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gibbonae


Jan 13, 2013, 7:15 PM
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Learning alone?
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Hey, guys. I'd really like to get into climbing, but none of my friends are interested in taking an introductory course to become belay certified with me.

Should I still go alone? Would there be any point in it since I don't have a climbing buddy to belay with? (the gym in my area is all top ropes with no auto belays) I would try getting into bouldering, but to my understanding you should have a spotter for that too.

I know that climbing is really a social thing too, and I'd love to have a buddy to go climbing with. No one seems to be interested in learning with me though. What would you guys advise?


bearbreeder


Jan 13, 2013, 7:19 PM
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Re: [gibbonae] Learning alone? [In reply to]
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yes ... take the courses anyways, and look for partners in the gym ...

for the courses ask the staff, they can often group people up who look to take the courses/tests

rule #1 in climbing ... never "wait" for people to get off their lazy azz, or youll never get it done ... just go out and do it

Wink


PeteF


Jan 13, 2013, 8:59 PM
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Re: [gibbonae] Learning alone? [In reply to]
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I'm in exactly the same situation ... shout out for anyone on Sydney's north shore who would like a partner Tongue

Seriously though, I went through the same thought process a few months ago. My wife climbs every week or two with me, when we take our 3 year old daughter (who incidentally loves it). Otherwise I boulder a couple of times per week. Take my "advice" with a pinch of salt, as I'm just relating my own experience and don't pretent to have any great knowledge of the field.

Bouldering is actually quite addictive, and I can understand those who really get in to it. I've found it helps my regular climbing immensely. I can only boulder V2s at this stage, but it's progress. I don't use a spotter, but instead may not go to the very top if I'm not confident about the top hold. Eventually I get the lower part of the problem sorted, and the top is just flows along. I haven't been on the "scene" long enough to get involved with all the BS some seem to get carried away with, so there's no shame in my eyes to starting/finishing half way through a problem. I'm having fun and that's all that counts.

Anyway that's been my experience, and hopefully you can get something from it. I would definitely suggest giving it a go, and wouldn't consider bouldering as a poor substitute when you don't have a partner.

Pete


potreroed


Jan 13, 2013, 9:40 PM
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Go for it. Unless you're a total douchbag you'll be making like-minded new friends in no time.


camrock


Jan 14, 2013, 8:48 AM
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potreroed wrote:
Go for it. Unless you're a total douchbag you'll be making like-minded new friends in no time.
With all due respect, there are a lot of weirdos in the climbing community. In my area, at least. I can be social with anyone, but it's a lot more comfortable to climb with someone you can connect with and cut up with etc. Not to mention trust. As a "solo-noob" like this fella, that has been my biggest hurdle is trying to find someone to climb with yet still enjoy myself.


gibbonae


Jan 14, 2013, 10:47 AM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Learning alone? [In reply to]
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Thanks for the advice, everyone.

I'm really an easy going guy who has no trouble making friends, but I guess for some reason I'm a little anxious about getting into something completely new on my own.
(I do a lot of mountain biking and trail running, but not much climbing yet.)

In any case, I'll sign up for the normal introductory lesson on my own and see how it goes. Thanks again, guys.
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PeteF


Jan 14, 2013, 6:47 PM
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As a matter of interest, is this course for indoor climbing? At the gyms I've been to the "course" involves a few minutes instruction on how to secure the harness and how the belay device works, followed by a requirement to each demonstrate proficiency in belaying the other person. That's it. It takes 5 minutes each, tops. It may well be different in your part of the world, but I honestly can't think of much more they could tell you short of actual climbing instruction.


notapplicable


Jan 14, 2013, 6:52 PM
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I was lucky enough to have a few friends who wanted to get in to climbing with me when I started. 8 years later, I'm the only one who still climbs and I do so regularly.

Lesson of the story - Just do it. You will make friends along the way who share the interest and you will be out crushing every weekend and loving life.


gibbonae


Jan 14, 2013, 8:26 PM
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Indoor. I have a feeling the class just teaches general safety, knots, how to belay, and getting me to sign a waver to use the gym.

I have done all the usual noob stuff like watching hours of climbing videos on youtube, and I'm pretty confident that I will be able to pick up on static climbing pretty quickly once I get over the initial awkwardness. The gym offers private lessons, but they're too expensive for me right now as an average college kid.

If I do go this weekend, I'll be sure to let you guys know how it went.


notapplicable


Jan 14, 2013, 8:33 PM
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Oh, and also, you can find partners on here. I've take out a few nOObs over the years and they all lived to climb another day. There are some good folks on here who won't mind helping you get your start.


(This post was edited by notapplicable on Jan 14, 2013, 8:34 PM)


Mufasa


Jan 18, 2013, 1:31 PM
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I was in the same position a few months ago. I learned to climb outside a little over the summer with a few friends, then once winter hit I decided to join a gym to stay out of the cold and to work on technique.

I was also a little nervous about joining a gym. I had to do the belay class and in the class we had to have at least 2 people, one person would climb while the other belayed, then we'd switch. After passing the class the guy I climbed with and I decided to partner up and climb whenever we could... Never saw him after the first session though Frown

After that I decided I'd give bouldering a shot... I had never really had much interest in bouldering, but now I absolutely love it. The gym I go to (Peak Experience) tops out at about 12-15 feet and I pretty much never use a spotter unless I'm working something that I may swing off sideways or have a high chance of landing on my back.

Just from bouldering I've met a handful of people to climb with as well. If I show up and don't see any of my partners I'll boulder, if I do see one of my partners I'll climb with them.

From my experience most everyone that climbs at my gym is really nice and helpful (more than any other sport I've ever done). Good luck!


brian_h


Jan 18, 2013, 8:55 PM
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If you're in the southeast, I'll meet up with you. Bam. new partner.


gibbonae


Jan 20, 2013, 3:43 PM
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Northeast actually, but thanks.

HEY! So I told you guys I would do a follow up on how my trip to the gym went, and here it is.

Instead of going as a solo noob as I originally intended, a girl heard I was going to try climbing asked if she could go with me. Of course I said yes, we had an amazing time. We had a group of around eight in the knot/belay class and were shortly cut loose to enjoy the gym.

We had a fantastic time... my god, climbing is fun. We're both counting down the days to climb again. And they also have a bunch of auto-belay rigs that weren't listed on their website, so I can even go alone if I just want to practice.

So, thanks to you guys who encouraged me to just go and check it out.


onceahardman


Jan 21, 2013, 3:59 PM
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Where in the northeast?

You mention being a college student. Many schools have outing clubs where you can get out with like-minded people, or at least keep the travel expenses down.

Some schools even have climbing walls. Even if they are kind of lame, it's better than not climbing.


wivanoff


Jan 21, 2013, 5:07 PM
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gibbonae wrote:
Northeast actually, but thanks.

If not here on rc.com, how about a "meetup" like this one:
http://www.meetup.com/ctrockclimbing/
They're all over.


gibbonae


Jan 21, 2013, 7:52 PM
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Detroit, a stone's throw away from Windsor. So northeast, but more north than east, I suppose.

My university unfortunately doesn't have a wall of any kind, and all the other campuses around mine that do have a ridiculous guest fee. Much better off going to a gym dedicated to rock climbing.

I might've actually found some more people interested in climbing after seeing some pictures I threw online when I got back. But online meetups are a good option too, for almost anything.


JupitersCock


Jan 23, 2013, 4:13 PM
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gibbonae wrote:
Hey, guys. I'd really like to get into climbing, but none of my friends are interested in taking an introductory course to become belay certified with me.

Should I still go alone? Would there be any point in it since I don't have a climbing buddy to belay with? (the gym in my area is all top ropes with no auto belays) I would try getting into bouldering, but to my understanding you should have a spotter for that too.

I know that climbing is really a social thing too, and I'd love to have a buddy to go climbing with. No one seems to be interested in learning with me though. What would you guys advise?

try using the find climbing partners tool here on rockclimbing.com
http://www.rockclimbing.com/partners/


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