"Your Cams are So Shiny!" - Musings on being perceived a noob.


Original Post
Jeffo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 260

Yesterday I returned to the Gunks for the first time (climbing-wise) in eight years. From 99 to 2003 I spent almost every weekend at this climbing mecca. I lead, I followed, I never bouldered :)

When my son was born, I put climbing on hold and sold my rack except for my stoppers and tri-cams (which, btw, was visibly worn, scuffed scratched, dirty, and beautiful). My son, now 8, and I have returned to the climbing gym and he is getting all into it (and me back into it).

So I bought a new rack this year. And on it's maiden voyage yesterday, not once, not twice, but THREE times I suffered the "your cams are so shiny...look at how shiny your biners are...etc" Sigh.

I wanted to yank out my stoppers and say "loooook....dirtyyyyyy" But no. I just accepted the ritualistic hazing of shiny-gear-people (that I used to dish out myself back in the day).

We do have our little hazings don't we.

Jon Powell · · LAWRENCEVILLE GEORGIA · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 110

I always shoulder sling my rack rather than jamming them in my pack. I was once asked by a day hiker what all my medals where for. Bravery told here ha ha !I think we have all been hacked for a new shiny piece of gear.

r m · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0

Dunno how many other climbers feel the same, but I vastly prefer climbing days where we don't run into anyone.

People taint the experience with their unwanted comments, noise, and clutter, hell just their presence. I didn't wander to this cliff in the middle of nowhere to engage in social interactions with strangers.

I have met some genuinely wonderful people at crags, though on balance I'd still rather they were deserted.

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480

I had a similar experience when I brought out a brand new pair of X Dreams to Pitchoff Right. A lady walked up to me but told me that I bought the wrong tools. She said those tools for drytooling not ice. You beginner, you not know anything, you need partner and rope to ice climb. I thought she was going to have a heart attack when I started climbing.

I'm glad it was a woman. I'm much more respectful than usual so I got to see the humor on it all.

Darren Mabe · · Flagstaff, AZ · Joined Dec 2002 · Points: 3,530

Id rather use shiny gear

BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 340

H8ers gonna H8

Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 268

I have never met an experienced climber who would even care much less comment on the shininess of someone's gear. Maybe if someone was observed doing something stupid it would come into play but really, who cares. Makes me wonder if this is a local attitude.

Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 25
BigB wrote:H8ers gonna H8
+1.

Next time, dangle your dirty nuts right in their faces and tell them to mind their own business.
patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 25

In my experience veteran TRAD climbers have nothing to prove, to themselves or to others. They generally present as humble people. In fact I perceive this to be a trait that is common in TRAD climbing. My belief is that this goes hand-in-hand with the necessary honesty with oneself about ones abilities. In serious TRAD if you aren't honest with yourself about your own limitations then you can quickly end up in trouble.

That is my experience anyway. Having climbed locally with friends and internationally with randoms.

My point is if somebody tries to judge others by the shinyess of their gear then they are a NOOB. I've hung out in Boy'sTown and Huff Village enough to realise you never know whether that cute girl you are talking to is just a bar girl on summer break or a 5.14 climber....

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
patto wrote:My point is if somebody tries to judge others by the shinyess of their gear then they are a NOOB.
+1, although I might replace NOOB with full-of-themselves moron.
Even Honnold and Sharma et al get new gear from time to time.
caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,470

When I was new and so was my gear, I wanted it to be more beat and scuffed.

Now that it's all beat and scuffed, I'd love to have some shiny gear with good smooth action.

A friend had a good story about this. House burned down, lost all their gear. Bought a entirely new rack with the insurance money. Went climbing in the valley. Guy tried to warn them off a route, saying it was too hard for new climbers. A girl sneered at them and called them rich yuppies. Neither is true...

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 525

Next time someone tells you your rack is shiny, tell them that it is a result of superior placement skills.

TBlom · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2004 · Points: 360

Next time someone tells you your rack is shiny, tell them
"you should see my junk!"

walmongr · · Gilbert AZ · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 85

I always love shinny new gear and will proudly shoulder it where everyone can see it and be jealous! Just wear flipflops the true way to see if a climber is a nob or not is by how beat up his toes and feet are from being is climbing shoes that are 5 sizes to small for days on end!!

grampa potate · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 5

What a strange thing to worry about. Stop being concerned with what other people think about you and just enjoy the day.

JPVallone · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2004 · Points: 195
Darren Mabe wrote:Id rather use shiny gear
+1000 infinity mizillions. Me too! Shinier the better. Is that a word? Shinier?
Jeffo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 260
JPVallone wrote: +1000 infinity mizillions. Me too! Shinier the better. Is that a word? Shinier?
I think perhaps "more shiny? :)
Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
caughtinside wrote:A friend had a good story about this. House burned down, lost all their gear. Bought a entirely new rack with the insurance money. Went climbing in the valley. Guy tried to warn them off a route, saying it was too hard for new climbers. A girl sneered at them and called them rich yuppies.
A lot of climbers have this disdainful air of superiority over who they perceive as "tourists" - completely forgetting that for most of them, they are tourists as well. It's not only annoying but unfortunate.
FourT6and2 · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 45

I was up on Mt St Helena, climbing The Bubble a few months ago. I had some new static line I was using for a cordelette and some new lockers for anchor building. I am certainly a noob. But hey, nobody was born with 20 years of climbing experience. We all started at the same point (noobs). But anyway, I'm up at the top placing a top rope anchor when these two other dudes walk by:

DUDE 1: Hey, what are you doing?
ME: Just setting this anchor...
DUDE 2: Look at all that shiny gear...
DUDE 1: You must be new...

They give each other these sly shitty looks and roll their eyes at me.

Yeah, dipshits, my two locking carabiners are new. So what? Did you inherit yours from your great grandfather or something? I bought mine in a store. :D

Brendan Blanchard · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 590
r m wrote: I didn't wander to this cliff in the middle of nowhere to engage in social interactions with strangers.
All your curmudgeon-ing aside...this applies to NOTHING at the Gunks ;)
Jim Fox · · Westminster, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 40
r m wrote:Dunno how many other climbers feel the same, but I vastly prefer climbing days where we don't run into anyone. People taint the experience with their unwanted comments, noise, and clutter, hell just their presence. I didn't wander to this cliff in the middle of nowhere to engage in social interactions with strangers. I have met some genuinely wonderful people at crags, though on balance I'd still rather they were deserted.
I miss the days when it was relatively common to have the crags to myself but that was a long time ago and much harder to achieve nowadays
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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