Friend asking to borrow gear?


Original Post
Jordan Sherst · · British Columbia · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

Hi there, I've got a good friend asking to borrow my rope and draws to go sport climbing. My predicament is that this friend is barely knowledgeable on how to do everything alone, the partner he is going with has claimed to "climb multipitch in Italy" and have all the required experience, but Ive never even met him. I don't want to be a dick and say no, but at the same time I don't want to be liable for anything that happens on my gear without me. I just don't have a good feeling about it and I don't know how to say no without a reason.

Michael Fernandez · · San Luis Obispo, CA · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 10

It sounds like you've presented a perfectly good reason to say no. In fact, you shouldn't need a reason to say no other than you don't want to. If you don't feel it, you don't feel it; plain and simple. My advice: follow your guts. Its not a dick move to be concerned.

Micah Klesick · · Vancouver, WA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 3,834

Yea no. If the "experienced partner" is that experienced, he'll have his own gear. 

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 136

Just be honest with your friend. If (s)he is a good friend then they'll understood your concern. 

Jordan Sherst · · British Columbia · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0
Micah Klesick wrote:

Yea no. If the "experienced partner" is that experienced, he'll have his own gear. 

Yea, I questioned that. He said his friend is an exchange student and is about to go back, that is why they want to go climbing. He has gear back in Italy apparently.

Oh well, thank you guys for the opinions, I'm going to do what you all said and just go with my gut.

nathanael · · Riverside, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 204

i can't imagine you could actually be held liable if that's your concern

George Perkins · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 20

Its easy to tell someone to tell their friends no, but in reality it's a hard choice. 

I was just thinking a bit while reading the comments, and I remember when I needed to borrow gear. If I had a friend that I knew had the gear then I was pretty excited to ask. (However, I would always climb with that particular friend).

You telling him no could crush a while of planning and I'm sure his excitement for that particular climb.. 

At the exact same time, that's your gear to do with what you want!

Make him sign a waiver!!!

P.s. Sorry if this didn't help, but I was mostly trying to point out that it's not an easy decision.

Good luck!

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,500

Negatory, ghost rider. I don't lend gear out to gumbies without supervision- I like gear returned intact. I also don't lend out standard gear to local climbers- if you want to climb that bad, buy a rope and draws.

that guy named seb · · Britland · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 0

What's the worst that could happen it's just sport climbing ffs, you break it you buy it that simple. don't be such a buzz kill.

kevin deweese · · Oakland, Ca · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 200

Survivor guilt is a real thing 

Lena chita · · Cleveland, OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 240
Jordan Sherst wrote:

Hi there, I've got a good friend asking to borrow my rope and draws to go sport climbing. My predicament is that this friend is barely knowledgeable on how to do everything alone, the partner he is going with has claimed to "climb multipitch in Italy" and have all the required experience, but Ive never even met him. I don't want to be a dick and say no, but at the same time I don't want to be liable for anything that happens on my gear without me. I just don't have a good feeling about it and I don't know how to say no without a reason.

Ha! I was in a similar predicament recently. A good friend (but someone I have never climbed with before, and probably won't, except maybe in a gym... she is an occasional recreational climber without much outdoor experience) sent me and my husband an excited message: She and her friends were going to go to the Red!!!! But the trouble was, they (about 8 people, I think) only had one rope between all of them... And she figured, if anyone would have " spare ropes" around, that would be us, so could she please borrow a rope for the weekend?

My gut response was, heck no! You could borrow my underwear, if you need some... but not my rope! No way are you going to spend a weekend toproping on my just-bought-it-for-a-trip-to-Spain-3- months-ago barely-used 70 m 9.4mm rope!

My husband didn't seem to have such a strong negative gut response as I did... he thought it would be fine. And he also was the one to think of the fact that we did, in fact, have other ropes, in addition to the two we use currently, and that the third rope was, in fact, perfectly safe for leading still. So that's what we did-- we lent her an older rope.

I think for me the key difference is whether or not I have climbed with this person in the past, and trust them. I have no problem with my regular partner taking my rope (example: I'm taking a rest day, he is climbing with someone else, he needs a full 70 m rope, and his rope has been cut... no problem!) because I know they wouldn't be doing anything stupid with that rope.

Fritz N. · · Durango, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 50

I have no problem turning down these requests. Would you let an unknown friend-of-a-friend borrow your car? My gear is easily worth more than my car.

@seb, if you break a quickdraw or rope, you've probably got more problems coming ... but what if they fuzz up your cord from not extending the anchors on Flight of the Gumblebee 5.6+? Puts you in an awkward situation, not as clean-cut as "you break it, you buy it." 

Apsu · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 5

I would only trust a few of my partners with my ropes. They're people I've climbed with a lot and I know how much they know about taking care of a rope, because they all own their own rope too. Most people who ask me get a 'no', or if it's in a group chat ("hey anyone have a rope I can borrow to take my friends out?"), <no response>.

Brian L. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

If your only reason is, "I'm afraid you'll get hurt" then I think you have no business saying no. These people are (presumably) adults, and can make their own choices. It's not for you to parent them. Worst case they go out and get their own gear/borrow some one else's and climb anyway, and maybe this sours the friendship.

However, if it's a concern about your gear, that's a different story. The comment above about damage/fuzzing up a rope is valid, and potentially affects your own safety down the line. Remember, you're not really lending it to your friend (who you say doesn't have proper knowledge/experience). You're lending it to the unknown "experienced" person they are climbing with.

I'd certainly have a serious discussion with your friend though, and highlight your concerns. You could also offer to go with them, if you're free, and really that concerned.

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 0

I wouldn't let anyone borrow a rope, much less a known gumby and a questionable rando. One of the few non-redundant pieces of the system, relatively easy to damage and argue over need to replace, and can potentially be compromised unknowingly by chemicals. If you want to climb, you need a rope. They are available for purchase locally the same day if you live within driving distance of a sport crag. It's the price of admission. 

A piece of specialty hard goods to an experienced friend like a #5 cam? Sure. 

If this was a very good friend of mine who was strapped for $$ I'd let him borrow a dozen draws if he made the effort to buy himself a rope, but that's pretty basic gear too. If he were this good of a friend though he'd probably be climbing with me. 

David Hous · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 175

I only loan gear to my regular climbing partners and no one else. The suggestion above that you join them is the best idea if you can swing it.

George Perkins · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 20
Brian L. wrote:

I'd certainly have a serious discussion with your friend though, and highlight your concerns. You could also offer to go with them, if you're free, and really that concerned.

Well put Brian.

Jordan Sherst · · British Columbia · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

Wow, thank you all for your responses. I just want to address a few points.

This friend is a co-worker who I climb in the gym with often.

Being held liable is not a concern of mine. Damaged gear is half the concern, mainly because its easy to ruin a rope if you have no clue what your doing.

...and presumably adults. I'm not quite an adult, and my co-worker is younger. Changes the dynamic doesn't it?

I'm going to talk to him today and say I'll lend my draws, and if he wants to go bad enough he can either buy a rope, or buy me a new rope and get my current rope since it's relatively new and good rope. 

Thanks again for everyone's input. It helped me reassure myself that i wasn't being an ass by saying no.

AndrewArroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0

Not sure if this is your primary concern or not. It sounded in your TOP post like you were concerned about your friend's lack of outdoor experience. Which sounds a lot like concern that they're going to do something dumb and get hurt/killed. That's a very real concern. I have tons of gear and would never loan it to someone who I thought wasn't up to the responsibility of climbing in terms of being safe. If your concern is that your gear is going to get damaged I might just be explicit about what that would look like and what your expectations are about his/her responsibilities are if they break or damage your gear. As in, if my rope comes back with a big fray or a core shot you're buying me a new one.

I have a few people I climb with who could borrow any piece of gear I own and I wouldn't bat an eye. After all, I trust them with my life, right. But I wouldn't feel that way about just some random person I know from the gym.

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

I don't lend people ropes. Mostly it's because of the possibility for unseen damage. Sure it's rare as fuck that bad things happen, but a great many people wouldn't blink twice at the notion of throwing a rope in a trunk with a car battery.

Makes me feel uneasy, and it's my damned stuff, so I just say no.

I think you should too, for your own reasons. Ropes are cheap.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply