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how does a female noob look for partners?
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hannah.wolfmom


Jul 17, 2011, 2:58 PM
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how does a female noob look for partners?
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Hi. this is my first year climbing and am pretty hooked. i've been pretty happy that my boyfriend and one of our mutual friends have been really assertive about teaching me things and climbing outside. i'm starting to get to the point where I am looking for other partners, and haven't really had any luck. It seems like a lot of people think that if I want to go climbing with them I am either looking for a date (taken, :) ) or aren't serious enough, or am too serious, or something. Maybe I am not being patient enough, or assertive enough, but I just get the feeling that people are less open to climbing with women.

imaybe some reading this can relate, but 'm admittedly a pretty jaded chick, i worked as a bike mechanic for a while, so i tend to expect the worst from certain sports, which is probably the problem... does anybody have any suggestions about looking for partners as a noob, and as a female? i'm trying to be open to the good things that happen as I start climbing, like finding good partners and having fun, so really any suggestions on who to ask, and how, would be really super helpful.


erisspirit


Jul 17, 2011, 5:09 PM
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Re: [hannah.wolfmom] how does a female noob look for partners? [In reply to]
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hannah.wolfmom wrote:
Hi. this is my first year climbing and am pretty hooked. i've been pretty happy that my boyfriend and one of our mutual friends have been really assertive about teaching me things and climbing outside. i'm starting to get to the point where I am looking for other partners, and haven't really had any luck. It seems like a lot of people think that if I want to go climbing with them I am either looking for a date (taken, :) ) or aren't serious enough, or am too serious, or something. Maybe I am not being patient enough, or assertive enough, but I just get the feeling that people are less open to climbing with women.

imaybe some reading this can relate, but 'm admittedly a pretty jaded chick, i worked as a bike mechanic for a while, so i tend to expect the worst from certain sports, which is probably the problem... does anybody have any suggestions about looking for partners as a noob, and as a female? i'm trying to be open to the good things that happen as I start climbing, like finding good partners and having fun, so really any suggestions on who to ask, and how, would be really super helpful.


The only advice I really have is to take initiative. When I was beginning, the people I knew would plan their weekend trips, and while they didn't mind me going, I wasn't invited (they just didn't really think about it) unless I made the first move. I would often give them the "hey whenever you guys are heading out if you don't mind me going along I would love to get out and climb." usually the answer was "oh yeah! we are heading to <climbing spot> meet us <location> at 6!"

beyond that be friendly, social, and interested and POSITIVE (expecting the worse will get you just that)... If there are any meetups or group trips, try to go and make friends.


carabiner96


Jul 17, 2011, 7:04 PM
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Re: [hannah.wolfmom] how does a female noob look for partners? [In reply to]
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Low cut tank tops worked wonders for me.


granite_grrl


Jul 18, 2011, 5:09 AM
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Re: [hannah.wolfmom] how does a female noob look for partners? [In reply to]
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Back when I was beginning I had a mix of people I went out with. I did get to follow some people with a lot of experience, but a ton of my time was heading out with other n00bs and honing my skills. I remember days where I spent more time making TR anchors than I did climbing....and that was cool because my partners were in the same boat as I was.


lena_chita
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Jul 18, 2011, 7:44 AM
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Re: [hannah.wolfmom] how does a female noob look for partners? [In reply to]
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Patience.

People are selective about who they want to climb with (and if not, they should be), so if they don't know you very well, or know someone who knows you well, they might not feel like inviting you.

IMO in the beginning it is better to go climbing as a group -- not just you and one partner, but maybe 3-5 people. That way it is clear that you aren't looking to hook up, and also there are choices of belayers, in case some people are not comfortable with you belaying them, for example.

How about inviting one or two people to join you when you are going with your BF and/or his friend? After couple trips like that, they might be more willing to go with you when the boyfriend is not present.

Also, you HAVE to keep asking, and not take rejection personally. If someone says no one time, in many cases that doesn't mean NEVER. It is worth asking again. For example, I might say no to someone on one trip, if I feel that they will not be a good match to my other partners or to the kind of climbing I'm hoping to do, but I would be perfectly willing to go with them some other time.

Also, do ou have a gym that you go to regularly? It might be useful to start climbing with someone in the gym, first. Something like "hey, I'm looking for people to climb with on Thursday evenings, my BF can't climb that night". It is easier, less committing, and allows you to get to know people.

Check with the gym if they have "newbie trips"-- many gyms do, and it is a good starting point to both meet other people who are in the same situation as you, and to learn a few things.


aerili


Aug 2, 2011, 9:08 PM
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Re: [hannah.wolfmom] how does a female noob look for partners? [In reply to]
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I think much of the advice given here is good. When I was a female noob doing the same, I think I was in the right place at the right time. I did not know that rockclimbing.com and similar websites existed, so I posted on craigslist activities. I got a lot of responses (I did live in a big city) and met several people that way, two of whom were my gateway to climbing with many more people and both of whom were fairly proactive in inviting me to group outings.

Not to say I was not proactive on my own behalf, as I was. And these people became good friends outside of climbing, which I feel made a difference in my integration into a wider world of climbing.

At times I have now been in the reverse role: noobs contacting me and asking me to take them climbing when they don't have any partners or don't know anyone else. Currently, much of the style of climbing I do is not conducive to noob teaching, but when it is, I am usually open-minded and willing to invite.

However, what I can recommend is that, as the noob, there are certain things you can do in the way you conduct yourself that will make yourself a more attractive partner.

1. Do your best to be in reasonable condition for whatever kind of typical approach you may encounter while carrying whatever portion of gear is normal for you.

2. Show up with an "I'm willing to learn and proactively ask questions about things I don't know or haven't seen before" attitude. I have encountered noob partners who I have gradually come to realize think all they have to do is show up, plug and chug, and somehow knowledge will come to them with no further effort or curiosity. They then overestimate their abilities soon after and believe they have a competence they really don't. I then no longer want to climb with them since I am not interested in risking my life.

3. Even if you think you know how to lead belay, think about taking another lesson from one of your new, experienced partners who is good at it and has caught many falls. I learned great lead belaying skills from some of my first partners: guys who were sport climbing hard 11s and 12s and knew how to do it right.

4. As you learn what you need, be prepared. Even if you don't own a rope, draws, or rack, make sure you always have your own harness, shoes, chalk bag, belay device, helmet (if applicable), a personal set-up for cleaning anchors, nut tool (if you are learning any trad), enough water for the day, enough food for yourself, a packable windbreaker, sunscreen, and a roll of tape. Everyone forgets things sometimes, but if you are the new person chronically missing needed items when you're out at the crag, it gets really old to your more experienced partners.

5. Learn to lead climb (if you haven't already). Females can get away without lead climbing (ever, for the most part, with or without a boyfriend), but you'll really do yourself a favor if you can share the load...or at least put up the routes YOU want to climb. DON'T show up and expect all your new friends to be interested in ropegunning everything for you.

Well, not to make this too long Wink, I'll leave it at that. Best of luck!


(This post was edited by aerili on Aug 2, 2011, 9:09 PM)


hannah.wolfmom


Aug 15, 2011, 10:16 AM
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Re: [hannah.wolfmom] how does a female noob look for partners? [In reply to]
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hey all, thanks for the thoughts and experience. it's interesting, some of the stuff I others mention I'm doing consciously, some subtley, and it's good to hear coming from other people who have been climbing for a while. it's been working out and I've found a couple people to climb with. i got one email that felt too much like a date request, so I didn't follow up on that one.

biner ill try and incorporate your advice about the lowut tanktops, my current dressing strategy of "dress as boring and unattractive as much as possible so you don't get creeped on..." isn't doing wonders for the self-eseteem. heh.


jeepnphreak


Sep 7, 2011, 1:20 PM
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Re: [hannah.wolfmom] how does a female noob look for partners? [In reply to]
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You can try the partner finder.

There is a partner button in the list of opitions, then shoot them a message and see if they are willing to climb...


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