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"Your Cams are So Shiny!" - Musings on being perceived a noob.
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Apr 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: it's me
Yesterday I returned to the Gunks for the first time (climbing-wise) in eight years. From 99 to 2003 I spent almost every weekend at this climbing mecca. I lead, I followed, I never bouldered :)

When my son was born, I put climbing on hold and sold my rack except for my stoppers and tri-cams (which, btw, was visibly worn, scuffed scratched, dirty, and beautiful). My son, now 8, and I have returned to the climbing gym and he is getting all into it (and me back into it).

So I bought a new rack this year. And on it's maiden voyage yesterday, not once, not twice, but THREE times I suffered the "your cams are so shiny...look at how shiny your biners are...etc" Sigh.

I wanted to yank out my stoppers and say "loooook....dirtyyyyyy" But no. I just accepted the ritualistic hazing of shiny-gear-people (that I used to dish out myself back in the day).

We do have our little hazings don't we.
Jeff Harmon
Joined Mar 15, 2016
125 points
Apr 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: stone depot
I always shoulder sling my rack rather than jamming them in my pack. I was once asked by a day hiker what all my medals where for. Bravery told here ha ha !I think we have all been hacked for a new shiny piece of gear. Jon Powell
From LAWRENCEVILLE GEORGIA
Joined Jan 23, 2012
115 points
Apr 24, 2016
Dunno how many other climbers feel the same, but I vastly prefer climbing days where we don't run into anyone.

People taint the experience with their unwanted comments, noise, and clutter, hell just their presence. I didn't wander to this cliff in the middle of nowhere to engage in social interactions with strangers.

I have met some genuinely wonderful people at crags, though on balance I'd still rather they were deserted.
r m
Joined Apr 29, 2015
0 points
Apr 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenste...
I had a similar experience when I brought out a brand new pair of X Dreams to Pitchoff Right. A lady walked up to me but told me that I bought the wrong tools. She said those tools for drytooling not ice. You beginner, you not know anything, you need partner and rope to ice climb. I thought she was going to have a heart attack when I started climbing.

I'm glad it was a woman. I'm much more respectful than usual so I got to see the humor on it all.
Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Joined Jul 21, 2012
449 points
Apr 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Darren sticking the second crux move Photo credit:...
Id rather use shiny gear Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Joined Dec 12, 2002
4,103 points
Apr 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: We shall continue with style
H8ers gonna H8 BigB
From Red Rock, NV
Joined Feb 18, 2015
311 points
Apr 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I thi...
I have never met an experienced climber who would even care much less comment on the shininess of someone's gear. Maybe if someone was observed doing something stupid it would come into play but really, who cares. Makes me wonder if this is a local attitude. Rick Blair
From Denver
Joined Oct 16, 2007
376 points
Apr 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: yukon
BigB wrote:
H8ers gonna H8


+1.

Next time, dangle your dirty nuts right in their faces and tell them to mind their own business.
Seth Jones
Joined Feb 17, 2015
39 points
Apr 24, 2016
In my experience veteran TRAD climbers have nothing to prove, to themselves or to others. They generally present as humble people. In fact I perceive this to be a trait that is common in TRAD climbing. My belief is that this goes hand-in-hand with the necessary honesty with oneself about ones abilities. In serious TRAD if you aren't honest with yourself about your own limitations then you can quickly end up in trouble.

That is my experience anyway. Having climbed locally with friends and internationally with randoms.

My point is if somebody tries to judge others by the shinyess of their gear then they are a NOOB. I've hung out in Boy'sTown and Huff Village enough to realise you never know whether that cute girl you are talking to is just a bar girl on summer break or a 5.14 climber....
patto
Joined Jul 9, 2012
25 points
Apr 24, 2016
patto wrote:
My point is if somebody tries to judge others by the shinyess of their gear then they are a NOOB.

+1, although I might replace NOOB with full-of-themselves moron.
Even Honnold and Sharma et al get new gear from time to time.
Marc801
From Sandy, Utah
Joined Feb 25, 2014
64 points
Apr 24, 2016
When I was new and so was my gear, I wanted it to be more beat and scuffed.

Now that it's all beat and scuffed, I'd love to have some shiny gear with good smooth action.

A friend had a good story about this. House burned down, lost all their gear. Bought a entirely new rack with the insurance money. Went climbing in the valley. Guy tried to warn them off a route, saying it was too hard for new climbers. A girl sneered at them and called them rich yuppies. Neither is true...
caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Joined Nov 21, 2006
1,928 points
Apr 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogsti...
Next time someone tells you your rack is shiny, tell them that it is a result of superior placement skills. rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Joined Feb 15, 2008
544 points
Apr 24, 2016
Next time someone tells you your rack is shiny, tell them
"you should see my junk!"
TBlom
Joined Jun 29, 2004
426 points
Apr 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: First Belay Moonlight
I always love shinny new gear and will proudly shoulder it where everyone can see it and be jealous! Just wear flipflops the true way to see if a climber is a nob or not is by how beat up his toes and feet are from being is climbing shoes that are 5 sizes to small for days on end!! walmongr
From Gilbert AZ
Joined Aug 8, 2015
86 points
Apr 24, 2016
What a strange thing to worry about. Stop being concerned with what other people think about you and just enjoy the day. grampa potate
Joined Dec 11, 2011
5 points
Apr 24, 2016
Darren Mabe wrote:
Id rather use shiny gear


+1000 infinity mizillions. Me too! Shinier the better. Is that a word? Shinier?
JPVallone
Joined Aug 25, 2004
215 points
Apr 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: it's me
JPVallone wrote:
+1000 infinity mizillions. Me too! Shinier the better. Is that a word? Shinier?


I think perhaps "more shiny? :)
Jeff Harmon
Joined Mar 15, 2016
125 points
Apr 24, 2016
caughtinside wrote:
A friend had a good story about this. House burned down, lost all their gear. Bought a entirely new rack with the insurance money. Went climbing in the valley. Guy tried to warn them off a route, saying it was too hard for new climbers. A girl sneered at them and called them rich yuppies.

A lot of climbers have this disdainful air of superiority over who they perceive as "tourists" - completely forgetting that for most of them, they are tourists as well. It's not only annoying but unfortunate.
Marc801
From Sandy, Utah
Joined Feb 25, 2014
64 points
Apr 24, 2016
I was up on Mt St Helena, climbing The Bubble a few months ago. I had some new static line I was using for a cordelette and some new lockers for anchor building. I am certainly a noob. But hey, nobody was born with 20 years of climbing experience. We all started at the same point (noobs). But anyway, I'm up at the top placing a top rope anchor when these two other dudes walk by:

DUDE 1: Hey, what are you doing?
ME: Just setting this anchor...
DUDE 2: Look at all that shiny gear...
DUDE 1: You must be new...

They give each other these sly shitty looks and roll their eyes at me.

Yeah, dipshits, my two locking carabiners are new. So what? Did you inherit yours from your great grandfather or something? I bought mine in a store. :D
FourT6and2
From San Francisco, CA
Joined Mar 31, 2015
72 points
Apr 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Obi Wan Ryobi - Darth Vader Crag, Rumney NH
r m wrote:
I didn't wander to this cliff in the middle of nowhere to engage in social interactions with strangers.


All your curmudgeon-ing aside...this applies to NOTHING at the Gunks ;)
Brendan Blanchard
From Boulder, CO
Joined Oct 18, 2010
594 points
Apr 24, 2016
r m wrote:
Dunno how many other climbers feel the same, but I vastly prefer climbing days where we don't run into anyone. People taint the experience with their unwanted comments, noise, and clutter, hell just their presence. I didn't wander to this cliff in the middle of nowhere to engage in social interactions with strangers. I have met some genuinely wonderful people at crags, though on balance I'd still rather they were deserted.

I miss the days when it was relatively common to have the crags to myself but that was a long time ago and much harder to achieve nowadays
Jim Fox
From Westminster, CO
Joined Jun 16, 2014
73 points
Apr 24, 2016
I just want to know how you guys get the rope up there....

Drove right by the Gunk's last summer, headed for the Dacks.

Erebody was cool, but mostly had the place to ourselves. I was kinda amazed, since the Gunk's is apparently packed, costs money, and is full of sneering, snivelling pricks....

Just kidding about that last bit, New York, New York. Two in ten?

I just nonchalantly tell them its the first time I've been climbing outdoors, ever. Just watched some you tube videos and used my REI dividends. The looks of horror are priceless...
StonEmber
From Raleigh, NC
Joined Mar 26, 2013
35 points
Apr 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Colonel Mustard
You should have bought some reclaimed gear off ebay for that fashionably distressed look. Colonel Mustard
From Sacramento, CA
Joined Sep 13, 2005
1,469 points
Apr 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Wolf's tooth
It depends on the location and social circles I suppose. I remember when I purchased my first set of cams I wasn't pestered much. Honestly the only comments I got were mildly envious/curious about new gear and folks wanting to play with new cams...

Then again I learned out near Lumpy Ridge and Vedauwoo, which tend to harbor a different breed of climber. I suspect the reactions would be different if I was starting to learn in a more populated area with easier access.
Leo L.
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Sep 30, 2012
26 points
Apr 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: I'M THE F***ING KING OF INTERNET CLIMBING BRAJ
It would seem that the term "insecure rock climber" is redundant.

Duly noted.
Burcheydawwwwwwg
Joined Jan 9, 2012
1,274 points
Apr 24, 2016
Yes this! ^^^^ SRB25
From Woodside, ca
Joined Nov 11, 2014
5 points


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