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Frustrated Female Newbie
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zchandran


May 3, 2013, 9:05 AM
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Re: [sydney173] Frustrated Female Newbie [In reply to]
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I think "once a week" is the main issue here...

I don't think this is a male/female issue. If anything, beginning women climbers tend to learn technique faster because they don't do the big dynamic moves and sloppy pulls. When you're a beginner (and I still consider myself one), you have a very limited window of learning. You need one easy climb to warm up, and then you have maybe 2-3 more climbs where you're at your peak. So a 4 hour session on Saturday is only going to give you maybe 45 minutes of useful learning.

Better is to go to 3 days per week, and work on shorter sessions. When you have a move sequence that you are stuck on, just work THAT move sequence. Stay on the ground 5 minutes staring at it and getting some ideas. Then rainbow climb up to it on jugs, and try it a couple of different ways. If you still can't get it, ask someone to watch you while you're on the wall and give you ideas. Once you have it down, try it 4 or 5 times in the same session to get the feel for it.

Bottom line, quit thinking about grades of the climbs, and just focus on particular move sequences.


deschamps1000


May 3, 2013, 2:31 PM
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Re: [sydney173] Frustrated Female Newbie [In reply to]
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Eventually strength will come into play but you are years from that point. 3 months is really nothing. Keep climbing, enjoy it, and you will develop the technique which is what will make the difference for you. Keep in mind that your lean and short stature is an advantage in that you have less weight to pull up. The best male competition climbers in the world tend to be around 5'5".

Strength is not holding you back right now, technique is, and technique can only improve with more time.


clumsy


May 3, 2013, 7:56 PM
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Re: [sydney173] Frustrated Female Newbie [In reply to]
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I remember how I could not get past the very first move on slightly overhang 5.5 routes. For months.... I gave up and climbed other walls (no overhangs!) slowly moving from 5.5 to 5.9 in a year or so. And then I decided to try overhangs and to my biggest surprise I could to it! Technique and stretch will come, stay at it, climb at least 2x a week...

And it was very frustrating to watch guys new to climbing muscle through 5.8 on day one!


hugepedro


May 4, 2013, 4:10 PM
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Re: [sydney173] Frustrated Female Newbie [In reply to]
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Some of you dudes seem to know a lot about frustrated females.


derpy


May 7, 2013, 9:04 AM
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Fellow short unathletic newbie female climber here! :)

Sounds like you have things sorted with your new climbing locations. But in case you still want responses...

I've been climbing (just indoors) for just over a year now, and according to the grade conversion thing I'm on 5.10s (5+s here in the UK, anyway) and V1s. The first few months I was climbing I only went once a fortnight or at most once a week, and honestly, I saw my progress speed up DRAMATICALLY the moment I turned it up to twice a week. I think I would probably get the same effect from adding on a third go now, but I just don't have the time. So that's one thing, definitely.

The other thing is that I think at this stage it's not really worth worrying whether what's holding you back is strength, technique or confidence because meh, whatever, you'll gain all of those things just by climbing, so don't tie yourself up in knots trying to work out which one it is and what it means - like oh if it's strength then it's not fair that these guys have such a head start on me just by being guys, vs if it's technique then it's my fault for not Getting It. It's not worth fretting over. Watch that youtube video, it's great, and make a conscious effort to improve technique, but you'll improve strength by climbing too and it's hard to tease apart how much each is helping. I am so much stronger than I was a year ago it's not even funny. (But no, still can't do a pull up).

I completely feel you on comparing yourself to your climbing partners. I go with my girlfriend who has a year of climbing and a lifetime of athleticism on me, and our male friends who have even more climbing experience than that plus an additional foot of reach (no exaggeration). And they're all bloody students who go four times a week while I can only do two, so are inevitably enough a few grades ahead of me. It is REALLY HARD not to compare myself to them, or my progress to theirs when it feels like they're constantly conquering new challenges while I'm plodding slowly along. It's discouraging. And yes, I've had the almost equally annoying experience of bringing a random male friend along and having them gracelessly flail or yank themselves up a route that I only just finally managed last week. I do also climb with some people who are about at my standard or a grade behind, and it's nice to have that variety so that your frame of reference isn't too skewed and you don't feel like the Worst Climber in the Entire Universe. But at the same time I definitely feel like I improve more when I climbing with the group who are better than me. Sooooo in summary, I recommend climbing with people of varying ability levels if you can.

But ultimately, this is supposed to be fun, and it's not competitive unless you want it to be, so constantly comparing yourself is not adding anything good to the experience.

This is a bit random, but I think one important thing to do is to talk to your climbing buddies about what you personally find useful encouraging help vs completely discouraging unhelpfulness. Everyone's different, and one person's motivating encouragement is another person's infuriatingness. So if it really winds you up when they say things like 'oh, you don't need strength, you just need better technique!!' when you're discussing how hard you're finding a move, tell them. Maybe more detail would be more useful, like 'you need to keep your weight closer to the wall, like this, here, I'll show you at ground level' rather than 'oh, you don't need strength' while their perfectly defined muscles bulge as they demonstrate :P

If it's more you being hard on yourself, then yeah. Don't be. This is for fun, right?

Good luck! :)

Also your thread has given me a push to finally arrange an outdoor trip. Somewhat compensating for the height thing by not having specific holds to try to leap for sounds heavenly.

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