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Lilymoose


Apr 12, 2009, 1:56 PM
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New Climber~ Need Advice
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Hello! I'm a female Climber looking to get off of a rock wall and onto some actual rocks. I have no clue though what kind of equipment i should buy, though. I have friends with the ropes and what not, I'm mainly looking for advice on good shoes and harnesses. What would you guys recommend?

Thanks!


Partner epoch
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Apr 12, 2009, 2:09 PM
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Re: [Lilymoose] New Climber~ Need Advice [In reply to]
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Check out the Dead Horse Graveyard. There's answers to all sorts of questions in there. To include your quest to find shoes and a harness.


Carnage


Apr 12, 2009, 2:12 PM
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first, search next time, theres plenty of info on this site about this stuff....

imo, you're going to fuck up the first gear you get so buy cheap. it will last you long enough for you to know what you're looking for.

harness, go to rei (or similar outdoor generic retail store), buy their entry level female harness. should be black diamond primrose, costs about $50, itll last you a few years if you're not stupid with it

look at the shoes, try on everything buy the tightest fitting yet comfortable shoes. if they hurt they are too small, if they are marginally uncomfortable they will be perfect. again, try to spend as little as possible, these shoes will only last about 8-12 months

dont worry about messing it up, or buying the wrong sizes or something, as you get started you wont be climbing anything hard enough for the size of your shoe to really matter. when you get to climb that harder stuff you will know what you're looking for enough to pick it out.


smallclimber


Apr 12, 2009, 3:09 PM
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Re: [Lilymoose] New Climber~ Need Advice [In reply to]
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The most important thing you need is a safe partner! Are you climbing with another beginner, or do you have someone more experienced to go with outside. You mention they have ropes so maybe they are experienced, but use your own judgement, its a whole new ball game outside.


Lilymoose


Apr 12, 2009, 3:31 PM
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i have several friends who are really experienced climbers who go out and climb like every weekend at Red River Gorge in Kentucky and i'd like to be able to go, but i don't have a harness, chalk bag, and shoes yet. I just was wondering what good brands were so that i didn't end up buying crumby equipment. :)


d0nk3yk0n9


Apr 12, 2009, 3:36 PM
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For shoes, I would start with something basic and versatile. Don't spend tons of money on the newest high-performance downturned super-aggressive shoes, as they aren't what you need. Also, as someone already mentioned, your first gear will take a lot of abuse. This is especially true of shoes, as until you fine-tune your footwork, they scuff across the rocks and wear out much more quickly than after you get your footwork down. I'd say that you should take a look at a few shoes from each brand and find the one that fits your foot the best (yes, actually go to a store and try them on) and is tight, but not painfully so.

For a harness, it doesn't really matter. Get one in a size that fits and you'll be fine. Personally, I recommend speed-adjust buckles since you can get your harness on and off faster with them.


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Apr 12, 2009, 6:40 PM
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Since the harness and shoes questions have been answered....that only leaved the chalkbag.

The most important consideration is going to be the cuteness/coolness factor, when it come to chalkbags.

I have always like Krieg's chalkbags - for the coolness factor. My current one is made of a cotton fabric with a vintage print - little kids, puppies and kittens riding on rockets and in spaceships. Here's a link to one of their pages, as an idea what they do:
http://kriegclimbing.com/custom-bag.aspx

The site has a list of stores that sell their goods.


You can always go more basic, with a Prana, Black Diamond, or other brand name chalkbag. They're functional and are fine, but..... nobody's going to be looking at your butt and noticing....your chalkbag.

For a different cool factor, you can order one from Fish Products. If you hurry and place the order today, you might get it before you wear out your second or third pair of shoes!




Seriously - I do like the Krieg designs, but any chalkbag will do.


acacongua


Apr 13, 2009, 7:32 AM
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Do you live in Lexington? I do and I"m an RRG climber.

People say to buy cheap gear when starting. Ignore that. I would begin with buying these things:

**Chalk Bag (I suggest Krieg to support a former local climber)
**Shoes. You'll probably do more verticle climbing starting out so I suggest Katanas or the new women's Anasazi (I'm selling a pair if your street shoe is near size 8), and there are some Evolves that are great. You want something that is somewhat stiff (like the aforementioned) but soft enough to stick. When you get into overhanging, you won't be on your feet as much and can look into sticky rubber and flexible soles.
**Rope that is 10.0 t0 10.2 (I suggest 10). You don't want to go too thin because you'll be TRing and you don't want to go too thick because it's hard to belay with that. Ropes get dirty and swell
**Harness - just get what you can and you'll decide later on what is comfortable. Watch SteapandCheap, outdoor online shops, and especially Ebay (lots of deals there). The primrose is cheap and OK.

You don't need draws starting out because people are more likely to share that, but people tend to get annoyed when others trash their ropes.


(This post was edited by acacongua on Apr 13, 2009, 7:35 AM)


acacongua


Apr 13, 2009, 7:38 AM
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I recommend just going to Miguels at the Red and try on all they have to offer. If you go when they are not busy (middle of the day especially), they will spend time helping you.


lena_chita
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Apr 13, 2009, 7:58 AM
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Re: [Lilymoose] New Climber~ Need Advice [In reply to]
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Lilymoose wrote:
i have several friends who are really experienced climbers who go out and climb like every weekend at Red River Gorge in Kentucky and i'd like to be able to go, but i don't have a harness, chalk bag, and shoes yet. I just was wondering what good brands were so that i didn't end up buying crumby equipment. :)

Why don't you ask those friends who are experienced climbers? You'll get more out of it than asking online...

The bottom line is that all major brands of climbing equipment manufacturers make good-quality products, the main thing you should be concerned about is the good fit for you, so you should always try on shoes and harness before buying it for the first time. Once you know what fits you, ordering online becomes a good option.

And yes, if you are close to Red River Gorge, go there, and ask Miguel's staff (during NOT_super-busy hours, please! e.i. not when there is a line ordering pizza in the evening or a line in the morning-- midday on a weekday would be much better) to let you try on harnesses and shoes. You will pay full price there, most likely, but you will get to try things on before buying.

There is also a gear shop in Lexington, I believe.


Lilymoose


Apr 13, 2009, 8:28 AM
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To be honest, i'm a noob when it comes to leaving the rock wall and actually buying equipment. i don't want to look like such a newbie to everyone else. so i'd like to at least have an idea of what i'm looking for before i ask. I know everyone has to start somewhere, but i'd like to look like i at least have some clue of what i'm doing. All of my friends are guys that climb and i don't want them to look at me with that "oh, she's just a silly girl" expression. Even if i'm new to climbing outdoors, i want to be taken seriously by the guys.

I really want to get out on some real rocks and advance my skills. I've been climbing on a rock wall on and off for a while now, and it just seems like it would be more fun to take a trip the gorge with some of my guy friends who go down there all the time. I didn't want to be looked at like i was completely ignorant about this stuff before i asked them to help me. I wanted to do some research first, if you get that?

Thanks for all the help!

I'm from the Richmond/lexington area, btw.


clausti


Apr 13, 2009, 8:33 AM
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my $.02 would be to make sure that your shoes don't hurt. i would even go so far as to disagree with the above poster who said they should be mildly uncomfortable. the shoes should be as tight as you can get them without any discomfort. you should be able to walk around on flat ground without wincing in your brand new shoes.

specific advice for fit- unless you have pretty wide feet, i'd avoid anasazi velcros of any style. related to this, don't fall for the temptation to buy shoes too short to get them tight enough. buy a length that fits your foot in a style that you can get tight enough without deforming the shape of the shoe and having slack in the uppers.

the more your feet hurt, the less you will want to use them, and poor footwork is a frequent architect of plateaus.


clausti


Apr 13, 2009, 8:34 AM
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Re: [Lilymoose] New Climber~ Need Advice [In reply to]
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Lilymoose wrote:
I didn't want to be looked at like i was completely ignorant about this stuff before i asked them to help me. I wanted to do some research first, if you get that?

being afraid to ask for fear of looking stupid is a great way to make serious errors in a sport that has many aspects which, while not rocket science, are important to do correctly.


acacongua


Apr 13, 2009, 8:44 AM
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Lilymoose wrote:
I'm from the Richmond/lexington area, btw.

Are you at EKU? I think a guy named Daniel Folk works at that wall and he's more than willing to help people.

You can also go to Phillip Galls in Lex. Mig's has a way better selection (and Krieg bags), but PG's is closer.

And Clausti's last comment is key. There was a serious accident last fall because someone - despite her skepticism - didn't ask questions.

If you don't make it out, there is a UClimb clinic coming up in summer. Look for details on redriverclimbing.com or mgear.com.


(This post was edited by acacongua on Apr 13, 2009, 9:14 AM)


lena_chita
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Apr 13, 2009, 9:20 AM
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Lilymoose wrote:
To be honest, i'm a noob when it comes to leaving the rock wall and actually buying equipment. i don't want to look like such a newbie to everyone else. so i'd like to at least have an idea of what i'm looking for before i ask. I know everyone has to start somewhere, but i'd like to look like i at least have some clue of what i'm doing. All of my friends are guys that climb and i don't want them to look at me with that "oh, she's just a silly girl" expression. Even if i'm new to climbing outdoors, i want to be taken seriously by the guys.

I really want to get out on some real rocks and advance my skills. I've been climbing on a rock wall on and off for a while now, and it just seems like it would be more fun to take a trip the gorge with some of my guy friends who go down there all the time. I didn't want to be looked at like i was completely ignorant about this stuff before i asked them to help me. I wanted to do some research first, if you get that?

Chances are, if those "experienced guy friends" are as experienced as you think you are, they ALREADY know that you are a complete newbie and ignorant about stuff.

Gee, a girl who doesn't have her own shoes and harness, asking to go climbing with me outside for the first time? Yep, I'll just assume that she's an expert if she starts spouting brand names at me while asking questions...

"What brand shoes and harness should i get" is a trademark clueless newbie question, LOL.

Hopefully after your research, instead of going to those guys and saying: "Um, should I buy Petzl Corax or Blue Diamond Selena? And do you think Evolv Elektra are good shoes, or should I go with 5.10 Anasazis b/c I read online that they have better rubber?" You will say something like:"Um, how should I size the harness and shoes properly? There are so many choices! Would you maybe come with me while I try them on and point out what sort of things I should be watching for?"


Lilymoose


Apr 13, 2009, 9:47 AM
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lol. i feel silly.

I'm just starting haha, give me a break. :)
I just wanted to look like i was serious about climbing. I over think things too much, i suppose lol. I'll just get my friends to come out to miguel's with me and offer them a free ride to the gorge if they help me out lol...

Thanks for the advice. This has all been very helpful.


Lilymoose


Apr 13, 2009, 10:05 AM
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I mainly was looking to see what price range i was looking at for good equipment was the reason i asked about brands. I'm a poor college kid.

I went out with the guys to Funk Rock City this past weekend after i got done hiking at the gorge with a class from EKU. And this weekend i just watched because they were doing some advanced routes, but i would like to actually get on some rocks at some point, so i want to find out about and buy some shoes and a harness as soon as possible. The guys i know who climb are all a lot more experienced than me and i worry they're going to think i'm annoying because i need so much help getting started. Everyone has to start somewhere though.


clausti


Apr 13, 2009, 10:13 AM
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Lilymoose wrote:
I mainly was looking to see what price range i was looking at for good equipment was the reason i asked about brands. I'm a poor college kid.

I went out with the guys to Funk Rock City this past weekend after i got done hiking at the gorge with a class from EKU. And this weekend i just watched because they were doing some advanced routes, but i would like to actually get on some rocks at some point, so i want to find out about and buy some shoes and a harness as soon as possible. The guys i know who climb are all a lot more experienced than me and i worry they're going to think i'm annoying because i need so much help getting started. Everyone has to start somewhere though.

i'm going to go out on a limb here-

you will not impress a climber guy into dating you by knowing a little bit more than nothing. but there are lots of guys that will fall all over themselves to teach you whatever you want to know in hopes of snagging you, if you start out by admitting that you need help and asking honest questions.

but if that's not your angle, and you are too intimidated by the guys, go climb with women. the scene at the red river gorge has more serious, competent women climbers than almost any other place i've climbed.

sitting at the base of the crag watching the guys climb all day doesn't say "i'm serious about rock climbing." it says "i am or wish to be fucking one of these boys."


____________

back to serious advice-

all climbing harnesses made be reputable companies (anything your local gear shop caries) is going to be adequate and safe enough to climb in if worn properly. but get one with a dedicated belay loop, aka not the BD alpine bod.


Partner happiegrrrl


Apr 13, 2009, 10:35 AM
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You already DO know something - that harness, shoes and chalkbag are some of the first things people buy when they climb.

I wouldn't worry too much about what others *think* of you. People think what they think, regardless of what we do in an attempt to sway their thinking..... You sound like a nice person, maybe a little short in confidence when stepping out of your comfort zone, willing to learn but maybe afraid to appear vulnerable. That's going to come through no matter what, so just let whatever will be, be.


clee03m


Apr 13, 2009, 12:15 PM
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First, welcome to rock climbing!

I think all the advise is good that I've read. I would just go to the gear shop and try on some harnesses. They should have a place where you can hang to see which ones are comfortable for you. They all work, but as someone said above, buy ones with gear loops (loops all along the harness where you can put quick draws and gear).

Shoes, you'll have to go to the store and try them on, too. I like both anasazi velcros and Lasportiva katanas. I sort of agree that buying the cheapest "all around" shoes may not be aggressive enough for an area like RRG.

One last thing, other than a chalk bag and some chalk, I would also buy a locking carabiner and a belay device. I'm assuming you know how to belay and know what you like, but if you want a name, I think standard BD ATC is a good choice.

I know when you first begin, it's sort of intimidating around more experienced climbers, but know that we all started where you are. Someone took the time to show us what climbing was all about. For me, there was a group of kids who showed me top roping, then another group who opened my eyes to beautiful multiple pitch climbs, and another who taught me and gave me the courage to gear lead. You sound like you are already serious, wanting to buy gear, etc. Don't worry this always shows. It sounds like you were not happy hanging out at the base of the climb just watching. That's good. Get the basic gear, be aggressive in asking people to take you climbing, and as you start to feel more comfortable climbing and start to lead, you'll be able to call your own shots.

Once again, welcome to rock climbing, and you are welcome to PM me if you want.


desertwanderer81


Apr 14, 2009, 12:30 PM
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Lilymoose wrote:
lol. i feel silly.

I'm just starting haha, give me a break. :)
I just wanted to look like i was serious about climbing. I over think things too much, i suppose lol. I'll just get my friends to come out to miguel's with me and offer them a free ride to the gorge if they help me out lol...

Thanks for the advice. This has all been very helpful.

I know that there is the instinct to try to look pro but honestly, ask lots of questions. When you go out with your friends, make sure they know this is your first time out. If they're setting up a TR, go up and watch what they're doing. Watch how people belay, how they position themselves. Watch how people clip in if they're climbing. Clean gear if they're doing trad climbs. Ask for advice and critique.

Don't be concerned with looking "cool". Be cautious and learn something.


blueshrimp


Apr 15, 2009, 11:33 AM
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clausti wrote:
sitting at the base of the crag watching the guys climb all day doesn't say "i'm serious about rock climbing." it says "i am or wish to be fucking one of these boys."

Hey, hey, no need to be harsh. I understand the OP. If she wants to start climbing, and the only people she knows are boys who climb much harder and are probably too ego driven to show a noobzer around, it makes sense that the best she can do is sit and watch in the hopes some of the guys gets a clue and teaches her.

My advice to the OP: find a better group of guys. The fact that they let you sit at the bottom of the crag to "watch" while they climb is the height of ego and bragging. You don't want to climb with people like that. They can teach you nothing.

As for shoes and harness, here's how I got mine for the first time.

1. Go to local climbing shop or REI. Ask for women's harnesses. Depending on your budget, select 3 or four of them, and try them all on. Buy the one that feels most comfortable or looks cool to you. That's it, there's nothing more complicated than that.

2. Shoes: Go to local climbing shop or REI. Try every single climbing shoe your size. Buy the one that feels most comfortable. Remember only that they must fit fairly snug (i.e. your feet shouldn't "float around" in there like with normal shoes). That's it! Nothing more complicated than that.

Total time spent shopping: One or two hours and only one trip to the climbing shop. You don't need anyone with you. Use your common sense and buy what feels about right. Ask salesperson if you have many questions, but shoes and harness are pretty basic and as people pointed out already you'll probably replace them soon(ish).

Stop following the boys to the crag to "watch them". Ask one of them to teach you how to climb outdoors. And don't feel bad for being a noobzer/wasting an experienced climber's time. If the experienced climber is a worthwhile partner, they (he or she) will be more than happy to take a newbie out and teach her some skills. I know I would be (teaching a newbie is a great way to get new cool climbing partners!). There's no shame in being a newbie and we were all there at some point anyway.


clausti


Apr 15, 2009, 11:59 AM
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blueshrimp wrote:
clausti wrote:
sitting at the base of the crag watching the guys climb all day doesn't say "i'm serious about rock climbing." it says "i am or wish to be fucking one of these boys."

Hey, hey, no need to be harsh. I understand the OP. If she wants to start climbing, and the only people she knows are boys who climb much harder and are probably too ego driven to show a noobzer around, it makes sense that the best she can do is sit and watch in the hopes some of the guys gets a clue and teaches her.

or she could, you know, open her mouth and ask for what she wants. would it have been less harsh if i said that sitting around watching screams "girlfriend" not "climber"? same translation either way.

In reply to:
My advice to the OP: find a better group of guys. The fact that they let you sit at the bottom of the crag to "watch" while they climb is the height of ego and bragging. You don't want to climb with people like that. They can teach you nothing.

yes.

In reply to:
And don't feel bad for being a noobzer/wasting an experienced climber's time. If the experienced climber is a worthwhile partner, they (he or she) will be more than happy to take a newbie out and teach her some skills.

yes and no. don't "feel bad" about it, but do be aware that you are getting for free what many people pay for. and it is definitely an investment of time and energy on the mentor's part. so be respectful, listen to what your mentor has to say, be fair on splitting gas, ect. DO ask questions on anything you are confused or curious about; DON'T be demanding or bratty. carry your fair share of gear.

as to the second part that anyone who is a worthwhile partner should be happy to take out a newbie... yes and no, again. if someone agrees to take you out and you're honest about what you're getting them into, then they should definitely be educating you during the trip, and not ignoring you, and making sure that you get enough climbs in to get tired. and you, on your part, should be self motivated, and not letting a top rope hang around unclimbed for two hours when your partners want to go to another area, and learn to clean, and be honest about your ability.

but there is a an opportunity cost for the mentor of not getting to do climbs they are interested in, so don't get offended and write a person off forever if they're not available the very first weekend you want to go, or won't go out with you every weekend, especially if you're still at the stage of needing a backup to lead belay.


Partner happiegrrrl


Apr 15, 2009, 11:59 AM
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Uh Ohhhhh....I sometimes stop and watch other people climbing when I don't have a partner. I even hiked to the far regions of Queen Mountain a week or so ago, knowing I would be watching a bunch of guys climbing....

I had no idea this made me a marked woman.


clausti


Apr 15, 2009, 12:04 PM
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Registered: Oct 4, 2004
Posts: 5690

Re: [happiegrrrl] New Climber~ Need Advice [In reply to]
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happiegrrrl wrote:
Uh Ohhhhh....I sometimes stop and watch other people climbing when I don't have a partner. I even hiked to the far regions of Queen Mountain a week or so ago, knowing I would be watching a bunch of guys climbing....

I had no idea this made me a marked woman.

if i didnt know you, and i saw you sitting around watching a group of all boys climbing, sure as shit i'd assume you were with one of the guys.

but a mixed group would introduce uncertainty. and it also depends on how you present yourself. white shorts, makeup, and a purse, silent except for commending the guys on their climbing? (species frequently spotted at summersville lake) fucking one of the boys. hiking shoes and less than perfect hair, spouting relevant comments on the activity at hand, seeming to be at ease? possibly somebody on a rest day.


(This post was edited by clausti on Apr 15, 2009, 12:05 PM)

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