“Sending It/ Sendy”

Climbing Vernacular

“Sending It/ Sendy”


Over the Phone

May 25, 2020

Informant Data:

TP is a 19 year old living in Salt Lake City, Utah. He currently attends Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, where he studies physical sciences. There, he is involved with groups such as the Dartmouth Mountaineering Club and the Ledyard Canoe Club. He grew up in Utah where his family introduced him to his love of outdoor activities. In addition to climbing and paddling, he enjoys mountain biking and skiing. He still partakes in these activities with his family, which includes his younger sister.   

Contextual Data:

Cultural Context: Rock climbing is an extreme sport and many people love the thrill it brings. Even for the most experienced climbers, there is always a more challenging climb for them to do. People who climb often have friends with whom they go to climbing destinations, but a climber is always alone on the wall. It is up to the individual to keep themselves from falling, and the accomplishment of one climb inevitably drives the climber to attempt a harder one. Climbers enjoy motivating each other to test their limits, hopefully without risking their safety, and you may hear climbers discussing their experiences on past challenge climbs.   

Social Context: I collected this folklore from TP over the phone. He discussed how this term is often used in conversations before and after difficult climbs. When deciding to attempt a climb, someone might say that they are going to “send it”. After a climb, especially one that was impressive, they could say that they “sent it”, or often “just sent it”. It’s a versatile term and can be used in situations around other sports as well. People may use the term as they declare their intention to ski a difficult pitch, paddle a stretch of rapids, or engage in another daunting activity.  


The following description is based on an over the phone interview with TP. Most of this description paraphrases his words, and direct quotes are specifically noted.

The terms “sending it” and “sendy” refer to “going big” or “doing something that is kinda pushing it”, in TP’s words. As mentioned in the social context, this item of climbing vernacular is often used when considering or reflecting on a challenging climb. TP describes these as “risk v[s.] reward situation[s]”. When you are pushing your limits, you are “sending it”. The term can also be used in adjective form, as “sendy”. It is often preceded by forms of the word “get”. When describing another climber’s impressive day on a climbing wall, an onlooker might say that the climber “got pretty sendy up there”. A climber who arrives at a wall feeling eager to challenge themselves and take risks could say that they “feel like getting sendy today”. This is a very popular term in the culture of adventure sports and has even spread to other folk. TP has heard students announce that instead of studying for a test, they are just going to “send it”. Once again, it describes one’s decision to enter a risky situation.    


climber seeks next hold

Henry Chamberlin, 18

Dartmouth College

Russian 13

Spring 2020