20 People You'll Meet...On the UKC Forums Article

Our UKC Forums are infamous famous for attracting discussion on all sorts of climbing and non-climbing-related topics. Where else can you debate the grade of Three Pebble Slab, share beta on fixing your toilet and get into an argument about a plane on a treadmill, all in the one place?

Maybe a question or rant has been on your mind all day and you can’t wait to dangle it out there to see what happens. Perhaps you're a newbie looking for genuine advice, or a Troll looking to wind people up. Whatever brings you to the UKC community, where you feel part of a tribe united by a common interest in climbing and the outdoors, you’re going to meet a wide range of people. Here’s a spotter's guide to the types you might meet online.

**All the mean bits are from users full stottie and NWclimber, to whom you can send your complaints...

     1. The Spelling and Grammar Pedant

Misused possessive apostrophes? (or is it apostrophe's?) Their's always someone getting there knickers in a twist about spelling and grammar. Prepositions, possessives and abbreviations, main clauses and subordinate clauses - practice makes perfect, they're is no excuse for sloppy writing, as far as the Spelling and Grammar Pendant is concerned. Whatever you do, just don't call The Peak District "The Peaks"...

Tell-tale identifier: Criticises spelling and grammar while rarely offering a valuable contribution to the topic in hand. Own posts nearly always contain an ironic error, eventually resulting in 'Edited'  appearing at the bottom...

My Topics

     2. The Grade Glutton 

Posters who are anally-obsessed repositories (suppositories?) of the trivial minutiae of alpha-numerical grading systems for pieces of rock, how they intersect, overlap and underwhelm.

Tell-tale identifier: Fluent in French, Scottish and Australian, can calculate to two decimal places in Yosemite, know that this article was originally set in font Bas Cuvier, and understand that if the Romans had ever reached Hueco they would have given every V11 a seven. 


      3. The Gear Guru

The Gear Guru thrives off discussing the latest gear, weighing up the pros and cons and getting excited about the latest trends, frequently commenting on gear reviews and press-releases.

Tell-tale identifier: Posts exclusively in the Gear Forum, Logbook is inactive. Watches ISPO and Outdoor videos on loop. Has bought something from Del Boy Gear Flogger at least once.

Gear Forum

      4. The UKC = NHS 24 Patient

This person prefers to consult the UKC masses for medical advice before seeking professional help. The off-the-cuff over-rotators, the finger pulley pullers, the slappers with flappers. Those climbers who know how many vertebrae they have, where they are and what they're called. The tennis players and the golfers who suffer from climber's elbow. Advice would be nice, diagnosis desirable, treatment would be sweet but really I want a cure – without all the hassle of speaking to a professional. 

Tell-tale identifier: Posts thread with symptoms in which the replies feature a vague conjecture plus the disclaimer "I'm not a medic, go see your doctor."

      5. The Essayist

Alleged fans of the Dialectic – except they don’t want to arrive at truth through reasoned arguments – they want to crush their debating partner by superior brow-beating at great length. Yes, great length. They re-post their opponent’s points line by line the better to demolish them, quoting increasingly obscure sources and opinions masquerading as facts, with little regard for the impact on their poor target, who has long since left the forum and signed up for deep therapy as a victim of cyber-bullying.

Tell-tale identifier: Excessive use of the "Quote" function in replies. Types responses that require you to lift your finger off your trackpad/scroller at least twice...


      6. The Beta Scrounger

The Beta Scrounger wants to know everything there is to know about a particular boulder problem, route, gear, area or mountain. This individual owns the entire Rockfax range and has read each guidebook cover to cover at least three times.

Tell-tale identifier: Constant posts in the Destinations forum; all ascents logged as 'Flash' - they've never onsighted anything.


      7. The Lonely Heart

The one who is eternally searching for a climbing partner. "I can climb 8B+ highballs, but I have some issues." Maybe they smell bad, maybe their belaying is sub-par, maybe they'll get all your gear stuck, maybe they eat all their partners' crag snacks. 

Not all lonely hearts are simply lonely in a social sense, it's just that their previous partners won’t climb with them anymore.

Tell-tale identifier: “Anyone free to do the Walker Spur next weekend?”  Regular user of the auto-belay lines at indoor walls. Lurks around the bottom of crags, staring at you with puppy-dog eyes. 

Lifts and Partners

      8. The Google-Inept

This poster asks easily-Googleable questions, cue a response from Mr or Mrs Let-Me-Google-That-For You, with a link to said website.

Tell-tale identifier: Thread usually titled "When/Where/How to..." 

      9. The Lurker

Ok, you may not be able to 'find' them as such, since this individual never posts anything, but they spend hours perusing the forums and proudly claim not to post on UKC.

Tell-tale identifier: Probably also a Phantom Disliker, their only trace in the forums, despite reading them 24/7. The one at the crag/down the wall who brings up UKC forum topics and scoffs at their content and contributors.


     10. The Troll

The Troll should need little introduction. Similar to the classic wind-up-merchant, they post deliberately contentious topics and - if truly a Troll - will never reply to the numerous gullible people who respond to their wind-up. 

Tell-tale identifier: Posts threads about bolting Stanage, shares THE Dan Osman video, tries to sell portable tents, questions grades of well-established routes just to stir the pot...or claims that the In Pinn boulder has fallen down and that James McHaffie is opening an eatery in Llanberis...

     11. The Gnarly Dude

A hard man who only posts in expedition and alpine – “looking for contacts in Russia who can provide horses and trained eagles for a little trip we have planned to the Sayan Mountains. Our budget is quite tight (£150 in total) but we can eat boulders and grass for up to 5 weeks if necessary, although obviously the eagles could supplement our diet. We will be flying into Tomsk with a mate who has a couple of microlights, and walking in the last 1500k from there. BTW, does anyone know if it's cold there in February?”

Expedition and Alpine

     12. The Conditions Creep

The one who will never go out on a limb to risk poor conditions - they rely on locals or people who are currently at said crag to work out whether the ten-minute drive is worth it. It's never a perfect day for the Conditions Creep, always too wet, too damp, too hot, too 'smeggy' or (insert made-up adjective here).

Tell-tale identifier: Constant posts in the conditions pages, detailed descriptions of conditions in logbook comments.

     13. The Del Boy Gear Flogger

The Del Boy Gear Flogger is the top salesman of UKC. Selling everything but the kitchen sink in the For Sale/Wanted Forum nearly every day of the week, mostly tat and unwanted lycra from the 80s.

Tell-tale identifier: Constantly selling things, adds the phrase "only used once" with worrying frequency. Sells separately to avoid Premier Posts...

For Sale/Wanted

     14. The Current Affairs Correspondent

Always the first to post on a hot political topic, occasionally conducting a readership poll using the Like and Dislike buttons. 

Tell-tale identifier: Always either Down the Pub or Off Belay, not climbing too much...

Off Belay

     15. Old Farts

A mixed bag of wrinklies, ranging from the superstars of yesteryear to shooting star bumblies who once flashed an HVS in 1968. They come from, and still live in, a time when there were only two types of ropes, boots, harnesses, protection, helmets and clothing. They had no internet through which to argue about them or review thousands of gear and clothing options at vastly discounted prices. They didn’t, and still don’t know how many pluses and minuses there can possibly be between belay devices. They were bouldering when L’Elephant at Font was still alive and well.  

Tell-tale identifier: They wear a Whillans harness, super smooth PAs and use one of those fancy modern stitch plates. 

     16. The Wells of Wisdom

The wonderful posters who time after time demonstrate that they really know their stuff by providing precise, relevant, practical and helpful advice. You want to restore a trad stable to its former state after the horse had bolted? They'll know. Aware of the corrosive elements at work at sea cliffs, you want to know the best grade of aluminium foil to protect your sandwiches? Just ask. These guys are without doubt some of the finest contributors to UKC.

Tell-tale identifier: Not all requests for advice are climbing related – thinking of buying a new boiler, van, washing machine, pillows, dog brush...or chickens? You name any consumer product and before long an online Well of Wisdom will wise you up to the best and the worst buys.

Walls and Training

     17. The Scientist/Mathematician

The Scientist/Mathematician likes to post about mind-boggling maths puzzles and science topics that the majority of forum users overlook. Except, of course, for any Plane on a Treadmill threads...

If a plane was on a treadmill would it take off? Discuss...

Tell-tale identifier: Responds to every thread titled Maths Question/Help with GCSE Maths Homework/Maths of Staying dry in the rain...

     18. The Creature of Habit

The Creature of Habit is the first to offer feedback whenever there are changes to the site, disliking the dislike button, liking the like button and loathing the new logbooks. You can't please everyone, of course, but the Creature of Habit is a hard nut to crack!

Tell-tale identifier: Starts thread about minor change to UKC/UKC, which no-one else has noticed yet. Frequent starter of "Thread Juxto" discussions due to their photographic memory and eye for detail.

     19. The Armchair Critic

The Armchair critic is the voice of assumed authority on the latest news and ascents. This person throws doubt on an achievement, claims a route is overgraded, questions ethics and rarely admits to having less experience or knowledge than the climber in question.

Tell-tale identifier: Repeatedly asks "Yeah, but what have they done on grit?"  

The Pub

     20. The Phantom Disliker/ Dislike Stalker

Certain people have complained of receiving a dislike on all of their posts, no matter the content, and claim to have a Phantom Disliker or Stalker. The Disliker dislikes you, probably for no reason whatsoever, other than to gain a cheap anonymous thrill...

Tell-tale identifier: The person who dislikes mundane, inoffensive posts such as "I've done nothing on grit. Worst rock ever..."

Support UKC

As climbers we strive to make the kind of website we would love to visit, with the most up-to-date news, diverse and interesting articles, comprehensive gear reviews, breathtaking photographs and a vast and useful logbook system. As a result, an incredible community has formed around the site - we’ve provided the framework but it’s you who make the website what it is today. If you appreciate the content we offer then you can help us by becoming an official UKC Supporter. This can be a one-off single annual payment or a more substantial payment paid monthly or yearly which includes full access to Rockfax Digital and discounts on Rockfax print publications.

If you appreciate then please help us by becoming a UKC Supporter.

UKC Supporter

  • Support the website we all know and love
  • Access to a year's subscription to Rockfax Digital.
  • Plus 30% off Rockfax guidebooks
  • Plus Show your support UKC Supporter badge on your profile and forum posts
UKC/UKH/Rockfax logo

2 May, 2016
Very humorously self aware.. I certainly suffer from 2 at times. As for the nastier or more useless folk on that list, the moderators do OK on the former and for the latter we should maybe remember what happened when the B Ark left for earth.
2 May, 2016
Like it. Some spot-on observations of some of the strange types on UKC. Apart from your description of me, of course. That was just vindictive and full of errors. :-)
2 May, 2016
My favourite line: "They were bouldering when L’Elephant at Font was still alive and well."
2 May, 2016
Very perceptive - nice! Chris
2 May, 2016
Very accurate and amusing. I am going to break cover and admit it - yes I am predominantly a Lurker. Don't do likes/dislikes though.
More Comments
Loading Notifications...
Facebook Twitter Copy Email LinkedIn Pinterest