What does ‘send’ mean in climbing?

If you’re new to climbing, you’ll be hearing a lot of new terms in the climbing gym as well as from videos that you might consume. The most common term used in climbing is ‘send’.

What does Send mean in climbing? Let’s take a look…

What does ‘send’ mean in climbing?

Send is a climbing term used to describe a successful ascent of a route or boulder. The term send is derived from the word ‘ascent’ which means to reach the top of a mountain.

Here’s an example:

‘I send my first outdoor 6a today’. Something you can say after you successfully completed an outdoor 6a.


‘I send that 5+ boulder.‘ A saying you can use after you send a problem in the bouldering gym.


‘Send it’ Someone might yell to encourage a climber on a route.

Next time you successfully finish a boulder problem or climbing route, you can say you send it. 😉

Unlike other climbing terms, the term send has minimal rules. It simply means you successfully finished a route or problem. However, if you are rope climbing, you cannot use the rope to your advantage. This means you cannot fall and get back on the rock. Neither can you use the rope to carry your weight during a rest.

Most notable sends in climbing history

Here are some of the most legendary sends in climbing history.

Alex Honnold Free Solo El Capitan

In June of 2017, Alex Honnold free soloed El Capitan in what is indisputably the most legendary send in climbing history. Free Soloing is the act of climbing a route using only your hands and feet with absolutely no equipment. During this send, Alex Honnold used the Freerider route which is graded 5.12d (7c+). Alex send this 2900-foot high (884 meters) route in just 3 hours and 56 minutes.

Alex’s ascent of El Cap can be seen in the documentary ‘Free Solo’ by Jimmy Chin and E. Chai Vasarhelyi.

You can watch the Free Solo documentary on Disney+ or rent it on Apple TV.

Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson send the Dawn Wall

In January of 2015 Tommy Caldwell Kevin jorgeson managed to make the first ascend of the Dawn Wall after more than 8 years of mapping the route. What makes this send so impressive is that no one had ever even tried to ascent the Dawn Wall. After decades of climbers coming to Yosemite, the Dawn Wall was too imposing to even consider. Until Tommy Caldwell came around of course.

To this day, the Dawn Wall is considered to be the hardest multi-pitch route in the world so this was an incredible feat for both climbers.

Since Tommy and Kevin’s first ascend, the Dawn Wall has only been successfully send by one other climber: Adam Ondra.

The ascent of the Dawn Wall was documented in a documentary of the same name.

You can rent the Dawn Wall documentary on Apple TV or Amazon.

Adam Ondra Redpoint Silence

On September 3rd, 2017, Adam Ondra became the first climber in the world to ascent a 9c (5.15d) graded route. The route, which is located in the Hanshelleren Cave in Flatanger, Norway was later given the name ‘silence’.

You can watch Adam’s send of Silence below.

Lynn Hill: First free climb on the nose of El Capitan

In 1993, Lynn Hill became the first climber to free climb the nose on El Capitan. She did it in 4 days. A route that was once considered impossible to be free climbed. Then, one year later, Lynn Hill free climbed the nose again but this time in under 24 hours.

Before Lyn Hill freed the nose, climbers were using aid climbing (relying on equipment) as opposed to Lynn, who was using only her body to make it to the top.

The free climb is documented in her book: Climbing Free.

Chris Sharma Deepwater solo of Es Pontás

Climbing legend Chris Sharma of course has a lot of notable ascents but the deepwater solo of Es Pontás is one of my favorites. The crux on this climb is a gnarly seven foot dyno. Not only is this send nothing short of ground-breaking, the location is also mesmerizing.

Ashima Shiraishi youngest 9a+ send

Ashima Shiraishi became the youngest climber ever to send a 9a+ graded route. If this feat doesn’t sound impressive enough, she was also the second ever female climber to send a 9a+.

Later, in 2016, she also became known as first female climber to solve a 8C (V15) boulder problem.

Watch the impressive send below.

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