We are now in the phase of the series, where we talk about the next step to take in your journey to start climbing outdoors. We have already spoken at length about picking the right climbing gym and familiarizing yourself with the new world of climbing. If you haven’t read about these yet, we recommend reading them first before proceeding with this article.
Moving on, this article will be able to throw some light on how to meet people and how important communication with these people will be essential. You may wonder why we need communication at this point when you are looking for bouldering and top roping tips here.
But your knowledge of climbing is not going to end here. You are even now half-way through this learning curve. Climbing is more about techniques and communication than anything else.
By communication, we do not mean being chatty. Climbers do not have to be gabby, but you would have to be crisp and know the local language climbers speak as they hang from the icy precipice with your partner/s.
Know the People
This is the first thing you do when you start classes at the climbing gym. Once here, you need to look out for the people around you and learn the skill just like you. So, you may operate as an individual from a big team; for bouldering, you will need to have partners. Why? Because one of you will have to latch on or hook onto the cliff above while the other holds you in position.
All said and done, let us now go deep into this topic and find out steps to take to socialize and find the most appropriate climbing partner for yourself.
Start with Looking out for Partners in the Gym
This is the reason for climbers to opt for the climbing gym in the first place. In the gym, you will meet other people and get to know them. Ask them about their goals and what sort of climbing they intend to do. At the climbing gym, you will get to meet some passionate ones and some who are just climbing without any goal in mind. Observe them, and see how they tackle any obstacle coming across them. Do they pick themselves up or help others in their rope? Cheer them up and talk to know the ways they strategize to handle the problems. Many ignore the front desk people. But they too may have the experience of knowing several things, which might prove to be helpful for you.
Look for Online Mountaineering Community
This is the second way out for finding partners for climbing. Just as you use Google for searching everything else, you may as well look for online climbing or mountaineering communities.
These will present you with options near your location so that you may meet or catch up in person too.
Look for Social Media Buddy Boards
You may be using social media for sharing your workout selfies. But now, you can do more than just sharing selfies with social media sites. You will find mountaineering partners in Facebook communities and groups. Read through the group posts to see what people are talking about and if they are socializing there as well or not. This is a helpful area, and you may even get information about the mountains and cliffs as per difficulty levels. Moreover, there are groups and pages specifically for the female climbers. This is if you plan to join a female as you scamper up a rugged wall.
Join One of the Many Online Clubs
Yes, there are several online clubs for finding partners. These will be the best places to create your profile and list out your strengths and attributes. If you also list out the reasons or attributes you are looking for in your climbing partner, it will be even more helpful. Here, you will have to be cautious about how you want to take these partnerships. Many sites may have members looking for a date or simply a casual hookup with a climber or a person with similar taste. Be clear of your plans and state them in your bio if you have a climbing partner in your mind.
Visit a Climbing Destination
When you visit a climbing hotspot, you will come across fellow mountaineers and mean serious ones. They will be climbing up or preparing to do so. Just meet them at the base or else at the local café and grab a pack of donuts or coffee.
Talk and Learn More about Partners
Now that you have met a person, who seems just like you and has all the traits you seek, say hi! This will be the first big step. See how they respond and how eager they are to work with you in your mountaineering plans. Have a positive attitude and a friendly temperament. You will know the method they intend to use and even the gear they use.
You may even ask for recommendations from your climbing gym trainers. For all you might know, the trainers might themselves seek some partners for their next adventure. On getting a new climber friend, you might develop more passion for climbing up. This will, therefore, be a great motivation for you to scale up. The new climbers will also get the best-needed inspiration when they do not feel like picking themselves up after a fall.
Some of the talks will be about the gear upgrades. Suggest them the harnesses like Mammut Ophir 3 or the handy Petzl Adjama after reading their reviews from sites like The Climbing Gear. The former is great for sporty or traditional climbing, the latter is ideal for belaying.
This brings us to the next topic in this series, on how to go ahead with picking the best gear for you.