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5.13s for shorties at NRG/RRG/Chat?


Original Post
Ryan McDermott · · Pittsburgh, PA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 75

My son is breaking into 5.13. He's 4'8", so many routes are simply out of reach for him. We'd welcome recommendations of hard 12s and easy 13s that might suit shorter climbers. Especially interested in NRG because that is our "home" crag, but also welcome RRG and Chattanooga beta. Thanks!

pat a · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 10

The Red is waaaaaay friendlier than NRG for shorties.  My 10 year old can at least do all the moves on Easy Rider at Drive By (his first 13.  whether he ever has the endurance for it time will tell), and tons 5.12 stuff at Motherlode is doable.  As often as not the ability to get stupid high feet and use monos as 3 finger pockets makes hard RRG stuff slightly easier for kids than adults.  

BrianWS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 790

Height is one of the main reasons youth teams gravitatate to the red but avoid the NRG like a handful of maggots. 

That being said, here is a list of climbs that I've either seen done by very short climbers or at least could have some sort of alternate beta:

1: Apollo Reed - 13a/12+

2. Eye of mordor (needs a knee pad for shorty beta that I've seen) -13a/12+

3. Lactic acid bath. I think other routes at the hole are (strong) shorty friendly - 12d

4. Finders keepers. Probably the only (potentially) shorty friendly line at the cirque -12c

Ryan McDermott · · Pittsburgh, PA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 75

"Height is one of the main reasons youth teams gravitatate to the red but avoid the NRG like a handful of maggots. "

LOL. Thanks for the list. That should keep him busy for a while. 

Joe Virtanen · · Asheville, NC · Joined May 2010 · Points: 218

A few other options that have shortie beta: 

  • Pod (5.13b)
  • Angle of Attack (5.12c, sandbag)
  • Blood Raid (5.13a) - static high foot/heel beta on the last move. This might be borderline, but I'd encourage him to try if he goes for Lactic.
  • Lavender Days (5.13a) - haven't been on it but word on the street is it's short-friendly

Definitely agree with the others, though, that the edge/pocket paddling at the Red will be a bit friendlier for him, with more options in these grades.

ChrisHau · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 325

Oof, that's a hard question for the New.

I'll second Brian and Joe's suggestions (though I would argue Pod's crux is pretty reachy). Also at First Buttress in the Upper Meadow is Corner Pocket (13a), which I believe is fairly straightforward and doesn't have any wildly long moves.

Many of the manufactured routes at South Side's Area 51 are atypically endurance-oriented, and might be a little more short-friendly. Crossing the Line (13b), for example (and NOT Cage Match if you want your kid back in one piece). But really, sometimes you just have to go and see for yourself. I've seen shorties do moves that I wouldn't have guessed possible with their wingspan, and then get stymied by sequences I thought weren't really height dependent. Caveat emptor. 

In addition, getting shut down is an integral part of climbing (and life), so maybe it's healthy to be periodically stumped like that? Plus, if a move is truly too big, your kid can just come back to it in a season when he's six inches taller, which is something that us older folk can't do.

There's a reason that kids dominate the Red though. Much more stuff there for the small and small-fingered.

Mark Paulson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 90

To echo other's sentiments:  I've got a short friend (she's 5'2") who's done Lactic, Apollo, Crossing the Line, Lavender Days (Mighty Dog), and Corner Pocket at the New.  Plus, Lynn Hill (also 5'2") onsighted Quinsana Plus and Slash and Burn, though that seems way crazier a feat, given the climbs.

Ryan McDermott · · Pittsburgh, PA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 75

Thanks for all the great suggestions! He did all the moves on Apollo this weekend, and loved it,  so that will be a nice project. 

Eric Carlos · · Chattanooga, TN · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 40
Mark Paulson wrote:

To echo other's sentiments:  I've got a short friend (she's 5'2") who's done Lactic, Apollo, Crossing the Line, Lavender Days (Mighty Dog), and Corner Pocket at the New.  Plus, Lynn Hill (also 5'2") onsighted Quinsana Plus and Slash and Burn, though that seems way crazier a feat, given the climbs.

Using Lynn Hill as an example is just not fair....she is superhuman!  

Ryan McDermott · · Pittsburgh, PA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 75
Eric Carlos wrote:

Using Lynn Hill as an example is just not fair....she is superhuman!  

Yeah, my son said, "We'll just disregard those."   

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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