Queer Crush: March
Meetups! Clinics! Paranormal Night Out!
First things first - we’ve switched to Substack because Mailchimp lowered their free audience size limit to 500 and the budget for this newsletter is, in total, three hours of my time (this move was inspired by Smitten Kitchen, thank you Smitten Kitchen). Please reach out (I think you can still just hit reply on this email) if you have any questions or concerns! And on the off chance that any of you work for Mailchimp or some other official email marketing platform and want to sponsor Queer Crush with a sweet deal 👀 - well, you know where the reply button is.
Despite the format change, this newsletter will still contain fun meetups, maybe some sick pics, yet another plug for Paranormal Night Out, and a cool climbing movement clinic at Sender One LAX (see schedule below for details).
Thursday, March 2, 6 – 9pm Pacific Pipe
Monday, March 6, 6:30 – 9pm Dogpatch Boulders
Tuesday, March 7, 6 – 8:30pm Benchmark SF
Friday, March 10, 6 – 9pm Sacramento Pipeworks
Monday, March 13, 6 – 8:30pm Movement Sunnyvale
Tuesday, March 14, 6 – 8:30pm Great Western Power Co.
Wednesday, March, 15 6 – 9pm Diablo Rock Gym
Thursday, March 16, 5:30 – 8:30pm Blue Granite (Tahoe)
Friday, March 17, 6 – 9pm Movement Santa Clara
Friday, March 17, 6 – 8:30pm MetalMark (Fresno)
Friday, March 17, 7 – 9:30pm Mission Cliffs
Tuesday, March 21, 6 – 8pm Benchmark Berkeley
Tuesday, March 21, 6:30 – 8:30pm Gravity Vault Marin
Wednesday, March 22, 7 – 9pm The Studio
Monday, March 27, 6 – 9pm Berkeley Ironworks
Wednesday, March 1, 7 – 9pm Long Beach Rising
Thursday, March 2, 7 – 9pm Sender One Playa Vista
Thursday, March 2, 7 – 9pm Verdigo Boulders
Wednesday, March 8, 7 – 9pm Sender One Santa Ana
Tuesday, March 14, 7 – 9pm Hollywood Boulders
Thursday, March 16, 7 – 9pm LA Boulders
Thursday, March 16, 7 – 9pm Sender One LAX
Monday, March 20, 7 – 9pm Boulderdash San Fernando Valley (NEW!)
Monday, March 20, 7 – 9pm Cliffs of Id
Tuesday, March 21, 7 – 9pm Movement Fountain Valley
Sunday, March 26, 3 – 6pm QC Movement Clinic @ Sender One LAX: Climbers – both novice and intermediate -- will see a benefit right away from understanding the fundamentals of climbing movement (efficient use of arms/legs, body positioning, turning, flagging, foot switching, center of gravity, dynamic vs. static movement, etc.). It will be useful and fun for people to see a lot of improvement with just a little coaching and instruction. Contact Sender One LAX Captain Tara (email@example.com) for more information.
Monday, March 27, 7 – 9pm The Post
Captain James writes in: Malaysia trip!
Currently developed crags in Malaysia as of this writing are very accessibly located in the "suburbs", 1 hour from the center of the capital, Kuala Lumpur. The crags can be found as part of the same mountain formation that houses the famous Batu Caves shrine. You can easily see the shrine, a popular tourist destination, in 1-2 hours, then hop over to a wall (nearest would be ~1 hr walk or 15 min taxi drive) to get some climbing done in one day! (Pumped muscles? Tack on nearby Selayang Hot Spring pool for a truly local experience.) Here's some beta spray!
Types of climbing
Sport or trad. Some multi-pitch (like... 2-3 pitches I think are the max, the mountain isn't that tall).
Gua Damai Extreme Sports operates at the base of the Damai Wall as an equipment rental shop that also offers lessons and private tours. You can also do various other activities including base jumping (in the photo, the yellow stairs go through the cave to the base jumping platform you can see at the top!). Unlike my last report and what I learned about climbing in Vietnam & Thailand, it seems like it's easier for outfitters to get gear in Malaysia; in fact, close to the Nyamuk Wall is a shop, Verticale, where you can get stocked up (no rentals though).
Meeting climbers & belay partners
What I was told is that since the climbing in nearby countries like Vietnam (see my last trip report) & Thailand are so dazzling, people largley ignore the crags around Kuala Lumpur. As a result, most of the climbers here are locals. The downside to that, however, is that as a visiting foreigner, I found it quite difficult to find climbing partners. I literally found partners by just chance walking to the crag and bumping into people. If you come solo, I'd recommend posting on the Rock Climbing in Malaysia Facebook group well in advance.
A note on 2 crags
Damai Wall is suuuuper accessible for beginners (hence why the rental business operates there). For whatever reason, when I was there, there were ants everywhere. Like a looooong line of ants on the ground, and then running in various lines on the wall.
Nyamuk Wall is the recommended crag for moderate to challenging routes. BUT PLEASE NOTE, nyamuk means mosquito in Malay and it is super aptly named. In 5 minutes of standing I got more bites than a full month in Vietnam no joke. I have no idea why they love this area so much (not nearly as many at Damai Wall).
Accessibility notes for our community
Malaysia is highly strict and while I didn't pay enough attention to notice an overly high police presence, from what people tell me it's there. There is also more binary gender-based segregation (separate hostel floors, separate train cars), and rules around dress particularly at religious sites and more strictly enforced for women.
Here 3 examples where I was shocked by the strictness:
- people generally don't do house parties for fear of noise violations (like yes we have this in the US, but it's not seen as a big deal, whereas literally no one chances a house party; they rent hotel rooms and even then, the uber small one I went to with very mellow music still hella piled pillows in front of the door to muffle the sounds)
- coming home late, my friend literally was like, we shouldn't drive at 3am, it's seen as suspicious and we might get pulled over
- I wanted to just it in a parked car for a few minutes to look at a map, my friend literally was like, we can't just sit here it's seen as suspicious and we might get inspected)
I also personally really felt the conservativeness when meeting up with guys who literally would say... walk a few steps behind me so it doesn't look like we're together and wear a mask.
I think Kuala Lumpur is easier to access for folks with mobility issues compared to Vietnam (see my last trip report), but there are still issues where sidewalks may not be well maintained, and there are still just arbitrary steps everywhere...
Language-wise, it's been really cool to be in a country with such ingrained linguistic diversity! It still surprises me when people just start speaking to me in Mandarin Chinese (instead of Malay) when they see me. Almost everyone speaks some level of English in Kuala Lumpur, I haven't really had to use Google Translate (though there are some instances when I wish I would have).
All the Queer Crush events discussed in this newsletter take place on land stolen from the native peoples who lived and continue to live here. This includes but is not limited to the Chochenyo, Ramaytush, Miwok, Plains Miwok, Tamien, and other peoples in Northern California, and the Chumash and Tongva (Gabrieleno) in Southern California. Many members of these groups still live here as their ancestors have done for generations.
Check whose land you’re on here.
Stay sendy, stay queer, keep crushing,
Sam “email me and/or show up to Pac Pipe meetup to buy brand new pair of scarpa vapor v 39.5, that’s definitely not my size” Hoffman
Looking for other ways to stay up to date on events and connect with the Queer Crush community? You can find links to Instagram, Discord, Google Calendar, newsletter and other regional Facebook groups on our website QueerCrush.org