As my friend Chris likes to point out, the climbing world is so small that most of us are connected to each other by various acquaintances, and those strangers at the cliff are really just friends we haven’t met yet. But every now and then, you might just feel like pissing some people off. Maybe your stock investment took a plunge, or your girlfriend dumped you on Facebook. Or maybe you just have too many first world problems to count, and you don’t want anymore amigos. Whatever the reason, here are some great ways to make sure no one at the cliff will want to hang out with you. As an added bonus, if you try really hard, you might even get some fame online in a forum or blog. Bonus!
This one is easy, and many people are already really good at it. Roll up to the cliff with at least ten other friends, and then loudly and repeatedly talk about how busy it is. Say things like “Where did all these people come from,” and “We never used to have to wait in line for the warmups.” This instantly shows that you don’t like other people, and ensures that anyone you don’t know wont try to start a conversation with you. It also lets everyone know that you climbed here before it was popular, instantly boosting your coolness points (in your mind anyway.)
Speaking of warm ups, here’s a good one. Walk up to a group of folks that are obviously in project mode, and ask if you can cut in line, since “you just want to warm up real quick.” This will make their efforts seem paltry in comparison, and they’ll likely be in awe as you flawlessly float the pitch you’ve climbed 7,654 times before. If you really want to cement your status as super man in their minds, stick around and spray them down with beta as they work hard on the route you can climb with your eyes closed. Be sure to get the proper phrasing though, like “No, not that way, no one does it that way, are you blind? The THIRD ticked hold from the right, the sloper!”
Nothing says “I’m important” like the people you know (or think you know). This one can be practiced at the cliff, around the campfire, even online if you want. Be sure to drop as many names as possible, bonus points are given for using several in one sentence. Something like: “Oh yeah, I was talking to Tommy (first names are good, implies you are bros) the other day and he said Sharma hadn’t checked it out yet, but Graham might swing by sometime next week.” WARNING: This one can backfire, as the climbing community is small enough that the people you are name dropping in front of could actually know these same people. If you are called out on how well you know them, a simple “Oh it’s been a while since I’ve seen them” should move the conversation along to a place you’re more comfortable, like talking about your 8a.nu scorecard. And if for some reason it does get too uncomfortable, just pull out #2 and ask to warm up on their project again…
While there are certainly more (let us know in the comments), this should give you a solid foundation from which to build on. Put these into place and you too can soon be one of the loneliest people at the cliff.