Acronyms, Terms, and WTF?

I’ll try to keep a list to help with some of the terms, acronyms, and other such jargon that you may run across from time to time. Let me know if you are curious about any that aren’t listed here.

Avi/Avy: short for avalanche, often in the context of “the Avy risk is too high.”

B&B: Bed & Breakfast

Beta: hiking/outdoors jargon for information about a climb or hike, usually provided by someone who recently completed that trail or route. 

Bucket list: items on your life’s to-do list that you want to accomplish before you “kick the bucket.”

DNR: Department of Natura Resources

Ducky: inflatable kayak, aka a rubber ducky.

GAR: Green Amber Red, a method for calculating risk, also informally adapted as a general check-in for members of a group.

Goose: my nickname for my sister, Emiliesa. 

MG: Mountain Goat (my nickname for Taylor).

MRNP: Mt. Rainier National Park

MTR: Mountain Travel and Rescue, a course offered by the National Ski Patrol focusing on the mountain environment for group safety and performing search and rescue operations. 

NSP: National Ski Patrol

NWAC: Northwest Avalanche Center (

Prusik: a sliding knot that locks under pressure; a friction hitch or knot used to loop a cord around a rope. 

TH: Trailhead (generally the starting point for a hike).

RT: Roundtrip (you measure a hike by total mileage as it’s not successful if you don’t make it back. The exception is through-hikes where a shuttle is needed to get you back to your point of origin).

SAR: Search and Rescue

SUP: Stand Up Paddleboard

WTA: Washington Trails Association (

WTF: What The F*%k (one of many curse-laden expressions common to hikers, especially upon encountering others who are woefully unprepared, seeing something difficult to believe, or more often uttered upon looking at the route you just came up and now have to take back down).