How to Not Win Friends and Influence People

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!

Complain About Crowds

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.)

Ask to Warm up on Other People’s Projects (aka the Burn Off)

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!”

Name Drop

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 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.

8 Responses to How to Not Win Friends and Influence People

  1. Bag on whole groups of people (stereotyping). IE – the pretentious Boulder climbers, Midwest gapers, Front Range invaders, Europeans, etc LOUDLY.

    Jon July 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm
    • Oooh, that’s a really good one!

      BJ Sbarra July 3, 2012 at 1:48 pm
      • Dale Carnegie is a dunce, lets turn this into a top selling book. Lets not forget the “long story short” guy (as seen in South Park), the climbing gym rat, the fat guy who blames his fatness on an injury from 6 years ago, the guy who screams “SAH!!!” on every move, and the guy who starts spontaneously ranting about how the guy from 127 hours is stupid and does not deserve a movie about him.

        Jason Keck July 3, 2012 at 5:01 pm
  2. Classic stuff. Let’s not forget the jackwhacker who sulks around Tensleep or the Creek muttering “all these damn Boulderites… don’t they have any good climbing in their own state??”.

    Wait- that’s me! J/k. I love Coloradans. Keep up the good work!

    mtsplitski July 3, 2012 at 5:18 pm
  3. My “friend” Derek Franz AKA Desert Storm keeps telling me how the routes I’m struggling on in the Arsenal are really a letter grade easier than currently rated. Hear me, Derek? Those pants won’t protect you when I whip out my own armored offensive upside your head! Besides, I toproped the Avenger clean with no warmup this weekend, I’m thinking .12b max! .12a with a new resole.

    Chris Kalous July 3, 2012 at 6:14 pm
  4. Pingback: Devil’s Lake slide show news & more! | Chicks Climbing

  5. You’re right, Chris. I guess I’ve been climbing upside down so much lately it freaks me out when I have to actually stand on my feet while climbing up (not out, as in a giant bulging cliff that overhangs more than your belly). I guess Rendezspew might be 5.13 … as a downclimb!

    D-Storm July 9, 2012 at 10:37 pm
  6. Oh, and it’s “Operation Derek Storm” to you, “buddy.” Next time you take gear off some NOOB’s rack, I’ll turn you in for theft instead of covering for you. You rock stars just think you can help yourselves to whatever you want.

    D-Storm July 9, 2012 at 10:41 pm
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