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styleboy


Nov 19, 2006, 5:06 PM
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Getting the girlfriend into climbing.
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Hey ladies. Well I'm trying to get my girlfriend into climbing and I want to see what made it easier/funner/more exciting when you started.
So far I got her a shoes and a pretty chalkbag(yeah, she liked the pretty one), and the harness is in the mail. She loves the outdoors and last year I got her to do some serious backpacking with me, and even climb some class 3 peaks. She was a little scared doing that but in the end she loved it.

Right now she seems a little scared and I want to know the right way to encourage her so that she isnt so afraid of climbing. I'm going to take her to the gym for a while and hopefully in the spring she'll want to do some outdoor routes if she isnt scared.

So for all you ladies who were scared at first, what should I tell her and do for her to make her feel safe and excited.


jumpingrock


Nov 19, 2006, 5:30 PM
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Re: [styleboy] Getting the girlfriend into climbing. [In reply to]
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Just take her climbing. Be open and receptive to questions and be very encouraging. Don't show off and don't intimidate her. Ya, she'll be scared. But if she likes it and you give her a good environment then she will continue to climb.


clausti


Nov 19, 2006, 5:30 PM
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Re: [styleboy] Getting the girlfriend into climbing. [In reply to]
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you can not make her feel too safe, as you can never eliminate all risk.

i am all for sharing the experiance with people, but dont promise her clouds and candy 100% of the time, because the potential for injury is there, even in gym climbing.


the honest truth is i got into it at 15 in a gym, and it was the first athletic activity i had ever not completely sucked at. and spending the afternoon at the gym got me out of the house.

that being said there was a great thread a while back called, i think "my girl" in this forum, about someone encouraging their gf to climb, and it might not be bad reading.


elepita


Nov 20, 2006, 3:02 AM
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Re: [jumpingrock] Getting the girlfriend into climbing. [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Just take her climbing. Be open and receptive to questions and be very encouraging. . Ya, she'll be scared. But if she likes it and you give her a good environment then she will continue to climb.

I totally agree with this, take her to do something fun first and try to challenge her without intimidating her. As well, as Clausti said, warn her about the risks...like for example becoming addicted to it! Cool


(This post was edited by elepita on Nov 20, 2006, 3:03 AM)


unabonger


Nov 20, 2006, 5:00 AM
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Re: [elepita] Getting the girlfriend into climbing. [In reply to]
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Buy her a class at the local gym or climbing school, and send her off. It will take the pressure off teaching her the very basics, and she won't feel as self conscious as when you are hovering around worrying over her. Climbing with your SO can be fantastic, but it depends also on everyone bringing their independent judgment and skill to a partnership. If she has developed some experience and learned things from someone besides you, she'll have a good start in that respect and more confidence in the beginning.

Good luck.


bizarrodrinker


Nov 20, 2006, 5:12 AM
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Try getting her started on some bouldering and easy slabs. Get her on some routes that she will do first go for the first couple of sessions, then get her to try some harder stuff that will spark her interest in working. I kind of jumped the gun with my gf in getting her on harder stuff a bit too soon and she started to get a bit frustrated. The gym is a good place to start as it is a very controlled environment, and it is not as easy to get injured.

Do make sure that she understands thawt there is a good chance she may get hurt as it is a dangerous sport.


overlord


Nov 20, 2006, 8:41 AM
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IF you really want to start her climbing, DO NOT get her to a gym or bouldering. sweatin on dirty plastic holds with sweaty egos all around and flailing on some pebble are not fun for a beginner.

find an easy, scenic route (slabs are usually prefered) and if you know how, belay from the top. that way she can get a hug and kiss when she finishes (a little reward goes a long way in providing pleasant memories) and youll be able to help her with what is probably the most difficult thing for a beginner. letting go of the anchor.


Partner happiegrrrl


Nov 20, 2006, 8:50 AM
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Re: [styleboy] Getting the girlfriend into climbing. [In reply to]
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Does she want to climb? You said she is big into outdoors stuff, so we assume the answer is yes.....But maybe her idea of "outdoors activity" isn't the same as what most of "us" think of.....

Has she ever been climbing yet? Though at least you can tell if someone is a "My nails!!!" type of person in the gym, and whether or not, after the fact, they move to more of a "fuck the nails" stance, it's not the same as real climbing(I know... sue me).

Anyway...I think, in order to provide the best prognosis for your cunundrum, we need to know what experiences she has already had, and what her reaction has been to your request to climb so far(as opposed to the reaction to the chalk bag, since most everyone likes cute chalk bags).


htotsu


Nov 20, 2006, 5:56 PM
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Re: [unabonger] Getting the girlfriend into climbing. [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Buy her a class at the local gym or climbing school, and send her off. It will take the pressure off teaching her the very basics, and she won't feel as self conscious as when you are hovering around worrying over her. Climbing with your SO can be fantastic, but it depends also on everyone bringing their independent judgment and skill to a partnership. If she has developed some experience and learned things from someone besides you, she'll have a good start in that respect and more confidence in the beginning.

I think this is great advice. First, of course, just ask if she would be interested in taking a class to figure out if she really likes this. If yes, then get the class for her as a gift. You can go with her, so it's not like just dropping her off, and you can get some climbing in. But I really agree with the idea of it being less pressure if someone else is teaching the basics.

It's like teaching someone to drive - sometimes it's best left to the professionals, and then whatever stresses there may be from the experience aren't transferred over to the loved one. Also, if she doesn't like it, you don't have to take it personally.

I do suggest you prepare for that possibility - it may not be her thing, and if that's the case you need to not push it on her. Hope you both end up having a great time, though, however this goes. Smile


styleboy


Nov 20, 2006, 9:24 PM
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Re: [htotsu] Getting the girlfriend into climbing. [In reply to]
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Her experience is helping belay (not tied in, just helping with harnesses and on/off the wall) with little kids at the camp we both worked at. She's also worked the landing zone of the zip line..

And as far as actual climbing, just some hiking and class 3 climbing in colorado. Which was her first experience as well. She was nervous about going into the mountains but she was super excited about it, albeit a little cold. She says she can't wait until our next trip(hopefully tetons) out west.

I brought the idea up to her about climbing with me and she said she would like to try but she was just scared/nervous. She was all excited at rei, trying on harnesses and shoes. The great thing about her is that she can be her girly girl self when she wants to be, and then get down and dirty as well.

So she does show enthusiasm towards climbing.. we'll just have to see how she feels in the gym. I know she really liked climbing the mountains and if she can become more technical it would even further enhance her experience. I think she knows that as well.

Well wish me luck, just waiting for her harness to arrive from moosejaw..


barefoot_utah


Nov 21, 2006, 1:47 PM
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Re: [styleboy] Getting the girlfriend into climbing. [In reply to]
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I am in the same boat - I just bought my wife a harness and she is belaying me at the gym until spring when the snow melts and I can get in some TR. I have asked her if she want to climb when we go and she has declined so far. I am not pushing it and letting her develop her interest on her own. If she doesn't that is fine too. We still backpack together etcetera and I always have my 16 year old daughter who loves to climb.
And btw - Back packing in the High Uintas near Flaming Gorge in Utah is a blast! Try that as well! Wink


notch


Nov 22, 2006, 8:01 AM
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Re: [styleboy] Getting the girlfriend into climbing. [In reply to]
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Good God Almighty. Does every single guy on this site assume that they can make their girlfriend a climber? If I see one more conniving SOB trying to convince his girl that she really likes climbing I'm going to puke. I like sharing my passion for climbing with my wife, and I'd want to if I was dating someone, too. However, if she digs it she's not going to need to be coerced. Take her out a few times, if she likes it, great. If not, leave it alone.

Phew, glad to have that rant out of my system. I don't mean anything personal Styleboy, it just seems like I see this post every two months.


(This post was edited by notch on Nov 22, 2006, 10:05 AM)


styleboy


Nov 22, 2006, 5:23 PM
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Re: [notch] Getting the girlfriend into climbing. [In reply to]
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Seems like you have some anger issues of your own pal. I mentioned nothing about 'getting her to like the idea of climbing'. In fact I said she WAS interested. I just wanted to help her through the process of being scared.

Eat extra turkey tomorrow and take a long nap.


htotsu


Nov 23, 2006, 7:30 AM
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Re: [styleboy] Getting the girlfriend into climbing. [In reply to]
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Styleboy, he already said it wasn't personal, so try to lighten up, okay? Your post ends with you asking what you should "tell her and do for her to make her feel safe and excited." Newsflash - you can't "make" anyone feel excited about anything. As for safety, you can inform her of techiniques and equipment that will increase the likelihood of safety, but you can't guarantee safety. She is quite reasonable (as are you) for feeling some fear when rockclimbing is involved.

Also, did you notice that you're already buying her gear when you're clearly not even convinced that this is something she'd like to do long term? I did. That's why I suggested earlier that you prepare yourself for the possibility that this isn't her thing. You don't seem to be leaving her much room for that, though, and you might want to reflect on whether you are putting too much pressure on her to like this. Let her set the pace and don't try to "make" her excited. If she digs it then the excitement will come on its own. Isn't that what happened for you?

Editing to add - you wrote that maybe she'll do those routes in the Spring "if she isn't too scared." There are other reasons to not want to climb. Some people just are not going to love it as much as you do. The last thing you want is for her to go along just because she knows how disappointed you'll be if she ends up not loving climbing. Then resentment will build, and you know, you just really want to skip all that and give her an out. I'm sure she'll appreciate knowing that you are into her whether or not she ends up sharing this with you, and that the investment in "stuff" is expendable. No matter what she chooses, that will be a good thing for her to hear (like now) if it is indeed true.

(This post was edited by htotsu on Nov 23, 2006, 7:36 AM)


styleboy


Nov 23, 2006, 12:00 PM
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Re: [htotsu] Getting the girlfriend into climbing. [In reply to]
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Well I would never force her to do anything she really doesn't want to do. Taking her backpacking, I knew she wanted to be doing that. She was unsure of her abilities and with some strong encouragement we made it through with out any problems. She thanked me and has since told me that being up high in the rockies was one of the best things she's ever done. and she can't wait to get back somewhere. Now I'm only looking for ideas that may have helped encourage other people that they can do it and while it might be dangerous, its mostly in your own hands and you just need to be confident. Thats what I want her to know is that she CAN do it..

I bought her all the gear after she showed interest in climbing. I wouldn't of bought anything if she didnt show any interest. We're gonna take a trip to the gym this weekend(after my damn wisdom teeth heal up), and see how it goes. My guess is she'll be wanted to go back very soon there after, but still a little scared and with lack of confidence.

peace, happy bird to you


Partner kimgraves


Nov 23, 2006, 3:41 PM
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Re: [styleboy] Getting the girlfriend into climbing. [In reply to]
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My feeling is that Climbing has to be self selected. You CAN't get someone into climbing if they don't want to do it. Period!

That's okay. YOU just go climbing. If she joins you then great. If not, then that's great too. If you're relationship is predicated on whether she's going to be into climbing you might as well go you separate ways now. From my experience, loving someone is about loving your partner for who *they are (We're going on 18 years and she doesn't climb - or backpack - ARG!).

Best, Kim


(This post was edited by kimgraves on Nov 23, 2006, 3:57 PM)


notch


Nov 23, 2006, 5:10 PM
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Re: [styleboy] Getting the girlfriend into climbing. [In reply to]
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Patronize me if you want, but if you like the girl you may want to reflect on the pace that you're moving. I said clearly that it wasn't personal. I've seen too many low self esteem, eager to please young women get dragged out to the crag by their boyfriend only to have an absolutely terrible time. I guarantee that when they got home the GF said it was great, too. If that isn't you, fine, but none of the above mentioned guys thought it was them either. Seems to me that a little introspection would serve you better than lashing out, but then again, I'm the one with the anger issues so what would I know.

Incidentally, I had ham.


styleboy


Nov 23, 2006, 11:00 PM
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Re: [notch] Getting the girlfriend into climbing. [In reply to]
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I don't understand where the few of you think I'm asking for ideas on how to MAKE her like climbing... I Never said that. I guess it would help to read and understand what I wrote. I think you might just be upset about these 'other guys' and taking it out by writing here. If she doesn't like climbing, I'm completely fine with that. There's a lot of stuff that I do that she's not into, and I understand that and let it be. I think you should understand that, and let it be as well. Like I said, I just want her to feel confident and safe(as far as safe goes while climbing.. blah blah blah I know it's dangerous, but so is walking) instead of doubting herself. So please, spare me the lectures on how making someone like something is bad. I'm fully aware, I'm a big boy, and I can also go potti by myself without wetting my pants.

Thank you, good night.


Stacy_E


Nov 24, 2006, 9:27 AM
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Hi there. I can speak as a wife who's husband got into climbing and I was reluctant to join him at first. The deal was, I would belay him if I was provided time and opportunity while we were out to photograph things. I found climbers to be interesting photographic subjects. So of course to belay him I needed my own harness. Then my interest was piqued and I tried gym climbing, membership for 1 day only. Then that was okay, so I bought a 1 month membership. By the end of that month I thought I was ready to try outside. I was scared, but my husband and his friend were very safety conscious and good with me, and at the top of a 3-pitch climb (Rappel Rock on Mt. Lemmon, if you know it) I felt a euphoria for having completed it. Then I got a 1 year membership at the gym, and continued to climb outside. I admit to feeling dread approaching a climb, but happy when I accomplished them. Now, 1 year later, climbing 2 days/week at the gym and 1 day/week outside, I have gotten past the unreasonable fear and dread and enjoy climbing (and photographing climbing, of course!).

What I'm trying to say in my rambling climbing autobiography is that getting over the unreasonable fear takes time and climbing often, and of course a willingness on your gal to get through the scared stages. It's really all up to her, but I suggest showing her how safety conscious you are!


styleboy


Nov 24, 2006, 1:38 PM
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Thanks for a great reply! It is true, I am very safety conscious. Probably from having worked at a YMCA camp and belaying kids all the time.. and also because I'm extremely meticulous with everything I do. I just hate being sloppy..

But anyhow, I will definitely try to show her how safe I/we can be.


cuddlefish


Mar 23, 2008, 8:52 PM
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i think this is great advice also-personally, i dislike it when my boyfriend tries to teach me things (non climbing) because he gets impatient and i get upset that i can't keep up with him. a professional teacher is a great solution tot his. but obviously that all depends on your relationship!

i would also suggest maybe to have a female climber friend help out-if you are all comfortable with that. i've found when learning new sports, especially male dominated, that i feel way more comfortable with another woman around.


Partner blonde_loves_bolts


Mar 28, 2008, 12:26 PM
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I got the girlfriend into climbing after she promised to get me into soccer, which was a fun trade. At first, her biggest issue was a lifelong fear of heights, but we got through that. Now she loves it, but if she'd never wanted to give it a second thought, I would never have questioned it or her.

The thing I hate in the gym the most (particularly observed with guys who are introducing girls to climbing) is the perceived need to point out everything ("Don't miss that foothold on your left" "Your hand should be here" "C'mon, you can't quit now!"). I'm all for complimenting a good move and offering help when solicited, but good lord, just let the person climb! Even if you think she's making a fool out of herself, it's all good as long as she's having fun. The moment it's not fun anymore, things need to change.


andrewbanandrew


Mar 29, 2008, 5:45 PM
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if you observe subtly you'll be able to figure out what her comfort level is, and the rate at which it expands and contracts will quicken or slow just like any other person's

depending on her personality and your relationship, you may not want to push her out of this too often.


davidwebb1969


Sep 12, 2008, 11:39 PM
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Hi All,

New to rockclimbing.com but not new to climbing at all, I have pretty well had a non climbing partner for my entire life until just recently. I have always wanted my girlfriend at the time but now my Fiance to come out and try climbing.

As always with something new she was a little hesitant to participate (3 Years) however seeing I work overseas and only home a month every two Nicole decided to come climbing with me.

I am a qualified guide and qualified instructor in both single and multi-pitch climbing, this helped ease my partners concerns or worries about climbing. The easiest way I have found to get her to enjoy climbing was take her out and introduce her slowly to the sport, I took her out bouldering, taught her all the things about belaying, anchors, cleaning and STAYING SAFE with Trad climbing No Gym Work prior.

Once I had done that I put her back onto the boulders and taught her some techniques for the climb she was GOING TO DO THAT DAY.
I did not overload her with information nor did I teach her too much stuff in the one session.

By the end of the two days I literally had to drag her off the boulder to go home. I agree that everyone has to WANT to learn and climb but if it is introduced slowly identifying the risks, teaching slowly and only enough information to achieve that days goals you will have no problems at all.

With the method I used she now wants to go climbing every time I am home so this way worked for me, you will have to find a way yourself but you can try my method and modify it.

My Fiance is now registered on the site her nickname is nicolebridges1983 pm her ask her any questions about how she felt or what you could do to help out your girlfriend to go with you.

Hope that helped.


nicolebridges1983


Sep 13, 2008, 12:24 AM
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Hey Guys,

I'm a new climber and also the Fiance that DavidWebb1969 is refering to. It did take him 3 years to convince me to get into climbing. In that time he never pushed me to do it, he would drop hints and i would refuse. It really wasn't something i was interested in. Time went on and i don't know what it was, something in me was compelled to ask him more and more questions, before i knew it we had boujght all my gear and we were at the climb site. Let me tell you i was shitting myself. But he was very patient with me and i trust him completely, i would do what he asked, knowing he would never put me in harms way intentionally.

My first climb was absoultly enpowering and from that moment on i was hooked. I can't wait to go again. He did have to literally drag me of the rock i was practicing bouldering on. The best thing to get a partner climbing is they have to be wanting and ready. Most important thing, they need to know that you are there to help and you won't let anything happen. Because they are going to feel stupid at first, i know i did :) Good Luck and feel free to ask me any questions. Happy Climbing!!!

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