Sh*t people say (to climbers)


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Trad climber
Nov 14, 2012 - 05:55pm PT
Not-to-be-named family member, straight out, after I got back from the Facelift:

"You actually tried to climb rocks? Aren't you a little OLD to try that sort of thing?"

Good thing I view these sorts of comments as ENCOURAGEMENT...


Trad climber
SF Bay Area, California
Nov 14, 2012 - 07:06pm PT
The best for me personally, was me following a route, and getting wigged out on the traverse crux.

It wasn't that bad, but hell, every traverse is a crux for me...

so I'm bout 30 feet off the ground, and hikers are watching me wig out while my partners are trying to give me encouragement. At long last, one of the hikers, a skinny little boy of no more than 13, yells up...

'need any help?'

HAHAHAHA, the idea of it knocked the fear out of me and I finished the crux.

The second best is...

'Nice Boots!' as I was belaying my partner.

Cause...I do have nice boots!

Hee hee



Trad climber
New and Bionic too!
Nov 14, 2012 - 07:13pm PT
"Aren't you a little OLD to try that sort of thing?"

You didn't look old to me at all. Certainly a good enough time to take up the sport.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 14, 2012 - 07:22pm PT
ORVATH THE FUNGUY, who talks back.

So, do yeew guys, like, have Fun? Or is it just all scabs and chalk and sh#t? NO, BUT SOME STRANGE SEX IS INVOLVED, DEAR.

You know anyone who died doing this? URGE TO KILL!!

You have an exceptionally large rack for a free climber. YOU TOO, BUT I'M NOT CRITICIZING!!

I'm in site 57. THANK YOU, Jees-US!!

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Nov 14, 2012 - 07:24pm PT
From a co-worker: "so if you fall you can die?"
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 14, 2012 - 07:40pm PT
Anders, get off my f*#king pink rope! :)

I had some genuine Canadian blended whishkey this afternoon at Dad's. The wake didn't last half as long as it should. I've come home and insulted Anders. I have a Cndn. lapel pin I want to give you next LIFT, MY TEE, cus you are the best Canaduck we got here.

Sh#t, sh#t, sh#t... Is that really a pink goddam rope? One solid pink? EEW!

Trad climber
SF Bay Area, California
Nov 14, 2012 - 07:52pm PT
"you must have really strong hands..."

Ha, little do they know...



Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Nov 14, 2012 - 07:58pm PT
The following account was contained in a letter I sent Steve Grossman, who asked whether I had done any climbing with Mark Powell. He posted it in one of the Needle's Eye threads and then I think it was reposted in the thread on my Red Rock trip report. In spite of the fact that it has obviously been around, it seems like this is a good place for it too, especially since the political aside at the end seems prophetic in view of the alternate realities advanced by the recent presidential campaigns.

Although we always camped together in the Oreville Campground, I don't recall many times when I ended up climbing with Mark. In fact, the only climb I can remember was an ascent with Mark and Bob Kamps of Sandberg Peak, a preposterously named and precarious-looking pinnacle perched right at the edge of a Cathedral Spires pullout.

Probably the most memorable feature of that climb was an interaction I had with some tourists, a story which now has been told and retold, having been appropriated by others and recounted as if it had happened to them. But you twisted my arm so I'll tell it again...

Mark was leading, Bob was belaying, and I was on the ground watching. A tourist pulled up and watched Mark lead for a long time, long enough to see him place a piton or two and clip into them, and finally reach the tiny summit. After watching all this, the guy got out of his car, walked over to me, and asked, "How'd they get the cables up there?" (Mind you, he and his wife had just watched how they got the cables up there.) I was very polite, and in my best imitation of the professor I would become, I offered a careful and detailed explanation of exactly what Mark had been doing. At the end of this mini-seminar, his wife (whose size seemed to preclude an exit from the car) leaned out the window and shouted to her husband, "How'd they get the cables up there?" To which her husband replied, in tones rife with exasperation, "I don't know, I can't get a straight answer out of this guy!"

Experiences like this caused us to make a bunch of tee shirts with the legend "Pinnacle Repair Servce" on the back.

Photo by Bonnie Kamps

Bob had one; I can't remember whether Mark got one or not. These shirts were, as I had hoped, self-explanatory to most of the tourists who stopped, the clanking of iron and occasional banging of pitons only reinforcing the repairing theme. Pinnacle repair was a notion they had probably already been exposed to by postcards sold locally showing Herb Conn rappelling down George Washington's nose while on one of the Park Service's periodic missions to patch cracks in the sculpture.

The tee-shirts were more successful than I anticipated, leaving us to ponder the fact that many people are happier with a false explanation that conforms to their preconceptions than with a true explanation that does not. One cannot help but wonder, 30 odd years later, what role this phenomenon may have played in the civic and political life of our nation.

Napa, ca
Nov 14, 2012 - 11:27pm PT
two that were missed...

I could never do upper body is too weak.

annnnnd my favorite...

Have you heard of that alex (pause) hogwartz, or hollandaise, or whatever guy? you know the guy that free climbed half dome? do you do that?
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 14, 2012 - 11:59pm PT
T-Shirt Nation.

Ball-Cap Nation.

Bill Mc Kirgan

Trad climber
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Nov 15, 2012 - 12:31am PT
Are you rappelling?

Trad climber
Nor Cal
Nov 15, 2012 - 12:36am PT
"Rock climbing?!? More like rock hugging!" My GF after our first climbing date.

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Nov 15, 2012 - 02:12am PT
I have a buddy, (same one who was with me at Ellery Lake, upthread), who calls tourists "Griswolds." As in the Chevy Chase Vacation movies. I kind of like that. "Touron" is a bit too harsh for my taste. Griswolds are well meaning boobs who you gotta love at the end of the day. Ha ha!

Have yet to run into any Griswolds with Beverly D'Angelo class wives though! :-)

Oh wait... my wife is in that class! Maybe that means I'm Clark Griswold!

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Nov 15, 2012 - 08:08am PT
When did the rangers put in the pinions?

Gym climber
sawatch choss
Nov 15, 2012 - 09:40am PT
So it's dusk, my pard and I are topping out right below the South Chasm View overlook in the Black Canyon. A herd of Texans observe, with some concern. "Do you need help" etc. (as if). Then comes one I've never heard before:

"Did you make it to the bottom?"

Mountain climber
La Mancha
Nov 15, 2012 - 10:54am PT
From a n00b at JTree who was apparently on his first outdoor experience: "How do you know which holds to use?"

Santa Barbara, CA
Nov 15, 2012 - 12:58pm PT
While at the top of the second pitch on Black Wall, Sespe Gorge (right next to the road) - car stops to watch a bit, kid yells up "I'm so proud of you" - I quickly respond "So is my mom".

Ice climber
Nov 15, 2012 - 03:40pm PT
I was asked while waiting in line to buy a cup of coffee at Curry Village "Are you a dirtbag?" Ummm...sans caffeine, my brain could not come up with a sharp and witty retort of "No, are you a touron?" Instead, I just stood there wondering since when is the natural adjective for climber, dirtbag? Mind you I was clean, hair brushed and dressed reasonably and it is not like I am sooo sucky of a climber that I need to carry my rack to safely travel through Curry Village. The appropriate question for that would have been "Are you a poseur?" of course.

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Nov 15, 2012 - 03:43pm PT
LS: I got heckled on the finger crack start of Nutcracker once by bunch of Mexican guys who walked over from their picnic. It was pretty funny, really. They didn't offer to help.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Nov 15, 2012 - 04:15pm PT
Comes around goes around Melissa. Last Sunday LS heckled ME as I started up a route. She didn't offer to help either. At least not then :-)

I was all, WAIT JUST A DAMN MINUTE HERE. Harassment is MY JOB damnit. I'm not supposed to be on the receiving end of it. Sheesh! I hadn't even made the first clip and both my partners were letting me have it right up the keister.

And I liked it. :-)

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