The zombie noob epidemic
In the last few days I have noticed noobery at a whole new level. I am starting to think the state of North Carolina is in a code green noob epidemic. And its spreading.
It all started two days ago, on a beautiful spring night at my local climbing gym: the Traversi Rock Club. A friend and I decided to spend our evening doing some light training/muscle flexing.
As usual, the place was crowded. However, it wasnt crowded in a typical way. While all the stunning (22 foot tall) topropes were enveloped by the crowd, the lead cave and steep boulder wall were totally empty. Taking advantage of this fortunate situation, my buddy and I banged out a few classic lead climbs. Then, while lounging in the empty cave, a fearful truth dawned upon us. Out of a crowd of almost 100 people, we were the only two non noobs.
The traversi rock club was literally infested with every single noob type. Most visible, and loudest was an I climb outdoors noob. This proud type of noob keeps every single piece of gear they own on their harness at all times. Like a presenting peacock, while scaling a 20 foot gym toprope this noob wore 10 quickdraws, several feet of webbing, an extra pair of shoes, a water bottle, an ATC and most surprisingly two THATS RIGHT, TWO! Gri-gris. And most ironically, the poor bastard was still using an ATC to belay…
Then, out of nowhere, stumbled a I DONT FUCKIGN LOOK WHERE I AM GOING NOOB. This is the sad fucker that is completely unaware of his/her surroundings. As expected, the IDFLWIAMGN promptly knocked my chalkbag directly upside down and stumbled away.
Surrounded by noobs, my partner and I were forced to retreat to the bouldering wall. While trying a problem, I lunged for the top of the wall, missed and flew towards the ground. As I rapidly descended, I heard a blood curling shriek. I instantly knew I almost killed an endangered I AM GOING TO FUCKING DIE noob. In a similar family as the IDFLWIAMG noob, the IAGTFD noob also has no fucking idea where they are at any moment. When this is combined with the fact that this noob’s habitat is directly underneath whoever is climbing at the moment, a dangerous situation emerges. As I got up from my fall, the noob’s fear turned into anger. “Hey! Watch it!!” the noob barked at me.
Needless to say, I didn’t sleep easy that night. I tossed and turned with visions of half dead zombie noobs eating human brains. I was startled awake at 7 am to a phone call from a friend. We were going climbing at Moore’s Wall, an amazing quarzite trad cliff nested in the foothills of the Applachian Mountains. As I sipped on a cup of java, my mind examined the fucked up dreams of the night before. Were these visions reality? Is the noob epidemic really spreading? If it was, I thought, Moores with its tricky gear placements and sandbagged grades would be a perfect place for non noob humanity to make its last stand. Surley, I thought, noobs could not exist here.
I thought wrong. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, my heart jumped. We were only a few feet away from an I PUT MY GEAR ON IN THE PARKING LOT noob. With glossy eyes and a helmeted head, this poor noob was racking up for the classic 5.7 Zoo View in the damn parking lot, a 20 minute approach away from the climb.
The noobs were spreading. Fortunately, we stayed noob free all day, gritting our teeth on traditional piedmont classics like Nut Sweat (5.9+, 2 pitches) and Quaker State (11a). On the way home, my mind raced. How did this noob epidemic start? Where is the noob epicenter? More importantly, will it ever end??
The next morning, I went to work at the climbing wall of my school, Dook University. As hoards of college noobs with rental equipment and a deadly wrong belay stroke descended upon my place of employment, I realized something horrific. THIS was the epicenter of noobness.
Leading the pack was a Stage 3 terminal noob. This is a noob so deep into its sickness that he/she has no hope of surviving. This particular fellow approached the climbing wall wearing socks under his climbing shoes. Turns out, he had put his socks and climbing shoes on at home, and while wearing his climbing shoes, got in his car drove to the gym and walked inside.
They say there is some place out there untouched by the noob epidemic. Those on the east coast say its west, and those in the west claim its east. If you are reading this, and its not too late, please reach out to me. I’ll be the guy not wearing socks with my climbing shoes.