/ NEW ARTICLE: What's In A Partner?

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UKC Articles - on 16 Mar 2010
[A good crowd at the BMC Bouldering Championships. © Mick Ryan, 3 kb]Sarah Flint explores what it is that makes the perfect climbing partner:

"...a perfect partner is someone who's more than a safe belayer with good oral hygiene...

...their build shouldn't make you feel like an anorexic fashion model..."

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=2601

Ewan Russell - on 16 Mar 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:
the top thing reminded me of something I wrote a while back

20 year old male
with large nuts and a good variety of friends
Not scared of commitment, a bit of dogging and happy to use artificial equipment to finish the job.

Looking for 17-21 year old female looking for frequent excitement
Must have a good sized rack, not mind getting pumped and occasionally being tied up in knots.
Also be willing to move together through difficult terrain.

The OP is happy to use protection.
Will Hunt - on 16 Mar 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Another mental article from the same author.
ericinbristol - on 16 Mar 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

The author hasn't worked out the purpose or audience is for the article. Is it to tell us about her preferences, or tell us what we should prefer or how we should behave to be good climbing partners? Is it aimed at noobs suggesting what they might look for? Or aimed at experienced climbers so that ... <something or other, e.g. entertain us with the horror stories we all have>?
James Moyle - on 16 Mar 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: Another enjoyable article, Sarah. Thank you.
Misha - on 17 Mar 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

"A similar 'discomfort zone' is required. Unfortunately 'safe' and it's inverse, 'risk', are both relative concepts... It doesn't take long to find out if you 'see' the risk in the same way as your partner. A belay made from a sling thrown over a pile of stones doesn't fill me with confidence..."

It might be just semantics, but there seems to be an important misunderstanding here. 'Safe' and 'risk' are not really the inverse of each other. The opposite of 'safe' is 'unsafe' or 'dangerous', whereas the opposite of 'risk' is 'caution'.

A safe climber knows how to belay, place gear, set up a stance, etc. A safe climber might however decide to do a risky climb with poor gear and belays. That doesn't make them an unsafe or dangerous climber. The route may well be unsafe or dangerous but that doesn't mean the climber is - they're just taking a risk.

On the other hand, you could have a cautious climber who only does well protected routes but who is fundamentally unsafe because he doesnj't know what he's doing. A sling over a pile of stones is clearly unsafe - unless it's the best that's available. If a climber sets up a dodgy belay when it's possible to set up a good belay, they're being unsafe rather than taking a risk.

I would venture that safety is not really a relative term. There are a few practices which some people will view as acceptable whilst others will consider to be unsafe, but that's down to technical points. For the vast majority of practices, it's fairly clear what is and isn't safe. Risk, on the other hand, is a relative term - relative to the climber's ability, experience and, indeed, appetite for risk.
Misha - on 17 Mar 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Another point is that the article suggests that you should look for one particular partner. Some climbers do have just one partner but most climbers I know will happily climb with any one of a number of climbing friends. After all, unless you're very lucky indeed to have a single partner who is always available at the same times as you are, the only way to get out regularly is to have a network of climbing contacts. Besides, humans are social animals and tend to like mixing with different people.
IanC - on 17 Mar 2010
In reply to Misha:

Misha- you make some interesting points that alot of people with out climbing/other risky sporting intrests find hard to grasp and whilst I understand what your saying, I'm not sure it stacks up.

You seem to imply that safe/unsafe is a binary state i.e a situation is either one or other depending on the perceived wisdom. However, 1 anchor system may be more safer than another does not mean that is it unsafe to use that latter.

Lets say in the your 2 scenarios that the chance (and consequence)of something bad happening is equal. Can it really be said that 1 is safer than the other or that one is less risky?

Others- I quite enjoyed the piece, I didn't need to find a reason for it to exist just read it and see if it provokes any thoughts or memories.
James_D - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great article - i think the other comments are taking it a bit too seriously... It made me laugh at work, what more do you want?
In reply to James_D:

> Great article - i think the other comments are taking it a bit too seriously... It made me laugh at work, what more do you want?

I'm getting really worried because I keep seeing things on UKC that other people find funny and I don't get at all. I've always seen myself as a relatively GSOH type of chap, but this article just struck me as really weird...

Michael Ryan - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to James_D)
>
> [...]
>
> I'm getting really worried because I keep seeing things on UKC that other people find funny and I don't get at all. I've always seen myself as a relatively GSOH type of chap, but this article just struck me as really weird...

You aren't weird Toby. It is the nature of humour. What you find funny or amusing others won't, and vica versa.

Often those that don't find something funny will be indignant about what isn't funny to them.

That's not funny!

jonnie3430 - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to TobyA:

I reckon it's a bit of a venutian article.

Anyway; 29yo male, single, slim, GSOH, single and double ropes, cams, spare axes and car.
pebbles - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to jonnie3430:
29yo male, single, slim, GSOH,
spare axes

I dont think the spare axes bit will get you too many replies on match.com
BALD EAGLE - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Very good article Sarah!
shark - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Perhaps Sarah should settle for 'Mr Right Now' rather than 'Mr Right'

Male climber seeks experienced climber to share petrol costs, belaying and beta. Thats it really.

Anyone for Malham on Sunday?


In reply to UKC Articles: (A word of warning: don't entertain the idea that your best loved can be your perfect climbing partner. That way madness lies (and solicitor's bills if you're married).)

Not always true.
Blue Straggler - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to TobyA)
> [...]
>
> You aren't weird Toby. It is the nature of humour. What you find funny or amusing others won't, and vica versa.
>

Ah ha, so the post that I deleted the other night possibly WAS spot-on? Sarah's articles are a kind of parody? It makes a bit more sense now.
Here's what I deleted. And if you're not happy with it, well, you obviously simply share MY sense of humour, that's all :-)

"Are the Sarah Flint articles some sort of in-joke? I'm asking this question quite seriously and with full respect for UKC's attempts to showcase a wide variety of contributors' work. Honestly, Sarah's articles tend to meander all over the place, lose their focus and often self-contradict, and this particular one is almost unreadable. No offence, but it really is. If I started to give examples I'd be here all night picking apart nearly every sentence. I really feel as if I'm missing out on a private joke.

I'm ready to be convinced otherwise...
This is as constructive as I can be."
Offwidth - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Like you said people see things differently with humour. Watching people get indignant about stupid stuff can be hilarious to me sometimes. I did wonder if the stuff about partner's smell was self parody: I'd rather people stink than wear inappropriate clothing for the conditions or avoid an interesting adventure.

Anyway its a shame so few have read it, 600 people from the hundreds of thousand that come here, as I certainly appreciate the range of the articles these days and the effort required to produce them.
Tall Clare - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

I enjoyed this - there were some nice observations. I'm also now worrying about my rope-coiling pickiness, but there we are...
johnj on 18 Mar 2010 - 79-64-102-167.dynamic.dsl.as9105.com
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to James_D)
>
> [...]
>
> I'm getting really worried because ... but this article just struck me as really weird...

Maybe in the ever expanding concentric ripples of the UKC forums, Ms Flint has (for now) become the new JCT, but the old guard haven't yet got the new party vibe yet. She doesn't seem to like joining the party tho'. 6 month shelf-life?
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Blue Straggler - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
>
> Anyway its a shame so few have read it, 600 people from the hundreds of thousand that come here,

Quoting statistics AT Mick?! Whatever next? :-)

Mike Highbury - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
> [...]
>
> Quoting statistics AT Mick?! Whatever next? :-)

I want to be removed from that count as I couldn't be bothered to read it
Blue Straggler - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
>
> there were some nice observations.

I agree actually - but they seem to be buried amongst Sarah's trademark prose style.
Tall Clare - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I disagree.
owlart - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to Blue Straggler: I quite enjoyed reading it, and appreciated the humour mixed in. But then I don't feel that I have to offer a detailed critique of everything that I see or read.
Tall Clare - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to owlart:

Nicely put.
Michael Ryan - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
> [...]
>
> Quoting statistics AT Mick?! Whatever next? :-)

and wrong ones!!!!

What's In A Partner?
by Sarah Flint 15/Mar/2010
This article has been read 2,488 times


Alun - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:
Nice idea for an article, but I'm not sure if I'm taking it too seriously, because it's wrong.

The perfect partner is one who understands your climbing and moods. Who knows when to talk and when to shut up; when to give slack and when to take, and when when to pay attention and when to relax and chat. More importantly than anything, good partners are good friends.

Again, maybe I'm taking the article too seriously. If so, it's because I think it's a serious subject that deserves a more complex discussion.
Mike Highbury - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to owlart:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler) I quite enjoyed reading it, and appreciated the humour mixed in. But then I don't feel that I have to offer a detailed critique of everything that I see or read.

Why the hell not? Articles on websites are vanity publishing, after all.
pumuckl - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Hmm, unless I missed a vital statistic, the article was read 240 times

What's In A Partner?
by Sarah Flint 15/Mar/2010
This article has been read 240 times


I am missing in the article words like trust, reliability as this is what I would look out for in a climbing partner.

By the way, I am married to my climbng partner and no divorce paper in the post yet.

Pumuckl



johnj on 18 Mar 2010 - 79-64-90-47.dynamic.dsl.as9105.com
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler)
> [...]
>
> and wrong ones!!!!
>
> What's In A Partner?
> by Sarah Flint 15/Mar/2010
> This article has been read 2,488 times

So is this, for this instance it should read.

What's In A Partner?
by Sarah Flint 15/Mar/2010
This page has been viewed 2,488 times
Michael Ryan - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to johnj:

correct
Michael Ryan - on 18 Mar 2010
In reply to pumuckl:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> Hmm, unless I missed a vital statistic, the article was read 240 times
>
> What's In A Partner?
> by Sarah Flint 15/Mar/2010
> This article has been read 240 times

Yes, you are missing something, but not your fault. That page is cached on your machine, a PC I'm guessing. Force refresh....alt F5 or something.
marcbristol on 14 Apr 2010 - cpc4-hawk2-0-0-cust27.aztw.cable.virginmedia.com
In reply to UKC Articles: Hi All
well i think that knowing a little about the author helps a lot with this ... observational piece of writing. i can vouch for a couple of the moans and groans as like so many of us ... been there done that.(but as you know sarah, we both know where a few of the .... ermm.... 0bservations come from!) So to be fair it is a somewhat random article ... but only if you don't know sarah!
see ya soon ....M & E
Tall Clare - on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to marcbristol:

hmm - interesting point. I'd be willing to wager that quite a lot of the audience for the article don't know Sarah, but it would be a bit weird to publish an article working on the assumption that it only works if you know her.

I liked it though, as I said above. I don't know her.
Hardonicus - on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

What is the point of these articles? They bring nothing to the table, just a bunch of tedious, shallow 'observations' linked in a non interesting way.

The article feels like it has been written by someone who has been climbing for 3 months. As for the humour/parody????????????????
JIB - on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: It's a nice piece of 'lite-write' - taking a serious subject (trust and love in a climbing partnership) and using humour to begin to explore the surface of what a climbing partnership is.

It adds balance to the range of articles on UKC; I'd rather read a range of articles, some of which I'll dislike, just to discover a writer whose style I would like to read more of.

So, Mick et al, keep publishing new writers and exploring the genres of climbing prose!
Michael Ryan - on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to JIB:

Jack's call, he's Editor.

But yes good to have a wide range of articles from different writers. The mags seem to be very closed shops.
JIB - on 14 Apr 2010
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Exactly. Probably since the demise of OTE & (earlier) MoRe, really (from my limited perspective) - on another thread, there's been mention of other hallowed UK publications.

The quality of writing (fiction and non-fiction) in 'Alpinist' is one of the many reasons why I think it easily transcends the market.
marcbristol on 15 Apr 2010 - cpc4-hawk2-0-0-cust27.aztw.cable.virginmedia.com
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to marcbristol)
>
> hmm - interesting point. I'd be willing to wager that quite a lot of the audience for the article don't know Sarah, but it would be a bit weird to publish an article working on the assumption that it only works if you know her.
>
> I liked it though, as I said above. I don't know her.

erm .... well yeah thats the point i was making to make it blatantly obvious that if you know the background to the piece it is actually quite funny. far from being weird ... thats exactly what sarah has done .... maybe consciously or sub-consciously. the original point i made was not put there for philosophical discussion only to inform the non-critical reader of a small insight that would have made the artical in question easier to understand in the context of shared experience.

i do know sarah and know where most of inspiration for the piece comes from. please lets not have a discussion about that either!
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