I knew girl climbing partner and I were in for some cragside misogyny the third time the dopey dude said:
“That route is really pumpy.”
I could tell he was trying to warn us unsuspecting wittle girls that the route might be too hard for us. But when we dumped our packs at the base of the route and he finally let fly:
“Are you really going to warm up on that?”
I couldn’t hold it in any more.
“Wow,” I said to the dopey dude. “You sure are making big assumptions about what we girls can climb, aren’t you?”
As I said this, girl partner and I both pulled our T-shirts off to show him we’d brought our little girl guns to the climbing show. After we climbed it, girl partner and I commented that we didn’t think it was that pumpy.
Hopefully dopey dude felt like a grade-A asshole.
The thing about this scene (which went down in Lower Dream Canyon over the weekend) that baffles me is that the dopey dude didn’t think twice about saying this just outside of Boulder. We have too many insanely good climbers around here to make assumptions about anyone who walks up to any cliff — regardless of gender.
So if you’re a dude who likes to climb, here’s my advice for talking to women (or anyone) at the crag: If you can’t think of something egalitarian to say, don’t say anything at all. Chicks don’t dig sexism. Most men don’t, either — at least, not the ones I climb with.
And a note to dopey dude: You’re lucky your bro went up to retrieve your gear when you bailed. I was going to offer to retrieve it for you — after my warm-up.