ro Do you have a friend, spouse, or family member who seems to speak in tongues? Maybe they’ve been doing this for years. Maybe they’ve become super obsessed about “risking their
Do you have a friend, spouse, or family member who seems to speak in tongues?
Maybe they’ve been doing this for years. Maybe they’ve become super obsessed about “risking their lives” with ropes and tiny shoes?
Well, my friend, you might have yourself a rock climber.
In this post, I’m going to give you the cliff notes for speaking to your dirtbag climber spouse, partner or friend.
And build your credibility with them using these common rock climbing terms.
Most climbers share a basic set of terms that cross all disciplines of climbing.
Think of this a bit like Spanish. There are variations of the language depending on whether you are in Mexico, Spain, or Chile.
For you, it is important to do some detective work to determine what type of climber you’ve got on your hands.
You don’t want to scare them or give any kind of sign the language isn’t coming naturally to you.
So don’t use the scripts below too often at first.
I recommend once or twice per week in casual conversations. At least until your climber believes you have become one of them.
First, you should have a basic familiarity with the different types of climbing.
There is Bouldering, Sport Climbing, Traditional(Trad) Climbing, Mountaineering and Alpinism.
Bouldering: Is a form of climbing where the person congregates with others. They climb large boulders in the woods or fake ones at a climbing gym.
It is very social and often there are many people arm-chair quarterbacking. The spectators will yell things like “get it”, “get after it”, or “you got this” at the person doing the climbing. This continues until they fall off the rock.
Bouldering doesn’t require ropes or most of the other equipment you might see someone carry in other climbing disciplines.
If you think you might have a boulderer living with you, look for the following signs.
If any of the above are true, you’ve likely got yourself someone who is into bouldering.
Sport climbing is a type of rock climbing that relies on permanent anchors called bolts. These have been drilled into the rock by someone much trickier and more dedicated than most.
The person who installs the bolts often carries a big-ass drill up the route.
Drills holes in the rock then insert the bolts for other people to stay safe. This is done for the goodwill of the climbing community and so other people can climb the route safely.
Most new climbers start with sport climbing. Many people believe its an easier barrier of entry. It doesn’t require as much expensive equipment and most of the climbing in gyms is sport climbing.
If you’ve seen anything like this in your family member. You likely have a sport climber. Don’t be afraid.
Traditional climbing, or trad, differs from sport climbing. It relies on non-permanent gear. Rather than bolts that are pre-drilled into the rock face. A trad climber instead places gear, called protection, as she ascends.
They’re also pretty cool and have awesome stories to tell about their adventures.
Want to know where the best places to car camp are? The trad climber always knows.
These climbers are the MacGyver of the climbing world. Their sense of adventure and need to be more badass turned them into what they are.
Here are some clues to help you spot them.
Please share this with other non-climber fluent people in your life.
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