WMC Glossary of Hiking Terms

Here is a glossary of hiking terms and abbreviations. The terms that are in all caps are used in hiking activity titles in the activity calendar and in The RAMBLER, the Club's newsletter.

NTD An easy hike ("Not Too Difficult"). Traditionally, a hike whose rating is between 0 and 4 on a WMC hike ratings system.
MOD A moderate hike. Traditionally, a hike whose rating is between 4 and 8.
MSD A difficult hike ("Most Difficult"). Traditionally, a hike whose rating is 8 or above.
EXT An MSD hike with special requirements, such as an ice axe or serious exposed scrambling.
EVENING A hike in the evening. Traditionally a weekday evening hike that leaves at 6:15 PM or 6:30 PM and returns by sunset. The weekday evening hikes often attract large groups. Although these hikes are relatively short, the pace can be vigorous.
AFTERNOON A day hike that leaves in the afternoon. Most day hikes depart in the morning.
MOONLIGHT A hike that finishes after dark, with help from a full moon and from flashlights or headlamps.
TURTLE A hike with an especially relaxed and gentle pace.
DOG Members' well-behaved dogs are permitted on the activity, with the consent of the organizer.
FAMILY Children of members may participate in the activity with the consent of the organizer. The member must accompany their children and must sign a special waiver.
CAR CAMP An overnight trip where you carry the camping gear in your car.
BACKPACK An overnight trip where you carry the camping gear on your back in a pack.
Organizer The person who organizes a particular hiking activity. The organizer determines the nature and destination of the activity, determines the meeting place and time for the activity and signs people into and checks them out of the activity.
WMC The Wasatch Mountain Club.
Release Form A liability waiver that everyone must read and sign before participating in a Club hiking activity -- NO EXCEPTIONS. It serves to remind hikers that hiking has inherent risks and dangers.
Register To contact the organizer of a hiking activity to get permission to participate. Hikes may require registration for many different reasons, such as limits on group sizes or the need to assess your skills and/or your gear.
Limit A numerical limit on the number of participants in the activity. The number normally excludes the organizer. The Forest Service, the Park Service and other agencies often have headcount limits on hiking groups in certain areas. You may be turned away from an activity or put on a wait list if the group size has reached a limit.
Exploratory The organizer may be testing a new destination or route on this activity.
Route Finding An off-trail hike may require searching for good routes on this activity.
Bushwhacking An off-trail route may go through thick brush on this activity.
Scrambling A hike that requires you to use your hands on rock for balance or security. Technical rock climbing is the province of the Mountaineering program. A hike with scrambling is by definition non-technical (class 3 or maybe class 4 at the most).
Exposure A hike with exposure has route sections where a fall could cause serious injury or death. Avoid hikes with exposure if you have a fear of heights.