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Scum, Scumming

A common crack-climbing technique that uses body parts to create friction and stability against the rock. It involves positioning the body against the wall and incorporating it to make it easier to ascend when there are no useful handholds. The entire body is incorporated in crack climbing as the climber wedges parts of it into spaces to engage the entire system in ascending a space. Scumming alludes to this usage of body parts other than the hands and feet. 

Live Out There Definition:

The act of scumming is the rock-climbing equivalent to dancing to a Pitbull song in a crowded Miami nightclub. It involves creating friction between the body and the rock wall (think: grinding) and the “heat” that's created results in increased stability in the hold (stability may be where we lose the metaphor, as most Miami nightclub relationships are relatively volatile). Scumming positions the body to incorporate more than the hands and feet when ascending a pitch where there are less-than-enough useful handholds, resulting in the climber having to get creative with how they approach a pitch. Implementing the entire body to whatever you’re doing (climbing, dancing) is going to mean that you get more out of the experience, altogether. Take this one from us. We’ve been in both places. Oh, and dress appropriately: you’re going to want to be able to breathe. 

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