Expedition partners (again)

  • Creator
  • #15328

    Hey all,

    How do most of you go about finding partners for expeditions?

    I’ve had some success through online forums and the like, but being based in a non-mountainous area makes this tricky. Many of my regular partners for shorter ice/mixed climbing aren’t psyched for expeditions.

    I’m always up for meeting and climbing with new people so if you’re UK based and are interested in getting out together (potentially with a view to bigger things down the line), feel free to contact me.


Posted In: Alpinism

  • Participant
    Colin Simon on #15360

    Sometimes the hardest part is simply showing up with a cohesive, acclimatized, uninjured team where no one is sick.

    I’ve met expedition partners in “easier to get to” expedition locations, where there are likely to be other teams, for example the Kahiltna(and Talkeetna). I’ve heard of some great partnerships being forged in the Khumbu as well.

    If classic mountaineering is your thing, you’re likely to meet people on the popular mountaineering peaks… Aconcagua, Denali, Pik Lenin, any 8000M peak.

    Steve House on #15390

    Finding partners is like making friends, it feels random. But in reality it is largely dependent on putting yourself out there. In climbing this can be hard because a) climbers are often introverts and b) climbers don’t concentrate in many places. I think Colin is onto something in his suggestion of being in the Khumbu or Talkeetna; those are places that mountaineers congregate. But if you show up in Talkeetna and mill around and try to join a rope team to climb Denali, people are not going to be receptive and will likely write you off as an odd-duck for showing up without your “own” partner.

    Here are the three best ways to meet climbing partners:

    1) By far the best way to meet friends and climbing partners is through your existing friends and partners. Your friend’s friends (or your partner’s partners) are far more likely to share your interests in climbing than random blocks you meet at the bouldering gym.

    2) I think places like climbing gyms and alpine club type gatherings are good places to meet folks. This taps into the above tip because there is this 7-degrees-of-separation rule that is more like 2-degrees of separation among climbers. You’re bound to be connected with people at these gatherings in some way; whether it be a shared friend/partner or maybe you both climbed the same runout route at Gogarth.

    3) When out climbing, walk up and talk to people. Strike up conversations. Ask people about themselves. Be social. While this is counter to the nature of many climbers, it’s a proven way to make friends, and your climbing partners must be your friends first (or it will never work).

    Someone needs to make a Tinder for climbing partners. Maybe that’s the modern solution?

    Good luck.

    samseabass on #15595

    Hi Alex, I’m also London based and have about a year’s worth of climbing behind me, up to Scottish grade IV, WI3+ in the alps and just did a winter ascent of the Cosmiques arete. Very much still building in terms of knowledge, experience and fitness but I can say that i’m trying to be the best alpinist I can be, given where I live. Happily meet up for a chat/climb sometime as it’s always handy to know of other climbers with Alpine aspirations beyond the climbing wall..

    amathie on #15708

    Thanks Steve and others for the advice.

    Just turning up ready to go in the Khumbu or on the Kahiltna is an interesting idea, but I can’t help but feel that the risk of not finding anyone and having pissed a lot of cash down the drain is unacceptable for myself and most others!

    I’ve recently become more involved with the Alpine Club here in the UK so hopefully that will lead to more partnerships in the future.

    As for Tinder for climbers, you might be onto something there…

    amathie on #15709

    Sounds good Sam. I’m generally happy to climb with most folk as long as they are competent and safe, doesn’t matter too much about your grade.

    Can’t seem to email you through here but drop me a message on my username @hotmail.co.uk

    Jdwhittaker on #16265

    Hi Alex,

    Im also UK based. Year round climber, rock, alpine & Scottish winter. As much as i love rock im most psyched for Scottish mixed and alpine. Ive done a bit in the alps but more experience in the UK in winter up to grade V but always with an eye on trying to climb harder. Extremely keen on doing more in the alps and in particular progressing onto bigger routes.

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