Guest Author: Getting My Boyfriend Back

The gear room in its winter glory (note the bikes being used as additional drying racks)


As much as I hate to admit it, I am a fairly jealous person. I guess it comes with the territory of a) being a girl, and b) being crazy. One of my favorite things about hanging out with Tim is that I’m almost always the only girl in the group, which means there is no competition (other than everyone trying to out-climb each other, of course). There’s not much to be jealous of when I’m with the boys. But there is one thing that consistently brings out my inner demons and, interestingly enough, it’s not another girl. It’s not even Mickey Spades’ glorious collection of jackets.

Ready for this? It’s…winter.


I used to consider myself a winter person, but after two winters with Tim, I’ve realized that I am in no position to label myself as such outside the company of my grandmother. Yes, I love ice climbing. And yes, I want to love snowboarding (someday I will, but unfortunately I still suck at it and I hate not being good at things). I love snow. I love snow days. I don’t get depressed by the cold, or the getting-dark-at-4:30 bullshit that comes with winter. Overall, I would say that I love winter. But Tim really loves winter, and sometimes it seems as though he loves it more than he loves me.

A quick glance through his über-neurotic day planner will tell you that Tim has spent an average of four or five days a week skiing or snowboarding since December 3rd. (What was I doing all those days you may ask? Well, for two – ok, maybe three – I was out there with him. But for the rest, I was either dealing with whiny teenagers at job number one or whiny adults at job number two.)

And the end of this madness seems to be nowhere in sight. While everyone else I know was excited for this past Monday’s 70-degree temperatures, Tim only wondered how the warmth would affect his precious snow. While his friends are already getting out on their bikes, his bike collection is sitting in the gear room, lonely and gathering dust. Fortunately, my cat likes to hang out in there and keep them company.

In February, we went to Alabama and spent a week climbing. It was fantastic. All we did was boulder, which I normally don’t even like. You may remember my grumpy “bouldering face” from previous posts. But the South makes everything better, and it left me with a stronger-than-usual desire to climb. I thought that maybe it had done the same to Tim and that we could start spending more time together at the rock gym until it got nice enough to climb outside up here. I was wrong, and if I had a dime for every time someone at the gym questioned why I was there without Tim, I would probably be able to quit one of my jobs.

I will admit that I am proud of Tim for achieving the crazy goals he sets out for himself. I think his total number of days on the snow this season is now near 80. He has skinned, skied, and snowboarded around 100,000 feet (which I am simultaneously in awe of and think is insane). But I am also super needy and it would be a lie if I said his obsession with winter sports hadn’t pissed me off once or twice over the last four and a half months. Because the more time he spent on his skis or boards, the less time he spent with me.

On Sunday, we’re leaving with some friends for another week-long climbing trip, this time to Kentucky, where it’s sunny and snow-less and full of beautiful rocks. It would also be a lie if I said I didn’t hope all the snow in the mountains was gone by the time we get home, because that would mean I could finally get my boyfriend back.