Bumble First Date Guide: Rock Climbing

You've made the first move with your Bumble match! Congratulations, honey! Now it's time to meet up in real life.

Figuring out what to do for your first date can be hard. Do you stick with tried-and-true dinner and drinks, or go for something unique? For those who don’t drink (or would just prefer to remain sober when checking out a potential match), an activity date can be a great move for a first outing. To help you stand out from the crowd, this is the first post in a series we're calling "...". 

If you’re into adventure, are all about trying new things, and love a physical challenge, rock climbing could be the perfect activity date for you.

To get the wall-side scoop on everything you should know before a rock-climbing meet up, we spoke to a couple of experts at Seattle’s Stone Gardens, one of the city’s most popular climbing gyms. Yogi and Georgia — Stone Gardens’ Jack and Jill of all trades — shared everything from what to wear to how to act on your first climbing date.


Activewear is a must for both sexes when rock climbing. “I’d wear leggings instead of shorts [for women] because your legs will smack against the wall,” says Georgia. “They’ll end up a little bruised no matter what, so the leggings will help protect you.” She also suggested a sleeveless workout shirt for both sexes. (“You can show off a little muscle on your arms and back,” she added.)

Since this is an active date, women will want to take a natural approach to hair and makeup. (Yogi and Georgia told us you’re going to sweat, guaranteed, and there's only so much your setting spray can handle.) Don’t forget a hair tie!

Socks. If you’re a beginner you’ll wear rental shoes. That other people have also worn. Self-explanatory.


In addition to the workout clothes you’ll be wearing and a water bottle, you’ll want to be prepared for a few different post-climb scenarios. If you two decide to grab a bite afterward, you’ll want to be able to do a quick change. We recommend bringing a fresh change of clothes as well as coconut oil wipes, deodorant, and dry shampoo to keep it fresh.


Here are a few words you might hear being thrown around the gym. Impress your date by translating the banter:

Problem - The series of holds that make up the route you’re going to climb on the wall. (Problems are usually marked by all of the holds you’re supposed to use being the same color. The beginning holds of a problem are marked with two pieces of tape on the wall around the holds.)

Bouldering - Climbing close to the ground without the need for a rope or belay system.

Top Roping - Climbing on a rope passed through a fixed anchor at the top of a climbing wall, with one end tied to the climber and the other tied to their belayer (or an auto-belay in some cases).

Belayer - Person who manages the rope on the ground to catch the climber if they fall or slip off the wall.

Jug - Large, easily gripped hold. (You should start with a problem with lots of these!) 


1. Don’t worry about impressing the other person with your skills. Whether this date was your idea or theirs, remember: Nobody likes a show-off. “My first thought whenever I see a couple on the wall is, ‘I hope no one starts showing off,’ says Georgia.

3. You don’t have to get to the top. “It’s a common misconception about climbing that the walls are tall and you have to go all the way up,” says Yogi. No pressure!

3. Climbing is a social sport! You and your date most likely won’t be the only people on the wall, so use your common sense and a little climbers’ etiquette. (This means observing whether someone is already working the problem you want to try out, not climbing a problem directly next to someone else’s route, etc.). Don't be afraid to ask for tips and advice, either! Climbers are a friendly bunch.

We asked an experienced friend to share a little about why climbing dates can be so great. He said:

“During dates at bars I often find myself shouting over the room, which is tough. Dinner first dates tend to drag on too long. During climbing, you can intimately chat with someone - no shouting required - and easily break up conversation (or think of something witty to say) by going back to the wall. Plus, struggling or falling on a climb is the ultimate ice breaker. You're guaranteed to share plenty of laughs.”

We’re sold. Take your first date to the local climbing gym and see if you fall!

Don’t forget to show us how it goes - tag #blamebumble on Instagram!



Taylor Davies for The Bumble Hive


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