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finding partners

How to Appreciate your Belaytionship for Valentine’s Day

When rope climbing, your most crucial relationship is the one you have with your belay partner. Trust and communication are crucial. Your wellbeing is quite literally in the other person’s hands, and if you’re lead climbing, there’s a likely possibility that one person’s butt will end up in the other’s face.

Once you find a good belay partner and establish a “belaytionship,” it makes all the difference in your climbing. Finding a good belay partner doesn’t mean that you can’t climb with other people, but it’s nice to have someone dependable that you enjoy and trust. As you make plans with your significant other, with friends, or even with Netflix this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget about the person on the other end of your rope. Here are some ways to show your belaytionship love and appreciation.


  1. Always, always, always check your partner.

This isn’t really a Valentine’s appreciation suggestion as much as a good practice. Regardless of whether it’s your first time or five hundredth time climbing, if you want to be a good climbing partner, always double check knots and gear before you head up the wall or crag. It’s way too easy to settle into a comfortable pattern and assume that your partner did everything right before hopping on a climb, but nothing will ruin your belaytionship faster than a preventable injury.


  1. Treat your belay partner with a gear gift.

Don’t overthink it.  A small gift of appreciation goes a long way. Does your partner always borrow your ATC or chalk bag? Gifting gear to your friend will decrease wear on your own gear AND remind them of you each time they use it.  


  1. Do something other than climb with them.

If you spend several hours a week climbing with your belay partner, hopefully you enjoy spending time with them. Show your appreciation for them as a person as well as a climber by making plans outside of the facility. You can grab post-climb drinks or go to a yoga class that can help you train for #sends.

Whether your belaytionship is with your best friend, some guy from work, or even your significant other, make sure you give them a shoutout and help them feel appreciated Valentine’s Day and everyday. 

Words: Anne Cruz, Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge

Edits: Jen Werner, Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge

Learn to Climb: Finding Climbing Partners

So you’ve decided you want to learn to climb. Welcome! But let’s face it, motivating to get to the gym on the regular is a lot easier when you go with someone else. And obviously if you want to to top-rope you are going to need another set of hands.

In this post Kerrin and Jamie will share advice on finding new climbing partners.

Kerrin’s advice: 

Take a course

While it’s never as useful or as educational to take a course with a host of different climbers, it does create a chance to meet fellow climbers who are probably in your skill level. Brooklyn Boulders offers a collection of courses, from the beginner Learn the Ropes to Lead Climbing, all of which you can sign-up with a group. While the private lessons Brooklyn Boulders offers may be the most helpful for your climbing skills in the short run, it will be the people you meet in the climbing classes that will continue to encourage you and help you learn in the long run. During my Learn the Ropes course, I met a new friend that I have met multiple times at Brooklyn Boulders for bouldering fun and to do top-rope climbing. Having at least a couple of people who you know in your skill level will almost always give you someone to climb with.

On Climb Find Brooklyn Boulders and other climbing communities nationwide have boards on which you can post that you’re looking for a climbing partner. Unfortunately, rock climbers aren’t as prevalent as we might like, so if it’s difficult to find a top-rop climbing partner when you first get into climbing, post a message on the board (“Looking for a climbing partner for Saturday morning!”) to find one!

Kerrin Sheldon bouldering at Brooklyn Boulders

Be Friendly!

Maybe the easiest and most consistent way to find a climbing partner is to go climb! Many rock climbing gyms, Brooklyn Boulders included, offer bouldering as well, which can be tackled solo and without a climbing partner. Here, there are plenty of other groups and solo climbers who are trying to climb the same problems and routes, giving you the perfect opening line (“What’s your strategy for taking on this V3?”). More experienced climbers are always happy to help, giving you pointers on where to pivot, what moves to use, or what tenacity you’ll need to get past a challenging route. The best way to meet new people is to do just that – meet them at the gym and engage them with your newfound climbing personality.

Jamie’s advice:

Meetup Groups

There are two Meetup Groups who consistently host events at Brooklyn Boulders, Rock & Ice and Crux. Rock & Ice is a volunteer NYC based group hosting all sorts of indoor and outdoor climbing events at Brooklyn Boulders and elsewhere. Crux is an LGBT rock climbing group and as their Meetup page explains, “We love climbing and we want to introduce more people to this incredible sport. In addition to creating an environment where all of our members feel welcome, this is the place to have a great time getting in shape and meeting new people. ” Sign up to these Meetup groups and check out the event that catches your fancy to meet new climbers. How can you resist Taco Tuesdays?

Brooklyn Boulder Events

You really can’t imagine all of the amazing events going on at Brooklyn Boulders. Take for example the Halloween Party, or the Cosmic Climbing (headlamps and lasers!) events. Ridiculously fun, these events are also a great way to meet new climbing partners. Follow the Brooklyn Boulders Facebook page to keep updated on upcoming events, such as the upcoming Ladies Climbing Night the first weekend of December!


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