Finding a climbing partner is not as easy as you think. When I met my first climbing partner last year through a class at Brooklyn Boulders, I was elated. She was a newbie like me, and we hit it off immediately. As my belayer, she was very attentive and an effective listener. However, there were times when I was not able to climb with her, and finding someone, who was in my area, was a little complex. Through some research, I eventually was able to find like-minded people in my area who were also looking for someone to climb with.
Before you spend a full day with your new climbing buddy, interrogate them. Ask them about their rock climbing experience. Make sure they are a very good communicator, receptive to constructive criticism, and fun to hang out with. You don’t want a climbing partner who is not attentive to your needs as a climber.
If you are having trouble finding climbing partners to consistently climb with, here are some ways to find climbers like you whether you are moving to another town, or just seeking ways to find a climber partner.
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Join a rock climbing gym in your area if you haven’t already. Joining a climbing gym is a great way to make friends and meet new people with the same passion. From my experience, those in the climbing community are generally friendly people and they’re willing to share tips with new climbers. You will have plenty of time to make conversation with others while waiting for someone to finish a climb, or while resting between climbs. There are also climbing classes that you can take to meet new people. Here is a full list of U.S. bouldering and rock climbing gyms.
Find a climbing group on Meetup. Meetup is a free social media platform where you can find groups with members with the same interest as you. You will meet at a certain day, and at a certain time every week. To find groups in your area, type “rock climbing” in the search engine. Once you find a group of your choice, you can let the group know the level of climbing you are on. If you have any questions about a group that you joined, you can always text the group leader via the Meetup app. If you still can’t find a group on the Meetup app, you can always start your own Meetup group on the platform for others to join in your area.
Search for climbing partners on Mountain Project. This website is strictly for rock climbers, and is used to find climbing partners in your area, rock climbing routes, along with real-life experiences, and get advice from fellow climbers. You can search for a partner or post a message that you are looking for a partner.
Try Airbnb. Airbnb is known for their homestay services, and it free to join. Recently, Airbnb created a new platform for hosts to list Airbnb Experiences where you can enjoy creative and adventurous activities worldwide. During these experiences, you should be able to meet potential climbing partners and exchange contact information to continue your rock climbing journey. To search for a rock climbing experience in your area, type your city’s name, or a popular city in your area, and then type “rock climbing” in the search engine. If you are new to Airbnb, new members get a nice discount towards their first adventure. If you can find an Airbnb host who has an indoor or outdoor rock climbing experience, go for it.
Try to avoid dating websites, and if you choose to use a regular social media platform like Facebook and Instagram, make sure you are joining a legitimate climbing group.