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Love of climbing, disdain for climbers.

Original Post
JRZane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 90

Im relatively new to climbing (entering year 4) and as a resident of the Northeast have spent the majority of those climbing years in the gunks or our local poor quality sport crags.  learning to climb traditionally in the gunks, Ive experience more fear falling on bolts than I do my own gear, nevertheless Ive ventured down to RRG twice and am wondering if someone can help give me some insight into my experiences down there.

First trip was with my wife for 4 days, we climbed Muir and PMRP.  By the end, we were making a joke about how many times a day we would either here "this is a good warm up" implying the OTHER climbs they were doing later were MUCH harder.  We also climbed next to a group where a guy swore because he worked at a gym and received samples and pro deals that he was "sponsored by Arcteryx."  These are just a couple select examples that immediately come to mind.

My second trip was Easter weekend.  As you may know it was fairly wet and Day 1 we were stomping my buddies new $250 rope into the mud.  We decided to go to Miguels and potentially split a cheaper rope for the trip and use it as a beater moving forward.  When I asked the worker there if they had any 60m ropes, the response I got from the peanut gallery sitting in the store was "nobody who lives in the Red climbs on a 60" with such a snicker and attitude, me and my partner actually laughed out loud. yes, Im sure there are more than a couple of longer climbs in a place with thousands of climbs, and yes, I understand that sport climbers often chop the first 12' or so, but what kind of response is that? And no, Miguels stocks exactly ZERO 60m ropes. We hung out at the pavilion for about 30 minutes that night before the bullshit spewing from climbers got too deep and we made our escape before drowning.

Ive had my fair share of questionable observations in the Gunks, but this place seems above and beyond the absurd.  I am beginning to realize as much as I love climbing, I don't like climbers.  Am I missing something? Am I just too cynical? What pieces am I missing here??

Tomily ma · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 305

Get ready for some spray! If that bothers you I don’t know if an online forum will be much better.

It’s like anything. Lots of people suck. Those people would still suck if they were knitters; oh man, did you see that newb’s purl? Who even knits with aluminum anymore? It’s not climbing that made them that way.  Just find your people and f the rest. 

Aleks Zebastian · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 175

climbing friend,
when in doubt, the problem it tis not with you, it is most certainly everyone else, myahhhhhhhh.... myah ... myah?

Igor Chained · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 70

Brahj, you just not spraying hard enough.
And WHO in their right minds climb with a 60m???

Just kidding, assholes exist within all lifestyle/sports. Some sports have more than others I guess.

Eric Fjellanger · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2008 · Points: 845

Some climbers can be pretty insufferable, I'll offer two observations:
1. You're on the east coast, IMO spraying is a way of life even for the non-climbers
2. Your stories center on shop and gym employees, who are the worst

Anyway, there are plenty of good folks who are climbers. You can choose who you hang out with. Maybe you just don't want to hang out with the popular kids.

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

Great observations, OP. As a lifelong cynic, I can appreciate the observations.

Russ Walling · · · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 3,416

Locals only braj...

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

First of all, these stories definitely don't apply to all climbers. There are jerks in every group. So don't hate all climbers.

These are good examples of situations where you get to decide how annoyed you want to be.
- "This is a good warm-up": If the person was just telling their own crew that, then there's no problem; they're speaking within their own these-grades-mean-this-to-us world. Ondra and Sharma would say the same thing about 14a's, but it doesn't mean they're dicks; it just means they have a different grade vocabulary than we do. If the person was telling others at the crag in a way that was meant to help them find good climbs, then you get to choose to either take their remark as a helpful way to find good climbs (which it was probably intended to be), or get annoyed. And I say: why get annoyed? Just take the advice, and be confident enough in your own abilities that you don't let others' opinions of which grades are hard or easy bother you. If the person was shouting it to everyone in a bragging way, then...ok, they're a dick.

- "Sponsored" guy: Who cares? Let him think what he wants to think. If it makes him feel cool to call it sponsored, then let him feel cool. Hey, he might even give you a sample.

- 70 meter rope: Again, just take it for the good advice it is. Sure, they could have probably been nicer about it ("Hey, if you're new to the Red, you might want to buy a 70, since a lot of climbs tend to be long."), but it's good advice. They probably didn't mean to be annoying about it.

Bottom line: You get to choose whether or not to be annoyed. So choose not to be annoyed. Try to find the good advice hiding in the bad delivery. And, as Tomily said, just find your people and f the rest.

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

The Zen Master strikes!

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,455

Once you get to really know us "assholes", we are actually pretty awesome. Probably just fucking with you to weed the strong from the weak.

jms · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 0

I feel the same way you do.   

JRZane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 90
Peter Foster wrote: Climbers tend to like other climbers that they know and are usually more wary/judgmental/condescending with climbers they don't know. I think the fact that good rock is a very limited resource that everyone has to SHARE equally without any level of hierarchy or priority makes people kinda seek out their own mental hierarchy--who belongs to be there, who doesn't. Once you prove you belong there/you're a nice person people are usually happy to have you around and talk but I think climbers are very quick to assume you're weaker than them, inexperienced, annoying, dangerous, gonna be clogging up a classic route, etc. Maybe climbing attracts more cynical/introverted types who like to be by themselves/with close friends? Maybe climbers are quicker to judge people and take things seriously because it's a life/death situation if someone does something wrong?
I really like most climbers I have gotten to know, but I still find it sometimes difficult to get along with strangers in the parking lot, at the crag, on a multipitch route, etc.

In my albeit short time climbing, Ive noticed my circle getting smaller and smaller, and weeding out those I don't enjoy being around (inefficient, more concerned about smoking weed than climbing, etc). Ive lost one partner to long term injury and have been climbing with my new guy for about 18 months.  I'm hoping this is a long term relationship.

I guess I have a hard time filtering out the bullshit.  In my neighborhood, you keep your hood up and your mouth shut. period.

the grades don't lie.  Its really easy to sort the stronger from the weaker.
trailridge · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 20

When everyone you meet is an asshole, it is probably not them but you are the asshole. 

H Lue · · Seattle, WA · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 10

Live and let live. 

Peter J · · Ford E-150, wherever · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 145

See, you assume somebody belongs or doesn't belong based on how hard they climb. what "grades" they climb. But that's your SUBJECTIVE opinion! Personally I'd rather be at a crag with stoked, friendly, down to earth people with a genuine appreciation for the rock, the calm location in nature, and refreshing friendships formed through sharing a rope. Who cares if they're thrashing around on the warm-up all day, if they're nice people and they're stoked. If they're crushers but they're assholes, I would rather they weren't there.

Ultra Climber · · Colorado · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 0

The people who ski are better. You should take up skiing.

Also running. Everyone who runs is great.

SeƱor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

Golf is way better. The people are the best.

keithconn · · LI, NY · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 35

Raced bikes for years. Bunch of blow hards!  Surfed for years ... some of the biggest d!(ks!  Forget the sailing wads I’ve dealt with!!!  It’s in every micro group of extreme sports. Most likely those that are the biggest jerks are the most insecure and most threatened by your casual presence. At 45 yrs young I just roll my eyes at this point. Don’t have the time anymore to care!  Climb on and be merry!

Eric Fjellanger · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2008 · Points: 845

Counterpoint: skiers are a bunch of goddamn drunks, and runners have sticks up their butts

keithconn · · LI, NY · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 35
Eric Fjellanger wrote: Counterpoint: skiers are a bunch of goddamn drunks, and runners have sticks up their butts

Think that was the point!

Eric Fjellanger · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2008 · Points: 845

I'm just helping

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Southern States
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