The Dark Side of Climbing Partnerships in Chamonix

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Messages 21 - 40 of total 67 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Sep 23, 2012 - 04:41pm PT
Perhaps to their regular life/partners or perhaps they perceived me as someone that they would not want to climb with again. And I had not even led with them, except perhaps smth incredibly easy, as I know that I can be very slow if I try smth that would be a challenge.

Just a thought, but if you're only leading things that are "incredibly easy" and you are "very slow" there's a very solid chance that's the reason that you can't get people to climb things that are harder/longer or get them to climb with you more than once. If I were to go to Chamonix, I would want to climb hard routes with friends, not guide someone I didn't know. Perhaps you should change locations and revisit Chamonix again later in life when you're a little stronger/better/faster? It's probably easier to find partners at smaller crags, and your time might be better spent.

Josh
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Sep 23, 2012 - 04:45pm PT
It's true, the climbing season is over already in Chamonix.
Soon ski season will start. European winters are long.

Have you thought of going to the Callanques for the winter
and coming back to Chamonix in the spring?
divad

Trad climber
wmass
Sep 23, 2012 - 06:38pm PT
Doesn't buying the beer work over there?
zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Sep 23, 2012 - 10:23pm PT
Be thankful you're not a surfer. Some good advice upthread. Follow it and I'd bet you'll make a breakthrough.

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 23, 2012 - 10:38pm PT
Endless summer....surfing sounds like the endless bummer.
zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Sep 24, 2012 - 12:12am PT
Well Mr. Donini, you hit it right there.

I spose it depends upon where you live. That's why we used to go to Mexico. Not many surfers lived there. Now many (even Willard Romney) call it their own.

The friendliest folks I've run into in a long time are kite surfers.

turd

climber
Sep 24, 2012 - 12:23am PT
No sponges, bics or slugs?



e: ah, ok

vvvvvvvv
zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Sep 24, 2012 - 12:27am PT
^ not 'real' surfboards
Degaine

climber
Sep 24, 2012 - 05:05am PT
base104 wrote:
Yeah, getting in to the local scene is too much trouble. There are tons of other Euros there who make good partners. For some reason we always hung out with a bunch of slightly odd Germans. The locals wouldn't even glance at us, and that was all fine. Chamonix has a really weird local scene.

I've never had any trouble with the locals in Chamonix. The "won't even glance at us" comment comes from a deep cultural misunderstanding on your part, and not a problem with the locals.

For example, in France, it's rude for a waiter/waitress to bring a customer a check without the customer asking for it "L'addition, svp", in the US, it's just the opposite, the customer shouldn't have to ask.

That written, whether French, American, or any other nationality, the vibe in Chamonix can be weird depending on who you hang out with. There are lots of people who come to Chamonix to test their mettle and to prove themselves, and if you get offended by all things superficial, then the "scene" my bother you as a few young arrivals puff up their feathers to show how rad they are. Most are humbled immediately as you can die in Chamonix quicker than you can say "let's go home". The guys climbing and skiing really hard usually have faded, sometimes torn clothing, and are the most discrete of the discrete (unless sponsored), and I might add enjoyably head out with friends not even close to as strong as they are.

And yes, Base104, buying beer works in Chamonix as well. Maybe you tried to buy someone a Bud?
Degaine

climber
Sep 24, 2012 - 05:26am PT
Josh,

There are plenty of moderate climbs in Chamonix, whether in the Aiguilles Rouges or in the Mont-Blanc massif itself. No need to climb hard to climb there.

However, when heading to glaciated terrain, however easy the route, a certain amount of experience is required.
swissclimber

Sport climber
Neuchatel Switzerland
Sep 24, 2012 - 05:33am PT
Bon je peux bien imaginer qu' une raison simple est qu' en tant que grimpeur, je me lance pas dans une longue voie avec quelqu' un que je ne connais pas, je trouve celamun peu hasardeux et risqué. Autrement en Suisse et plus paticulierement dans ma region, cela m arrive frequemment d aller seul au pied d' un site d escalade et de poser la question si je peux grimper avec une ou l autre des personnes presentes. Cela a debouché sur de belles rencontres et des amitiés longues de plusieurs années et parfois seulement pour une seule fois car le feeling n y etait pas.
Salutations de Suisse
Eric
Blakey

Trad climber
Newcastle UK
Sep 24, 2012 - 06:08am PT
Base 102 said

"I had about the foulest personality on the planet and found partners, although I went over there with a couple of others.

The English were fairly insular, but the Scotch and Welsh were fun."

Weee'll I'd say that, given your first sentence, that our 'insularity' reflects our better judgement over the Scots or Welsh.

Jeez - you think they were 'fun'!

;-)

Steve
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Sep 24, 2012 - 09:10am PT
Try planetgranite.com. Maybe hook up with some Italians.
splitclimber

climber
Sonoma County
Sep 24, 2012 - 01:27pm PT
Deglane wrote -
I've never had any trouble with the locals in Chamonix. The "won't even glance at us" comment comes from a deep cultural misunderstanding on your part, and not a problem with the locals.

For example, in France, it's rude for a waiter/waitress to bring a customer a check without the customer asking for it "L'addition, svp", in the US, it's just the opposite, the customer shouldn't have to ask.


takes us 'mericans a while to adjust - at first we thought, oh, the French are just rude - but we then came to the conclusion that it is just our perception of them being rude and it is just a cultural difference. Maybe a little more apparent in Chamonix. :)

we experienced the opposite of "won't even glance at us" - felt like we always got the staredown from anyone and everyone in the village. Ha ha. It started being funny and we'd just smile really big at everybody staring at us.

On the crags everyone was friendly.
BruceAnderson

Social climber
Los Angeles currently St. Antonin, France
Sep 24, 2012 - 02:08pm PT
Are you living there full time? If so, look into the local climbing/alpinisme clubs or associations. The french are huge on the whole idea and you'll meet plenty of people of all abilities.
ExtraBlue

Ice climber
the ford VT
Oct 5, 2012 - 02:02pm PT
Take out someone with less skill?
I've moved around a lot and I know how frustrating it can be to find partners in foreign countries. But what has always worked well for me is to find someone just getting into the sport to go out with.

If you find you can get partners, but only for one day and then never again, then it probably has to do with you. Either you aren't as good a climber as you tell prospective partners you are, or something about your interactions with them turns them off. No offense meant here but it sounds like you come from NYC. There are stereotypes about New Yorkers for a reason.

I second the vote for posting objectives online. You'll get a lot more people with a "Hey, My name is XXXX and I am looking for a partner for the Cosmique Arete on October 30. I'll lead, or you can. I have all my own gear." Thank you will with, "Hi, I am new here and want to go climbing."

Join the local club. I've been a member of the OEAV and DAV and in both Austria and Germany I met people through the clubs wicked easily. There would be a designated climbers nights once or twice a month and group activities on weekends.

Scott_Nelson

Trad climber
Merica
Oct 5, 2012 - 03:01pm PT
That sucks. I've had the same issues before. I think you'll have better luck finding UK partners, from my limited experience. Here are some suggestions:

1) Hang out at the campground/cooking areas with a case of beer and chat up folks. Mention you are looking for partners.
2) Post on ukclimbing.com
3) Post up at the guide's office
4) Recruit out of towners to come visit, as you have a place to stay (I assume)
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Oct 5, 2012 - 03:56pm PT
Only Americans smile without reason, and Frogs find that really, really retarded.

Isn't "being friendly" a "reason"?
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 5, 2012 - 04:12pm PT
Jerry Lewis gets Frogs to smile.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Oct 5, 2012 - 04:20pm PT
Jerry Lewis gets Frogs to smile.

They must find him "ribetting".
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