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WTF is an " airy swarm"


Original Post
Leslie McG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 410

So my partner and I were looking at the beta for a multi pitch trad line we wanted to do, and the description said " grab a hidden jug above the overhang which facilitates an airy swarm onto a sloping ledge". We both looked at each other and wondered what exactly an " airy swarm " is? Mind you we climbed the route and now know what it is, but has anyone ever heard this term before and if so, what exactly does it mean to you?

Em Cos · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 5

No idea - but since you now know what it is, care to enlighten us?

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Leslie McG wrote:So my partner and I were looking at the beta for a multi pitch trad line we wanted to do, and the description said " grab a hidden jug above the overhang which facilitates an airy swarm onto a sloping ledge". We both looked at each other and wondered what exactly an " airy swarm " is? Mind you we climbed the route and now know what it is, but has anyone ever heard this term before and if so, what exactly does it mean to you?
Fighting my way up a steep area with lots of confusing holds so that you wind up trying most of them with some gripping exposure.
Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,610

Bees. Move or get stung.

Leslie McG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 410
Em Cos wrote:No idea - but since you now know what it is, care to enlighten us?
The move involved having one good foot and one good hand. There was definite " air" beneath me. I had to rock into a sloping ledge in a crouched position. It was quite interesting, as was the term used to describe the move. My partner and I have a combined 20 year trad climbing experience and found the description unusual and not previously encountered before.

Would still be interested in hearing if anyone else has heard the term" swarm" before as it relates to a climb. Although the bee idea is funny!!
ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 235

Sounds like some type of mantel to me.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

That's where it's a hot day and the air'swarm. (sorry, I'm tryin' here)

JWong Wong · · Los Angeles, California · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 10

An airy smear onto a sloping ledge got autocorrected into airy swarm?

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 525

Swarming typically refers to a large body of individuals behaving in some ways as a cohesive whole. However, "to swarm up" is used to mean to clamber up something using both arms and legs; sailors are often described as "swarming up the rigging."

Given that both hands and feet are used for climbing rigging, ladders, and rocks, "to swarm up" is just another way to say "to climb" in those contexts. It doesn't mean anything more, and so is just a stylistic affectation. But then a currently fashionable nominalization takes hold, producing "swarm" as a noun describing the region to be swarmed up. And now that we have a noun, it can be modified by adjectives such as "airy."

The result is an ugly and obviously perplexing way of saying "some exposed moves."

JWong Wong · · Los Angeles, California · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 10

Wow, RGold FTW!

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60

It's just purple prose, plan and simple.

Leslie McG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 410
rgold wrote:Swarming typically refers to a large body of individuals behaving in some ways as a cohesive whole. However, "to swarm up" is used to mean to clamber up something using both arms and legs; sailors are often described as "swarming up the rigging." Given that both hands and feet are used for climbing rigging, ladders, and rocks, "to swarm up" is just another way to say "to climb
So in actuality we are all swarmers, not climbers? Tell me you googled this term and aren't one of those geniuses who knows the etymology of words. Brilliant, though!!! I think we have a winner!
Jim Sweeney · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 30

Google shmoogle. Goldstone's got the goods.

Here's a sample.

The Saga of the Triple Lever

Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 268

Airy swarm = airy swing

after typo and subsequent spell check.

My best guess.

saxfiend · · Decatur, GA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 4,225
rgold wrote:Swarming typically refers to a large body of individuals behaving in some ways as a cohesive whole. However, "to swarm up" is used to mean to clamber up something using both arms and legs; sailors are often described as "swarming up the rigging." Given that both hands and feet are used for climbing rigging, ladders, and rocks, "to swarm up" is just another way to say "to climb" in those contexts. It doesn't mean anything more, and so is just a stylistic affectation. But then a currently fashionable nominalization takes hold, producing "swarm" as a noun describing the region to be swarmed up. And now that we have a noun, it can be modified by adjectives such as "airy." The result is an ugly and obviously perplexing way of saying "some exposed moves."
This is truly a splitter post.

JL
Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Rick Blair wrote:Airy swarm = airy swing after typo and subsequent spell check. My best guess.
Nah. Goldstone nailed it. There are definitely directions in multiple guidebooks that say something like "swarm up to the belay/summit/anchors". I've also seen in place of swarm:
march
bumble
stumble
thrash
fight
cruise
grovel
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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