“OK, watch me here.”
“I’m with you, you got this!”
(climber makes sketchy moves, get’s in place to clip, pulls up rope, then drops, then goes to pull up again and gets short roped.)
“’Come on, feed it faster!”
“I’m trying, don’t pull so hard!”
“Agh, now I’m pumped. I’m off, falling!”
(climber lowers to ground and gives belayer stink eye.)
We’ve probably all seen interactions like this, though oddly enough, rarely between two people who aren’t romantically involved. I’ll never forget the first “couple wobbler” I saw. These two normally-nice-to-each-other folks would turn into something very different at the crag, where all these frustrations and insecurities would surface in a perfect storm of swearing and tears. Yikes, isn’t this supposed to be fun?
If you haven't experienced this at the crag you're lucky. This is honestly one of the most awkward things to be near but not involved in. You can't move away because you're climbing partner is in the middle of his or her route, so you just have to sit there and pretend you don't hear them arguing. It's almost worse if you actually know the couple, but then you can at least jump in and offer your own belay skills to split them up.
A tip to anyone thinking about teaching their significant other to climb for the first time outside...don't. Take them to a gym and put them on top rope or let someone else teach them. If you're determined to turn your "boo" into a rock crusher like you, then don't plan on doing anything hard for a while.
Read on for some good tips for you and your climber girlfriend or boyfriend. Love on the Rocks | Splitter Choss