Monday by Mateo: The Crimp

“It’s hard out here for a crimp,” someone once rapped, or perhaps the word was “pimp”? We forget…. In any case, the crimp position is so key and specific to rock climbing. You take a small edge, bring all four fingers onto it, flex them down onto the hold, then lock your thumb against your index finger to close the grip. It’s a powerful cling, but also one that’s hard on the fingers—joints, tendons, and skin. At the Owens River Gorge, known for its sheer, clean welded-tuff faces, the holds alternate between pockets and crimps, so you need to get your crimp on. Every now and then you also get a “slimp”—a sloping crimp. And even some sloping pockets. I suppose we could call these “slockets” if we wanted, though we have yet to hear this term. How about you? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller…?

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