If you are not a climber or you just started climbing, it can be hard to understand some weird behaviours that climbers have. To help initiate you into the climbing fraternity we’ll look at the 10 most common types of climbers so you’ll have a deeper appreciation of why we do what we do. However, if you are a season rock climber see if any of these are familiar to you 😁.
Type 1 – Action hero
Ever seen a climber standing or sometimes lying on the floor doing weird gestures? What they are doing is simulating the climbing moves with their hands and feet. Some hardcore climbers will even go to the extent of doing imaginary drop knees, undercling, gaston, flagging, chalking, and even replicating the way they are supposed to breathe and grunt during the climb. So if you ever see someone in a climbing gym lying on the ground with their eyes closed, swinging their legs and hands, grunting and panting you’ll know why. They are most likely to be at the crux of the route… in their head so stay clear.
Type 2 – The high achiever
It is fine if climbers want to try something hard. It is great to push for the next climbing grade. Trying hard routes is always the best way to improve. A high achiever is a climber who climbs a route that is way-way beyond their limit. It is when a struggling 6a climber attempts to climb a 7a route that is 5 to 6 grades above his maximum climbing grade.
Type 3 – Compulsive beta seeker
Being stuck at the crux is normal. Figuring out the moves to push past the crux is what’s fun about climbing. Asking for beta from other climbers is a great way to figure out the crux sequence. A compulsive Beta seeker is a climber that constantly asks for a different beta from other climbers even when he or she doesn’t need it.
Type 4 – Compulsive beta sprayer
Beta spraying is a climbing term for giving out instructions without the climber asking for it, typically when the climber is on the wall. A compulsive beta sprayer loves giving climbing beta to climbers. Regardless of the difficulty of the route or the ability of the climber. If you are a climber that on-sights 7a you don’t really need beta on a 6a warm-up route. Or when a climber is trying to on-sight a route and don’t want any beta. But rest assured if these compulsive beta sprayers are around they will give it to you whether you want it or not 😤.
Type 5 – The Chalker
There are occasions where you find the colour of your favourite route had changed. Mainly to the colour white. This is because the route had been climbed by excessive chalk users. Chalkers love to mark footholds, handholds, and dry slopers with chalk. You can tell if someone is a Chalker when you see a climber spend more time powdering and brushing the holds than actually climbing. By the time the Chalker finishes the route, the holds will be covered in chalk.
Type 6 – The enthusiastic motivator
Words of encouragement can go a long way in helping a climber when they are climbing at their max. It helps to push the climber beyond his capabilities. An enthusiastic motivator is someone who gives you words of encouragement all the time even when you don’t need it. If you are cruising up an easy warm-up route you don’t need a constant stream of ALLEZ! and COME ON! blasting your way.
Type 7 – The Hacker
It is necessary to try out different moves and techniques when it comes to climbing. Different moves suit climbers of different heights and body types. Trying out different beta can help you find the most efficient way to climb. Hacker is someone that loves to hack every single move on the route. Hackers are a route setter’s nightmare. By the time they are done the intended sequence of the route will be so different from what the setter had envisioned.
Type 8 – The up and down climber
Downclimbing is great for training. It is recommended that climbers should downclimb to help with endurance training. If you are new to the sport and can’t understand why climbers downclimb now you know. However, do this only when there are no climbers waiting in line behind you. You don’t want to be an ass and hog the lane. So please downclimb when you can it strengthens you but remember don’t do it when the gym is packed.
Type 9 – The Serial Q-er
As the name implies, it is someone who loves to queue up for climbing lane… Oops sorry, I meant climbing lanes (plural). I was told I am a Serial Q-er by my fellow climbers because I make multiple “bookings” on multiple lanes (in fact I even make multiple bookings on the same lane as well 🤭). So I have to admit I am guilty of that but hey I have to do everything I can to squeeze in as much climb as possible.
Type 10 – The 🤬 Master
Well, the emoji says it all. Climbers that swear….. a lot. I for one am totally fine with swearing while climbing. The swearing is what gives colours and dramas to make the sport emotional. If the strongest climber in the world Adam Ondra is doing it, I guess there shouldn’t be anything wrong with that. Plus there is nothing more entertaining than hearing a climber falling off with a loud and long FUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKK!!!!!! before a draw catches his fall. I would literally pay money to see that 😂.
10 types of climbers so which one are you?
Any of these behaviours sound familiar to you? If you have any other weird or funny climber behaviours please share with us by leaving a comment.