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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Is it cool to just roll up to a crag and ask if people mind if you climb with them?

    I'm quickly finding out one of the hardest parts about climbing is lining up partners.

    I'm thinking about heading out of town this weekend for some desert biking but I'd like to do a little climbing too. So far I'm striking out on finding people who are into this plan.

    Would it be cool if I brought my gear along with me and stopped by a couple of crags to see if people mind if I climb with them? Is this something people do or is this not really acceptable?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Meh. Given the amount of trust inherent in climbing, I'd be sketched out by some random dude just asking me to climb with my party out of the blue. And I'm generally a pretty trusting person.

    My $.02. And, yes, finding good partners can be a challenge. I've climbed with guys I didn't really know that well and regretted it. No accidents, thankfully. But got into a sketchy situation or two.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest_Hemingway View Post
    I realize there is not much hope for a bullfighting forum. I understand that most of you would prefer to discuss the ingredients of jacket fabrics than the ingredients of a brave man. I know nothing of the former. But the latter is made of courage, and skill, and grace in the presence of the possibility of death. If someone could make a jacket of those three things it would no doubt be the most popular and prized item in all of your closets.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2006
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Vermont
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    For me it would depend on the type of climbing. Lead climbing there is no way I'd let a random stranger jump in. Top rope setup I'd let you take a couple of laps. There would be a test before you could climb though.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using TGR Forums mobile app

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    The 8th best place in the LBP
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    ^^Agree. If you see people toproping, ask if you can take a lap. I've gone cragging a couple times with random dudes I met on the road and never has it been a great experience, not that it couldn't be but it's weird to place so much trust in a stranger when you're lead climbing. Both of them turned out to be people I didn't really connect with. The climbs themselves were pretty memorable though, so I guess there's that.

    It's tough being on a solo climbing trip, but has its rewards if you just roll with it and be flexible. Bouldering is always an option.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    The bottom of LCC
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    ok, that all seems fair and makes sense. I'm just starting out so I'm not leading anything yet anyways. worst case scenario I guess I could have a beer and watch for a bit, I probably could learn a lot just from that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,561
    Have you tried Partner Finder on Mountain Project? My usual partners were unavailable last weekend, so I used it and hooked up with a good partner who was more experienced than me and yet still patient for a couple moderate multipitch climbs in Yosemite. I'm sure there are horror stories as well, but I'm guessing it works out more often than not. I think the key is honesty.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    yeah, actually just found that last night and sent out a few emails.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    CO
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    142
    If I was in a group of 3 then for sure, I could see groups be hesitant if it makes them have an odd number of climbers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Vermont
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    566
    Just make sure you are comfortable with the ability of anyone you climb with. Over the years I've climbed with people once and won't climb with them again. Just because someone has lots of gear and tells you they've climbed for years doesn't mean they are safe.

    As a beginner you won't have the knowledge to fully assess someone's ability but they should be able to explain what they are doing and why. If you think something is sketchy, it probably is. Tell them you've changed your mind and walk away. We just had a death at the local crag due to miscommunication between belayer and climber, the consequences are real.

    Discuss the plan for the climb in detail, even if it's just a top rope. Look for redundancy in the system and double check everything. Then enjoy the climb! It's a shit ton of fun.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using TGR Forums mobile app

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ventura Highway in the Sunshine
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    21,333
    It used to happen all the time, might still happen, but people would roll into Yosemite and post a "partner wanted" sign in Camp 4, and more times then not find a partner. Post a such sign at the local campground entrance. Do a couple easy routes to suss out each others abilities and competency before going big. Last thing you want to find out is your new partner has never belayed a leader as you rip off a long run out.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    PNW
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    414
    Quote Originally Posted by Flounder View Post
    As a beginner you won't have the knowledge to fully assess someone's ability but they should be able to explain what they are doing and why. If you think something is sketchy, it probably is. Tell them you've changed your mind and walk away. We just had a death at the local crag due to miscommunication between belayer and climber, the consequences are real.

    Discuss the plan for the climb in detail, even if it's just a top rope. Look for redundancy in the system and double check everything. Then enjoy the climb! It's a shit ton of fun.
    Exactly this. As a newbie, you are incorrectly assuming that everyone knows more than you. Even some experienced folks do not have a good grasp on rope systems and should not be automatically trusted because they managed set up a top rope. I can think back to one situation several years ago where I was in a hurry and set up a TR on a pretty sketchy anchor.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    truckee
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronco View Post
    Exactly this. As a newbie, you are incorrectly assuming that everyone knows more than you. Even some experienced folks do not have a good grasp on rope systems and should not be automatically trusted because they managed set up a top rope. I can think back to one situation several years ago where I was in a hurry and set up a TR on a pretty sketchy anchor.
    Friend of mine set up a top rope at Seneca Rocks. We couldn't see what he was doing but he assured us it was good and we believed him. My other friend climbed up about 20 feet, fell, and pulled the anchor, which turned out to be a single soft iron pin left over from when the Army used to train there. My friend wasn't hurt, but I was--the pin hit me in the forehead and I wound up with 4 stitches. I never climbed with the first guy again.

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