Definition of top rope in English:

top rope

(also top-rope)

Pronunciation /täp rōp/ /tɑp roʊp/


  • A rope lowered from above to the lead climber in a group, typically to give assistance at a difficult part of a climb.

    ‘After a few warm-up climbs on the top ropes, I set out on my mission.’
    • ‘Alan and I are going to do our first lead climbing with the security of a top rope, Alan first then I. Everything went better than expected.’
    • ‘In the spring of 2002, on a trekking trip I'd been hired to guide to Everest Base Camp, Jenni and I would rig top ropes and climb with the Sherpas on nearby boulders and frozen waterfalls.’
    • ‘We did a lot of eavesdropping on ‘Mountain Madness ‘out here at enchanted rock, we mooched climbs from them when they would set top ropes.’’
    • ‘Most of time the top of the chimney is at least two foot by four foot. using all of the rocks it is easy to climb to the top and secure a top rope anchor or even just boulder the thing.’
    • ‘There is a larger-scaled wall with top ropes set up, one face of it featuring Entre Prise's ‘Dry Ice’ ice climbing wall.’
    • ‘To round out the day, I set up a top rope on a nearby crack, and offered Meaghan one dollar if she could negotiate the first 5.8 section to a ledge at one-third height.’
    • ‘Climbing on top rope up to Alan's high point I placed a small Chouinard Stopper slightly above Alan's last piece and entered into the crux.’
    • ‘I was thinking like one every 20-30 feet or so… no he free soloed it and set up a top rope for his girlfriend.’
    • ‘Before heading up the top pitch, we set up a top rope on a 23 which Neil worked the moves on and got clean on lead the next day when we came back with the other guys.’
    • ‘Then pull a bight of the top rope trough the initial loop, and continue to the end of the sling/cordelette.’
    • ‘My belayer and I were rookies, green as a pickle but well practised on placing nuts for top rope climbs.’
    • ‘Hot Shot had a top rope on the first pitch that had a dog leg right traverse about thirty feet up.’
    • ‘Benoit hit a shoulder tackle off the top rope, and Henry didn't sell the move, which was a cool spot.’
    • ‘I tried it the first time in Augusta, Ga., and I caught my leg on the top rope.’
    • ‘Basically, they told me I had no business being on the top rope at all.’
    • ‘As soon as I knew it was safe to clean the top-rope anchor so I could rappel, I tested and checked the system another fourteen times before submitting myself to the rope and three bolts.’
    • ‘By this time, you've been going to the gym pretty regularly, you're an ace top-rope belayer, and you've got some good wear on your harness.’

transitive verb

[with object]Climbing
  • Climb (a route or part of one) using a top rope.

    ‘he will top-rope several routes’
    • ‘I spent several days top-roping’
    • ‘As I was lowered to the ground, I let them know it was really hard, and that we should head around to another rock that had a beautiful face just waiting to be top-roped.’
    • ‘It was my turn to lead, and Ryan picked this climb for me; I think it was because he wanted to top-rope a 5.8X next to it.’
    • ‘These ropes can be used for rappelling, top-roping and hauling gear like it's cousin, the static rope, but understand that these practices will put more wear and tear on the ropes and cause them to wear out faster.’
    • ‘When we begin top-roping, a well-fitting harness is the most important piece of equipment.’
    • ‘Climbers I'd gotten to know took me out to a climbing area called Clifton Gorge, where we top-roped some scrappy little cliffs.’
    • ‘The American Alpine Institute offers instruction in sport, trad, top-rope, and lead climbing: $295 / day; 360-671-1505,’