Holiday shopping stresses me out.
It's not really the shopping part, it's the anticipation — like a storm on the horizon during a long climb. You do your best to focus on the climbing, but you know you're screwed if you don't boogie.
But take heart! There's still time to shop for that climber in your life with this handy gift guide. I present to you the perfect pairing, like fine wine with a feast, of a climber type and an associated gift to ease your shopping this holiday season.
We'll begin with the most important person on your list:
1.) Your S.O.
Every significant other needs a stiffie. You heard me: a stiffie.
"I just bought one of these for my wife as a possible upgrade or supplement," my anonymous friend emailed me.
Right. I could only assume he was referring to a new and nifty tool in the climbing world: a rigid quickdraw that offers 6 extra inches (give or take) to help clip out-of reach bolts.
My friend said his wife used to jury-rig a stiffie from a wooden paint stick, but the pre-made versions are far more effective and satisfying. "She uses a stiffie on almost every climb," he said.
If you don't currently have an S.O. I strongly recommend investing in your very own stiffie.
2.) The obsessive-compulsive climber
A workout-tracking app like Strava combined with a diet-oriented app like MyFitnessPal are sure winners for the left-brained O.C.D climber. With these, a climber can easily track the minutia — and I mean every single exhausting little detail — of their lifestyle.
A journal is perhaps better suited for the more flowy and spontaneous right-brained O.C.D. climber. Okay, more like five journals, one each for the essentials: workouts, calories consumed and burned, sleep habits (including dreams), indoor/outdoor climbs and post-therapy processing.
3.) The flaky/consistently late climber
This disrespectful meathead deserves an ultimatum for the holidays.
I don't know exactly how it should play out, but here's a template to get started: "Look (person's name), you're being a jackass. If you bail on me one more time I'm (never) gonna ... ."
Be creative, and careful. Don't flake out on your own ultimatum.
4.) The Trustafarian "Dirtbag"
Give this climber a judgment-free coming-out.
Many self-proclaimed "dirtbags" have plenty of money and a guilty conscience. Remind this climber that their inheritance, trust fund or whatever is not his or her fault. No one can help the situation they were born into. Encourage this faux-needy person to stop feeling ashamed, be generous with their means and for god's sake stop pretending to be poor.
5.) The climber who voted for Trump
Wait, not a single climber on earth voted for him. Never mind.
6.) The I'm-not-even-sure-if-they-like-climbing climber.
This tortured soul deserves a way out.
Climbing is fun and exciting, and it gives you a sense of identity. But it's also scary, uncomfortable and it's definitely not for everyone.
Gift this person a way out of the climbing scene and a path toward something more normal. Like a day out skiing, hiking, shopping or going to a movie. Don't normal people do these kinds of things?
7.) The climber who's now your ex.
If your ex made your holiday shopping list, pat yourself on the back; you've come a long way. A chalkbag is a solid starting gift, as banal as it may sound. The fun part is filling it with whatever you want, depending entirely on your situation.
To remain neutral, or to let your ex know you thought about him or her (but only for a second), fill their chalkbag with chalk. To win points, you could drop in a funny card, a love note, chocolates — that kind of thing.
But you could also fill it with coal, for the season-appropriate dis.
Or poop, if that's the message you're trying to send (if so, check out any of Boulder's dog-friendly trails where you'll find a zillion abandoned plastic bags full of dog poop).
P.S. If you're gifted a chalk bag, open it veeerrry carefully ... .
Contact Chris Weidner at email@example.com