The Climbing Gym Drama – Competitive Egos and Gender Dynamics

Woman climbing wall with grips

In the world of climbing, where determination and skill combine, there’s a thin line between healthy competition and toxic behavior.

A recent incident at a climbing gym shed light on the competitive egos that lurk in these vertical landscapes.

How High Can We Go

The original post recounted the story of a couple who shared a passion for climbing but with differing skill levels.

The original poster (OP) had recently embarked on the journey of climbing a few times a week. However, OP’s boyfriend was deeply engrossed in the sport.

The stark difference in their abilities was compounded by OP’s boyfriend’s intense competitiveness and inclination to belittle less experienced climbers, leaving the OP feeling self-conscious about her own climbing journey.

Challenging The Challenger

On a fateful night at the climbing gym, the boyfriend faced a challenging circuit alongside a group of other climbers. The route, being newly installed, was proving difficult, with six climbers attempting to conquer it without success.

Amidst their efforts, a talented girl arrived on the scene and effortlessly scaled the heights. However, she faltered at the end, not holding the final hold for the prescribed five seconds.

The boyfriend, seemingly fueled by frustration, called her out for not adhering to the technicalities of the climb.

In doing so, he revealed a desire to maintain a strict adherence to the rules, even when it was evident that the girl’s skills surpassed the requirement.

This incident sparked a tense exchange, with the girl confidently asserting that OP’s boyfriend hadn’t even started the climb correctly.

OP, witnessing this exchange, found herself in a unique position, caught between loyalty to her boyfriend and admiration for the girl’s remarkable climbing ability.

In an unexpected show of support, OP offered the girl a congratulatory high-five, acknowledging her impressive feat and perhaps secretly delighting in seeing her boyfriend momentarily taken down.

The girl, surprised by the gesture, reciprocated the high-five with a smile, solidifying a connection forged through climbing prowess.

Tensions Flare

Unfortunately, OP’s display of solidarity with the girl triggered a negative reaction from her boyfriend. He expressed his disapproval, questioning OP’s loyalty and trustworthiness for siding with a stranger over him.

OP was taken aback by his reaction, as she believed that the girl had rightfully earned her praise for a flawless climb.

Ego and Sexism

The social media post quickly caught on, sparking a range of reactions.

WholeAd2742 was quick to label the boyfriend’s behavior as “petty, jealous, and a bit sexist.”

The fact that the boyfriend targeted a female climber for a minor infraction seemed indicative of a deeper issue at play.

CymraegAmerican shared a similar sentiment, pointing out the boyfriend’s pattern of belittling beginners and suggesting that he might have a sexist bias.

“I’m not acquainted with the bf to know if he is sexist or not, just that it is a strong possibility.”

In a similar vein, tehfugitive questioned whether the boyfriend would have called out a male climber with the same fervor.

The user posited that this tendency to demean women might stem from a misguided belief that it’s safer to do so.

Pdubs1900 joined the conversation, echoing the likelihood of sexism being an underlying factor in the boyfriend’s behavior, while also highlighting the toxic nature of his competitive and arrogant ego.

Aromatic-Speed5090 offered another perspective by pointing out the boyfriend’s desire to control his girlfriend’s interactions with others.

“The boyfriend is the kind of guy who thinks he has the right to tell his girlfriend how to behave around other people.”

Overall, the recurring theme in the responses was the potential presence of sexism and the boyfriend’s insecure and domineering nature.

The Verdict

The social media post about the incident at the climbing gym has ignited a thoughtful and impassioned dialogue among users. Commenters pointed out the boyfriend’s reaction of expressing disapproval and questioning the OP’s loyalty was unjustified and wrong, as it disregarded the girl’s achievement and displayed possessive behavior.

OP’s action of offering a high-five to the talented girl was right, as it was an appropriate gesture of admiration for her climbing skill.

The story reminds us that talented individuals should practice being humble and appreciative of others’ skills because, sooner or later, someone more talented always comes around.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Do you think the OP from this social media post was wrong?

Featured Image Credit: ArturVerkhovetskiy /

This article originally appeared on Ash & Pri.

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Pri Kingston

Ash & Pri are the Founders of and have spent the last decade building their way towards financial freedom and a lifetime of memories. Having successfully achieved their early retirement goal in under 10 years, they look forward to sharing their financial sense with like-minded people. Read more about Ash & Pri in the 'About Us' section.