Printed from: https://www.braemoor.co.uk/crolles/vocab.shtml on 18 Feb 2018
Copyright: © 2017 - 2018 John Gardner

Réseau de la Dent de Crolles, Chartreuse


Réseau de la Dent de Crolles, Chartreuse

French Caving Terms

This is a list of French terms often found in route guides and on surveys, together with their translation. Don't forget that words also take meaning from the context in which they are used. I would like to thank Gilbert Bohec and Dagobert L'Ecluse for looking over the list, and for their comments and suggestions. Other comments are also welcome.

A
AboutissantLeading
AccèdeReaches, accesses
accèsAccess to
AccrocheurGrabby, catchy
Actif, activeActive - with flowing water
AffluentInlet
AgrèsRigging e.g. ropes, ladders
AllongéFlat-out, as in crawling
AllureAppearance
AmarrageAnchor point
Amarrage naturelNatural anchor point (e.g. chock stone)
AmontUpstream, uphill
ArroséeWatered (as in wet pitch!)
ArgileuxClayey
Au dessousBelow, beneath
Au dessusAbove, overhead
AvalDownstream, downhill
B
balisebeacon, waymark, taped
Bas(se)Low
bassin d'alimentationDrainage basin
Baïonnette (en)One or more sharp bends in a passage – committing in a small passage
BéquetNatural belay
BiefCanal, pool
BitoniauNatural belay
Bloc coincéJammed block
BoueuseMuddy
BoucleLoop, circuit
BoyauCrawl, gut, low tube
BrocheResin anchor
C
CaillouxStones, pebbles
CaillouteuxStoney
CalcaireLimestone
CanotDinghy
CarrefourCrossroad or junction
CascadeWaterfall
CDS nComité Départemental de Spéléologie, where n is the department number
ChatièreA small awkward passage, or squeeze (literally, cat flap)
CheminéeA rising shaft, generally not very wide
Choux-fleursCauliflower-type deposit on walls – tends to be abrasive
ClocheUsed to describe bell-shaped shafts, or air-bells in sumps
Coincé(e)Jammed, trapped, stuck
CoincerTo jam (as in pull-back rope)
CollecteurStreamway (not necessarily active)
ColmatéClogged, choked
ColmatageClogging
ColorationDye test
ConcrétionStalagamitic formations
Conduite forcéePhreatic passage
ContrebasBelow
CordeRope
CordeletteCord (typically 6mm), typically used for belaying and deviations
CoupeCross section (survey)
Coups de gougeFlow markings
CouléeFlowstone
Courant d’airCurrent of air, draught
CreusementDig
CrueFlood
D
DénivellementVertical development (from highest to lowest points in a cave)
DéveloppementLength
DiaclasePassage associated with a vertical joint or fault
DésobstructionThe clearance of an obstacle in the passage
DolineShakehole
DynamiteBlasted
E
EOn a survey, indicates a climb up
EauWater
EboulisRocks/boulder choke
ÉchelleLadder
ÉcoulementFlow, as in water
ÉcroulementCollapse
EffondrementCollapse
EmprunterTake, as in route
EquiperTo rig (pitch, traverse line, etc.)
En arrièreBehind
En faceFacing, in front
EnjambantStraddling
EntréeEntrance
EntrecoupéeInterspersed
EscaladeClimb
ÉtiageLow water
ÉtroiteTight
ÉtroitureA narrow but passable passage
ExsurgenceResurgence
ÉventOverflow passage, or fossil overflow passage
F
FaibleSmall (as in passage)
FailleFault
FalaiseCliff
Fiche d’équipmentTackle list
Fils de ferTraverse cables
FistuleusesStraw stalactites
FondBottom
ForêtForest
FossileFossil (used to describe passages)
Fractionement / fracRebelay
G
GalerieNormally a commodious passage wider than it is high
GenouillèresKnee pads
Glissant(e)Slippery
GouffrePothole (usually starts vertical)
GrotteCave (usually starts horizontally)
GraviersGravel
H
HumideDamp
I
InférieurLower ('galerie inférieur' = 'lower passage')
ItinéraireRoute
J
JetDrop (as in pitch)
Joint de stratificationBedding between two layers of rock, bedding plane
JonctionJunction
L
LacLake
LaminoirBedding plane passage
LapiazLimestone pavement
LibreFree
LisseSmooth, holdless
LongeCows tails
LucarneRock window
M
Main couranteHand line, traverse line
Mât d’escaladeMaypole, climbing pole
MarmiteDeep circular pool (usually in a stream passage)
MéandreNarrow twisty passage often requiring traversing
Mène, menerLeads, to lead
MousquifCarabiner
MousquetonCarabiner
O
OrageThunderstorm
OppositionTraversing, typically in meanders
P
POn a survey indicates a pitch, with depth
PalierLanding, stance
ParcoursJourney, route
ParoiWall
ParpaingA large precariously poised boulder
PendulePendulum ('pendule à -10m' = pendulum at -10m)
Perd dansDisappears into
Perte d'eauLoss of water, water sinks
Peu deFew
PlafondCeiling / roof
Plan d’eauWater table
PlancherFloor
PlaquetteHanger
PlongeurDiver
PontonnièreChest high waders with shoulder straps
PorcheLarge entrance
ProfondeurDepth
ProlongationExtension
PuitsPitch
PouliePulley
PurgerTo clear debris from pitches
Q
QueuterPinch out, become to small to progress
Quatre pattesOn all fours (crawling)
R
ROn a survey indicates climb down, with depth
RampeSteep slope
RaideSteep / bold
RamperTo crawl
Ras du solGround / floor level
RappelAbseil
RelaisA place on a pitch where it is convenient to rebelay – e.g. ledge
ReliéeConnected, joined, linked
RemonterClimb back up to
RemontantUp - 'galerie remontant', ascending gallery
RemplissageBlockage fill in fossil phreatic passages
RessautClimb (generally downwards) - may require equipping
RognonsChert nodules
RuisseletSmall stream
S
SablonneuxSandy
SalleChamber
Sapins d'argileSediment towers (mud towers etc.)
SangleNylon sling
ShuntBypass (alternate passage)
SilexFlint nodule
SiphonSump
SolGround, floor
Sousunder
SouterrainUnderground
SpéléoCaving, caver
SpitBolt
StrateStratum - layer of continuous homogeneous sedimentary rock
SupérieurUpper ('galerie supérieure' = 'Upper passage' or 'passage above')
SurcreuséOver-deepened (associated with a trench in the passage)
SurcreusementOver-deepening (associated with a trench in the passage)
SurplombOverhang
SurplombantOverhanging, overlooking
T
TerreuseEarthy
TalwegThalweg. The line of a valley floor - typically used for dry valleys
TobogganSlide or chute, as in steep passage, often slippery
TopoSurvey
TraverséeTraverse through a system
TrémieBoulder choke
TreuilWinch
TronçonSection (as in section of a cave)
Trou souffleurDraughting hole / blowhole
TuyauTube, passage with a circular cross section
V
Vagues d’érosionFlow markings
VasqueBasin, pool
VirageBend
VireLedge
VoûteArch (shape of passage roof)
Voûte mouillante / rasanteFree-dive, or duck