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granite_grrl


Dec 11, 2008, 10:00 AM
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"Climb like a girl"...what does that even mean?
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Technique, wall angle, or how one generally approches a climb? What does climb like a girl really mean? I've heard people say thinks like climbing strait arm or using your feet, but does that start excluding a woman from climbing steep routes and burley boulder problems?

I bring this up because after breaking my leg and pelvis my legs were weak and I started concentrating on overhangs which requires a lot less work with your legs. This is generally not an angle which many women who climb in the 5.10 range (which I did at the time) do well at and feel I really had to change my climbing style.

So was I climbing like a girl before, after, or both? Even though I had to change my style of climbing I kept my "girl" style? How many of you out there feel you climb like a "girl", and why?


lena_chita
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Dec 11, 2008, 10:19 AM
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I don't really know. Some people have commented that I move like a dancer when I climb... The obviously have only seen me on something moderate for me, b/c grace and "fluidness" of movement is the first thing that goes out of the door (unfortunately) when I am pumped and scared.

I think most often people who say "climb like a girl" mean attention to footwork, overall body positioning, and smooth movement.

I don't think steep routes or burly boulder problems are necessarily excluded. You might rely on your core more on steep route, but the same general principles apply. it is hard to define, but you know it when you see it-- a guy who has an excess of strength, and not enough technique, muscling through the moves instead of flowing through them. the opposite of that is "the girl climber", I guess.


acacongua


Dec 11, 2008, 10:23 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
I started concentrating on overhangs which requires a lot less work with your legs.

Overhang climbing engages your footwork and legs a lot. If you're focusing on your arms, you're going to run out of steam quickly.

What I found might be the trick in "using your feet" is keeping the movement off your feet within the width of your body. That helps you push off more with your feet. If you have to go outside of that, then you incorporate heel hooks and drop knees. Otherwise, you'll wind up doing a pull-up. I'm still learning more, but that's something I've observed watching friends with technique and watching those who get shoulder injuries.


acacongua


Dec 11, 2008, 10:24 AM
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If anyone knows where I can get the Climb Like a Girl sticker, please PM me.


tigerlilly


Dec 11, 2008, 10:29 AM
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In general, I think it means using legs more to compensate for a weaker upper body, which describes a lot of women, self especially. The one time I took a "climb like a girl" clinic, it was all slab climbing. As a relatively new climber, I found it helpful to find my balance point over my feet, but not much else. I am starting to fear overhangs less, because I am learning to use feet and body position to push myself up. No jug-hauling here - I can't do a single pull-up to save my life, but I can squat 50lbs more than I weigh.

Good luck with continued recovery. Is your leg strength coming back?

Kathy


Gmburns2000


Dec 11, 2008, 10:38 AM
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I see it as fluidity. While it isn't always like this, I see men often time bully their way through a move while women seem to flow through it. Both can look graceful, but often times the men look more on the power side of graceful and women on the balance side. The balance side is prettier to watch.

I guess another way is to use the term "cat like" to describe fluid climbing. Cats tend to be pretty deliberate in what they do, seemingly understanding the impact before the jump. They even make the most awkward of falls appear planned. So maybe "climbing like a girl" means that women tend to look as if they are planning the moves out a bit more. I'm not saying that they necessarily do plan routes out more, but maybe it appears that way.


climbs4fun
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Dec 11, 2008, 11:13 AM
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Women tend to have a different center of gravity than men do. Sometimes we excel at small thin stuff that takes more fluidity than "power" moves. I think it's a compliment to be told that I climb like a girl.


kiwiprincess


Dec 11, 2008, 12:12 PM
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You know how when you are a begginner men can muscle up stuff but the girls have to start learning technique earlier because in general they have less upper body stregth.

Women have more balance, climb more technical than powerful. Totally generalised apologies to you female powerhouses.

I find that on over hung boulder problems I am about 4 grades below the guys I climb with but on Faces the gap closes and we meet halfway.(i love it when I get it first!)


Maddhatter


Dec 11, 2008, 5:35 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
Technique, wall angle, or how one generally approches a climb? What does climb like a girl really mean? I've heard people say thinks like climbing strait arm or using your feet, but does that start excluding a woman from climbing steep routes and burley boulder problems?

I bring this up because after breaking my leg and pelvis my legs were weak and I started concentrating on overhangs which requires a lot less work with your legs. This is generally not an angle which many women who climb in the 5.10 range (which I did at the time) do well at and feel I really had to change my climbing style.

So was I climbing like a girl before, after, or both? Even though I had to change my style of climbing I kept my "girl" style? How many of you out there feel you climb like a "girl", and why?

I climb with my wife 99% of the time and from what I have seen girls or women do climb different. Yall be a doing the think'n stuff a lot more because you learn faster then most men your legs are stronger then your arms. She is also 5'4" so we more times then not do the same moves very different and we have been climbing together for a VERY long time. I think the term "climb like a girl" just means climbing like a scared little girl to most people. You chicks just let it bug you more then you should. If your a girl climbing you can't really not be climbing like a girl. Angelic


curt


Dec 11, 2008, 9:24 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
What does climb like a girl really mean?

To me, it suggests climbing like Lynn Hill. I'm still working at it. Cool

Curt


wonderwoman


Dec 12, 2008, 7:30 AM
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Maddhatter wrote:
I think the term "climb like a girl" just means climbing like a scared little girl to most people. You chicks just let it bug you more then you should.

I do not at all think that fear is a feminine characteristic. I've seen a fair share of men freaking out on climbs.


marebear


Dec 12, 2008, 9:32 AM
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I like what everyone here has said so far. I think girls climb more cognitively than men do, and with more balance and finesse. The chicks I climb with are better at giving beta than guys, even when they are giving beta to guys, and seem to work moves through in their heads before climbing.

Most of us have to work through tougher moves using our balance, footwork and technique instead of brute strength, which develops a different climbing style overall. Also, less related to climbing style, girls seem to develop a great camaraderie while climbing and focus less on the competition to perform better than those they are with and more on enjoying the experience of climbing with good friends, and watching others succeed.


Maddhatter


Dec 12, 2008, 9:36 AM
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wonderwoman wrote:
Maddhatter wrote:
I think the term "climb like a girl" just means climbing like a scared little girl to most people. You chicks just let it bug you more then you should.

I do not at all think that fear is a feminine characteristic. I've seen a fair share of men freaking out on climbs.

Just to be clear here. I think Lynn is hands down the best climber ever. I didn't mean it to be sexist but, it is the way most people use the term. I myself climb with women more then men so I feel no need to use the term. I have been out climbed by women many times and it always makes me smile to see women doing so much for the sport. When I started climbing back in the 80's you almost never saw a women climbing at the RRG. (or bolts for that matter) I think it's awesome how many women climb now and in no way see them as unable to climb hard.


marebear


Dec 12, 2008, 9:39 AM
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In reply to:
I think the term "climb like a girl" just means climbing like a scared little girl to most people. You chicks just let it bug you more then you should.

I think the phrase "climb with a girl" is associated by some with "run like a girl" or "throw like a girl", and neither one of the latter phrases are particularly positive things. I get that in this context, "climb like a girl" is referring to a difference in style, not ability; however, I can see how some might interpret it differently and find it offensive. Since I assume not many climber chicks, especially on rc.com, run or throw like girls, we won't let it bug us.


granite_grrl


Dec 12, 2008, 9:53 AM
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marebear wrote:
I like what everyone here has said so far. I think girls climb more cognitively than men do, and with more balance and finesse.

Maybe you've hit it there. I still need more work on my balance, and certainly work on my foot work if you drag me on something remotly slabby (at least I don't drag my right foot up the wall too often anymore), but I can see the cognitive climbing.

In terms of the phrase "climb like a girl", I've always seen it as a compliment, not an insult. I have never heard anyone of anyone giving it as an insult either. I just wanted to try to understand what it really ment because it doesn't just mean climbing with better technique and using you feet. Any guy who starts climbing at a high level will have solid technique and foot work, but you don't say that everyone who climbs at a high level climbs like a girl.

I would be interested in hearing from some more guys about this giving a wider perspective.


Gmburns2000


Dec 12, 2008, 10:29 AM
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marebear wrote:
I like what everyone here has said so far. I think girls climb more cognitively than men do, and with more balance and finesse. The chicks I climb with are better at giving beta than guys, even when they are giving beta to guys, and seem to work moves through in their heads before climbing.

Most of us have to work through tougher moves using our balance, footwork and technique instead of brute strength, which develops a different climbing style overall. Also, less related to climbing style, girls seem to develop a great camaraderie while climbing and focus less on the competition to perform better than those they are with and more on enjoying the experience of climbing with good friends, and watching others succeed.

Eh, even though I said it seems that women work out the moves more, I'm not sure that it swings any more to one side of the equation than the other. I both men and women alike are very congnitive of how they climb. Thinking while climbing is as much of a skill as it is a talent. In fact, I'd bet that most beginners, regardless of gender, are not very cognitive. It takes hitting that first "wall" to really start thinking about how the route goes.

For example, I climb with two folks (a guy and girl) and both are strong as hell. He's actually pretty good, getting to a point where he's onsighting 12a in the gym (OK, so it's the gym, but 12a is still hard!) and she's not that good - still struggling on hard 5.8 - easy 5.10. The point is that they both climb as if they are pulling themselves up the wall. Now, granted, he's developed some technique to go along with his strength, but they both approach the climb the same way: hand up, pull, move feet, hand up, pull, move feet, etc. He still doesn't read routes well, and despite my teaching her technique (she's still kind of new), she continues to bull her way up every single route.

Contrast that to Wonderwoman and BEC, well, they both look as if they read routes very well and think about how they are attacking the moves. They both look congnitive, but she is more graceful looking and he is more powerful looking.


Maddhatter


Dec 12, 2008, 12:47 PM
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All of this is really about your first few years in climbing or maybe your first 100 climbs. After that it's really more about what style you have and what climbs you like to do. A lay back is a lay back no matter if your a dude or a chick. Girls are not smarter nor do they climb better then men in any way. They just learn to use there legs more early on because they have to unless there just crazy strong in there upper body. In the end no two people climb the same men or women.


wonderwoman


Dec 12, 2008, 12:50 PM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
Contrast that to Wonderwoman and BEC, well, they both look as if they read routes very well and think about how they are attacking the moves. They both look congnitive, but she is more graceful looking and he is more powerful looking.

Awe, shucks! Flattery will get you everywhere!


wonderwoman


Dec 12, 2008, 12:56 PM
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Maddhatter wrote:
All of this is really about your first few years in climbing or maybe your first 100 climbs. After that it's really more about what style you have and what climbs you like to do. A lay back is a lay back no matter if your a dude or a chick. Girls are not smarter nor do they climb better then men in any way. They just learn to use there legs more early on because they have to unless there just crazy strong in there upper body. In the end no two people climb the same men or women.

I think that women sometimes have to compensate for not having the brute strength that men sometimes use to pull themselves up a wall. We do this by creative foot work and balance. I think I do more pushing with my legs, while guys do more pulling with their arms.

On overhanging routes, I tend to bring my hips more into the wall. I keep my weight over my hips. I also high step for those harder to reach moves.


dingus


Dec 13, 2008, 7:13 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
So was I climbing like a girl before, after, or both? Even though I had to change my style of climbing I kept my "girl" style? How many of you out there feel you climb like a "girl", and why?

Climb like a girl, hellyeah!





















You know... climb like a girl!


Is that what you mean granite-grl?

DMT


(This post was edited by dingus on Dec 13, 2008, 7:16 AM)


dingus


Dec 13, 2008, 7:23 AM
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The little girl is growing up (birthday party TODAY)













Happy Birthday Kaity! (12)

DMT


dingus


Dec 13, 2008, 7:28 AM
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You know......





CLIMB LIKE A GIRL!

Zap!

DMT


(This post was edited by dingus on Dec 13, 2008, 7:29 AM)


shimmer


Dec 13, 2008, 7:50 AM
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I honestly only really see this difference in less experienced climbers. Working at the gym, I get to see all kinds of climbing styles. Some of them are so precise and delicate, I just watch in awe, hoping to be that controlled.
Others are brute force mauling the wall and each move and basically attacking the route/problem.
I see a lot more of the second type of climber coming from the male gender. There are a couple of guys who come in and are super strong but have zero technique, and they're at a point where raw strength won't get them through the moves anymore, and they're getting frustrated. They've asked several times what they can do to get better, and my response is always the same "Watch some female climbers and mimic their movements."
The females I see climb are generally speaking more balanced, more aware, and as was previously mentioned, more cognitive climbers than the male climbers. (Again, I'm not talking about your advanced crew, I'm just talking about less experienced group.)


iamthewallress


Dec 13, 2008, 6:11 PM
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These are some ways that I "climb like a girl":

I'm more flexible than any guy I've ever met. In general, women seem to be more flexible than men, especially through the hips. This allows me to do stems and some heel hooks that most guys much taller than me can not do and make big moves in cracks b/c I can keep my hips into the wall while pinky-toe-jamming at crotch-level.

I can crimp and jam things that many guys can't, both because my hands are smaller, but also b/c I've milked these techniques as a strength vs. what I've seen w/ many guys who decided that these were "bad sizes" for them and didn't work it. (I try not to avoid "bad sizes" as any size that is not worked is by default a bad size, but I understand the aversion and do have my own.)

Sometimes when I'm frustrated, I cry.

I wish I could say that I had some kind of magic girl footwork or balance besides high-stepping ability, but my feet just aren't all that.

The way in which I most wish I "climbed like a guy" is that I think I give myself a pass on boldness at times when the guys I'm with do not.


kyote321


Dec 14, 2008, 10:22 AM
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