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what if you're short?
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arrowhead


Mar 19, 2002, 7:34 PM
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what if you're short?
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is it really a disadvantage to be born with short arms and legs, especially when ure rock climbing? i have friends who can't manage a few routes because they cant reach certain holds.

is there anything that can be done to offset the disadvantages?

-a-


miagi


Mar 19, 2002, 7:41 PM
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Well, it has its drawbacks but it has some good points about it. I have to admit, being short or having short arms/legs can be a disadvantage in both static and dynamic moves simply because you cant reach them.
For shorter people i would have to suggest dynoing as your best measure. Go and practice all the fundementals of dynoing so you can get better at it and reach the holds.

The one thing smaller people have thats better than larger people is a better center of gravity and balance. Thats all i can really think of unless you have small fingers...then thats better for crimps.


drysdan


Mar 19, 2002, 8:05 PM
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Being tall can have some disadvantages too. Sure you can reach some hold better, but your balance and leverage are not so good. Also, anybody know whether its better to have big feet or little ones?


gekolimit


Mar 19, 2002, 8:19 PM
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being 1.84 ani't always easy.

But i guess it is never easy, cause if it were then why the heck would we be rockclimbing......


paintinhaler


Mar 19, 2002, 8:30 PM
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Well, your looking for a stupid excuse. I have to high step to get to good footholds where, my short freind can just step up to the hold.. Put it that way. Short tall it dosent matter.

[ This Message was edited by: paintinhaler on 2002-03-19 20:32 ]


apollodorus


Mar 19, 2002, 8:48 PM
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Height?

Layton Kor was a tall mullah, and some of his bolt ladders are test pieces; c.f. Kor Roof on the S. Face of the Wash. Column.

But, Lynn Hill is petite, and she's the only one on earth who can climb the Nose free in one day. She says that strength, not height is what counts. "Lissen tooda mazzda!"

Height is, I figure, about a 3% factor.

That said, there are tall and sadistic free ascencionists out there who like to put the gimme bolt WAY up there, just for laughs. I think think this is part of the game, though: make it as hard as the mutant first acent team found it.

It's pretty common to find rivet ladders that are wide stretches, but that has the practical benefit of drilling fewer holes.

As far as height being an advantage vs. the rock itself, YES. It is certainly easier to do a given climb if you can reach the crucial hold from the crucial stance. Maybe this is where the term DYNO came from.



suicidal_soldier


Mar 19, 2002, 9:26 PM
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oh well... i have seen lotsa short climbers in action, and i realised that dynoing would be the best method to get to holds within reach! taller climbers on the other hand, will be in a worst situation when they have to do crampy or sit-start routes! From this, im sure u can see the advantage of being short! one more thing is that shorter climbers tend to have smaller fingers which generally a greater advantage when it comes to holding on to crimpers as the crimpers will seem like a ledge to them!(no offence meant...)

i agree that miagi is absolutely right in suggesting trainings on dynoing techniques for shorter climbers...

Climb On,
Zero


upfreak


Mar 19, 2002, 9:27 PM
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I kinda agree with the rest tall or short, you sure are gona have tough times here and there.

Maybe what you could do is practice on dynos. I reckon they are of great help. I have a friend who's kinda shorter than the rest of us... but still sometimes he can sure kick ass.

Another option would be to practice on your endurance and strength. When you need to reach something that seems beyound your limit, they come into great help.

Also foothold are darn important... you gotta make sure and be really careful.

Well, i think that's all. Hope to be of help pal.


hardcoredana


Mar 19, 2002, 9:58 PM
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I am short. I don't find it to be a disadvantage unless I am climbing in a gym and the routesetter doesn't know how to set a difficult route that is not reachy. Outside it isn't really an issue because I have more choices, especially for my feet.

I use several techniques that help me through those tough times:

1. I lead with my feet. On general principle, I move my feet up whenever possible. When I get to a place that seems reachy, I will high step up to the next possible hold, and then get my weight up over that foot and stand up. I have a lot of flexibility, and I use this gift to high step onto holds that might not be useable by a more inflexible person.

2. I use technique to get the most out of my reach. I backstep, I turn my hip into the wall, etc. Sometimes, I even stand up on my tippy toes.

3. I dyno. In actuality, I suck at dynos, so I only use them as a last resort. I'm getting better with practice, though.

Like others have said, being short is not a disadvantage. You just have to learn certain techniques that will get you past those reachy spots. Tall people have disadvantages too. Climbing is all about learning how to use your body, with its particular strengths and weaknesses, to get up (or across) that damn rock.


climberstephen


Mar 19, 2002, 11:46 PM
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Didn't Katie Brown, who is 5 foot and 100 lbs., once say "There are no reachy moves, just power moves."

She's a full foot shorter than me and probably couldn't bench what I can, but I'd bet money she'd climb circles around me.

I don't buy it that being short makes it harder to climb... it just means you must learn different styles and techiques. Same goes for us tall people trying to squeeze into short-man routes.

But that's my opinion and, of course, I could be wrong.


tenn_dawg


Mar 20, 2002, 12:12 AM
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Speaking of katie brown, what in the hell happened to that girl. Did she fall off the face of the earth or what?
Sorry that's off topic.
Travis


maddie


Mar 20, 2002, 12:14 AM
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nah i dont think being short makes much of a difference. i have a 12year old friend who is about 1/2 my size and he can do all the routes i can. but he is a bloody good climber 4 his age and with style to match.


daisuke


Mar 20, 2002, 7:05 AM
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from what I heard she retired from climbing, not sure if it's definitive retirement but she was getting too much pressure from all the comps and stuff like that. again... that's what I've heard... I've also heard wild variations on Dan Osman's death so who knows if I'm right or wrong.

As for being short... I don't consider myself very tall and sometimes have trouble reaching holds that are far off, but so far I've rarely encountered routes I couldn't do because of my height, sure I have to dyno a couple of moves that make the route go up a bit on the grades but that's all part of the fun!!!

D


Partner artm


Mar 20, 2002, 8:14 AM
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as a short climber (about 5'3") I can tell you I do a lot of Deadpointing and Dyno's.
I've been known to turn a lock off into a deadpoint mid move. So far it hasn't kept me from climbing nearly everything my taller partners can do. Although I can think of at least 3 routes that are probably a grade or two (subjectively) harder for me than them.


ratstar


Mar 20, 2002, 8:43 AM
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dyno's are the best. Dyno everything.


rck_climber


Mar 20, 2002, 8:54 AM
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As another short climber, I can tell you that it's definitely possible to send just about anything anyone else can.

It just takes a little more creativity and technique on your part most of the time.

I've always climbed with much taller partners and have had to find different ways to do the same routes becuase I can't quite reach the same holds. Yet, I've still never not been able to climb one that my partners have due to my height alone.

I, personally, find it much more fun and challenging to have to find "intermediate" holds/moves to send - it's more of a personal accomplishment for me when I do reach the top!

Just my thoughts on it.

Mick
5'5" and proud of it !!


maculated


Mar 20, 2002, 10:01 AM
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I think so long as you have a positive ape index, short can be a good thing. Granted, I do bitch periodically when my partners (who are six-footers) reach up and grab something that's going to take some more technical work on my end, but my ascents look and feel cooler than theirs, and I'd like to think that my climbing is bound to improve when compensating for being shorter. It's all relative.


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