Jonathan Thesenga wrote a really funny article in Ascent magazine about climbing deal breakers – CBDs – which are truly not that climbing specific. For example, we should all be wary of a girl who gives advice about things she’s never done.
“See if I were writing a novel…”
Thesenga started out with girls who smoke clove cigarettes and guys who have modified tailpipes on their cars. Then he transitioned to tribal tattoos on biceps and visors worn upside down and backward (a triple score: one for the visor, one for backward, and one for upside down).
I’d like to start my deal breakers list with facial tattoos, owning a Ford Mustang, being a model, and texting/tweeting during dinner.
To Thesenga’s list of Climbing Deal Breakers, I’ll add the following seven CBDs:
1. A non-climber dad who screams at his Junior National climber kid while she’s trying to lead-climb outside for the first time (as in: “You’re being ridiculous! This route is easy!)
2. The guy who finds a way to drive his SUV right to the bottom of the cliff, even though there’s no road, then does the cocky head swag thing because he’s just so awesome.
3. The group that brings their ipod-docking-station-boombox-thing so that we can all enjoy their loud musical choices while trying to be outside in nature.
4. “Advanced Mediocre Climbing Guy” who treats his girlfriend like an idiot/slave because she can’t climb the 5.11a he just barely redpointed five minutes earlier.
5. “Free-Solo-Parent-Guy.” This person is related to the long-haired-cut-off-jeans-free-soloing-5.6-guy who frequents my local crag, but he adds the wonderful bonus of bringing his four-year-old son with him. The little kid climbs in front of the father – no rope – while the father solos in converse behind. If the kid falls, the father will probably catch him while standing on the security of his gray Chuck Taylors.
6. Near-smoking-weed-girl. This is the “outdoorsy” girl who puffs down right next to me as I belay my partner on a leadl. It makes sense. Everyone wants to have second-hand weed smoke blown in their faces while protecting a friend from a ground fall.
7. The list of excuses I come up with to not lead a route on any given day. As in: “That breakfast burrito isn’t sitting right in my stomach. I probably shouldn’t lead because I might cramp up halfway through.” That’s right, I’m breaking up with myself.