Climbers do and say and crazy things other outdoor adventurers don’t tend to.
From pantomiming at the base of crags to using a toe hook to get off the couch, these are a few ways to know you’re a climber.
Social media: You only follow people who post about climbing all of the time. And even if many people post the same image from a climb, you like it every time.
Follow cracks in the sidewalk: When you’re walking along a broken sidewalk or path and start to follow a crack, imagining it’s vertical and breaking it down into pitches and cruxes.
You find the line: You can find a viable line up a house, building or structure.
Gear placements: You spot gear placements everywhere.
Climber’s neck: When driving past rock walls and mountains and you constantly stare up and sideways at everything but the road.
When you find holds is strange places:
– Sitting at a table and pinching the edge as an undercling
– Running your hand along a brick wall and stopping when you feel a crimp
– When you you’re holding a glass like a pinch
– When you walk into a room and grip the top of the door frame
– You find finger and hand jams in weird places
– You hand jam between the railing and the wall like a psycho
Pockets come in all sizes: Pockets aren’t just on your pants, they’re everywhere and range from monos to buckets.
You reach for chalk when there is no chalk: Anytime you’re outside in the summer and your hands start to sweat you reach behind for that chalky relief.
Guidebooks in the bathroom: You read guidebooks on the toilet.
Shop talk over politics: You’d rather talk about moves and climbs than current affairs.
You make it harder to do things:
– You carry shopping bags with one finger
– You close doors by edging them
– You carry unnecessarily heavy things to train
– You edge on stairs
– You carry heavy things in your hands at the office
– Instead of using a ladder, you send the wall
Desk traverse: You imagine clearing everything off your desk to send the underneath traverse.
You have to explain gobies: Gobies are wounds on your hands from climbing and you have to tell people they’re not from a bar fight.
Active rest days: You’re sore and hurting but can’t resist another session on your “rest day.”
Tennis elbow: You sleep with straight arms so your tennis elbow doesn’t kill you in the morning.
Finger pads messed up:
– You thumb ID security doesn’t work because you have no fingerprint left
– You can’t use your touch-screen because of all the chalk
– You can’t cross borders because they can’t get a finger print off you
Always have gear: You bring your gear everywhere, just in case.
Holidays: You have never gone on a non-climbing related trip.
Flip flops and toques: You wear flip flops, toques and a down jacket because it’s what climbers do. In fact, you try to do everything in flip flops.
You’re cool with being a dirtbag:
– You avoid spending money to the point of going crazy
– You’re considering starting dumpster diving
– You can sleep anywhere and it’s totally normal
– You spend every second pursuing your lifestyle
Pantomiming: You can give beta for a problem or route simple by mimicking the moves with your hands and feet.
Hand care: You sandpaper your hands, file your nails and superglue your wounds. And in extreme cases, like Alex Megos below, you use razor blades to deal with flappers.
Buying a car: You look for a car or van that you can sleep in comfortably, can store a bouldering pad and is cheap on gas.
Weather: You check the hourly, one-day and five-day forecast 50 times a day.
Family: You don’t think they’ll never understand who you are or what you do.
Celebrities: You refer to Adam Ondra, Chris Sharma, Alex Puccio and Lynn Hill like they’re celebrities.
Peeing: You’ve accidentally been peed on or peed on someone else at a belay ledge.
Highballs: Highballs in your life aren’t cocktails but scary boulder problems you don’t really want to try, but kinda do.