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a bad climbing partner experience


Original Post
FY · · Boston, MA · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 15

I learned my lesson: Next time, say "excuse me" early and get the hell out!

Seth Cohen · · Concord, NH · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 50

Sounds like you saw all the red flags the first time out. Or at least by the second time. I understand the need for partners during the week, but the only thing you could have done differently was never climb with her again after the first or second time.

To your credit, it sounds like you handled things as patiently and fairly as you could have, given that you were already out with her.

By the way, if you want midweek partners, find the "Rumney Climbing Partners" group on Facebook and request to be added. I know that doesn't solve the problem of having to climb with someone random, but at least that gives you another place to look.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

If she wanted to leave her draw on the route, you didn't have to clean it. You chose to clean that one route, so you can't really hold that one against her.

Sometimes, you meet people that just don't work out as partners. It can be because of an ability mismatch, safety concerns or a personality clash.  You sound like a concerned, conscientious person, but I wouldn't spend too much time overanalyzing it. You'll find other partners.

Sean Peter · · IL · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 40

I read that whole post. 

FY · · Boston, MA · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 15
Sean Peter wrote:

I read that whole post. 

I would have too! Entertained much?!

Dave Kos · · Temecula, CA · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 55
Sean Peter wrote:

I read that whole post. 

I just scanned the text, pausing on the WTFs.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

I read the whole thing. Do I get a medal? It was like watching all the seasons of a miniseries in one sitting. :)

FY · · Boston, MA · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 15
FrankPS wrote:

I read the whole thing. Do I get a medal? It was like watching all the seasons of a miniseries in one sitting. :)

you can ask her for a reward belay if you'd like...

Cindy · · Lafayette, CO · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 20

Climbing partners should feel easy to be with, certainly not wtfing constantly.  When it's not working, it's not.  Move on so you both have a chance to find someone more compatible to climb with. Nothing you said sounds like you were mean.  It can feel awkward or uncomfortable, but the sooner you let it go the sooner you can find a better situation.  

JSH · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 960

There's a key bit of information missing here -- what is her prior experience level?

If she's a novice or relatively new, and you're the Experienced 5.12 Climber, I can almost get to sensing that she's inexperienced and intimidated, trying to keep appearances/words up, and utterly unaware of how that affects you. Almost. If she is novice, then she needs some stern mentorship, and if she's not willing to listen or change her approach, then ... 

If she's sold herself as experienced on several continents, then your WTFs are correct.

But I'd echo Seth above .... not sure that you should have gotten to day 3.  You might have better luck just showing up to the parking lot if the weather is good, the internet is too easy to blather around but the parking lot is where the real people show up.

There's also a sense here that you are perseverating on this, and I'm not sure what to say about that.

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

I'm glad I don't have to climb with either of you. 

If you don't get along with a partner or don't approve of his/her practices, just don't climb with them anymore. 

Where do you get off giving her unsolicited advice, verbally attacking her, and then slagging her on MP?

normajean · · Reading, PA · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 100
FY wrote:

Recently I had a very bad climbing partner experience and it's bothering me a lot so I am sharing it here to see another perspective, for or against me.

Why? It sounds like you are second guessing yourself. But you don't even have to be rational.It's not like marriage where you have made a commitment in front of family and friends and feel like you should try hard to make it work. Just hop on the bus, Gus! (Simon and Garfunkle in case you are not a fan)

FY · · Boston, MA · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 15
Mark E Dixon wrote:

I'm glad I don't have to climb with either of you. 

If you don't get along with a partner or don't approve of his/her practices, just don't climb with them anymore. 

Where do you get off giving her unsolicited advice, verbally attacking her, and then slagging her on MP?

a bit harsh, but one thing you are right...next time for sure i'd just peace out. 

FY · · Boston, MA · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 15
JSH wrote:

There's a key bit of information missing here -- what is her prior experience level?

If she's a novice or relatively new, and you're the Experienced 5.12 Climber, I can almost get to sensing that she's inexperienced and intimidated, trying to keep appearances/words up, and utterly unaware of how that affects you. Almost. If she is novice, then she needs some stern mentorship, and if she's not willing to listen or change her approach, then ... 

If she's sold herself as experienced on several continents, then your WTFs are correct.

But I'd echo Seth above .... not sure that you should have gotten to day 3.  You might have better luck just showing up to the parking lot if the weather is good, the internet is too easy to blather around but the parking lot is where the real people show up.

There's also a sense here that you are perseverating on this, and I'm not sure what to say about that.

She told me she had been climbing on and off for a few years. Not sure I'm perseverating but I've never had this kind of experience in climbing before...definitely never made any partner cry. 

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 290

As long as your first post was, there's a lot you aren't saying.

First and foremost, there is clearly a significant difference in your climbing abilities.

I'm willing to wager you are also taller than her, which means you perhaps climb faster than she can keep up. If you are short roped repeatedly, you should have a clue why, or try to find out. 

Then, off you go to Rumney. You have a bunch of ticks there. Had she ever climbed there before, or even on similar rock? 

You said "you got along well otherwise" and later, you were sharing a cabin.

All of this suggests she was perhaps trying, but in over her head, with new people in a new place, and you come off as not exactly unkind, but not very encouraging either.

And. You decide to publicly discuss this, which isn't exactly an epic, not by a long shot, and jump right in with jokes at her expense. More people than her will know this is about her, and now she's stuck with that. Forever.

Frank, you should get a medal. This is no Game of Thrones.

Best, OLH

ClimbingOn · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 405

I recommend deleting this post. It's not too difficult to check your posts (when you posted as climbnplay), then look at your ticks, and match up who else ticked the routes. Took me about two minutes to figure out who the "unnamed person" is. Honestly, lesson learned for all involved here and posting this is only going to make the situation far worse.

We've all had bad partner experiences. It sounds like you both now have a "bad partner" story. The Internet is not the place to disseminate it.

FY · · Boston, MA · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 15
Old lady H wrote:

As long as your first post was, there's a lot you aren't saying.

First and foremost, there is clearly a significant difference in your climbing abilities.

I'm willing to wager you are also taller than her, which means you perhaps climb faster than she can keep up. If you are short roped repeatedly, you should have a clue why, or try to find out. 

Then, off you go to Rumney. You have a bunch of ticks there. Had she ever climbed there before, or even on similar rock? 

You said "you got along well otherwise" and later, you were sharing a cabin.

All of this suggests she was perhaps trying, but in over her head, with new people in a new place, and you come off as not exactly unkind, but not very encouraging either.

And. You decide to publicly discuss this, which isn't exactly an epic, not by a long shot, and jump right in with jokes at her expense. More people than her will know this is about her, and now she's stuck with that. Forever.

Frank, you should get a medal. This is no Game of Thrones.

Best, OLH

We are the same height? More or less I guess.

She only short-ropes when i'm clipping, meaning I often have to pull up rope slowly. Like I said, not a big deal, just a small annoyance. And we did figure out it was because when I clip, she fed the rope in very small lengths, and it was a habitual thing. 

Yes, she has been to Rumney several times before we went. 

We shared my friend's cabin as it was just a place to spend the night. We are not physically/romantically involved in any way - only met her for climbing. 

I decided to publicly discuss this because this was a strange and new experience for me. I guess I'm allowed to bring this up - I did omit as much of her identity as I can (nationality, age, name etc.) 

FY · · Boston, MA · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 15
ClimbingOn wrote:

I recommend deleting this post. It's not too difficult to check your posts (when you posted as climbnplay), then look at your ticks, and match up who else ticked the routes. Took me about two minutes to figure out who the "unnamed person" is. Honestly, lesson learned for all involved here and posting this is only going to make the situation far worse.

We've all had bad partner experiences. It sounds like you both now have a "bad partner" story. The Internet is not the place to disseminate it.

Good point. I probably will delete it. But I can tell you with 100% confidence that she is not on MP so she is definitely not who you think it is. 

ClimbingOn · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 405
FY wrote:

Good point. I probably will delete it. But I can tell you with 100% confidence that she is not on MP so she is definitely not who you think it is. 

Then definitely delete it before it becomes a complete shit show.

sherb · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 60

The problem sounds like a personality clash.  I've had climbing partners with way worse personalities before.  I'm not going to say what, because the person will recognize her actions on MP.  At first I thought you were just airing dirty laundry, but now I think you are posting because you feel guilty on the way you treated M, because of the way you feel for J.

My interpretation of the events is (reading between the lines of the long-winded narrative), M felt inadequate being the dopiest climber of the bunch, as well as the 3rd wheel.  
  Example 1: J made a dig when she said "she didn't feel comfortable watching her climb (it made her nervous) so she would wait for us at the car"
              A) J did not have to watch her climb.  She could browse MP on her phone or just lie there with her pack as a pillow, enjoying nature, instead of a passive aggressive "I'll wait at the car."  Implying that M was a disaster, and acting impatient.  If M did hurt herself climbing, J would have known about it sooner or later (eg when you ran to the car).
               B) if I was climbing in a party of 3 and one of them was truly climbing "dangerously" with leg behind rope all the time and grabbing draws as an accident waiting to happen, the kindest thing to do is NOT leave to the car.  That is not showing J is a very empathetic person at all.  Quite the opposite.  The kind thing to do is to help with observations "hey your leg is behind the rope" or by standing by, ready to help.  If something were to happen, a 3rd person would be helpful in going to get help (showing rescuers where to go) while the other uninjured person stayed behind with the injured person.

   Example 2: You and J planned to make dinner together. Obviously excluding M.  Now she's the 3rd wheel.  Were you guys ganging up on her?  With your references to "J in the backseat" (because you preferred her to be in the front?) and "J ended up not being able to make it to our friend's cabin where we spent the night (I understand...)" I almost get the feeling you had a thing for J and are blaming her departure on M, thus being extra annoyed at M for "M tried to make some small talk but I was fairly brief in answering."  

I feel bad for M.  She's like a little dog, puffing her little chest out and showing you 5.12 climbers she can do it too!  then getting cold water poured all over her.  However, she shouldn't have eaten your avocado and shouldn't use the meritless "lack of empathy towards women" argument to shame you.
You should have just quietly faded away aka "ghosting."

FY · · Boston, MA · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 15
sherb wrote:

The problem sounds like a personality clash.  I've had climbing partners with way worse personalities before.  I'm not going to say what, because the person will recognize her actions on MP.  At first I thought you were just airing dirty laundry, but now I think you are posting because you feel guilty on the way you treated M, because of the way you feel for J.

My interpretation of the events is (reading between the lines of the long-winded narrative), M felt inadequate being the dopiest climber of the bunch, as well as the 3rd wheel.  
  Example 1: J made a dig when she said "she didn't feel comfortable watching her climb (it made her nervous) so she would wait for us at the car"
              A) J did not have to watch her climb.  She could browse MP on her phone or just lie there with her pack as a pillow, enjoying nature, instead of a passive aggressive "I'll wait at the car."  Implying that M was a disaster, and acting impatient.  If M did hurt herself climbing, J would have known about it sooner or later (eg when you ran to the car).
               B) if I was climbing in a party of 3 and one of them was truly climbing "dangerously" with leg behind rope all the time and grabbing draws as an accident waiting to happen, the kindest thing to do is NOT leave to the car.  That is not showing J is a very empathetic person at all.  Quite the opposite.  The kind thing to do is to help with observations "hey your leg is behind the rope" or by standing by, ready to help.  If something were to happen, a 3rd person would be very helpful in going to get help (showing rescuers where to go) while the other uninjured person stayed behind with the injured person.

   Example 2: You and J planned to make dinner together. Obviously excluding M.  Now she's the 3rd wheel.  Were you guys ganging up on her?  With your references to "J in the backseat" (because you preferred her to be in the front?) and "J ended up not being able to make it to our friend's cabin where we spent the night (I understand...)" I almost get the feeling you had a thing for J and are blaming her departure on M, thus being extra annoyed at M for "M tried to make some small talk but I was fairly brief in answering."  

I feel bad for M.  She's like a little dog, puffing her little chest out and showing you 5.12 climbers she can do it too!  then getting cold water poured all over her.  However, she shouldn't have eaten your avocado and shouldn't use the meritless "lack of empathy towards women" argument to shame you.
You should have just quietly faded away aka "ghosting."

Interesting scenarios, but we just met J in the car park as she was hoping to get in a few routes. It was her last day in town as she was heading out on a road trip with her boyfriend. So, no popcorn for you. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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