Valenclimbs Day

Carrot, High-Clip, and the rest of theDIHEDRAL crew have had varying degrees of success dating within the climbing gym and the climbing community.  Climbing offers all the ingredients necessary for developing a love potion, the only caveat is that a love potion for one could be a poison for another.

The topic of love works well with Valentine’s day right around the corner but the advice offered here will undoubtedly stand the test of time as a valuable resource for all would-be swooners from now until forever.

Carrot’s Advice

The dynamic of a climbing crew is a fragile entity, adding or subtracting a personality could destroy the harmony of a delicate system.  Climbers rely on each other for more than just encouragement, motivation, and catches.  A crew is coterie within a community, a series of delicate cogs moving along on a cogwheel within an elegant system of similar accouterment.  The slightest variation in the system could cause the entire network to crumble.

Of course under the right circumstances an adjustment here or there could get the whole thing ticking like a swiss watch.

The point here is that proclaiming your love for a member of the crew isn’t just a risk that affects the lover and the beloved, the crusher and the crushed, a proclamation of love could alter the dynamic of quite a few people.  So the question arises: is it worth the risk?  To which I would say…Maybe!

It really depends on a few things, including the stakes, which in most cases are pretty easy to anticipate.  Most climbing groups come to know each other pretty well, we can predict how the people affected will respond.  It also depends on the goal.  If you are looking for a one night stand with a married friend, then maybe pass.  If you are looking for summer fling before the group dispenses, then maybe smash.  But…if you are caught up in deep feels and want something more, if you’re worried about affecting the dynamic of the group, or worried about getting rejected, if you’re scared to put yourself out there, then try to measure the risk vs. the reward.  And, if for a second you think the payoff is worth the risk, then stop thinking about it and take your shot.  Don’t worry about all those other things, they will work themselves out.

I think the regret of ‘what if’ is worse than regret of ‘at least I tried’.  Plus, despite the delicate nature of the cogs and the coterie, and all that bullshit, one thing about climbers is that we thrive on drama. So, when clique crushes arise, the crew is sure to gobble it up.

Why hold it in when you could risk ruining a friendship, destroying a dynamic, and supplying you and your crew with horribly awkward encounters for the rest of your life?

High-Clip’s Advice

As Carrot said, the climbing ecosystem is incredibly delicate, and one move can make or break an entire crew. The key is self awareness. Let me explain.

If your crew is ride or die, and unless you committed some crime on the scale of mass genocide, these folks would stick with you, then you have a lot more room for error. If you try to spark something with someone more on the periphery of your group, it doesn’t really matter how it ends. Best case, you live happily ever after. Worst case, your climbing group is hardly changed at all. However, if you’re going for someone in this ride or die group, things could get really bad really fast. You should probably poll the rest of the group to see what they think, and you should probably wait a while before making moves in case your feelings go away. I don’t think there is much that I would risk a friendship for, but if the other person is on the same page as you, it’s not like it’s going to be as it was before anyway.

Now, if you don’t have a set-in-stone climber group, you also have a bit of flexibility, but in a different way. You can really be as bold as you would like with anyone because, well, it’s not like they really know you anyway, and it’s not like your life is really going to change if it goes poorly. Having said that, since no one is really there to stand up for you behind the scenes, you might want to steer clear of folks that are higher in the gym hierarchy. If rumors about you spread, the other climbers won’t question them a ton, and you might find your list of climbing buddies shorter than before.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you communicate, and be safe out there!

Bonus advice for subtly letting your crush in on your secret infatuation (wrong answers only).

  • Short Rope your crush as much as possible, they’ll love it, and it will set a precedent that you are going to keep them on a tight leash.
  • Spray Beta, they may be thinking about how annoying you are, but at least they will be thinking about you.
  • Call your crush “bro” all the time.  ‘Bro’ can be used as a gender neutral term, and nothing screams “I LOVE YOU” like neutrality. 
  • Make sure to climb a route right after your crush finishes brushing the holds.  They will subconsciously think that they brushed the holds for you and then they will fall in love.
  • Point out how attractive the other climbers around are. They’ll get jealous and immediately fall for you.
  • Hide their gear so that they realize all they were really were looking for was you.
  • Explain why your belay or climbing technique is better than theirs so that they know that they can learn from you.
  • Constantly complain about an injury every day, making them want to fix you.
  • Ask them if they’ve seen Free Solo to determine if they’re even worth your time.

15 Replies to “Valenclimbs Day”

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