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nessie


Aug 11, 2010, 6:39 AM
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climbing in comparism to a guy
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I don't want to sound like a baby or even come across as being jealous cause thath isn't what this is about. All my climbing partners are guys. Some of us are on the same level but they seem to progress alot faster than I do...I am happy for them but I notice that there seem to be quite a few moves that don't cost them alot of energy whilst I struggle alot. I'm not tall and although I am not weak I obviously don't compare to a guy. It ends up being so frustrating whilst it should be purely enjoyment and focussing on personal improvement...So, does anyone know how I can improve and maybe at time also curb my frustrations cause it's really bugging me...


lena_chita
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Aug 11, 2010, 7:16 AM
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Re: [nessie] climbing in comparism to a guy [In reply to]
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You sound like a competitive person. Nothing wrong with that. Many people look at their buddies as a way to gauge their own progress, and have a sort of friendly competition that ends up motivating everyone involved to try harder.

But if it is taking away from your enjoyment of climbing and leads to a lot of frustration, you need to re-think your reasons for climbing, and come to peace with the fact that there will always be people of either gender who climb stronger than you, who improve faster, etc. etc. how you do that-- only you would know.

Don't focus on your limitations. Easier said than done, but you know you aren't growing taller, no matter how you wish to, and you will remain a female, with all that it entails. I know all too well how tempting it is to whine about height-dependent moves. (Trust me, all my partners have heard that whine so many times... Blush I swear, now they just come down from every route and tell me that it is reachy, just to forestall my whining) But when all is said and done, you have two options: walk away from the route/problem that you feel is harder than the established grade for you, because of your height, or keep working on it.

As far as improving...
-Get some books to read-- Self-Coached Climber would be a good start.
-Take a technique class if your gym is offering one.
-Watch other climbers of similar height, pay attention to how they climb, try to do the same.
-Ask for advice from more experienced climbers. Ask them to watch you on something that gives you trouble and listen to their suggestions on how to do the move.


nessie


Aug 11, 2010, 7:43 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] climbing in comparism to a guy [In reply to]
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guilty as charged...I always like to think of myself as competing with just me, re-setting my limitations time and time again but yes, I do like to be good at what i do. And it isn't good to be frustrated either... I've pretty much been doing what you've suggested,watching other people-although there aren't too many smallish people around-haha i make myself sound minute!- and getting advice from more experienced people. I'm going to look into the book though, any idea on the author? Oh yes, and thanks for your heart warming advice!


wonderwoman


Aug 11, 2010, 8:48 AM
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Re: [nessie] climbing in comparism to a guy [In reply to]
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You may show them all up in the realm of small finger cracks! Guys usually get jealous when you can fly up a crack crux that they can't fit their large paws into.


Partner happiegrrrl


Aug 11, 2010, 11:28 AM
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Re: [wonderwoman] climbing in comparism to a guy [In reply to]
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If you've only started climbing fairly recently, I'd say - just give yourself some time. Especially if you are comparing yourself against people who have been climbing more and for longer time.

You'll start to learn about balance, focus, sequence to rest climbing, and the uses of moves you may not even now exist at this point.

If upping the numbers is your primary concern even as you are still learning rope systems, how to be a good partner and other climbing basics, then you may be in for a bit of frustration. There's a lot more to climbing than climbing!


Good luck, though, and remember to have fun, even if you aren't the best climber in your group.


Partner j_ung


Aug 11, 2010, 3:28 PM
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Re: [wonderwoman] climbing in comparism to a guy [In reply to]
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wonderwoman wrote:
You may show them all up in the realm of small finger cracks! Guys usually get jealous when you can fly up a crack crux that they can't fit their large paws into.

I think you may have hit on the issue, WW. Nessie, where do you climb? What style of climbing do you and your partners mostly go in for?


nessie


Aug 12, 2010, 2:40 AM
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Re: [j_ung] climbing in comparism to a guy [In reply to]
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I've been climbing for about a year and a half now, consistently in and outdoor. The difficulties arise when i need power, when you reach those passes where technique can't help and it all seems to be about biceps diameter and strenght!The routes and moves that pose the biggest problems(I'm not sure what the correct english term is) are the overhangs and obviously those moves where no amount of stretching can seem to get you there and it requires a jump. When I've managed to get my head round the jumping bit I am so burnt up that I need to be blocked again afterwards just to recuperate...So I guess, the question is what can I do to increase strength? And I am obviously humble enough to realize that I am still a climbing baby but luckily I have a few mates who help me along with techniques...And agian, thanks for your replies cause when you climb with just guys it's so nice to get a woman's point too!


Partner j_ung


Aug 12, 2010, 6:11 AM
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Re: [nessie] climbing in comparism to a guy [In reply to]
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That's what I thought. You're lagging behind in styles of climbing that favor men. You'll almost always be at a disadvantage... or... is it an advantage? Here at the NRG, routes are notoriously reachy. Personally, I find this to be perfect for short climbers, which I am. If we can find ways to deal with the reachiness and climb on "reachy" rock, then we're better climbers for it. We learn to handle circumstances a tall climber might never have to handle -- and thus never really learn how to do so. So, yeah, in the short term, being a girl on boy rock might be a disadvantage. In the long run, I think it works in your favor.

As for what you should train, sure power and endurance are necessary, but it's still technique above all else. There are smarter ways to climb steep rock. Learn those.


lena_chita
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Aug 12, 2010, 7:34 AM
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Re: [nessie] climbing in comparism to a guy [In reply to]
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nessie wrote:
I've been climbing for about a year and a half now, consistently in and outdoor. The difficulties arise when i need power, when you reach those passes where technique can't help and it all seems to be about biceps diameter and strenght!The routes and moves that pose the biggest problems(I'm not sure what the correct english term is) are the overhangs and obviously those moves where no amount of stretching can seem to get you there and it requires a jump.

Like I said earlier, read the SCC book. Not to dismiss the importance of power, but technique ALWAYS helps. What do you think a dyno is? It is a technique, just like any other. Climbing overhanging rock requires special technique, too. Technique, strength and power all develop together as you become a better climber. But a common misconception among the beginner climbers is that they just need to work on their strength, their technique is already good -- it is just the strength they are lacking.

I have been climbing a bit longer than you, and I can tell you that very often now, when I come back to routes that I tried years ago and dismissed as "just reachy, no intermediates, no way to get through the move other than reach, or, failing that-- just jump, and I just can't do it, and will never be able to do it"-- I discover that, amazingly, I CAN do it, and I am not really jumping, either.

I didn't get taller. I did get stronger. I got a bit better at dynamic moves. But I also got better at figuring out how to get through the moves that, before, looked like they had only one choice, and that was the reach.

The funniest thing is when I climb something and the guy says: "oh, you did that move the tall person way. You didn't use any intermediates". I just laugh, because while I may have used the same holds as the taller person, I know I didn't do the move in the same way. But the subtlety is often lost on people who didn't have to learn it.

Of course, these are routes graded well below my current onsight limit-- it is just that the move that I do on them now is probably harder than the given grade of the route, and back when this WAS my limit, I was stuck. I am just as stuck now on some routes that ARE at my highest limit. Nothing changed in principle. Some of them I simply cannot do because the move that I need to make makes it harder than the grade -- for now. And I haven't figured out the way to do it -- yet. There is always the future. :)


j_ung wrote:
Here at NRG routes are notoriously reachy. Personally, I find this to be perfect for short climbers, which I am.

LOL, this is what really gets me whining -- when people who are taller than me say that they are short. Tongue It is simply not allowed!

I was trying Reckless Abandon the other day, and of course getting shut down on the long opening move. High left foot, lock off on the right and reach as high as I can-- which ended up about 4-5 inches below the ledge.

Later, I was talking to a guy (6+ ft tall) who didn't see me try that move. Oh, he says, I know the short person beta on that route. My friend is really short, and he does that move without dynoing. He just gets his left foot high, locks off on the right, and reaches up staticly. He can just get his fingers to the edge, and then works his fingers over the edge slowly... How tall is your friend-- I ask. Oh, I don't know, maybe 5'5"? Mad

j_ung wrote:
If we can find ways to deal with the reachiness and climb on "reachy" rock, then we're better climbers for it. We learn to handle circumstances a tall climber might never have to handle -- and thus never really learn how to do so. So, yeah, in the short term, being a girl on boy rock might be a disadvantage. In the long run, I think it works in your favor.

But I agree with all of the above, of course!


Partner j_ung


Aug 12, 2010, 9:33 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] climbing in comparism to a guy [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
j_ung wrote:
Here at NRG routes are notoriously reachy. Personally, I find this to be perfect for short climbers, which I am.

LOL, this is what really gets me whining -- when people who are taller than me say that they are short. Tongue It is simply not allowed!

If we follow my logic to it's conclusion, your height gives you an advantage over me. Angelic


clee03m


Aug 12, 2010, 10:26 AM
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Re: [nessie] climbing in comparism to a guy [In reply to]
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I also recommend reading Rock Warrior to quiet your ego

And find some female climbing partners?


Partner happiegrrrl


Aug 12, 2010, 2:23 PM
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Re: [clee03m] climbing in comparism to a guy [In reply to]
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Here at the Gunks, we are famous for roof and overhanging section. This isn't the same as sustained overhanging routes, of course, but for the roofs here, one of the most important techniques is to get your feet up high before attempting to reach over the lip.

Though I don't have the experience with routes which run beyond vertical for the majority of length, I think that using your feet similarly is part of the trick. Maybe some of the sport climbing rc.ers can comment further.

If you are already stretched out, your body doesn't have anywhere to go, really, and if you "can't reach," then...well, that's it!

But if you get some decent hand holds, then move your feet up, even if it is just a smear against the face, you will often be surprised to find that you are now able to reach those holds. There are other techniques with holding your hops more sideways than facing the rock, which also extend your reach.

One thing you might try is to check out some of the sport-climbing videos of people climbing such routes. Pay particular attention to the way they move their body into positions through the sequences.


kiwiprincess


Aug 12, 2010, 4:54 PM
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Re: [nessie] climbing in comparism to a guy [In reply to]
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What the others say about style is important.
When I first started we used to climb at an overhung indoor wall with big holds. I could hardly get up anything then we went on an outdoors trip with small holds, and vertical face. I had more precision and balance and Thrived. There were a few bruised egos.
Today I still am much better at technical vertical terrain than any other style.
Milage and experience will make the improvements you are hoping for..Just keep it up


drivel


Aug 16, 2010, 1:07 PM
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Re: [nessie] climbing in comparism to a guy [In reply to]
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nessie wrote:
I don't want to sound like a baby or even come across as being jealous cause thath isn't what this is about. All my climbing partners are guys. Some of us are on the same level but they seem to progress alot faster than I do...I am happy for them but I notice that there seem to be quite a few moves that don't cost them alot of energy whilst I struggle alot. I'm not tall and although I am not weak I obviously don't compare to a guy. It ends up being so frustrating whilst it should be purely enjoyment and focussing on personal improvement...So, does anyone know how I can improve and maybe at time also curb my frustrations cause it's really bugging me...

testosterone is a hell of a drug, and while it's true that a lot of guys, esp if you're college aged? will hop right on and boulder v4-v5 and toprope mid.11ish stuff in the gym within just a few months, it is my experience that:
- the guys that start with a lot of strength tend to plateau with a ferocity that someone who, by necessity, is learning technique along and along does not tend to experience, and
- they're often terrible leaders.
- most will never climb again after they graduate.

so, i'm slight but spiteful, what can i say...


technogeekery


Aug 17, 2010, 12:43 AM
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Re: [drivel] climbing in comparism to a guy [In reply to]
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I'm a guy, and 6'4", skinny with it, so on the face of it am a natural. But I've got poor technique, I'm chicken, am not particularly strong, and I'm 42, which is my excuse for being comprehensively shown how to climb by a 5'0 16yr old girl this weekend.

It can sting a little at the time, but you know, there are a few variables there that I CAN affect - so I'm going to concentrate on those and see if I can improve against my own personal standards.

TG

PS: off to the rejuvenation clinic now. Tongue


nessie


Aug 17, 2010, 2:08 AM
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Re: [drivel] climbing in comparism to a guy [In reply to]
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Haha,i wish i was still college aged...Nono, just a thirty-something wanting to improve. But I've gotten a training schedule from a climbing friend and I've ordered the recommended book so hopefully I shall,in a few months time, be able to post that I too can conquer those meaner overhangs without a burnout immediately afterwards!!


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