While climbing didn’t make it to the Olympics again this year, climbing could become a spectator sport like a mainstream sporting event. Climbing athletes are finding endorsement by more and more big-money brands. (Welcome Adidas, the newest big kid on the block.) And major news sources feature our athletes’ accomplishments, and even lifestyles, from Alex Honnold on 60 Minutes to Sasha DiGuilian in Seventeen Magazine.

The Real Pro Climber Wives of Boulder County* is intended as a campy depiction of the image our sport could foster in the mainstream media. While the RPCWBC might clearly provoke a plethora of discussion topics, ranging from the profound (how can we best represent our diverse community?) to the mundane (what’s in your secret recovery drink?), today I want to talk about cheerleading. While gym competitions offer a way for fans and loved ones to easily access the sport and applaud our athletes, it’s less obvious how the spectator can participate in the successes/failures/toils of an outdoor climber.  

The featured Pro Climber Wife (PCW) of course does it ALL: she shows up at the crag bikini-clad and post-(insert “real” profession here)-work day to belay, cheer and feed her pro homemade, nutrient dense treats. She tweets, blogs, FB posts, etc. on behalf of her disorganized pro’s recent achievements. She color codes your gear, charms the sponsors, ices your forearms, and stokes the home fires during long expeditions. If only every climber could be so lucky.

*not really a new reality TV series