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Female MP partner-seeking posts...

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,283

Not sure how to answer for the reasons that motivate others.
I occasionally post for a partner when I end up free last minute or I am coming off an injury and don't want to slow down my regular partners.
I naturally get more male responses than female responses and naturally climb with more men that respond than with women.  I'd say the ratio is maybe 4:1 or 5:1 majority guys.
Not too surprising, really.  I suspect that guys outnumber women on the forum by that number, or at least guys seeking partners do.
I'd say when I respond to a partner search, or affirm to climb with someone that responded to my partner request, it is about 3:1 majority guys, which I do think is disproportionately high for women.  So Why?  I am married with a kid (and happily so, so I'd call that taken) and I already climb with women quite regularly, IE: 'J' (a friend and climbing partner since college, 26 years ago), 'K (a friend and climbing partner of over 10 years), and 'S' (friend and climbing partner of several years - with a kind of strange story on how we met - more on that later).  So I'm not for lack of the company of women either at home or at the crag.  Do I seek them out as partners?  Hmmm...  It occurs to me that most of hte men I end up climbing with are middle aged and married too, which is disproportionate as well.  So what's up with that?

Well, In terms of the ads I do not respond to they generally have the following disqualfiers:

1) Propose something really ambitious (I do this with familiar partners, not strangers)
2) Sound like they need a guide not a partner IE: "want to try to follow trad" (Often very young men or women of whatever age)
3) I read their posts in the forums and found something there that I wanted to avoid
4) Want to go project something

Then there are the things I do look for... qualifiers if you will:
1) Sounds like they know how to manage themselves and their gear without any suggestions or supervision.
2) Sounds like they are not interested in 'competing', and would rather just have a relaxing day climbing.
3) Sounds like they want to do multi-pitch trad

I find that in proportion that the list of DQ things effects more posts from Men than Women as a proportion... maybe about 1/2 of the posts I might otherwise respond to as opposed to 1/4 from women.
Likewise, my experience with the women I've climbed with Vs the guys is that they are less likely to suggest doing something really ambitious or asking me to lead something that they want to do but can't.  The number of times someone contacted me with a "let's go do Jules Verne' or 'Let's go do the Naked Edge' when I specify I want to do something mellow is precisely the same number of times I have responded 'OK, if you lead all of the crux pitches' which also corresponds to the number of times the have declined the responsibility and we did not climb together, except for once about 15 years ago when I actually agreed to do The Naked Edge with a guy who promptly backed off of the first pitch and said he wasn't going to lead that day.  After he flailed his way up the pitch, I bailed for the day.  Of the males that I climb with or have considered climbing with, I find I am least compatible with the under-25's and most compatible with the over-40's and that's been true since I was much younger.  Shoot, looking back, my college climbing partners were about 1/2 men aged 40+.  (Dave Smith, Roger Weigand, Lynn Watson, Bruce Collings)  Again, more mellow, less interested in competition, and didn't want to 'project' anything.

A few times area women, and for that matter, visiting ones, have responded and/or written me out of the blue asking to climb.  The out of the blue are mostly people that I've had some sort of interaction with or are friends of friends.  Same goes for guys.  It happens.  One woman I kind of knew, but had not climbed with contacted me looking for a partner for her female friend (that would be friend/partner 'S', mentioned above) since she herself didn't climb much trad, and also asked me to introduce her friend to some of my friends who are also female.  Sounds strange I guess, but 'S' now climbs regularly with 'K', 'J', and myself, and a few other pals, so I guess that worked out just fine.

All in all what can I say?  2 of my 3 most common climbing partners out of the last decade came from kind of random happenings, and they are among my closest friends.  'JA' (not the former 'J') looked me up to connect when he moved here from RRG KY to climb, having met some of the old-timers there and knowing to some degree my reputation and preferences.  We've been climbing together for 15 years or so, literally started a business together, are starting a new business (I am a minority stake) and climb together when he's not working on a particular project or guidebook.  I count him as a close and reliable friend.  He just sport-climbs more than I would prefer to and climbs harder than I do as well.  And then there is 'K' (woman) who responded to a post I made over a decade ago titled 'Bring Out the Gimp!'  On that occasion I posted that I wanted to climb coming off of a severe injury and was looking for a partner who would do all of the work though I was still experienced/safe/married and not looking for a date.  Two women responded to that post and both become close friends. One of them does not climb much anymore due to kids and all... she rides motorcycles now.  Less risky, right?  But I digress... The person who continued to climb (and climb pretty hard) became one of my closest friends over the years.

So my experience with climbing with women has been mostly positive. I suspect that a few that I have climbed with over the years were also looking for a relationship, but that was before I was married and had that stipulated clearly and it was never a problem.  I've admittedly encountered a few women since then who seemed to want more coddling/guiding than real partnership, but no more so than men who showed up wanting the same thing or just drunk/hungover and needing it.  IE: One guy showed up for an alpine climb after a night of drinking and not yet sober enough to call 'hung over' and that was that.  Forget about it or any future plans. I've never had a woman pull that one on me.  

So what's not to like about climbing with Women?  I just make it a point to specify in my posts or replies that age and gender are not issues for me since I am married with a child and just looking for a relaxed day of multi-pitch trad climbing without having to guide anyone.  That's worked out well for me, and if I'm honest in reflection, I thing the "qualifiers Vs disqualifiers" criteria filters the crowd down a bit to a disproportionate number of females.  I guess I am probably more likely to respond to a female partner post by a small margin and respond in the same as I would for any partner, but for the mention that I am married with a kid and not looking for more (just get that out of the way so my intent is clear).  And that lands me disproportionately with middle aged men, usually married with kids, or with women of whatever age most of the time.   I suppose that in terms of 'climbing personality types' there may be a significant overlap in the vectors that influence my choice of partners.

As to how that effects your experience?  I dunno.  My thoughts may or may not apply to other people.  I didn't read your profile, partner request, or other forum posts to see what kind of experiences you may have had.  And anyway, I'm not looking for a partner right now (injured) and sounds like you have all you need.  Best of luck, safe times, and maybe see you out there some day at the crags.  You never know who you'll run into me with, but the odds are it will be a woman. One of my old and dear friends/partners... who some people tend to mistake for a romantic interest. My wife doesn't climb since she is afraid of heights.

Brandon S · · Weehawken, NJ · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 1
Katie Church wrote:

It means that I receive more positive responses than I can realistically climb with, given the fact that I have a job and do other things with my time besides climb. Here's a concrete example: My post I put up last September looking for Gunks partners reaped at least 6 responses from promising-sounding partners. I began climbing consistently with a couple, met other people in person, and schedules didn't line up with some of those people who replied. Hence, I haven't even been able to connect with some of those who responded.

Didn't read the whole thread but I've posted looking for partners in the Gunks before and 6 responses is not unusual. Just a popular area.

wonderwoman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 88
Lena chita wrote:

Hahaha! I definitely had some awkward unsolicited messages from guys on RC, though I wouldn’t describe them as deluge. The verdict’s out, you are are way more hawt!

Not true!  I think everyone has a thing for the real ‘Wonder Woman’.  It’s all about the screen name!

Katie Church · · DENVER · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 5
Lena chita wrote:

So? She got 4 responses... Anecdotes are not statistics. Here's a recent example, too:

A guy asking. 3 guys responding. And I responded to him also via PM, so he got 4 replies, same as the lady in your example.

Most of my replies came in PM form, which the public can't see. And I just went back and counted based on emails I saved, and I received 9 or 10 responses. 

Katie Church · · DENVER · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 5
Tony B wrote: Not sure how to answer for the reasons that motivate others.....  She is afraid of heights.

Thanks, TB, for this blessing this thread with your thoughts. Just the other day, my friend and I informally dubbed you the King of MP whilst talking about this forum (on our way down to the SPlatte)...

doligo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 269
Katie Church wrote:

Most of my replies came in PM form, which the public can't see. And I just went back and counted based on emails I saved, and I received 9 or 10 responses. 

How do you know that guys are not getting private messages as well?  

Klimbien · · St.George Orem Denver Vegas · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 480

Short answer: When I ask for partners, only women have responded.

Long answer:  Just an observation to share. Ive been working in Las Vegas for a few winters now and the ice doesn't always come in this far south, but there are a few lines to jump on in Red Rocks when the conditions are right and a few up around Mount Charleston. Every time I've asked for an ice partner, only women respond. In order of importance, i run this list. 1- do you climb ice? 2- Do you lead ice? 3-Do you have boots? (happy to share tools, have extra crampons, but footwear has to fit and Im not sharing mine like I used to back in the day, it was a circus, one set of boots/crampons, 2 climbers, climbing multi-pitch ha ha) 4- scheduling? when can this happen? Is partner willing to wake up early and leave b/c Southern Nevada ice has to be climbed early. That's it, thats the list.  My wife typically climbs with me, but we both work, and ice is finicky - ice can be in today, possibly gone later in the day. So when my awesome wife can't come, is pregnant, isn't feeling it that day, I've thrown out a partner request - every time, the only people to respond yes with items 1, 2,  3, and 4 have been women. So it goes both ways.

To be clear though, I'd climb Rock/Ice/Mountains with anyone that is capable. My desire to climb rocks isn't sexist - any homo sapiens with the appropriate skill set will do.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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