 Equipment load ratings).
Self-belay: a belay system that requires the climber or abseiler to operate and does not use an independent belayer or auto-belay system. For example, abseiling with a prussik brake would involve a self-belay operated by the abseiler.
Single-pitch: a section of a natural surface or artificial surface that requires no greater than one length of rope to ascend, traverse or descend.
Siphon: where water passes underneath an obstruction. (Note that this differs to a sieve where the water passing through & around obstructions such as rocks, wood or other debris.)
Sports climbing: lead climbing where the belay system relies on permanent fixed anchors for protection. (Also see traditional climbing.)
Spotter(s): a person or persons who are spotting.
Spotting: a support process provided by a person, or persons, who offer physical protection of the head and upper body of a person should they fall.
Stated strength: the magnitude of load that is either the Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) or Safe Working Load (SWL) marked on equipment or listed in manufacturer’s literature. (Refer Appendix 4 Equipment load ratings).
Static rope: a specially constructed low stretch kernmantle rope, that has low elongation under load. The low elongation or ‘stretch’ under load is what makes the rope ‘static’. (Also see dynamic rope.)
Top belay: Belaying a climber or abseiler from the top of a pitch.
Top-rope climbing: climbing where the belay system has its anchor or anchor system at the top of the pitch and uses either a top belay or bottom belay.
Traditional climbing: lead climbing where the belay system relies on anchors for protection that the climber places during the climb. (Also see sports climbing.)
Traverse-line: A belay system secured in a generally horizontal direction to allow horizontal movement.
Track-line: a line that guides the path of the abseilers descent. (For example, to divert the abseiler away from an obstacle or high water flow.)
Trigger point: a particular circumstance or situation that causes an action to occur.
Unprotected climbing: a form of climbing activity where a fall protection system or spotter is not used. (For example, rock scrambling).
V-Lower: A lowering technique controlled from above using a two to one haul system, that allows the rope to be released from what is lowered without having to unclip a connector. The release is completed by releasing one end of the rope and pulling the other, as the rope is free flowing through the connector that attached what was lowered to the haul system. Also known as a drop-loop or rolling lower.
Vertical canyoning: the descent, traversing and/or ascent of vertical or near vertical canyon surfaces, where fall safety cannot be achieved using spotting due to the fall height.
Via ferrata climbing: climbing where the safety system does not use a belayer and relies on a series of permanent fixed anchors that limit the distance a climber can fall.
Waiting areas: a location in which to wait prior to undertaking the activity, where it is reasonable for a person to not be required to use equipment to protect them from a fall from height.
Also refer to the Core Good Practice Guide – Glossary.