Climbing Tips for Boys (About Climbing with Girls)

First, lets clear up one myth: Girls are not that complicated.

Climbing girls are even less complicated: We have one-track minds to, you guessed it, climbing.

I can 100% guarantee you that Alyse is focused on climbing right now, not worried about impressing her belayer.

So now that you know what climbing girls think about, you no longer have to be confused by our intentions when we ask if you’re going climbing, invite you to climb with us, or talk about sick trips we should go on in the future. No, this does not mean we are smitten with your six pack or ability to crank one finger pull-ups; we are simply looking for a climbing partner to belay us, spot us, take turns leading pitches with us, and hopefully chat a bit about life and climbing with us in between.

What we are NOT looking for: a date.

Now that we’ve determined that climbing does not equal a date, you can relax because your climbing, potential shirtlessness, and cheesy pick-up lines are NOT going to be what impresses us.

For example, I’m going to be psyched with you when you send and bummed with you when you don’t, but you sending isn’t going to influence whether or not I want to date you. Chances are, your send is not the most impressive I’ve see even that week. Sasha DiGiulian is 5”2” and climbs 5.14, so please don’t try to impress me with your climbing—It will just make you nervous, frustrated, and possibly come off as cocky. I’m not climbing with you because you’re the best (you wouldn’t be belaying me if you were), so don’t feel like you have to onsight everything 5.12 and below.

As far as taking your shirt off goes, please consult the weather on that one. If the route is baking in the 90-degree sun, by all means ditch that sweaty layer. However, if it’s 30 degrees and you have to leave your beanie on, ABSOLUTELY DO NOT. Also, don’t get overly excited if it’s 90 and I take my shirt off; I’m trying prevent severe dehydration, not trying to impress you.

As for making moves on me at the crag: DO NOT. I will either: a) be really confused because I thought we were just climbing buddies and didn’t see that lunch ledge kiss coming and/or b) now be really uncomfortable because I have to spend the rest of the day pretending you didn’t just try to pull me in by my harness.
Worse yet, I might also be upset and embarrassed if anyone else saw and thought that I was into climbing PDA (gross!).

Now what do you do if you like a girl you climb with?

First, don’t overthink her wanting to climb with you (see above). Next, impress her with something other than climbing; try something radical like being nice. Don’t treat her differently at the crag; chances are she wants to be though of as just another fun climbing partner and not be singled out for often-times being the only girl. Instead, try being friendly and a good partner, and if she seems comfortable around you ask her to go for drinks after climbing or for coffee on a rest day. Keep romantic intentions separate from your climbing sessions, and know that even if you do date that doesn’t mean that climbing now can be a date. It’s an activity you both enjoy, and you’ll see new sides of each other as you battle hard routes/problems, but that doesn’t mean she is looking for a good luck kiss before every (any) climb. She still has that one-track mind to rocks and will likely forget about everything else, including you, while climbing.

Originally published December 9, 2014, on 

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