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Finding a mentor
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rosemom3


May 1, 2005, 10:35 PM
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Finding a mentor
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So I need some advice. I am planning on spending a good amount of time this summer at Rifle, Independence Pass, and Unaweep Canyon. I am looking for a mentor, slash climbing partner who is better than I am and will gently push and teach me to lead (and TR) better than I do now. I led a 5.9 at Ice Cream Parlor last weekend and a 5.7 and 5.8 trad route and a 5.9 at Indian Creek. That is the most leads I have done in one weekend for awhile. It was great. I was totally psyched. So I want to try leading the 5.10's this summer at Rifle and TR (clean) some 5.11's while pushing myself to 5.9 in Unaweep and 5.7-5.8 in Aspen. I need - not just to climb more because I can always find someone to climb with. I want a regular someone who is into mentoring. I would have posted this in the partners section but I tried this last year for Moab and got no takers. Does anyone have any advice besides that for how to find such a person?
Tracy


Partner happiegrrrl


May 2, 2005, 8:23 AM
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Registered: Mar 25, 2004
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Re: Finding a mentor [In reply to]
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Maybe others have some advice as to how to find a mentor who is available when, where and how you need them. If so - please realize you have a "get rich quick" scheme on your hands and can sell that information to a plethora of us, at whatever price you are seeking.... Booty, Beers, Boytoys - name your asking price; we will be lining up! hahahah......

Seriously, a mentoring relationship is a personal dynamic, and since every person is unique, I don't know if there are any "sure-fire" methods of getting that magic genie mentor to come out of the bottle.

For me, and keep in mind I have only been climbing one year(had my 1 year "real rock" anniversary this weekend!), I was not able to get that one special person/ mentor to show up, though I fully believed life would be just so much more pleasant that way.....

This year I have forged a relationship with someone who really is mentoring me. Alas, he lives half a country away, so of course I have many others I climb with nearby.


In the beginning.....

I hired guides to show me the way when I realized that it is actually a pretty big thing to be wishing for, that mentor. And I listened, watched and asked questions of EVERYONE I climbed with, and even those at the next line over. I was grateful to everyone who took me out, and still am to those who continue to do so. And I accepted that I was getting my mentoring piecemeal. Once I realized that, the thing became a beautiful mentoring mosaic, with peices being added regularly. An interesting thing about this process has been seeing how different people handle the same situations, and the various techniques they will use. Also, the variations in safety/ethics/style and such.... verrrrry interesting!

But, some things I have *heard* make a person more attractive as a mentor patient are:
- Bring a positive attitude
- Be prepared to assist, offer to do so and anticipate your partner's needs so you don't have to be told
- Find out their way of racking and gear transfer preferences and then follow them
- Give good belay

I am sure others will have suggestions too. As to logistics such as where to find the person, maybe someone will have some ideas, but I have to say it always strikes me as a bit off to see an "I want a mentor!" request, if only because neither of the parties has met the other yet. I don't know - certainly there are people who get immense enjoyment out of bringing up someone, but I think they have seen their share of potential mentor patients, and would be more apt to allow the relationship to develop, rather than to commit to the deal on a cold-call.......


rosemom3


May 2, 2005, 8:57 AM
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I have had a couple of mentors so far. One was this great guy named Asa who taught me how to lead climb. Made me start with just nuts, hexes and tri-cams. I think he just really liked teaching. (He quit climbing and got into scooters and making coffee).
I do follow the whole - will carry ropes, extra gear, will rack your gear, very patient belay with an emphasis on safety ( I catch very well regardless of style and size) will cook.....
One of the mentor/guys I climbed with totally trained me to rack like he racked and to ask a guy exactly how to re-rack his gear. (He got married and just had a baby).
I think part of the problem is that it's easier to find mentors when you're starting out then when you get a little better. But I totally appreciate your input - Thanks!!
I think I thought (upon posting) if I just put this out into the universe it might bring better results than me just wishing for a new teacher.


clee03m


May 2, 2005, 9:46 AM
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I think guides tend to be great teachers. I love it because it is one day when I am the focus and they are there to really teach me. Very expensive, though.....but worth every penny.


unabonger


May 4, 2005, 2:56 PM
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I'll second the recommendation for a guide once in a while.

In the old days, wait, where's my cane...

Anyway, in the old days of a smaller climbing community beginners often got brought along by informal mentoring and partnering up with various people just because things were simpler--climbing wasn't splintered into sport, traditional, gym, bouldering. The community was somewhat more closely knit. The noobs were noticed, and if they displayed the necessary mix of determination, ability, enthusiasm, and high quality reefer, they were absorbed on an ad hoc basis. I love saying ad hoc.

Now I think guiding has a place for relatively experienced moderate or newish climbers that want to learn a bit outside their own scene but don't know where to turn. Climbing with your own peers, you might not get exposed to new tricks, tips, techniques. I haven't climbed with a guide, but I've picked a few guides brains about things, and they are usually (get references and check them) adept and can show you new things.

When it comes to some places, like Rifle, you can show up and meet people easily, and soon you trade belays on the climbs you want to do. Climbing happens shoulder to shoulder with others nearby, so the group serves a mentoring role. Especially if you show up with the right mix of ability, reefer, or good looks.

UB


butterflyinthewilderness


May 6, 2005, 11:32 PM
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My problem is not the finding of a person to climb but a person who is willing to take me out with out an adult. I am 15 and no-one wants the responsability of taking me out, my parents don't climb and it sucks. Even my local wall won't let me go up there alone. This means i can only go in the holidays to courses. :( IT'S NOT FAIR! i don't understand the no climbing on the wall until you're 18 policy, why can i go out and get smashed, smoke and drive around in a car yet i can not climb a crummy 4m wall? :evil:


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