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JayB

"How-to Introduce Your Girlfriend to Climbing?"

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also, it helps if she's actually interested. Dragging her along because you want a "climbing girlfriend" may not work if she's not so inclined. But if she IS so inclined, then it should be fairly simple to introduce her to it.

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Gentlemen, your question is how to introduce her to the joys of climbing. If she needs that much maintenance forever, then this isn't your "partner". If after a few trips, she isn't insisting on carrying part of the load, bringing along some tasty treat, helping with camp, then your investment will not pay off. Find a new person to invest in.

 

Now I carry my share of the load, and often more. I do most of the leading. I research the trips.....

 

In this world, my work takes me away from my husband. The weekend climbs are the glue that binds us. There is no jealousy about climbing partners or trips. We enthusiastically buy all the new toys for climbing. If you want to climb with the boys and get grief from the girl every time your vacation or weekend doesn't include her, be my guest. We'll be the partners swapping leads one climb over, and we'll be keeping each other warm that evening. To each, his own. We also climb with other folks as a group, and that is fun. However, when I'm on the sharp end of something hard for me, I want my husband to be the belayer. That trust is priceless and makes me climb better.

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About the only thing that I have to add (having never successfully introduce a GF to climbing)...

 

Don't expect a woman (or anyone new to the sport) to pull moves the same way that you do. I've been spending time in a university gym lately and it's almost comical to watch 22yo guys show prospective GFs how to pull through easy routes skipping holds and with sloppy dynos.

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Interesting topic.

 

I've found there are "girlfriends" who climb. Just like "boy friends" who climb. They might even turn into a spouse eventually.

 

Nothing wrong with that. But generally a waste of time past letting your spouse have a quick look into the world of climbing. I'd prefer to get paid if I have to teach someone to climb.

 

If climbing is important to you. There are climbers and those that don't climb. Use your time wisely;)

 

You don't need to hold the hand of a climber..man or woman. Although you may want to :) And you don't generally bump into them at the rock gym. A good partner in life or climbing is truly a treasure. For me anyway both take a lot of work and are few and far between.

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Interestingly enough in my case, I think our first climbing "date" was an ice-climbing trip at ~13,000 feet in Colorado, that wound up with us descending ~ 300 vertical feet of spin-drift and verglas coated talus in the dark (forgot one headlamp, and the one that I did pack had a dead battery).

 

The fact that she took it all in stride and was a trooper throughout the entire debacle that I'd gotten us into actually cemented things for more for me than an uneventful trip to a sport-crag on a sunny day ever could have.

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mine says she's not 'coordinated' enough and that the one time she tried indoor bouldering, she sucked at it...I keep telling her I suck too :) ...any tips?

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The reality for most....

 

Girlfriend days, you just treat different from regular climbing days. These days have easier, less committing objectives, and the weather is looking good. You carry more of the shit, you do all the leading, all the rope work, all the logistics. For the most part it's 1 pretty chill day of climbing. This way the tears stay away.

 

My GF doesn't want to climb as much as me, and I think that's a good thing. I'll take her out a couple times a month when the weather is great. She doesn't care to climb without me, as it is more just being together, outside, and doing something rad together. Every now and then she'll want to try something harder, or she wont.

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How to introduce your gf to climbing:

 

"When the weather is nice from July through Sept, I will be climbing almost every weekend and some weekdays. Expect a trip a month or so in the winter, and two a month in the spring. This is what I love. I am mostly free in Novemeber! Get used to it. OK, gotta pack - see you Sunday night!"

 

;-)

 

 

 

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*You know Evan, for a lawyer I am beginning to find you rather annoying.*

 

Girl friends?

I first realised the difference between girl friends and women who climb with my first wife back in 1980. I was slow to the party even back then. And haven't learned a lot since.

 

It became more clear there was a difference when we did a 23 mile round trip hike with a 6000' gain and then 1200' of new cracks up to mid .10 in a day. She was the track star after all and lead trad .11. Not many women leading trad .11s in 1980 that I knew. I was almost always good for at least 5K and a easy 5.10.

 

Some how I had forgotten lunch...but did bring two beers.

On the way out 7 miles from the car in the dark, the tears came. It all seemed OK when we hit the car though. Hell, I hurt too ya know. But asking her to sleep in the car to same some money was the last straw.

 

New route...awesome work out and divorced months later. I'm thinking it was forgetting lunch and the Dortmunder ;) A climber may have cried on the walk out but would have been shit happy we had the beer on the climb and a car to get out of the rain in!

 

I still climb. She and her new husband wind surf. Wankers ;)

 

The dude in the spandex panties? At over 50 he still climbs 5.11 and vertical ice off the couch.

 

P1010807-1.JPG

 

Even if he were a girl I wouldn't marry him. I like mine a little more "pleasant to look at." But I'll still keep him around to climb with.

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No helmet required there.

 

That's what the mullet is for

 

Hullet?

 

The Cook expedition reported that Australian aborigines of the day grew their hair way out front to shade their faces.

 

This might be the same principle at work: a wifebeater can give you a helluva case of redneck without proper protection.

Edited by tvashtarkatena

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Great story Dane. As for the pic of the mullet wearin guy in the panties, the only thing worth noting are the fires. I tried not to notice anything else.

 

For the record my (only) wife was my GF, and my wife prior to my discovery that I was a climber. There's some pretty good advice above about introducing someone to climbing IMO. Never was too good at it myself.

 

I did take my wife rock climbing one time after I had accumulated some experience and decent gear. I led the first pitch (duh) to a narrow ledge about 80' off the deck. Up she comes, struggling with the (slightly) bulgy, (somewhat) smooth crux just below the belay and she makes it with a little coaching. While re rigging for the next pitch and admiring the view of the tops of the pine trees below she calmly asks me "how do we exit from here?", and I say "traverse hon"...

 

All she could think of was who was gonna raise our two kids if we both cratered. She was right of course... Like Dane said, she wasn't into it really... On some of my more committing climbs after that I had to push them all out of my head, to focus on what needed done. Had to let em go lest I psych out and get in trouble. I'm sure it was similar for her at times, waiting at home, knowing something about what I was up to.

 

So, from then on I climbed, we took the family trips etc, and she was cool with that, so it worked. Still works actually, we're still together... The kids are out on their own and I still climb...

 

I'm one of the lucky ones. It can work long term but it's pretty rare.

 

Then there was that time I took a guy friend to Smith Rocks for an intro to rock climbing, he went on and on about how he wanted to try it. So I thought ok, nice and easy now, low 5th class crack, and again, I lead the first pitch... Belay's about 80' off the deck and I swear this guy screams like a girl 15' off the ground "LEMMMEEEE DDOOOWWWWWNNNN!!!!

 

If you find someone who ends up wanting to climb once in a while with ya after the first time or two you have them out, you're money ahead for sure...

 

d

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Avoid the "and then you do this, then this, no no- put your foot here, thats the wrong hand hold, wrong hold i said- you won't be able do anything like that, no keep going- seriously try harder, great... no dont grab the draw- YOU CAN'T grab the draw! I SAID LET GO OF THE ROPE WHILE I LOWER YOU! Hey that was fun, eh?" syndrome and all should be well. :)

 

 

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Rock the permullet and the whole question becomes moot.

 

Do you like to hang out together?

 

That's what counts. If she wants to climb, cool. If not, cool.

 

There are lots of other things to do in the outdoors together if that's important.

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Great stories, Dane!

 

I have a number of girls with whom I climb (no gf though). If I had a girlfriend who wanted to climb a bunch, I'd prefer to let my girl partners take her out for a bit so she didn't have to deal with me pushing and prodding.

 

Random story: I was friends with this girl who said she climbed in the gym. So I asked her if she wanted to go outside one day. I showed up at her house to pick her up, and we chatted for a while before I asked if she was read to go. She was like "wait, you were serious about going climbing?" Gah!

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