Beta Whoring

Beta Whoring

I was discussing my FRB interview with someone at the gym a while back.   This person mentioned that he took exception to the part in the interview about how my climbing partners viewed me as a partner.  If you need a reminder, here is what I said:

They might disagree but I like to think that I am a pretty fun person to climb with. If nothing else, I am usually good for several laughs throughout the course of a session. Lately I like to think I have been a more motivating person to climb with as well

This person brought up several instances where I was not the best partner, mainly owing to my DSC_1469 tendency to whore my partners out for beta.  Unfortunately, I had to agree.  See if the below scenario sounds familiar.

It goes something like this:  you arrive at a boulder with your crew; you spend an inordinate amount of time warming up, resting and taking photos; you spend this time watching your crew getting bouted by a problem and soak up their beta; once they are sufficiently frustrated you flash said problem right in their faces.

Not cool, right?  Well, that pretty much sums up my OLD way of operating.  In my defense I wouldn’t say that I did it on purpose.  It was usually only a matter of time before my next debilitating injury so I felt compelled to use whatever method allowed me the greatest chance of adding to my 8a spraysheet…or something

I’m interested in hearing what others think about this situation.  Also, if you have more evidence against me that you would like to weigh in with, please feel free to do so.

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Posted In: From The Narc

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14 Responses to Beta Whoring

  1. inkentucky May 15, 2008 at 10:57 am #

    technically this is an example of beta-pimping; your friends are being “whored” – not you.  it is also NOT weaksauce.  it’s just an efficient use of vision, climbing posse, and warmup time.    in many cases, I find myself doing just the opposite: i flail for an hour on projects before I’m warmed up, watch friends flash with my beta, and find myself kinda bummed about my relative “crushage” capacity.  if i had anything resembling patience I would warmup slowly, watch my friends climb, and crush with their beta.  in other words, i’d climb smart: like you.

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  2. Ben May 15, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    Lol, the way you describe the scenario is hilarious!

    Hey if all you want to do it pad your spraysheet, that’s your thing man. Your partners are probably jealous that you’re doing a better job of it than they are!

    I personally enjoy the challenge of figuring out sequences. I find it more satisfying to work a good problem over several sessions before finally sending it rather than simply flashing.

    I guess what I’m saying is do what you enjoy. Forget what they say. I’m sure your partners will still climb with you, if nothing else at least for the couple of laughs and the ability to bitch about you being a beta whore 😉

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  3. sock hands May 15, 2008 at 12:34 pm #

    this sums up many joking conversations i’ve had over the years regaring my first encounters with the minnesota crew, starting with sessions at the black hills…
    they did this so often, i’m not certain how minnesotans climb when they are all together with no foreign guinea pigs… they prolly just all sit around eating things, sanding fingers, and try to coax the others into actually trying some moves.
    colorado’s version of this is the kids who show up in the alpine zone without a pad, or with just one of those tiny not-worth-a-crap pads, waiting till they can sneak into a well-padded session.  OR, waiting till someone has totally cleaned a line top to bottom and chalked up the holds nicely… then, ‘hey, can i give it a shot while you’re working it?’  then, wham, FA burgled !
    the buffalo/ontario crew version is not showing up with your own bug spray.
    i’m guilty of all and none.

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  4. sock hands May 15, 2008 at 12:35 pm #

    and yes, i realize you’re from wisconsin, by you lumberjacking vikings are all the same don’t cha know

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  5. Tony May 15, 2008 at 4:36 pm #

    Note: When the Narc is supposed to be injured, and then proceeds to send in everybodies’ faces after gleaning beta from everbody elses failed attempts, it opens him up to being heckled off the topout.

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  6. You Know Who I 'Am' May 15, 2008 at 4:43 pm #

    Old way of operating?  I think not, Narc.  But just a few days ago, I was at the gym and saw some of that old Narc coming through.  After picking out a new project and working it a few times, you’ll remember Narc, that you jumped onto MY project and, using all of MY beta, sent…. 

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  7. The Narc May 15, 2008 at 4:51 pm #

    @Tony – In all fairness, I already had executed my beta whoring methods
    4 years prior on Boomslang so when I did it last year it wasn’t quite
    the same

    @YKWIA – Don’t hate on me for my off the couch skills…plus…I didn’t need any short person beta thank you very much

    @Sock
    Hands – I can’t wait to come out there this summer and try out the
    colorado kids method…please have prospective FA ready and
    waiting…preferably V2 or under…proud highball too if possible

    @inkentucky – you are right but as you said I am the one whoring out my friends for beta so the title seemed appropriate

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  8. Sarah May 15, 2008 at 4:58 pm #

    You know, I probably was thinking “punter…” at the time because, if I recall correctly, that was the problem you sandbagged us horribly on. No one could even do the first move and you’d forgotten the sending beta.

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  9. Tony May 15, 2008 at 10:21 pm #

    YKWIA, seeing as the Narc is at least 5 feet taller than you I don’t think your beta would have been much good anyway
    Sarah, thats why he couldn’t send, because we couldn’t figure out the beta for him.

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  10. The Narc May 16, 2008 at 8:48 am #

    Sarah, I’m still rather perplexed as to why that problem seemed so hard all of a sudden.

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  11. Lynnatron May 16, 2008 at 10:22 am #

    I’m a beta whore…there’s lots of things I’m too short to climb the “regular” way, (just reach and grab the next hold), and even some things I’m not strong enough to climb on, but I can still see the weird sequences really well.  I’m always offering up my (sometimes untested) beta to people, who then go on to send using it.  That gets me psyched!  I love it when people can use my beta…If you’re a regular, friendly climber, you’ll be happy to see anyone send whatever…as soon as you let territoriality, jealousy or bitterness enter into your climbing day, it wreaks the vibe….better to just love the climbing than get down if someone sends before you….everyone sends before me, I’ve just learn get over it.

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