I’m curious, what’s the one (or two) things/habits/practices that are dealbreakers when it comes to choosing partners? We can all have our preferences, but is there anything you just can’t agree to disagree on?

For me, it’s stick-clipping. I value my ankles over my ego and anyone who gives me shit has probably just climbed with me for the last time. And brushing. Forgot yours and need to borrow mine? No problem. But regularly climb without one, thinking enough other folks will do it for you? No thanks!


For me it’s flakey people who are constantly shifting plans to decide where to climb. Make a plan. Stick to it. Or we won’t be climbing together, even when your plans line up with mine.


Dogs. Off. Leashes. That’s great that your dog who isn’t coming when called is “so sweet” but that doesn’t mean my leashed dog wants him in his face or near that couples baby over there or on that other groups crash pads/landing zone. Drives me nuts.


For me it’s when people don’t bring their own gear (like a rope and/or draws) and then proceed to hang- dog on your rope all day. Oh, the other big one is playing music loud enough to the point where you can’t even hear your climber and they don’t even ask if you are okay with it.


Mines just safety related, inattentive/poor belaying.

But loud music and poorly behaved crag dogs are annoying too


ALL OF THESE THINGS. I suppose I just don’t like other people. :rofl:


The inattentive belayer is a major deal breaker for me. Had a friend pay more attention to his young son on the ground than to me up high on a route. Super unnerving. We don’t climb together anymore.


Anyone who belays with an ATC is out.

In the other direction, the biggest thing that seals the deal for me is being down for shenanigans. After we do what we set out to do, I love climbing with people who want to try no star routes, add lay down starts, look for lowball choss, make up elements on the warmups etc.


People who complain that stuff you/we climb on atm is not inspiring and actually soft, but fails both to make an interesting climb herself or even send the current soft one :rofl:

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Just all the screaming/yelling of all sorts. Wobblers? Out. Screaming for the whole crag to hear when your buddy falls? Out. Excessive cheering? Still out. A little bit of respect for nature and other people goes a long way for me.

2nd the atc belayer, need someone who is experienced enough to know that a auto locking belay device is an essential tool.

Need a partner who knows when to shut up. Can’t stand when people start spraying beta while I’m climbing or start shouting encouragement during sections that aren’t even remotely hard. I like a belayer who’s pays attention and knows when it’s hard for me and saves encouragement for that move or section or even better just stays silent and does their job!

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I feel like everyone is entitled to take off their shoe and throw it every once and awhile :joy:🥲:cry::sob:


I’m pro-ATC when the belayer is much heavier than the climber. MUCH heavier. When I was belaying my 10 year old daughter, ATC was essential.


Haha - an added excessive is probably necessary.

I’ve been known to wobble on a fitting occasion, and everyone should be afforded those moments. Very cathartic.


The climber friend who taught me how to lead climb was also an avid weed smoker. I was too new to really understand the risks of it. Anyway, one day we were climbing on a 10m wall and he wanted to use his 20m rope. And as I was coming down from the route, there was no stopper knot at the other end of the rope and he dropped me the last couple of meters. The worst part was that he didnt apologize about dropping me until I called him out on it, later in the day. (I of course was accountable for not checking if we had a stopper knot before getting on the route, it was just important to me that we had mutual accountability). We never climbed together again after that trip.

So - I don’t climb with people who are high (while belaying/spotting) and I don’t climb with people who can’t be accountable for and try to learn from their mistakes.

Also. I have been quite a fearful leader and still can get pretty scared on lead. I find that climbing with other people who are afraid actually makes me more afraid. So I try and chose belayers/climbing friends who are more comfortable on lead than myself. This took me a long time to figure out, and I used to think that climbing with people who are also afraid would be helpful, because we could more easily talk about our fears, but for me that just ends up killing the psyche and getting all of us worked up and afraid!