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lazygirl


Jan 4, 2005, 10:33 PM
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best technical advice you've gotten from another woman
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Hey Ladies

I teach a begining women's clinic at the gym I work at. It's a free class once a week where women get the chance to learn about climbing from another woman. The idea is to create a comfortable, friendly environment for women to learn in so they don't feel nervous around all the guys who are climbing at a much harder level. It's a chance for women to learn how we use our bodies differently then men when we climb, the advantages we have and how to use them, ways to get through moves we simply may not have the strength for like most guys do...ect.,ect.

After about six months of teaching this class I've run out of things I can think of to teach. We get new girls all the time, but some of them have been coming regularly for months. With a lack in the amount of advanced female climbers I have near by to ask for ideas, I thought I'd try this site.

My question is what is the best technical advice you've ever recieved from another woman while climbing or advice you recieved from anyone, male or female, that you felt really works well for a woman? Have you ever helped a woman on a route and discovered any excellent ways to explain moves that worked better for a woman then a guy? I know this question is really broad but I'd really just like to get a lot of ideas for expanding what I can teach in the clinic. Please share any ideas and experiances. I know it'll all be helpful.

Emily


ecocliffchick


Jan 5, 2005, 7:02 AM
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Re: best technical advice you've gotten from another woman [In reply to]
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In my experience women really experience problems when the terrain gets steep. If you have more experienced ladies looking for a challenge, get them on the steep boulders and have them work on the 'twist-lock' technique.

In brief - when teaching this move:
(1) find a problem with some jugs up an overhang
(2) start with both feet facing the same direction (left)
(3) hang straight armed from your skeleton
(4) pull with your body (not your arms) by twisting your (right) hip into the wall
(5) you will now be able to reach (straight armed) with your right hand up to the next hand hold
(6) reverse all the moves with your feet facing in the opposite direction, twisting your opposite hip into the wall, and reaching with the opposite hand.

I've found this technique really helps women on steep stuff. There is also the knee-drop, heel-hook and other more advanced techniques you can get into.


iamthewallress


Jan 5, 2005, 10:36 AM
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The best advice that I've ever gotten from a woman was basically that there is no way to cling solely to girly finesse and expect to be able to climb everything that I want to climb. At the end of the day I still have to work on getting just as strong, just as brave, just as stinky, and just as scabby as the boys or else my natural flexibility or balance won't be enough to 'level the playing feild'.

The only good gender-specific climbing advice that I've probably ever gotten probably involves dealing with bodily functions and emotinoal issues. Although men and women tend to come to climbing with different strenghts and weeknesses, the skill sets that either gender needs to develop to climb well just have never seemed that different to me.

Some advice from women that I've appreciated: Fern said "Strength is a technique." I like this because the best way to deal with not being strong enough to do a particular move is sometimes to just get stronger. It's not as though women can't be as strong as men in proportion to our body size. Jo said, "She's got to climb some pitches!" meaning that I lacked mileage and, therefore, the broad experience that I needed to do more than short climbs that catered to my strengths.

On an unrelated note, I like Theresa Ho's bit of wisdom, "Dying seems to me a bigger failing than not improving as fast as humanly possible," though this is not gender-specific and maybe isn't as key of a lesson at a class in the gym.

My advice, FWIW, avoid clinging to techniques that you have natural talent for (which may include things that are perceived as 'female strengths') and work on what you can't do. Learning how to do pull-ups and do ropework/rigging (neither of which came easily for me) has helped me more than exploiting my flexibility (since that came naturally).


outdoorsie


Jan 5, 2005, 2:57 PM
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You know, I think the most important skill I've learned in recent years that has specifically helped me improve my climbing as a woman was to be more comfortable with dynamic movement.

As a woman, I saw all the guys bouldering and doing dynos and I thought it was silly and testosterone driven. But after climbing for a year at barely a 5.9 level, I realized that my height is one of my most serious challenges. I'm only 5'2" and that means that easy reaches for the guys who set the routes are often just a... few... inches... away!

Learning how to dead-point even small dynamic movements was a huge boon to me, and being able to push myself to longer and more serious dynamic movement make higher grade climbes much easier. I don't think this is a skill commonly taught in female climbing clinics and I've always thought that it should be.


unabonger


Jan 6, 2005, 4:21 PM
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That a man's belt and shoes should match.

Thanks mom.


fern


Jan 7, 2005, 8:06 PM
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my friend Carolyn gave me a good one this fall, related to keeping your centre of gravity over your feet as you use your legs to move your body up.

In reply to:
Push the bush!!!
:twisted:

so then I was climbing Moonshine Dihedral and shouted it out as I was making a stiff move, and someone else shouted from below:

In reply to:
You mean Latch the Snatch!!

heh, her husband was a little scandalized

:P


wa_hoo


Jan 8, 2005, 7:21 PM
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Re: best technical advice you've gotten from another woman [In reply to]
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In reply to:
My advice, FWIW, ... work on what you can't do. Learning how to do pull-ups and do ropework/rigging (neither of which came easily for me) has helped me more than exploiting my flexibility (since that came naturally).

I totally agree with this. I've been climbing mostly indoors for 2 years - usually bouldering once, rope once, so I still consider myself quite new and learning lots.

Here are a couple other things I've learned lately that I have found helpful. First, the Rock Warrior Way is great for the mental stuff, which I think is a big chunk of what holds many of us, men and women, back from more success.

Second, I recently had a woman show me how to flag inside with emphasis on using the flagged foot to push your hip in on overhanging stuff. This was great! I think any kind of flagging is so helpful when done correctly.

I think the other thing is to really try new and different moves on TR. Watch 5.12 women climb/lead and see what they're doing and then try out the move. Be bold.

On the other hand, just because Susie does it this way, maybe your body and your strengths tell you to do it a different way. Don't be afraid to do it your own way.

I'd also echo the comment made about getting comfortable with dynamic moves - not huge leaps - but more moderate ones. They are very useful!


htotsu


Apr 11, 2007, 9:43 AM
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Re: [lazygirl] best woman climber advice you've gotten or given? [In reply to]
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In light of recent thread posts on the purpose of The Ladies' Room, I thought I'd revive this thread.

Shall we broaden it?
- What's the advice you'd most like to give to women climbers?
- Your best "if I knew then what I know now" tip for women?
- The best advice you've gotten from anyone that has helped you as a woman climber?


Got something for women who are new to climbing? Something for girls who are starting young? Something for people who have more mileage - either age or experience-wise? Common mistakes to avoid?

Best if it's specific to being a female climber. And... go!


carabiner96


Apr 11, 2007, 9:54 AM
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Re: [htotsu] best woman climber advice you've gotten or given? [In reply to]
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- What's the advice you'd most like to give to women climbers?
Don't do it for the boys. Don't do it for the grades. Do if for the fun, for health, and for the shiney new gear.

- Your best "if I knew then what I know now" tip for women?
Just jump for it. Ropes are strong, you're belayer will catch you, and it's not going to climb itself. So many times I look back now and wish I had tried just a little bit harder. Don't ever give up before giving 110%.
Also, a majority of guy climbers have small dicks. So its not really worth showing off -or worse, dumbing down - for them anyway.

- The best advice you've gotten from anyone that has helped you as a woman climber?

Always have extra pony tail holders in your chalkbag. You'll need them (and forget them), and theres always other girls who ask around for them...a great way to make a new friend
A spare tampon in the bag does the same job too.


elepita


Apr 12, 2007, 2:43 AM
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Re: [htotsu] best woman climber advice you've gotten or given? [In reply to]
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Your best "if I knew then what I know now" tip for women? Work out your opposite muscles from the first day you start climbing, it will avoid a lot of injuries...and take rest seriously, listen to your body, rest is not for pussies, it is for everybody.

The best advice you've gotten from anyone that has helped you as a woman climber? Be fast changing leads at the belay, get your systems dialed, it will probably save you from an unwanted bivy...

What's the advice you'd most like to give to women climbers? Climb your best, climb save, enjoy as mush as you can (when you are old and remember you will enjoy twice), take care of our environment and don't wait for someone to hang thee draws to try that route you are looking at, just go and hang them yourself, you are climbing chick, you are in charge!!


clee03m


Apr 12, 2007, 9:30 AM
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Re: [elepita] best woman climber advice you've gotten or given? [In reply to]
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- What's the advice you'd most like to give to women climbers?
Never settle. It's possible for every woman to climb hard and still have all the other things they want in life (for me a career, spouse, and future children; if being a climbing bum is your thing, I mean that, too). Don't buy "even in this day and age" line. In this day and age, we really can have it all. Or share equally at the least.

- Your best "if I knew then what I know now" tip for women?
I wish someone had told me what someone said above on this thread: Strength is a technique. I kept thinking that improving my technique would solve all my strength issues because most of climbing training literature suggested it. I think I would be a better climber today if I had concentrated on strength from day one.

- The best advice you've gotten from anyone that has helped you as a woman climber?
This was from a guy, but it was helpful as a climber. He said that any time you fail at an attempt, really ask yourself if you were truly at your limit. If yes, work on changing that limit. If no, work on reaching that limit.


analine


Apr 12, 2007, 1:00 PM
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Re: [htotsu] best woman climber advice you've gotten or given? [In reply to]
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htotsu wrote:
- The best advice you've gotten from anyone that has helped you as a woman climber?

This advice isn't necessarily the best I've ever gotten, or specific for women.... but it was from a woman and I have found it very helpful. On long dynamic moves, stay tight in your core. Actually concentrate on tightening those muscles. I often find the extra inch(es) I get by not sagging before hitting a hold makes the difference between making the move and falling.


Kiri


Apr 12, 2007, 11:15 PM
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Re: [fern] best technical advice you've gotten from another woman [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Push the bush!!!

This little gem wouldn't get out of my head and it really helped my climbing today.

Thanks!

(This post was edited by Kiri on Apr 12, 2007, 11:18 PM)


maryb


Apr 16, 2007, 9:04 PM
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Re: [lazygirl] best technical advice you've gotten from another woman [In reply to]
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best advice received (from a strong a$$ woman climber): Rest when you can, not when you want to. (Esp on TR, but also on lead)

My advice: take some hatha yoga; I practice for 13 years now, and learn so much about balance and really feeling my body at different layers.

Also: climb for your goal, no one elses.


granite_grrl


Apr 17, 2007, 6:29 AM
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Okay, not advise per-say, but most attitude and outlook. I can be a very nervous person, I will push myself into uncomfrotable situations but it has to be something that I really want.

It took me a long time before I started leading after I started climbing (2.5years?). I like the feeling of being in charge now, but it took too long for me to take the reigns. I wish I had had more confidence when I had started climbing.

I also wish I had known that the whole strength thing was a cop-out. I would have been much better at over hangs had I only spent more time climbing them learning the technique.


phoenicks42


Apr 17, 2007, 8:09 PM
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In reply to:
Turn sideways and keep your hips into the wall.


lupocanine


Apr 19, 2007, 8:00 AM
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Re: [lazygirl] best technical advice you've gotten from another woman [In reply to]
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Best advice I ever got from another woman.

"Where is your helmet? Are you stupid teenage boy or a grown woman with common sense?"

That was about 14 years ago, I have destroyed three helmets since then. I can't even count how many times a helmet has saved me stitches, or a concussion.


iamthewallress


Apr 19, 2007, 10:13 AM
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Re: [lupocanine] best technical advice you've gotten from another woman [In reply to]
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lupocanine wrote:
That was about 14 years ago, I have destroyed three helmets since then. I can't even count how many times a helmet has saved me stitches, or a concussion.

Holy smokes! That's taking it in the head a lot. Is the rock/ice especially rotten where you climb?

On a related note, I saw in a 'hot flash' or somesuch in Rock and Ice a pic of a couple of gals who just freed Moonlight Butress. I thought it was very cool that they published a pic of one of them climbing for-real w/ her helmet on rather than going with a well-coiffed after-the-fact pose-down.

Girlz climbin' hard with their helmets on kick ass!


lupocanine


Apr 19, 2007, 4:52 PM
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About half the stuff I climb is limestone, because I live in MissouriUnsure Trashed one helmet here in MO from rock fall, one helmet in Colorado on sphinx rock from a whipper, and the third, was just beat to crap from years of use...small rock fall, head jamming, and wear.


jsh


Apr 20, 2007, 12:37 PM
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Re: [lupocanine] best technical advice you've gotten from another woman [In reply to]
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Not woman-specific, but the best technical advice I ever got was: "climb with quiet feet".


granite_grrl


Apr 21, 2007, 9:30 AM
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And to follow up with the helmet advice.....do what makes you comfortable. Don't care what other people think of you, vanity is no reason to compromise safety.

I'm glad I had a helmet on the day I had my accident, and I will never laugh or make fun of someone who wears one if it makes them more comfortable. Even if its just TRing or leading at the gym.


livvy


Apr 24, 2007, 1:29 PM
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- exhale ferociously (think lamaze) when moving to tighten core
- practice being on a tiny hold and pushing your leg back with your core and hip flexors (think cat trying to cover poo in litter box)


acacongua


Apr 27, 2007, 11:11 AM
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Don't hurl yourself to a hold when there are feet to use. So, look at your feet more often. Dynamic climbing through every move will wear you out.


akaasa


Apr 20, 2008, 11:53 AM
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My friend said that it really helped her to watch videos of her climbing. On a trip, I was able to get some video of me bouldering. It helped because I could see things that could use some improvement. But the most benificial part was a boost in my confidence. Before watching the video I was convinced that I was physically weak, because I always have been prior to climbing. Turns out that I'm a lot beefier than I thought! Crazy! Also, my friend and I also noticed that we are not as clumsy on the rock as we thought.


debsanders


Apr 21, 2008, 5:52 PM
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I participated in a bouldering clinic several years ago put on by Ally Rainey, my one big take away was don't double grip. When you get tired or you are on a route you have never climbed before the automatic response is to double grip, which is an unneeded motion and it will bring on the pump.

So now when I double grip I think of Ally's advice and TRY to stop.

Dirt Debbie

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