SCMA : worth joining?

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 29 of total 29 in this topic
other

Trad climber
LA, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 15, 2012 - 02:06am PT
Can anyone tell me the advantages of joining so Cal mountaineering assn vs climbing w unaffiliated partners? In the past it's been a lengthy aggravating process to prove to them that a (younger) climber is worthy of entry despite his ability, large scratched up rack and Decades of experience. Are there many hard, bd, experienced climbers in the club? They tout having an occasional reserved group camp site. Is that worth the dues and barrier to entry?
Gary

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Nov 15, 2012 - 11:37am PT
They tout having an occasional reserved group camp site. Is that worth the dues and barrier to entry?

If by occasional you mean twice a month at Josh October through April, three times per year in the Valley and Tuolumne at least once per year, that much is true.

You do have to demonstrate a basic skill set: signals, belay, rap, reverse a rap, escape a belay, place pro, build an anchor. No big deal. If you've only climbed in a gym or done sport you might need to work on some of that.

For me, it's bargain at $45 per year just for the camping.
locker

Social climber
Nov 15, 2012 - 11:38am PT


"Is that worth the dues and barrier to entry?"...

Only you can answer that for YOURSELF...

pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Nov 15, 2012 - 11:56am PT
Batten was a big part of SCMA. i never joined cuzz stoney was right down the street.
Pie

Trad climber
So-Cal
Nov 15, 2012 - 12:57pm PT
Worth joining? YES!
Regarding the barrier to entry: if you know how to climb, you take a safety test for a few hours then go climbing the rest of the day. Some of the stuff you hope to seldom use, such as escape the belay. But if you are in a pinch it is very good info to know. Easy stuff to know as mentioned above. Strange you say you are a younger climber but have decades of experience? You learn anchor building with the umbilical chord or something? If you are experienced you will have no issues.

Camping- group sites in josh all winter, idyllwild in the summers, the valley, tuolumne, dome lands, church dome, court right res, the list goes on. If it hadent been for some of these trips, I may have never thought to visit court right. 45 bucks a year for no hassle camping multiple times a month in josh? It will pay for itself is no time.

Diversity- young and old alike, there is something for most people. There are groups of people who love mountaineering, ice climbing, big hiking trips, big wall climbing, alpine climbing etc.. But the focus is on trad climbing mostly. Most people in the club have rock climbing as a commonality, but become friends with people who are interested in the same subdicipline as them. The point is you can really hone in on your area of interest.

Partnerships- there are a lot of knowledgeable people in the club, and generally if you are starting you can hook up with someone to show you around. There is always someone to climb with if you need a partner. Do some of th club members crank? Oh yea! Them old guys are rad.

I am a younger climber who just joined because I wanted to develop more partnerships and meet more people. Very happy I joined and have met some great folks
Gary

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Nov 15, 2012 - 01:56pm PT
Batten was a big part of SCMA. i never joined cuzz stoney was right down the street.

Hah! I gave Rockstar his evaluation climb! Got a six pack out of it. Jeff was a very good climber.
middle joe

Trad climber
OC
Nov 15, 2012 - 03:02pm PT
Don't forget the free cake and beer I got at the 80th birthday party Wednesday. That's worth a five spot alone..
nutjob

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Nov 15, 2012 - 03:31pm PT
Thanks for the heads up, I didn't know about this organization. I just submitted my application in anticipation of moving there next month. Need to rebuild the roster of potential partners!
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Nov 15, 2012 - 04:19pm PT
I've been in since '94. Good people all ranges of climbing ability.

The main requirement is to be a competent climber and get along well with others.

There are many advantages as stated.


Nutjob, PM me when you get to town. Let's go climbing!
Norte_Caroliña_Climber

Gym climber
BigWall Baller From the Holler
Nov 15, 2012 - 05:08pm PT
I think back a decade or thereabouts ago, there were a couple kids tearing up the valley wall scene who were in that club. Nate and Brandon? Something like that. They did some of the hardest walls around, Sea of Dreams and stuff like that.

So it might not all be lame old fuddy duddys, but theres always a bunch of them types in clubs even if all of em ain't. Guess it depends on whether you like to hang around in groups or actually get some climbing done.
other

Trad climber
LA, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 16, 2012 - 03:56am PT
In the past the requirement was to beg people to evaluate a prospective member on multiple multi pitch climbs. If they didn't already know the person they refused. That created a huge barrier to new members. By younger I mean under 55, the average age I've seen.
rincon

Trad climber
SoCal
Nov 16, 2012 - 11:45am PT
It's for nerds.
Gary

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Nov 16, 2012 - 12:24pm PT
In the past the requirement was to beg people to evaluate a prospective member on multiple multi pitch climbs. If they didn't already know the person they refused. That created a huge barrier to new members. By younger I mean under 55, the average age I've seen.

Then don't join. You can always camp at the Pit with the meth heads. There's plenty of old timers in the club, true. Guys in their 70s and still out on the sharp end. But there's plenty of the younger crowd, too. It's not everybody's cup of tea. But that's OK, too.

It's for nerds.

We are talking about climbers.
Plan B

Ice climber
Agua Dulce,CA
Nov 16, 2012 - 12:38pm PT
Credit: Plan B
Fletcher

Trad climber
Fumbling towards stone
Nov 16, 2012 - 01:33pm PT
My sense is that the SCMA has become more flexible over the recent years with respect to gaining new members. I think there's a fine line between have very strict entry requirements and potentially scaring away new members who may potentially become the future lifeblood of the organization. I think it's possible to do both and my outsider sense is that they are working toward that.

I certainly have a few friends and acquaintances who I highly respect who are members. The camping deal is well worth it by itself, as other's have noted.

When I first learned of the club years ago (late nineties), I was put off by the requirements. Something like "I would never be a member of a club that would have me as a member." :-) But I've grown and mellowed since then. I probably should join myself since for me, the hassle of finding camping often is a big hindrance to getting out there.

Eric
other

Trad climber
LA, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 18, 2012 - 04:22am PT
The way the scma works is: If you know someone you are let in with no tests. If you don't youre put through the ringer and denied even doing the eval climbs so you can never make "regular member". It doesnt matter if youve done the Nose in a day, a non connected person's climbing resume is ignored.
That are forced to be evaluated by far worse climbers and the eval is subjective. Also only members are allowed on their camp outs, no significant others, spouses or friends. Its a cult.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Nov 18, 2012 - 10:05am PT
Sounds like it's probably not for you.

Groups can be like that. Really good for some and not for others.


Personally I can't wait for you to ask me for your eval climb so I can fulfill your expectations. ;-)
Pie

Trad climber
So-Cal
Nov 18, 2012 - 01:22pm PT
Where did you get this info? A few of these statements are incorrect.
1. Every person has to take a test. No free passes are given unless you apply for honorary membership.
2. If you have done NIAD, pretty sure the club wants you.
3. You may be evaluated by a climber who doesn't climb the same grade as you. But they are making sure you are competent. If you did the NIAD, The majority of people will be worse than you. That's a pretty bitchin accomplishment.
4. Friends, spouses, midget lesbian lovers, etc... Are allowed at the camp outs are long as you are a regular member.

It seems you have already made your mind up about the club and are choosing to broadcast your displeasure.

My MO when hanging with the club is to wake up and go climbing all day with my partner then return in the evening for standard fire and bullshitting session.

other

Trad climber
LA, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2012 - 04:30am PT
apogee if you don't have an answer to the question asked then f*ck you, get lost and shut up. you are the troll shithead. have a nice day
;-)
other

Trad climber
LA, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2012 - 04:35am PT
yes the regular vs associate member. it is nearly impossible to get upgraded to regular in less then 6 months. Unless you know people. I get this info from members like gary and "spider sewerage".
This is why the number of active members gets smaller and smaller while the age gets higher and higher.
Dave Kos

Trad climber
Temecula
Nov 19, 2012 - 08:34am PT
I don't think the OP is a troll. His question is one I've heard often, in different forms, since I've moved to Southern CA.

The way the scma works is: If you know someone you are let in with no tests. If you don't youre put through the ringer and denied even doing the eval climbs so you can never make "regular member". It doesnt matter if youve done the Nose in a day, a non connected person's climbing resume is ignored.

I have no idea if any of the above is true, but I do know that that it echos a common perception of the SCMA. The rumors I've heard about it from non-members is that the membership requirements are similar to a country club - one has to "know someone" or have an extraordinary "game" - and if they don't, they will be required to jump through time-consuming hoops to prove their merit ("I can go climbing this weekend or I can take a test...") A common rumor is that the safety exam is more about stroking the instructor's ego than providing an objective evaluation.

No doubt the folklore has been exaggerated - but it is out there - and it is a deterrent to potential members. I do think the SCMA could benefit the community even more if it could project a more accurate image.

(BTW, some of the responses here aren't helping...)

I would probably attempt to join myself if I had more time to take advantage of the campgrounds, but I also wonder if it is "worth" the initial obstacles.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Nov 19, 2012 - 09:24am PT
Serious question: What's the male to female ratio, approximately, of this group.

Not that I would join, since I am more apt to hang out with the imaginary Meth heads at the Pit.



I went through the "club" decision process when I started climbing with the Appies. First off, even though I was/am a timid climber and adventurer, I identified more with the Vulgarian ethos/pathos, and since the Appies had gotten laughed off the cliff BITD, there was just no way I could do it.

I do have one friend who is an Appie, and each year she takes one or two young leaders under her mentorship. Pauline alone, as a mentor, would have been worth joining had I done so.


On a humorous side:
I had another friend who was one, and one day she had been climbing with an old Appie and they stopped by my place after. I said "I don't think the Appies are for me. Is it TRUE they have a rule that all belayers must, without question, be anchored in? Even on the ground?"

He declined a direct answer, but went on to explain the potential perils a belayer could encounter, even on the ground...

"Yes, I know. But why not teach a person to analyze the circumstance for those potential hazzards, which certainly don't exist in every case, and especially not on a formation like the Brat, where we sometimes see people belaying from across the carriage road and tied down and in the way of everyone who passes through(especially if a ranger truth comes by...)"

He sighed. And then said "You're right."

I said "About changing the rule to analytical thinking?"

"Np. That the Appies aren't right for you."


Har har... truth that!



mountainlion

Trad climber
California
Nov 19, 2012 - 09:59am PT
Hopefully I'm not feeding a troll...

I know someone who is a member and a competent, cool climber. He has taken several trips with the group and offered me camping opportunities that I never needed. So if you need those camping opportunities and partners it may be worth it.

I never became a member for a couple reasons. 1) I never really need camping opportunities or climbing partners, I already have lots of friends for both.

2)My friend who is a member once bailed on me with no notice to do a practice run up "white maiden's walkway" the week before the guy was going to do his multi-pitch evaluation. I like "white maiden's" but I don't think it says much about whether or not you are a competent climber as an evaluation. It gave me the impression that the evaluation wasn't worth much. I also had a bad taste in my mouth about getting bailed on with no notice for such a baby route (my opinion).

I ruined the friendship with my friend by getting drunk and having an argument over his using unemployment to finance his climbing trips instead of actually looking for a job. All in all I feel that the people I know who are members take advantage of the system and that never really set well with me. I am honest with my prospective partners and myself. I wouldn't want someone to fool me by passing a climbing test that was so easy and give me a false impression of their abilities.

If you do join, make sure you evaluate your partner's the same as you would if they didn't have a safety test.

apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Nov 19, 2012 - 10:36am PT
other, it sounds like your opinion of this organization is well-formed (and negative). Therefore, your OP has the strong whiff of 'troll'.

Those kinds of games are pretty transparent and disliked in these parts, but no doubt you'll probably find a number who are happy to jump on board with the hatin'. Have fun with that.
Dave Kos

Trad climber
Temecula
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:16am PT
other, it sounds like your opinion of this organization is well-formed (and negative). Therefore, your OP has the strong whiff of 'troll'.

Those kinds of games are pretty transparent and disliked in these parts, but no doubt you'll probably find a number who are happy to jump on board with the hatin'. Have fun with that.

apogee,

I think this is a worthwhile discussion that has relevance to the climbing community. Your comments here really don't add any value.

I'm not sure why you find it necessary to be the self-appointed "troll filter" on this forum.

The OP question is pertinent and, in in my opinion, sincere: "SCMA: worth joining?"

I personally would like to hear what other climbers have to say about this topic.

apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:48am PT
Yeah, Dave...I would too.

It seems quite clear that the OP has a pre-formed opinion about the SCMA (ironically, we share some sentiments), and that they are more interesting in 'outing' the organization than an honest inquiry. These kinds of thinly-veiled agendas are commonplace here, and I find them quite annoying, duplicitous, and negative.

other, if I'm wrong about your motivations, I'll take it all back.
Gary

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Nov 19, 2012 - 11:49am PT
OK, here's my story.

After quitting work as a baker, I found I now had weekends off, and more importantly, three day holidays, and consecutive days off. As a baker, my outings were limited to dayhikes on Tuesdays. Walker Pass was pretty much the limit of what I could do and get to work that night. My big vacations would be fall backpacks in the Sierra. I was a solo guy.

With weekends off, the possibilities were unlimited! Now, all of my friends were more into the 3 Cs: Cocaine, Cerveza and Cigarettes. That limited my possibilities of partners, so I hooked up with the some Sierra Club hikes.

That's how I learned of SCMA.

Now while wondering around the Sierra, it's hard to miss Mt. Humphreys. If I was ever going to get to the top of that, I'd need some skills.

I went online and signed up for the SCMA class. I didn't know anybody. I was accepted. Took the class, learned a lot. I got my evaluation climbs to become associate in one weekend at Tahquitz. No hassles.

A year or so later, I felt up to it and did an evaluation climb to be a regular member. I had been encouraged to do so earlier. I led the Trough. The evaluation wasn't about climbing, it was about setting good pro and building good anchors. That's sort of makes sense doesn't it?

In the mean time, I've been on evaluation climbs of others. On one climb up White Maiden with Bob, who was an applicant, it was obvious within a few minutes that Bob knew what he was doing. I said so on the evaluation form to the Safety Committee, to skip associate, and make Bob a regular member right away. And that's what happened.

I don't get where people talk about the difficulty of joining. Whatever.
Onewhowalksonrocks

Mountain climber
portland, Maine
Nov 19, 2012 - 12:33pm PT
For myself organized climbing groups and I don't mix. So I wouldn't join. Nor would I know if you should. I don't know the rules or what they have to offer.

Simply put if are asking or wondering about joining. Then you should. The only thing you have to lose is your life.

I have seen a climbing group kick rocks off the top and laugh. SCMA

I did the volcanoes in Mexico with this guy many years ago. I took him to Big Rock so we could get to know each other. He didn't know to clean the gear as he climbed. 6 months later he was an instructor for SCMA.



Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 19, 2012 - 01:01pm PT
I looked into the SCMA 20 years ago and choked on the silly requirements.
You mean I can be an old skool AAC member with FA's around the world and
some bozo is gonna take me up White Maiden to check me out? LOL!
Of course they need to have rules and regs. And rules and regs are made to
have exceptions.
Messages 1 - 29 of total 29 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews