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Funny Climbing Gym Stories?


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The Blueprint Part Dank · · FEMA Region VIII · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 460

So, last night I was at the ole' BRC and realized that the general collection of humanity at your typical climbing gym combines in some pretty humorous/cringe-worthy ways.

So what's your funniest observation or anecdote from the climbing gym scene?

Long Ranger · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 75

Yesterday at the other gym in town, a lady couldn't make say, the 4th or 5th clip and was yelling, LOUDLY to her partner, that she was going to fall - she was a close to the next clip as you could have possibly have been. they were on like a .10b.

Her partner, who weighed much more than her, decides to crouch down towards the floor for some inexplicable reason. She falls a good ten feet: THUD - sudden, complete stop. It looked painful. She may have actually have blown the clip, I dunno.

To her credit, she got back on the climb, and tried again. Again, yelling LOUDLY that she was coming off. Loud enough that we stopped what we were doing to spectate. Her partner crouches down - again, she falls another good 10 feet, this time catching her foot, and finding herself stopped hard, upside down.

That's about the time my partner decided to tell the employees about how homeboy there doesn't know how to properly belay. It's possible they hadn't gotten certified at this gym, but the employees do check that sort of thing. Anyways, just another day at a college town, surrounded by gigantic alpha males.

The Blueprint Part Dank · · FEMA Region VIII · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 460

Less a story, more of an observation... But at the BRC, in the "annex" bouldering area (a place I refer to as "Bro Beach") I have gotten the distinct impression that there's some unwritten rule that a minimum of 50% of the boulderers are required to go shirtless. Which like, come on, nobody wants your organic, gluten-free body funk all over those holds.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Had to stop a pair of gumbies the other night who were attempting to toprope a lead only arch route. I told them to try looking up...

mediocre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0
The Blueprint Part Dank wrote:Less a story, more of an observation... But at the BRC, in the "annex" bouldering area (a place I refer to as "Bro Beach") I have gotten the distinct impression that there's some unwritten rule that a minimum of 50% of the boulderers are required to go shirtless. Which like, come on, nobody wants your organic, gluten-free body funk all over those holds.
Try PG in Portland. Its a bunch of shirtless dudes in skinny jeans. It's like there's no pride in the world anymore.

I worked at a gym in Seattle for a while. It's not really a funny story, but one day a guy in his 40's or so dropped from the top hold of a bouldering problem. It was a planned fall so it wasn't awkward or anything, probably about 10 feet, but when he hit the pad a loud SNAP echoed through the building. The guy had an open Tib-Fib fracture. What was really strange to me is that I actually had to ask the couple other people bouldering to stop bouldering around this guy whose leg was split open lying in a pool of blood.
Marcelo F · · Oakland, CA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

So many...

Once, a birthday party parent who got inpatient when his kid had to wait his turn to climb with one of our belayers decided to just do it himself. He proceeded to tie his kid into the rope with a giant mess of knots (if you don't know knots, tie lots, I guess?), and belayed him by wrapping the rope around his forearm as the kid moved up the wall. We put a stop to it before he got too high.

Also had an old timer refuse to sign our waiver because of a small clause that said we might have to call an ambulance for him in case of emergency, or something like that. We explained to him that he is always welcome to refuse it, and that since he was signing up for a YOGA CLASS, he probably would never even need it. He tried to scratch out that section from the waiver and turn it in anyway. He walked out angry when we refused to accept his "edited" waiver, saying we were planning to call an ambulance and make him to pay for the charges...

Two college kids started up a top-rope route. The belayer was distracted trying to talk to some girls. Halfway up the route, a long loop of slack had formed and somehow wrapped loosely around the climber's neck without him noticing- just as he began to struggle on the route. One of our employees caught it in time and helped the belayer pull in the slack without choking his climber.

Sometimes I really miss working in a climbing gym. Always full of surprises...

ARonchetti · · Mundelein, IL · Joined May 2011 · Points: 15

My fiance and I are warming up in boulder cave at our local climbing gym. A bro struggles and upper body powers his way up a V1. My fiance, who was about half his size, then gets on the same problem and does it with perfect form. He's still breathing hard and she didn't even work getting up it.

Suppressing the laugh when I saw the look on his face was difficult.

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

I wrote a pretty long report once about the guy and his son who were both climbing in 2 pairs of shorts. The second pair went over the harness and had a small incision so as to tie in.

I can only speculate as to the amount of sin his crotch bulge would have otherwise led to.

The Blueprint Part Dank · · FEMA Region VIII · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 460
Marcelo F wrote:The belayer was distracted trying to talk to some girls.
Which is a good prompt for stories in and of itself. Ladies? Any super cringe-worthy pickup attempts to share?
Mark Finnigan · · Arizona · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 0

Disclaimer: This is not a story, but rather a scenario I've always wanted to witness. I've actually considered doing as a prank just to see the reactions.

Scenario: Walk in the gym sporting your huge (and I mean HEUUUUYGE) trad rack and post up at the bottom of one of the top-rope cracks. Proceed to pull out all your gear like a jackass while discussing with your partner how you aim to learn to place trad gear on top rope so that you can get to the Creek in spring.
Next - and this is important - with socks still on (preferably long white tube socks), put on your shoes. It may also help to have one of those P-cord safety bracelets on as well. Then start to rack up - as if for 70 meters of desert crack - for the 25 ish feet of 5.8 TR gym crack. Be sure to clip plenty of extra runners, alpine draws, belay/rap devices, and your favorite knife too!! Then, pull out your helmet, and with GoPro attached, put on just before lifting off!

I've wanted to see this; perhaps it has happened some place. If so, and anyone has seen, please, do tell. Or, better yet, do it yourself. See how quickly it may become viral on the interwebs.

Altered Ego · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 0

A couple years ago I saw a guy at the BRC top roping with two chalk bags, one for each hand, on each side of his harness clipped to a gear loop. Probably an engineer...

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549

I saw a weird thing at the gym last year.

A teenage girl was climbing on an autobelay. Partway up she fell, and on the way down her foot got caught in one of the topropes. She was suspended upside down, not very happy and couldn't free herself.

One of the regulars, who does hour long aerobic laps on the autobelays, soloed up in his street shoes and freed her before the rest of us could stop gawking.

I was impressed by his quick, effective action.

Jim Amidon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2001 · Points: 880

Geese where To start.....
I think last week a newb belayer clipped one of them counter weight things to their gear loop to help keep her from being pulled thru big boyfriends first clip. When we saw it we alerted said "gym safety person" whom said yea what's the problem??

Let's see been yelled at for lowering partner too fast......

Been yelled at for being "too far away from wall" when top of wall juts out so far u can't see partner clipping or topping out, said gym safety officer you should use verbal commands and stay close to wall..

The insanity all around of the "new generation" of climbers is well maddening love to see anyone of them actually climb outdoors....

Roamin' Buffalo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 50

Random guy in the gym slips off the sit start move of the problem he's on and rolls backward into the knee of the girl walking behind him, dislocating her kneecap. She's crying a little but keeps it together even though its very clear she's having a bad time. A couple folks gather to 'help', including sweaty shirtless bro who crouches down in her space and proclaims loudly to her and the room that he has seen this kind of thing before and if she wants, he can pop it back into place for her right there on the mat.
Her sniffling stops dead and the look of cold rage I then saw on that girl's face still gives me shivers.
Handy gym employee promptly physically escorted bro out of the girl's area.

Amy Fahringer · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 5
The Blueprint Part Dank wrote: Which is a good prompt for stories in and of itself. Ladies? Any super cringe-worthy pickup attempts to share?
A few years ago there was this super sketch guy who would come into to the gym all the time and only talk to me. He would drink beer before and during his workout claiming it would boost his performance (this was a gym on a dry college campus). He invited me to go deep water soloing for the weekend in the middle of nowhere with his super sketch friends. Thankfully I had to go away for 6 months for work and when I came back I never saw him again.
ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 235

Summersville Lake approach is not anywhere near 2 miles it is like half a mile maybe 1 mile if you go to the very end! Go to google maps if u want and you can measure distance on there.

The Blueprint Part Dank · · FEMA Region VIII · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 460
Mark E Dixon wrote:One of the regulars, who does hour long aerobic laps on the autobelays, soloed up in his street shoes and freed her before the rest of us could stop gawking. I was impressed by his quick, effective action.
That sounds like a real ass American hero
The Blueprint Part Dank · · FEMA Region VIII · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 460
Mark Finnigan wrote:Disclaimer: This is not a story, but rather a scenario I've always wanted to witness. I've actually considered doing as a prank just to see the reactions.
Dude, that shit would go viral!
Beau Griffith · · Fresno, CA · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 20

There is a pair of women who are frequently at the climbing gym I go to who wear very showy outfits, don't climb very hard, but make a lot of noise and generally take up a lot of space doing so. They appear to be in their 40s. One of them is a LITTLE bit on the thin side. The gym I go to puts a loop in the top ropes around the spindle to increase friction which, my opinions on that notwithstanding, can lead to pretty serious friction when lowering in humid weather or with an older, slightly puffy rope. I'm on the denser side and I've had to wiggle around a little bit to get the lowering process going.

Anyhoo, one evening I was at the gym with my wife and the thin woman had just sent a route. I was torn painfully from my focus on my own route as she started SHRIEKING "I can't get down!! I can't get down!! I don't weigh enough!!!" As her friend gestured at her belay which had a pretty large whip of slack in it as her climber dangled from the top rope shrieking. I'd say she carried on for somewhere from 1-3 solid minutes (which, a grown woman shrieking, feels like an eternity) before miraculously her thrashing around broke the static friction and she slowly started lowering.

Once on the ground they were giggling and cackling and telling anyone within earshot how the girl was "too thin" to be lowered from the route.

Alexander Stathis · · Athens, GA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 80
Altered Ego wrote:A couple years ago I saw a guy at the BRC top roping with two chalk bags, one for each hand, on each side of his harness clipped to a gear loop. Probably an engineer...
Or, you know, John Sherman...

youtube.com/watch?v=ZLmr-fT…;t=1m16s
simplyput . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 60

There was a dude traversing the roped climbing walls. He came to a 'dihedral' and copped a no hands rest while stemming 12" off the ground, furiously dipping his hands in his TWO chalk bags (one on each hip) and shaking out like a mad man.
He was also wearing mirrored aviators and oversized headphones like a DJ.
My hero.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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