There are lots of golden rules out there, mantras to live by or whatever you want to call it. But I’d love to share with you my number one rule — it’s pretty simple — don’t be a dick.

I saw this beautiful couple out today projecting 12s. While they weren’t climbing the hard routes clean, they were definitely the only ones to even bother with the tough stuff.

Besides my small party of four, there were a few other groups out there (a small crag about 2 hours from Smith.) We all watched in awe as the guy took a burn and then his girl partner would do the same. Pretty impressive.

During our precious morning window of climbable temperatures (it got up to 95°F,) I had to return to the car not once… but twice. And both times, I walked past the crusher couple. The second time I walked by, the guy made a snide remark about my car laps. I laughed and kept my head down, not having much to say in response. But immediately, any sense of awe or respect I had for the couple dried up.

You could say that I’m over thinking it or that maybe that guy is just an asshole; but realistically, the climbing community is pretty small. Climbing — for me anyways — is much more than climbing hard routes, leading, redpointing, being a hardened alpinist, etc. If you’re going to climb and you’re going to climb hard, you’re going to see some of the same faces around. Even if you’re way cooler than me because you just sent a gnarly overhung 12, don’t be a dick.

I hope that as I grow into my abilities, climb harder and go further in my climbing career, I remain humble, encouraging and stoked. And if you’ve read this whole post, I hope you do the same (climbing or otherwise.)

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