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Thanks to MP, Partners found! A Feel Good Tale...

Original Post
Buddy Smith · · GA · Joined May 2017 · Points: 40

Thanks to the Mountain Project site, I was able to find a partner for a trip to Lost Wall from Atlanta on Monday the 17th. I posted for a partner and received a reply from a guy who had been in the gym and wanted to get out on real rock. I have a rack and all gear for anything, but have been out of the game for several years. I've been in the gym twice a week since November, and had been to Lost Wall twice in the prior month. We decided that we could toprope a bunch of routes and then play with some gear: build anchors, play with placements, etc., while safely on the ground. We planned to meet Monday morning and go for it. On Sunday night, twelve hours before go time, I saw a message from another person who was looking to get out. Inside of an hour we worked out the details and the game was on. Met at my place in the a.m., with new climber guy driving and late add-on guy Ubering from his hotel (for $30!!).We had a two hour drive to get to know one another and discuss what we wanted to accomplish. The add-on guy, Randy, is an accomplished climber in town for a month to work on a Netflix show and brought his rope, harness, and shoes and draws in hopes of such a meeting. The new guy, Brad, had gym gear and draws, and I had the other rope and the rack. Randy leads confidently at 5.9+ on trad, so we used him as the leader slave to set ropes up and down the crag. He did a few TR solos while Brad and I TR'd a couple of other things. I was anxious to follow the trad leads and refresh on placements (haven't led trad in 17 years) and cleaning. We did some 8s and 9s and TR'd a 10a face. The rock was wet everywhere we climbed, but no one whined about it and we had a blast. We finished on a 5.7 that I had my eye on as a first-in-a-long-time lead. Randy led it up and when back on the ground he said, "Dude, you HAVE to lead that! It's perfect for you!" "I don't know, man, maybe I need a few more weeks to do some more mock leads and practice." Randy said, "You've cleaned two of my routes and done two mock leads today. I've watched you do cracks, off-width, an micro edge faces. This is the perfect lead for you!" I decided to TR the route once and see what it's about and when I returned to the deck he pulled the rope and said, "Your turn." I was nervous (scared as shite) and got on with it. It was awesome. Great end to an amazing day. 

The best takeaways from this day with new partners were these: 1)Everone was cool! Brad was anxious to try everything, and he was awesome on everything. He went at every climb with no fear and didn't give up on anything. Randy was well accomplished but very tolerant and helpful to the new and returning climbers. 2)No whining! Every route was wet. At five in the afternoon it started raining, and no one even flinched. No one suggested quitting, we just covered the gear and stood in the rain until it stopped. It rained again as I was halfway up a crack but we just climbed on. There were mosquitos, ants, and heat. Georgia in July, in other words. 3)We all learned a lot. With no egos in play we just watched it all, tried it all, and asked and answered all the questions we wanted without fear of embarrassment or looking like an idiot. No forum trolls to roll their eyes or tell us how they do it in the gunks or the creek. No one yelling YGD if we did something different from the others. we talked it out and made sure we were safe and had fun. 4)I'm back on lead!! I was thinking that it was going to be a few months before I was ready to get on the hot tip again, but with encouragement and coaching I am back on the sharp end. 5)I met two cool dudes who will continue to climb with me. We're hitting Sandrock tomorrow and I've got my sights set on two leads. Randy is looking at Comfortably Numb 5.9+, and Brad is looking to mock lead, clean, and possibly lead his first. Can't wait!

Sorry to get long winded here, but after reading threads with trolls and critics and whiners (except OLH), I was excited to share a fully positive experience that couldn't have happened without the MP forums. At 52, I'm totally psyched to be back on the rock and feeling strong again. Now I just need to win the lottery so I can scoop up all the great gear deals in the sale section...

Climb on cats and kittens! Cheers!

JaredG · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 0

I'm diggin your stoke, Buddy.  I had an awesome MP partner-finder experience last weekend too.  We met for the first time in person at the base of the cliff.  We ticked 3 multi-pitch Tuolumne classics in 2 days.  In our case there was plenty of whining on my part (wet cracks, aching toes...), but Mike seemed to take it all in stride.

Sean Sullivan · · Boise, ID · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 65

MP has come through for me more times than not.  Just moved to Boise from NY and have already climbed with some great partners at the Black Cliffs and Slick Rock, gotten advice on best neighborhoods to live, best places for a brew or a bite...heck, I've even had folks help me haul some heavy furniture up three flights of stairs.  Good times!

Lena chita · · Cleveland, OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 735

Nice! For what it's worth, I had only one bad experience finding a climbing partner online. The rest (many) have been awesome.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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