Reflections of a Climber’s Wife

posted by dpm on 06/13/2013


I am not a climber. I have never been a climber, and I never will be, but after years of blissful marriage to an inveterate climbing husband, I’ve gained a deep appreciation for this sport you’re all so crazy about. Allow me to share just a few of my reasons.

What I love most about climbing is the chalk dust on all the clothes that I keep in the basement.  My wedding dress doesn’t have just sentimental value anymore, it’s also a collector's item—for people who like to collect ruined crap.  And that reminds me of another thing I love about climbing; the smell—that amazing smell.  Mmmm, is that…feet?  Mixed with…mmm, what is that?...is that B.O? Yes, that’s definitely the smell that I love most.  Wait, I forgot about all the time alone to myself on weekends and holidays. When my husband’s out climbing his hardest for his family, I really relish those opportunities to clean the entire house by myself, wondering the whole time whether he’s dead or not. And then there’s all that lingo, which is great because I got so tired of using real words instead of made-up ones to talk about crap that doesn’t matter anyway. "You're right honey, keeping your tips dry while putting away those dishes I just washed was totally epic, and yes, of course I'm excited about the splitter conditions tomorrow."

Hold on, what about the clothes?  Don’t even get me started on those precious little pixie clothes and ballerina slippers they call climbing shoes. Hey Verve and La Sportiva, A Chorus Line called; they want their Academy Award-winning costume designs back. But it might be the inside climbing jokes I love best. My husband could take out the garbage without smiling that dumb smile and grunting, “Yeah, this feels about V6…huhhuhhuh,” but he always does it anyway, just like I love.I could go on and on about all the things I love about climbing—the obsession with gear, the girls with muscular arms—but I guess if I had to pin it down to one thing, if I really had to say what I loved most about climbing, it would have to be that it gives my husband something to think about, every waking moment of his life, instead of wasting his precious time considering me or my needs…ever…whether it’s on our anniversary or that time I was in the hospital... giving birth. What can I say? I can’t help myself—I just LOVE climbing!