The Vancouver Rock Climbing Group is organized through meetup.com and they get a number of individuals out to each event. There are a number of people who went to their events who met climbing partners.
We have a meetup group here, and I have met new people through it, a few are now friends... HOWEVER...I already knew several of the members who were great climbers/partners, so I already knew which trips had people with solid experience, and who I could and couldn't trust.
The Raleigh Rock Climbing Meetup is full of great people. I've been climbing with them at local gyms for the last several months and hope to get out on some real rock this spring/summer with a couple of the members.
I accidentally agreed to hook up with someone who told me she and her friends would be climbing at such and such time/place. Neglected to tell me she was the organizer of the local MeetUp.
No in this person's defense, they are now a safe/competent leader. But back then....they really - really - had no business taking n00bs out to climb, even if it was just setting top ropes.
I got there and saw all these people get out of cars and was like..."It seems like half these people don't know each other." And then...."It seems like some of these people have never climbed outside before....." And then it clicked. Meet Up.
It was a clusterfuck, that's for sure. One wanted to TR hard stuff, and her companion wanted to grab a partner and get on the lead, and the n00bs were pretty much left to fend for themselves.
One guy said he was new to NY and an experienced climber in Europe. Said he could lead 5.x, but would of course try something easier since he wasn't used to the crag.
As I had come along just to join some people on a TRope outing, I had only personal gear. But good news! This guy had brought his own...
Not that the hardware was an issue. But the rope... It was like a 50 foot length he had from using as a short rope on glaciers - or something.
But then he said the rope was old, and would like to double it up. Just in case.....
Well, we were at Peterskill and it is short so.... we did one pitch - a real rope-stretcher 5.3. The guy was BARELY capable of leading the thing.
And so after that.... I declined another climb.
Then the organizer decided to lead a route. Alas I found out only too late she had never led before, and was very new to climbing. And had only met her belayer just then....
And then.... she took off to find her companion, telling us they wer at such and such an area. Well, I climbed with another person who wanted to lead, and they got 15 feet up before becoming too sketched to continue, and so I coached them into down-climbing the route(keeping gear always above).
That person then started whimpering about how shitty the day was going and so we went looking for the others. Whom we did not locate, because the person started crying that his feet hurt and the ascent to the top of the cliff was too much for him....
Meetup groups are either for people who are inexperienced, lack social skills, have no friends, or are brand new to the area and want to meet people fast. I would only climb with the last one, but then again, there is no guarantee that that person doesn't possess the other three qualities.
I have had both good and bad experiences with the local climbing Meetup. Actually more good then bad, but as some people have noted, you need to question your proposed partners - or "organizers/teachers" carefully before heading out with them. A lot of people use Meetup as an initial foray into sports and such.
I actually know a few local Meetup climbers that are very experienced and are willing to help others learn without being elitest.
I'm not huge on going to actual climbing meetups, due to the large number of people locking up an entire crag for hours.
Can't say as I agree with blueeyedclimber's comment, as I have a pretty decent social life and I am an organizer for one of the largest hiking meetup groups in the US. But to each their own.
(This post was edited by Vegasclimber10 on Jan 18, 2011, 10:21 PM)
I have never gone through meetup to meet partners (haven't had the need to), but I have climbed with people who do use meetup regularly to find partners. While I'm sure every area is different, my experience is that they lacked climbing skills. However, the folks I climbed with were cool people who wanted to learn more about climbing and simply didn't know what their options were.
I helped the cute one until I learned she had a serious boyfriend. It was clear to me that she then needed to learn from him instead.
I moved to a new area with my partner. Then she moved away (lucky her). After bouldering for a couple of months I was desperate to meet someone interested in climbing routes so I checked out the local meetup climbing group.
It seems that almost everyone except the organizer was a beginner or climbed as a social activity - except - as I was leaving the organizer said 'Did you meet Dale?'. Which I hadn't. Unfortunately I didn't have time to meet him on my way out. But, I'd seen Dale boulder pretty hard on a couple of other days. So I looked him up on meetup and sent him an e-mail and we're climbing today for the first time so, we'll see.
I have climbing meetup group and by it's nature, it tends to attract noobs. I was a bit of a noob when I started it (still am? Who's a noob is relative..) and we do have some very experienced climbers. True, though, that most experienced climbers already have their climbing partners and thus don't bother with meetup. I have plenty of friends, but they mostly want to sit around and drink day after day. I wanted to climb regularly and thus started my group. Some of our members climb socially every now and then, some of them are with me at the gym week after week. Some of them have never been outside, some of them I know I can trust to belay me on lead or build a good anchor without babysitting them.
Whether you meet a climbing partner on meetup or at the crag, yer gonna die if you don't evaluate their every skill before you trust your life to them. I'll take a noob that is level-headed and eager to learn over a climber who has been around for a while but is too arrogant/lazy/whatever to learn the right thing.