The Crag King can be heard screaming “TSSST!” and “ARRGGH!” all across the valley. Fret not as the Crag King is not injured, but rather performing their signature vocal display in an effort to let everyone else at the crag know just how hard they're sending. The Crag King generally sticks to difficult one pitch routes free of pesky distractions like anchor building, route finding, and topping out. This allows them to focus instead on maneuvers like “finger lock gastons” and rodeo inspired rope tricks for clipping the first bolt. Although Crag Kings flourish in sport climbing environments, they are not necessarily bound to them, and are often found plugging pro in trad areas so long as the jams are no larger than hand size, the rock is perfect, and approach times do not exceed 10 minutes. A creature of vanity, the Crag King is largely ego driven and is known to marry their feelings of self-worth to their ability to crush hard grades. For the Crag King, climbers exists in a hierarchy that derives its structure from finger strength and tick lists. The Crag King navigates this social structure in a cliquish manner and bonds with other strong climbers over sand papering their callouses, secret area beta, and convenient excuses for why they haven't sent their latest project.
Rifle / Red River Gorge / Rumney / Smith Rock / Squamish / Mesquite / Anywhere in Spain
Redpoint / Flash / Whipper / Gri-Gri / Figure 4 / Flapper / Friction / Chains / Belaggles / Rest Day / Tick List / Send / Beta / Stick Clip / Project
Top 100 placement in the USA on 8a.nu
Fresh meat on the climber-dating scene
Armed with an array of doodle-dads, billabongs, husker-dos and husker-donts, the hog hauler finds solace in sorting through his doohickeys while hanging thousands of feet in the air and moving mere inches at a time. Aid climbing is a secret art that reveals itself only to those with incredible patience and an even more incredible amount of time on their hands. The hog hauler proves that given enough tools and time, you can truly climb anything - a prospect that leaves most other species of climbers pondering “what’s the point?” This patient masochist loves all types of rock from Yosemite’s fine-grained granite to the caked-mud sandcastles of the Fisher Towers and other nightmarish forms of choss. By painstakingly body weighting individual gear placements one after the other, Hog Haulers are able to carry bags of poop through some of the most exposed places on earth. It's valuable to note that the last things to move so slowly across these spectacular rock faces were likely the very glaciers that created them.
Zion National Park / Colorado Plateau / Baffin Island / Yosemite Valley / Your local crag practicing big wall logistics on a free-climbing trade route on a busy weekend
Pig / Poop Tube / Port-a-ledge / Jugging / Hooks / Bolt Ladder / Pin Scar / Bongs / Pulley System / King Cobra / Bounce Test / “Free climbing is neither”
Actually having gone to school uphill both ways
A 2000 Liter haulbag
A pooptube that doubles as a pillow
Better hauling ratios
The Purist's head is in the clouds - literally. Having spent many sleepless nights torturing themselves over why they do what they do, the Purist exhibits a complicated relationship with climbing that often comes off as, or perhaps simply is, self-righteousness. Favoring fast and light movement in the mountains over the siege-tactics of traditional mountaineering, the Purist has sufficiently stroked their own ego to the point that it's the only thing more fragile than the ice they're usually swinging into. Thoroughly convinced that their style is the only form of climbing that stands up to conceptual scrutiny, the Purist has successfully forgotten how to have fun, and can now only experience said emotion in retrospect (see “Type-2”). To give credit where it is due, their ability to bivy anywhere, climb anything in mountaineering boots, and operate on 2 hours of sleep with no oxygen is indeed noteworthy, but their countless re-tellings of said events get simultaneously more extravagant and duller every time. Although primarily concerned with alpine endeavors, the Purist can take many forms including that of the bolt chopping cragger and, of course, the free soloist. Upon further introspection, the Purist has recently discredited all of their previous ascents and now considers any expedition that doesn't start from sea level to be in “poor style.”
North Cascades / Bugaboos / Alaska Range / Patagonia / Canadian Rockies / Baffin Island
Type-2 Fun / Alpine Start / Screaming Barfies / Blue Bag / Simul / Picket / Bivy / Serac / Abalakov / Piolet / Gendarme / ‘schrund / Car-to-car
A sense of satisfaction that isn't fleeting
Longer weather windows
The Pebble Wrestler is a champion of the contrived, specializing in finding the hardest ways up the easiest summits. When non-climbers question the utility or purpose of climbing rock, its a good thing they haven't heard of a sit start because their brains might truly implode. By stripping away many of the elements of other styles of climbing and distilling the act into a purely kinesthetic practice, one may be led to believe that the Pebble Wrestler is perhaps the most poetic of the climbing species - a sort of stone based dancer, giving even the Purist a run for their money. Such notions are usually quickly dispelled by The Pebble Wrestler's obnoxious cragging boom box, and never ending need to compare ape indexes with their bros. Perhaps because rope is expensive and belaying is boring, Pebble Wrestlers tend to be of a younger variety. Although unfazed by countless nights spent sleeping on crash pads, their patience for explaining what exactly one is to every hiker they meet on the trail has drawn thin, so don't ask.
Hueco Tanks / Chattanooga / Joe’s Valley / Horse Pens 40 / Bishop / Rocky Mountain National Park
Assis / V-Scale / Dab / Power-spot / Bucket / Highball / Ape Index / Flapper / Uncut Footy / Invalid Salad / Crashpad / Boars Hair Toothbrush
Not having to choose between fitting friends or pads in the car
Cell service at the proj
Moving from crossfit and a triathlon to the next big thing on their bucket list, the Gumby has picked up climbing at the local rock wall after scoring a great Groupon deal for day passes. Their new Facebook profile pic - a plastic pulling top rope butt shot - has elicited a great number of comments and responses from concerned aunts cautioning them to be careful, as well as a “You're just as crazy as I was at your age,” from uncle Benny. On any given night, you’ll catch the Gumby walking out of the bathroom in rental shoes, wearing a harness in the bouldering cave, and offering big-voiced beta to his timid Tinder match on their ‘adventurous’ first date. Although he and a few fellow Gumbies have planned to visit the “Real Cliffs” for months now, they have yet to go as the only rope owner in the group keeps on flaking. All the while, the Gumby has been losing their psych for climbing as the middle-school team has been flashing all of their projects. No bother, the Gumby is ready for their next big challenge anyway - a tough mudder!
Brooklyn / Miami / Bay Area
Dyno / Figure Four / Spin Class / Belay Test / Paleo Diet / Meal-Prep Sundays / Stopper Knot / Membership / Leg Day
A whitewater rafting bachelor party
A charity trip to Africa where they also hike Kilimanjaro
SCUBA diving with sharks
Netflix & chilling
Once the dividends started rolling in from their tech industry startup, it was time for the High Roller to rack up some better stories to tell at Silicon Valley dinner parties, New York supper clubs, and corporate-speaking events. A cool $60,000 dollars and an Everest summit tag later, the High Roller is now in the running for the title of “the most interesting man in the world” among their peers. With eyes set solely on the summit, the High Roller approaches climbing like they do business, and is ready to “conquer” the playing field no matter what - even if it means being dragged up by Sherpas and leaving a path of oxygen bottles in their wake. Preferring not to waste time on the logistical complications of most climbing endeavors, High Rollers often employ the services of professional guides to maximize their time in the mountains and minimize their potential to actually glean anything of value from them. Find the High Roller’s trite memoir comparing the principles of mountaineering to their philosophy on business at a book seller near you.
Mount Everest / Mount Rainier / Denali / Aconcagua
Diamox / Fixed Rope / Sherpa / Bottled Oxygen / Base camp / Conquer
Big game hunting in Africa
Having had insisted on a prenup
”Disrupting” existing industries
It’s sometimes unclear whether the Crackhead is drawn to off-width climbing because of genuine masochistic tendencies, or because they think that engaging in a discipline that is universally agreed upon as heinous makes them seem unique. Either way their readiness to wedge and wiggle their body weight between sand paper is downright concerning. For many, climbing off-width is a “dark art,” requiring its practitioners to grovel, trudge, and shed more blood than Satanists at a goat sacrifice. When not at the crag, the Crackhead can be found suspended upside-down like a bat practicing inversions and “leavittation” techniques on plywood torture devices in their basement “Crack Den.” In an effort to prolong their suffering and save enough skin to climb more than one pitch a day, Crackheads employ a variety of protective measures including tape gloves, knee pads, high ankle shoes, and work pants. If this curious list of accessories didn’t already make the Crackhead stand out at the crag, their collection of comically large cams and industrial strength curtain rods that every touron in the parking lot is inquiring about surely will.
Vedauwoo / Indian Creek / Yosemite / Squamish / Sedona
Chicken Wing / Armbar / Heel-toe / Flare / Pod / Fat Stack / Kneelock / Leavittation / Inversion / Bumping / Big Bro / Wide Pony / Flailfest / Crack Rash / Gobi
A climb that actually necessitates a headlamp
A career as a chimney sweep
Trad Dads hang onto their youthful excitement for the sport by surrounding themselves with newer climbers. They enjoy long, easy routes with clear objectives and defined summits. However most of their time is spent imposing their unsolicited wisdom onto others—not only imparting information about every move on a given route, but a year by year description of which footholds have become polished, which local restaurants started charging extra for bacon on their burgers, and which campsites have now become private. The Trad Dad is forever nostalgic about the “glory days” of climbing, and can often be found complaining about how the crag feels more and more like a gym everyday. Armed with a 401(k) and a dependable vehicle, the Trad Dad is already a step ahead of most climbers, but it’s an advantage that is promptly lost on even the easiest bouldering problem. A classic weekend warrior, the Trad Dad often spends more time on food prep and organizing gear than actually climbing rock. Somewhat inexplicably, despite a lifetime of climbing, the trad dad has yet to lead anything harder than a 5.9 without hanging on a piece or two.
The Gunks / City of Rocks / Leavenworth / Eldorado Canyon / Seneca Rocks
Five.Fun / Upper Fourth Class / Lower Fifth Class / Multi-pitch / Scrambling / Scrambled Eggs / Party Ledge / Fireman’s Assist / Munter Hitch
Three day weekends