Home > Profiles

You Know You’re a Climber When…

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.

Alex Megos fixes his flappers Photo Brandon Pullan

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.

A post shared by Giovanni Traversi (@gtraversi) on

Check out the latest buyer's guide:

The Best Climbing Gear According to Our Editors

It's the perfect time of year to freshen up your rack for the spring rock climbing season