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What makes "the Euros" better?


Original Post
Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 300

I keep running into comments on here about how "the Euros" are just overwhelmingly climbing harder than us Yankees. It seems like this has been independently observed a number of times ("grandmothers routinely onsighting 5.12",etc). So what's the deal? How are they doing it?

Things I've noticed over there: they seem very open to pulling on bolts, and I often see folks hanging for very extended periods of time, leading me to guess that people are attempting routes that are a very big stretch for them.

Any ideas on how to bring the Euro magic to our shores? Or is it just genetic? Side effect of socialism? Bolts everywhere?

Rando Calrissian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 5

Copious amounts of whole fat yoghurt and olive oil.

Tristan Mayfield · · SLC, UT · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 45

I'd actually like to hear if anyone has real input on this. It's kind of an interesting phenomenon. Maybe because climbing has been around longer over there? A deeper tradition of it maybe?

khalifornia · · Colorado · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0
Darin Berdinka · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2009 · Points: 100

Their size Large is our size Medium.

C Brooks · · Fresno, CA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 551

More vacation? More accessible sport climbing? A bigger focus on hard climbing than adventure climbing? Its an interesting question.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Comparing an entire continent to one country?

Stephen C · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0
khalifornia wrote:Relevant: rockandice.com/lates-news/r…
I was just going to post this article...

I don't know many Euro climbers nor have I climbed in Europe, but I think when something is perceived as "normal" then it becomes mentally easier to achieve. This applies to nearly anything. The mind plays a large role in athletic performance.

Another point...being around high level (or higher than you) athletes is also important. I used to be involved in bike racing so I'll use this example. Often times juniors who would win all of the local races would show up to a national/international event and get totally destroyed. It wasn't because that athlete had less talent. They simply didn't know what fast really was. It helps A LOT to see others that are performing at a higher level than you in order to see what is possible.
doligo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 277

It's that "The best climber is..." quote that holds US climbers back.

Short Fall Sean · · Flagstaff, AZ · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 5

Europe has roughly twice the population of the US.

They have a more ingrained climbing culture. Probably a greater percentage of the population climbs.

None of that "Sport climbing is neither real men only climb 5.10 offwidths Ondra didn't onsight the Dawn Wall so it doesn't count" bullshit.

The average US male weighs 190 lbs. Don't know what it is in Europe, but I'm guessing it's a lot less.

We may start to catch up as the gym rat generations get going, and the old duffers die off.

Hobo Greg · · My Van · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 145
Ted Pinson wrote:Comparing an entire continent to one country?
They're similar in size and we have about half the population as the entire European continent so I'd say it's not an unfair comparison.

Euro better at sport but not at crack (at least not right away).
Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 498

"I once saw a 5.12 sport climber shit his pants on a 5.8 at Stone Mountain" -innumerable weak ass North Carolina climbers.

NC climbers tend to think 5.12 is badass. lolz

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 11,674

Europe has many crags that are family - child friendly. No cost of gym membership, just drive your kids to a friendly rock and get them climbing.

Therefore lots of children get explosed to outdoor rock climbing at a very young age. Success for any sport development / coaching program is substantial a "numbers" game. The more children you get to sign up, the more you're going to discover of those few with remarkable gifts.

My limited experience is that USA has almost none.
Seems like it's barely a question in USA. I never see it discussed in climbing magazines, almost never on forums.
Don't see it mentioned in discussions about work by the Access Fund.

Ken

Aleks Zebastian · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 175

climbing friend,

- higher standards
- massive muscles meat
- we are less lazy than your fat american
- bold yet elegant sense of style
- condescending and overconfident attitude
-extraordinarily tight pants
- fun-time-euro dance party
- myah

Eric Engberg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 0

On Sunday afternoons tye typical Parisian goes to Bleau. The typical New Yorker sits on the coach watching football.

NorCalNomad · · San Francisco · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 105
Short Fall Sean wrote: They have a more ingrained climbing culture. Probably a greater percentage of the population climbs.
This right here.

I listened to a Steve House presentation last winter where I think he said in one of the countries (forget which one, want to say eastern-ish europe) 10% of the population were members of that Nation's Alpine club. US population in 2014 was 318.9 million...even with the people who only climb at gyms infrequently, ie don't identify as climbers, I'd be willing to put down my salary that the US climbing population isn't 31.89 million.
NorCalNomad · · San Francisco · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 105
Aleks Zebastian wrote:climbing friend, - higher standards - massive muscles meat - we are less lazy than your fat american - bold yet elegant sense of style - condescending and overconfident attitude -extraordinarily tight pants - fun-time-euro dance party - myah
And don't forget crap all over the sport crags. :P
Tradgic Yogurt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 55
NorCalNomad wrote: This right here. I listened to a Steve House presentation last winter where I think he said in one of the countries (forget which one, want to say eastern-ish europe) 10% of the population were members of that Nation's Alpine club. US population in 2014 was 318.9 million...even with the people who only climb at gyms infrequently, ie don't identify as climbers, I'd be willing to put down my salary that the US climbing population isn't 31.89 million.
Isn't that a good thing? Imagine how crowded it would be with 32 million weekend warriors lined up to tick those classics.
Mike Deitchman · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 266

32 million people lined up? Sounds like Boulder Canyon every weekend.

NorCalNomad · · San Francisco · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 105
Tradgic Yogurt wrote: Isn't that a good thing? Imagine how crowded it would be with 32 million weekend warriors lined up to tick those classics.
In my opinion it isn't a good thing. I wasn't trying to take that stance, just trying to illustrate the population participation and cultural difference over there.
Kees van der Heiden · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 40
NorCalNomad wrote: This right here. I listened to a Steve House presentation last winter where I think he said in one of the countries (forget which one, want to say eastern-ish europe) 10% of the population were members of that Nation's Alpine club. US population in 2014 was 318.9 million...even with the people who only climb at gyms infrequently, ie don't identify as climbers, I'd be willing to put down my salary that the US climbing population isn't 31.89 million.
Probably Slovenia. Small country, mostly mountainous, hardy people.
At the other hand, here in The Netherlands, also a small country but completely flat, the average climbing ability isn't so great. There are a few very good climbers tough and the alpine club is very large for such a flat country. Loads of climbing gyms too.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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