Looking to make new friends? Love to rock climb? You’re in luck.
With the right tools, it’s easy to form new relationships with fellow rock climbers. Whether you’re new to the sport or an experienced climber, there are many different ways to meet like-minded people. The community surrounding this sport is massive — all you have to do is find it. Without further ado, here are four ways you can begin making friends while rock climbing.
1. Sign Up For an Indoor Climbing Gym
If you’re new to the sport, an indoor climbing gym is a fantastic way to meet both beginners and experienced climbers. The more you attend, the more familiar you will become to other gym regulars. Without even speaking, regular attendance increases the chances that someone will approach you to talk. Now, this might happen, but it’s not a surefire approach to making friends. Instead of waiting for someone to approach you, take matters into your own hand!
What’s the best way to approach someone at a climbing gym? If you’re a beginner, start by asking the regulars a few questions about climbing. If you’re experienced, try talking shop with another vet or offering some pointers to a struggling beginner. Asking for help or giving tips are the easiest ways to strike up a conversation with other people at the gym. As you get to know other regulars, offer to partner up for an outdoor climbing adventure.
Additionally, pay close attention to the gym’s community board and announcements. Some gyms provide group climbing classes or excursions. This is another great way to get yourself familiar with other gym members.
2. Join a Climbing Group on Facebook
You’ll need a Facebook account for this, so if you don’t have one have, you can sign up for free. If you already have a Facebook account, this approach is an easy and free way to connect with other rock climbers. That said, Facebook’s Groups feature allows users to create a dedicated forum for people with similar interests.
To find a group in your area, start by typing ‘Rock Climbing’ in Facebook’s search bar. Then, select ‘Groups’ at the top of the page. If there are any related groups in your area, they will populate below. If you want to filter the results further, try changing the settings on the left panel. When you find a result that interests you, click the group’s title to see its description. The description will tell you what the group is all about and explain the rules for current members. Most rules are just posting guidelines that prevent people from sharing promotional content. Joining the Facebook group is as easy as pressing ‘Join+’. If the group is public, you will be added right away. If it’s private, you’ll have to wait until you receive permission from a group admin to access the discussion.
Once you join the group, be sure to introduce yourself! It’s hard to make friends if nobody knows you’re there. After you introduce yourself, get involved in the discussion. If you need a climbing partner, ask the group. If you need advice, ask for recommendations. This goes both ways. If someone else needs a partner, volunteer to go with them. Some Facebook groups even organize occasional meetups for members to socialize in person.
If there are no relevant Facebook groups near you, consider creating your own.
3. Use Groupon Deals
Groupon is great for two reasons. Trying multiple climbing gyms before you choose to sign up and meeting new people. Start your search on Groupon’s things to do page, and drill down into the health and fitness section. These are usually several discounts on climbing gyms, walls, and other activities.
Most of Groupon’s deals are sold en masse, so it’s easy to cross paths with like-minded individuals. If you’re an experienced climber, consider joining a beginner activity and passing on your hard-earned skills.
4. Get Involved with MeetUp
Like Facebook Groups, Meetup is designed to bring people together with similar interests or demographics. There are 900+ Meetups related to Rock Climbing around the world. The platform allows users to organize and join Meetup for a wide variety of topics. On the other hand, Meetup is focused on helping you meet people, instead of just getting involved in an online discussion.
If you decide to try Meetup, make it a goal to try new meetings at regular intervals. Regular networking will help you break out of your shell and put forth effort into making friends.
No matter which tactics you try, you should always remember these three things:
- Introduce yourself
- Be friendly and helpful
- Be open to trying new things
If you open up to others, they will open themselves to you. Introducing yourself, even during small talk, automatically creates a more personal connection. Offering your help or knowledge is a great way to encourage someone to get in touch with you in the future. Lastly, make sure to open up and try new things. The best way to meet new people is to experience new adventures.
Good luck and happy climbing!