Climbing Partner Musings

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Tornadoman
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Re: Climbing Partner Musings

Post by Tornadoman » Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:21 pm

One other thing to mention is medical conditions.... I think it is important for partners to be open about medical conditions that may cause concern in the wilderness. If a partner was allergic to bees for example, it would be important to know what to do in the event of a sting.
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MtnHub
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Re: Climbing Partner Musings

Post by MtnHub » Wed Feb 24, 2021 4:16 pm

Great topic and some excellent points.

Living in the Midwest and not having any family members interested in climbing, I was/am always looking for good partners to join me. This has been especially true the older I get as I don't feel safe hiking alone anymore. Safety and compatibility are the most essential things I look for.

During the first several years after joining 14ers.com I mostly lurked in the shadows. But after a while I could pretty much determine who were good, solid, knowledgeable, reliable people by the posts they made, people I would be honored to meet and/or hike with. I reached out to several of them personally and have since developed a great relationship with them. Most have now become good friends with me, some closer than ones I have here at home.

So depending upon how you seek partners out, don't rely solely on people coming to you from reading an 'ad' for a partner online. If there is a particular person you feel might be a perfect partner or someone you'd really like to get to know better, I encourage you to contact them yourself even if they seem 'above' you in ability. I've always felt, what have I got to lose? All they can do is refuse and blow you off.
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Re: Climbing Partner Musings

Post by bergsteigen » Wed Feb 24, 2021 4:50 pm

I wrote this with a different title, but it would Totally work as: Ode to finding a ski partner. Works since I’m involved in a mentorship program with a FB BC ski group, and finding a mentee that jives has been interesting.
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Re: Climbing Partner Musings

Post by habaceeba » Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:41 pm

Thanks for posting this Snow Dog.

I have always had so many apprehensions about blindly jumping in with a partner on 14ers for all of the reasons (and more) mentioned in the OP. The only summit I have with partners I found on 14ers is Pyramid. Most of my summits are solo. I used to think I was a slow hiker and I simply didn't want to hold anyone back. Then, I noticed that there was a lot of nasty activity in the forum from people hiding behind their keyboards and I really didn't want to be a part of the community, but it doesn't feel that way anymore...and I'm not a slow hiker anymore either.

So now I have a dilemma. I have so many difficult peaks to get up and I don't know if I can do them alone, so maybe it's time to swallow my pride and look for suitable partners, but it still feels like a blind decision. Without posting a 'partners wanted ad', how do I vet partners from scratch?
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Re: Climbing Partner Musings

Post by CoHi591 » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:20 am

This is a stress point for me as well. I really like climbing peaks a s backpacking solo on my own terms, which is why I haven't really enjoyed the small handful of times I've gone with internet people. I'm also extremely introverted and quiet and I don't want to make someone else feel uncomfortable if we aren't chatting. Sharing a 3-4 hour car ride each way with a stranger is a nightmare.

As an aside I've always joked about starting my own "Introverts mountain guiding business". Need company/a guide on the peaks for safety and a second set of eyes on the route, but want general solitude and absolutely no small talk otherwise? I'm you're guy!

Kidding of course. I'm not good enough to guide.
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Re: Climbing Partner Musings

Post by JQDivide » Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:58 am

Great topic....

First suggestion... Hike with Brad McQueen. He's a great partner.

I hiked with three new people in January for a Humboldt attempt and we had this conversation about trying to find new hiking partners for Winter 14ers.
They are fairly new to 14ers and couldn't understand why it was so hard to get partners.

I told them that hiking in winter multiples all the dangers and risks, which makes hiking with new people potentially an issue. One doesn't know the new people, their skills, or how they will react to situations. That's why hiking with new people in summer/early fall is best to see if you sync with them, before any issues come up. You have to try out new people like you have to try out new gear. Do it on easier routes/ peaks before you advance.
(The irony of that day... I was the lame duck.)
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Re: Climbing Partner Musings

Post by rijaca » Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:37 am

I prefer to hike with friends. I've been lucky in that when I started hiking peaks years ago, I had friends that were interested in hiking peaks as well (Tyler, Mark/Eileen, Bill, Colin/Carla). And these friends were/are long time hiking/climbing partners.

I've also met partners via 14W and 14ers.com and work. But I met these folks at social gatherings/work before I actually hiked/climbed with them. And we became friends (John, Darin, Tyson/Amy, Matt, Dave, Greg) as well as hiking/climbing partners.

:-D
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Re: Climbing Partner Musings

Post by climbingcue » Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:17 am

habaceeba wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:41 pm
So now I have a dilemma. I have so many difficult peaks to get up and I don't know if I can do them alone, so maybe it's time to swallow my pride and look for suitable partners, but it still feels like a blind decision. Without posting a 'partners wanted ad', how do I vet partners from scratch?
14er spring, fall and winter gatherings are the best place I have found to meet great partners. I highly recommend attending them if you can.
Consecutive months with at least one 14er, 38 months and counting...
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Re: Climbing Partner Musings

Post by FireOnTheMountain » Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:26 am

HikerGuy wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:12 am
- No carpooling. I like my alone time in the car and most of the time it is configured for car camping (no extra seating) and once it is setup, I don't like to mess with it. It also allows me adjust my itinerary before/after the meetup.
Lets each drive 6 hours in separate cars and then hike together. Where's my enviro thread when you need it! ](*,) ](*,)
Everyday is a G r A t E f U L Day here in the ID...?
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Re: Climbing Partner Musings

Post by HikerGuy » Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:51 am

FireOnTheMountain wrote:
Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:26 am
HikerGuy wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:12 am
- No carpooling. I like my alone time in the car and most of the time it is configured for car camping (no extra seating) and once it is setup, I don't like to mess with it. It also allows me adjust my itinerary before/after the meetup.
Lets each drive 6 hours in separate cars and then hike together. Where's my enviro thread when you need it! ](*,) ](*,)
Don't be so quick to judge! Neither my wife or I drive to work. I only average one airplane flight per year, she averages about two flights per year. I also purchase carbon offsets for the flights. I just swapped out our gas-powered snowblower and lawnmower for battery-powered models. Let me know if there is more you would like to know about how we try to be environmentally conscious. There are many ways to participate in being green and I don't feel one bit guilty for my summertime mountain driving. Carpooling normally does not work for me as I am usually on multi-day itineraries which don't line up exactly with partners' days off. I am also able to take leave without notice which also leads to me hiking solo over 78% of the time. This also allows me to time nearly all of my hikes with good weather which is safe and minimizes my travel. Many people prefer to carpool, to save money, to have company, to be green, but I like to be upfront that it's not my thing.
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Re: Climbing Partner Musings

Post by GeezerClimber » Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:07 am

Sometimes I think finding a good partner is more difficult than finding a spouse!

When I was looking for partners for difficult peaks, the key factor was trust. For instance, getting off route may be the biggest risk on a difficult peak so I wanted a partner that would collaborate before charging forward on a sketchy section. I wanted a tacit agreement that if one could not or would not go forward for whatever reason, both of us would turn around. This rarely happens but I would never leave a partner alone on a mountain and expected the same treatment.
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Re: Climbing Partner Musings

Post by FireOnTheMountain » Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:09 am

^Dude, I'm very happy to read this :)

I even clicked on your page and read that you were a Boulderite which made me even sadder, but I'm pleased to learn that you do actually care. Good on you, and wish there were more like you!!

Unfortunately however, I will forever err on the side of caution and assume everyone cares not about the environment simply because that's what I see all around me, day in and day out. You keep doin you man.
Everyday is a G r A t E f U L Day here in the ID...?
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