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Grades, information-gathering, and leading near your limit as a short/tall/non-"average" climber


L Kap · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 55
John Byrnes wrote:

I discount certain people's contention (who only climb 8, 9 & 10 on TR) that tall people have this undeniable advantage.

I don't know who you're describing there, but I've lost count of all the people whose opinions you discount, including every woman on this thread, Katie Brown, Hazel Findlay, Neely Quinn, Tom Randall and Ollie Tor, and apparently Chris McNamara.

L Kap · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 55
Eric Chabot wrote:

How you frame the difficulty of the route in your mind is so so key to success it's unbelievable.

OP, be cautious about the attitude of this post. If you think that v6 (or 12a or 10c or whatever grade) is hard, it will be hard. If you think it will be a challenge but do-able for you, you are much more likely to achieve it. There are many, many (short) women I see absolutely crushing v6 at the gym and on the boulders (and i don't see them on the campus board). I would describe all of them as recreational climbers (not including puccio haha). Performance oriented? For sure, but recreational yes.

Our different attitudes and expectations are created by our own experiences but also by the attitudes of the people we choose to spend time with. If you surround yourself with partners who don't focus on the grade just on the climb, or those who don't feel limited to what they are currently capable of doing, you will have an easier time improving. If you surround yourself with people who engage in self-limiting mental talk you will self-limit. If you surround yourself with people who climb 5.12 / 5.13 where 5.11 is the warm up, then 5.11 will become your warm up. We are the average of the 10 people we spend the most time with.

So maybe it would be helpful to climb with some stronger/more psyched people? Strong people will be psyched to climb with you if you a) are psyched and try hard b) are a good belayer c) are not looking for free guiding, i.e., you climb your own routes and don't expect anyone to hang/retrieve your draws.

Last bit of mental/tactical advice, be patient with yourself. Don't try to skip the process of becoming better. If 'beginner' routes (ie 5.11 and under) feel challenging, then maybe there are some movement skills and mental tactics that would be beneficial to work on until they feel smooth. Dynos are a skill. Using tiny feet is a skill. Using small crimps is a skill. Using slopers is definitely a skill.

Sorry if calling 5.11 a beginner grade sounds elitist, it is just a mental tactic that I use to make it feel easier for myself because I am so tall and heavy that it is hard for me ;) . And for most of the men and women, short and tall that I climb with, 5.11 is easy. But you are on your own journey with respect to your climbing performance. Learning to climb well is a craft with many facets and takes years of practice to approach mastery. So above all else be patient with yourself.

All that said if you are not performance oriented and just want to have fun on the rock (as L Kap sounds like she is based on her other posts) more power to you and that is awesome! I used to climb with an older fellow (still in his prime physically) who had never trad climbed harder than 5.8 or 5.9. Performance climbing just wasn't his thing and he didn't like to try hard. He had stayed at that level for 20 years of climbing and had a great time doing long moderates and alpine routes. He was fine with that and it meant he was a great partner for certain types of climbing days.

PS did you get back on millenium falcon?

Hi Eric, I just want to note that my post was about a numerical reality - that the vast majority of climbers, and especially women, do not climb over v6, which is hard 5.12 for roped climbers. It does not make a person "lazy" if they are not working the v7s / 5.13s by training iron crosses and front levers. I climb at a gym in Boulder 2-3x / week and try to get outside at least 2-3x / month and have been climbing since 2002. I think I can count on one hand the number of women I've seen in person climbing 5.13 in a non-comp setting and they are mostly pros - Lynn Hill, Robin Erbesfield-Raboutou, and Sasha Digiulian come to mind. And even they aren't hitting the 5.13s at every session. If the OP or anyone else gets satisfaction from trying hard / pushing their physical limits, that's cool. What's not cool is tall men implying that the only reason short women aren't all Ashimas is that they are lazy self-limiting whiners. Which is not what you did, but is what I was reacting to. 

Glowering · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 5
effective strategies for dealing with it
If it was me I'd be mentally repeating a mantra of "Lynn Hill. Lynn Hill. Lynn Hill." while climbing tough stuff. i.e. if she can do it, I can do it.

I'm an above average height male and in my opinion her first free ascent of the Nose was perhaps the most impressive climbing accomplishment of all time. Of course this is just my opinion, but: it's perhaps the most famous climb of all, has a ton of super high quality climbing, and was at the upper limit of what was/is possible. It was a mental/physical leap in climbing akin to the first ascent of El Cap or Half Dome, or the first free solo of El Cap, or the first 5.15, etc. But to me some the most difficult free climbing possible on a big wall is such a perfect example of what makes rock climbing so awesome, and this was such a ground breaking example of that. And she did it in such amazing style. Leading every pitch. After she did it she could have rested on her laurels, but then she went back and did it in a day. Bad ass. Period. She's only 1" taller than you.

There will always be reach dependent climbs and they will be harder for you. But everyone has strengths and weaknesses for different types of climbing. Some are great at slab, crack, overhanging jugs, crimpers, etc. and have weaknesses (comparatively) else where. I guess if I was at my limit I'd try to first think this is just a regular crux that everyone has to deal with first (and if you exhaust all possibilities to figure out the beta quickly), then think well maybe it's height dependent and harder for me (but I bet Lynn Hill could figure out moves that work for her and so will I). And only when you exhaust all possibilities and perhaps take a few falls should you think maybe this climb is so reach dependent that I won't be able to do it now or perhaps ever, and that's okay. You'll be better at other types of climbs or at different areas and that's where you can appreciate the aspects of your climbing that are your strengths.

As far as ratings go I don't think we should attempt any changes to the current system. Yes it's average us male centric, but that's okay because it's consistent. If you start changing ratings who knows how the rating was changed from ratings of different heights or if the climb is still geared to average male height? As mentioned people will climb in an area for a while to get a sense of the grades in that area, because they may all be sandbags or soft, etc. so again consistency is the most important thing. You can always mentally make the adjustment for yourself. e.g. if you climb at a new area and the nature of the climbing shows reachy moves you make want to mentally think: everything here is likely a number grade harder for my body type. I agree with above that comments are the best way to inform people that climbs may feel different for different types of climbers.

I don't know about strength training only being for 5.12 or above climbers. Technique and strength work together to get you up something. Anyone will benefit from increased strength.
Nate Doyle · · Sierra Foothills · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 39
Glowering wrote: If it was me I'd be mentally repeating a mantra of "Lynn Hill. Lynn Hill. Lynn Hill." while climbing tough stuff. i.e. if she can do it, I can do it.

I'm an above average height male and in my opinion her first free ascent of the Nose was perhaps the most impressive climbing accomplishment of all time. Of course this is just my opinion, but: it's perhaps the most famous climb of all, has a ton of super high quality climbing, and was at the upper limit of what was/is possible. It was a mental/physical leap in climbing akin to the first ascent of El Cap or Half Dome, or the first free solo of El Cap, or the first 5.15, etc. But to me some the most difficult free climbing possible on a big wall is such a perfect example of what makes rock climbing so awesome, and this was such a ground breaking example of that. And she did it in such amazing style. Leading every pitch. After she did it she could have rested on her laurels, but then she went back and did it in a day. Bad ass. Period. She's only 1" taller than you.

There will always be reach dependent climbs and they will be harder for you. But everyone has strengths and weaknesses for different types of climbing. Some are great at slab, crack, overhanging jugs, crimpers, etc. and have weaknesses (comparatively) else where. I guess if I was at my limit I'd try to first think this is just a regular crux that everyone has to deal with first (and if you exhaust all possibilities to figure out the beta quickly), then think well maybe it's height dependent and harder for me (but I bet Lynn Hill could figure out moves that work for her and so will I). And only when you exhaust all possibilities and perhaps take a few falls should you think maybe this climb is so reach dependent that I won't be able to do it now or perhaps ever, and that's okay. You'll be better at other types of climbs or at different areas and that's where you can appreciate the aspects of your climbing that are your strengths.

As far as ratings go I don't think we should attempt any changes to the current system. Yes it's average us male centric, but that's okay because it's consistent. If you start changing ratings who knows how the rating was changed from ratings of different heights or if the climb is still geared to average male height? As mentioned people will climb in an area for a while to get a sense of the grades in that area, because they may all be sandbags or soft, etc. so again consistency is the most important thing. You can always mentally make the adjustment for yourself. e.g. if you climb at a new area and the nature of the climbing shows reachy moves you make want to mentally think: everything here is likely a number grade harder for my body type. I agree with above that comments are the best way to inform people that climbs may feel different for different types of climbers.

I don't know about strength training only being for 5.12 or above climbers. Technique and strength work together to get you up something. Anyone will benefit from increased strength.

Basically what John said, only more polite. 

L Kap · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 55
Nate Doyle wrote:

Basically what John said, only more polite. 

Yes, with about the same amount of utility in response to the OP's question, though politeness is a plus. 

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 612
Aweffwef Fewfae wrote: you point out ondra is 6'1 even though he is the outlier. the top performing men are all very short. woods is 5'6, koyamada is 5'4, megos is 5'6. i bring up woods and koyamada because combined they've covered most of the world's hardest routes. however - all of the top women are your height. 5'1 to 5'2.

being shorter is better if you climb harder. while being taller is advantageous in the beginning up to v6, it really disappears around the intermediate grades. this is because the big moves force everyone to go big, there will be barn doors and cut feet and tall people will start to struggle with the added weight. at the advanced levels, shorter is better. ondra is a rarity due to his neck length. once everyone is flying to micro crimps, it becomes obvious. the shorter levers of shorter fingers have better torque. lower body weight is better.

personally, most of the time i see short climbers complain is due to their lack of strength. i see a lot of climbers try to find a low effort 'solution' rather than simply pulling harder and training relevant skills. suppose a reachy hold - rather than training the shoulders to do reachy moves (which is hard work), most climbers try to adjust their feet so that the hold is within their center of gravity; this instead prevents long term progress. training an iron cross/wide pullup will serve you infinitely better regardless of grade because it increases the available holds to you. the same is true of lockoff and campus ladders - they're skills that need to be cultivated over years and solve most of the reach problems. if you can actually do an iron cross and you have a 147 campus and you can lock of at 90 45 10 with either arm then you actually have a right to complain. until then, it's simply laziness. this is why l sits, front levers, v ups and flexibility training are so important - it is the difference why even short pros never struggle on any supposedly 'reachy' move.

I want to "repeat" this post because it says what I've been trying to say better than I did.  The bold emphases are mine.   (And if you disagree, I have someone to hide behind.)

So Aweffwef's post is covers the subject as the grade and steepness increases.  I want to add (again) that there are two other dimensions, at least:  1) rock type  (granite, sandstone, limestone, etc.)   2) crack vs. face.    

So, if you are short and climb in the New a lot, where there are often long reaches to crimps, you may think all climbing is reachy, but that's not true.   And if you were weaned in Indian Creek, you may be romping up 5.12 cracks with your small hands only to find 5.10 face climbing is way harder.
L Kap · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 55
John Byrnes wrote:

I want to "repeat" this post because it says what I've been trying to say better than I did.  The bold emphases are mine.   (And if you disagree, I have someone to hide behind.)

[Aweffwef's post] 

I'm surprised you think Aweffwef's post was supportive of your points. That post implies that you, JB, have an advantage on everything you climb since according to Aweffwef you only climb "beginner" climbs (v5 / 5.12), and according to him tall people have an advantage sub-v6.

His post is basically bragaddocio that real climbers climb harder than v6 / 5.12, and a short person who trains hard enough (iron crosses, campusing, L-sits, front levers, etc.) will find shortness to be an advantage. Translation: be a short pro climber. 

dragons · · MWV, NH · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 752
Glowering wrote: If it was me I'd be mentally repeating a mantra of "Lynn Hill. Lynn Hill. Lynn Hill." while climbing tough stuff. i.e. if she can do it, I can do it.
I can't quite tell if you're serious, but I'll assume so. I respectfully disagree with you on the Lynn Hill mantra. "If she can do it, I can do it"? Should any intermediate person in a sport say to themselves "A person at the peak of performance in this sport can do X, therefore I can too?". No way. You may be able to tell yourself stuff like that, but the minute I said that to myself, I'd be laughing so hard, I'd fall off the route.

I am hopeful that I will improve in the sport, but I'm a realist. Lynn Hill can do a lot of things that I will never be able to do. If I started training now, with the best professional coaches in the world, I don't think I'd ever be able to repeat her performance on El Cap. You may want to call that a self-limiting belief. Well, if I could afford professional coaches, I'd give it a try. But I think the most likely result would be more injuries.

I do think it's useful to think "Maybe I can do this a different way from what people usually do" or "Is there some way I can do this?" without just giving up. But sometimes you have to retreat.

I don't know about strength training only being for 5.12 or above climbers. Technique and strength work together to get you up something. Anyone will benefit from increased strength.

I think this is the first time I've heard someone say that strength training is good for climbers below 5.12. People tell me over and over again that it's all about technique below 5.12. Would love to hear about your experience with this if you have any, although since you're a tall male I realize it may not be applicable for me as a short female. Before I started climbing, I had been weight training for many years, and I am pretty sure that it helped me when starting out.

dragons · · MWV, NH · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 752
Eric Chabot wrote: If you surround yourself with people who climb 5.12 / 5.13 where 5.11 is the warm up, then 5.11 will become your warm up. We are the average of the 10 people we spend the most time with.
There's a saying: "That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger." The people who say that forget the other saying: "That which doesn't kill you may injure you so badly that you'll be weaker for the rest of your life." People don't like to think about the latter possibility. It's a downer, and some people will call it a self-limiting belief. It also happens to be reality.

It may sound like I totally disagree with you, but I don't. I do think it helps to climb with people who climb harder than you - you'll learn different techniques (which I daresay you can also get on YouTube). However, you do have to be careful. I've injured myself climbing with stronger climbers. Pulling on a 5.11, far above my limit, when I was recovering from an injury led to me reinjuring myself. I don't blame the people I was climbing with, who were trying to encourage me; it is my nature to attack things with gusto. I should have known better.

There's a reason people have self-limiting beliefs when it comes to physical activities. Your brain tells you that what you're attempting may turn out bad for you. Sometimes your brain is mistaken, and sometimes it's really difficult to tell the difference.
Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 614
dragons wrote:

I think this is the first time I've heard someone say that strength training is good for climbers below 5.12. People tell me over and over again that it's all about technique below 5.12. Would love to hear about your experience with this if you have any, although since you're a tall male I realize it may not be applicable for me as a short female. Before I started climbing, I had been weight training for many years, and I am pretty sure that it helped me when starting out.

More finger strength never hurt anybody. 

Whether weight training will help depends on your particular weaknesses.
Shoulder stability is a very good thing, both for performance and for injury avoidance.
Core stability is good for performance.

Training technique is always good, but 'going climbing' may not actually be improving technique.
You must be the judge of that. Maybe you're just having fun.

Some folks flourish just climbing (eg Sharma) but I think for most of us, including relative beginners, a mix of climbing for fun, climbing as training, technique training, and strength and finger training is ideal.
Getting the proportions right is an individual matter and not at all easy!

Finally, my advice is as useless as everybody else's.
Experiment and find what works for you.
Eric Chabot · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 45
L Kap wrote:

Hi Eric, I just want to note that my post was about a numerical reality - that the vast majority of climbers, and especially women, do not climb over v6, which is hard 5.12 for roped climbers. It does not make a person "lazy" if they are not working the v7s / 5.13s by training iron crosses and front levers. I climb at a gym in Boulder 2-3x / week and try to get outside at least 2-3x / month and have been climbing since 2002. I think I can count on one hand the number of women I've seen in person climbing 5.13 in a non-comp setting and they are mostly pros - Lynn Hill, Robin Erbesfield-Raboutou, and Sasha Digiulian come to mind. And even they aren't hitting the 5.13s at every session. If the OP or anyone else gets satisfaction from trying hard / pushing their physical limits, that's cool. What's not cool is tall men implying that the only reason short women aren't all Ashimas is that they are lazy self-limiting whiners. Which is not what you did, but is what I was reacting to. 

Lk that doesn't surprise me. Based on your profile you probably don't spend a lot of time at crags that are stacked with hard 5.12s and 5.13s, and areas with hard boulders. I mean no disrespect, I think all types of climbing are cool and it sounds like you have a lot of experience with the aspect of the sport that appeals to you. And I agree with you that being tall helps-- on moderate routes where the terrain is slabby. And on isolated harder routes as well.

What I wanted to emphasize is that short women are out there, crushing. And for what it's worth, I think the commenter you criticize is also right, that being small is an advantage when the climbing is overhanging on small holds. I disagree with his prescription for campusing below v6, I think movement practice and mental training are probably more important to get through the 'beginner' grades, for short and tall climbers alike. I'd say rather than lazy, climbers who feel height-limited are often times inexperienced in the movement skills needed to climb harder routes.

I think the reason you and jb arent finding common ground is that you might climb really different types of routes and areas. Go to rifle or pipe dream cave in Maple any weekend and I guarantee the ladies are gonna be out there crushing hard 12 and 5.13. at Joe's valley I see chicks climbing v7 all the time. To everyone that reads this thread, thinks 12a is a hard grade, and wants to climb harder, just go to a crag where high level climbers are working on routes and watch them doing their thing. It'll blow your mind and reset your frame of reference.

To the next generation, and the Euros, 5.12 are beginner routes. We need to face that fact and until we do the Euros are gonna keep blowing our doors at the comps. Sasha d talks about this in her interviews. When hard climbing is normalized, it isn't hard any more, and anyone can do it, even the shorties!
Eric Chabot · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 45
dragons wrote: There's a saying: "That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger." The people who say that forget the other saying: "That which doesn't kill you may injure you so badly that you'll be weaker for the rest of your life." People don't like to think about the latter possibility. It's a downer, and some people will call it a self-limiting belief. It also happens to be reality.

It may sound like I totally disagree with you, but I don't. I do think it helps to climb with people who climb harder than you - you'll learn different techniques (which I daresay you can also get on YouTube). However, you do have to be careful. I've injured myself climbing with stronger climbers. Pulling on a 5.11, far above my limit, when I was recovering from an injury led to me reinjuring myself. I don't blame the people I was climbing with, who were trying to encourage me; it is my nature to attack things with gusto. I should have known better.

There's a reason people have self-limiting beliefs when it comes to physical activities. Your brain tells you that what you're attempting may turn out bad for you. Sometimes your brain is mistaken, and sometimes it's really difficult to tell the difference.

Yeah injuries are a bummer for sure. In my last post I also urged patience and emphasized that everyone is on their own journey. I don't mean just start jumping on 12s and 13s, I mean look at the approach of strong climbers and emulate it.


I've also struggled with biting off more than I can chew and re injuring myself. It sucks!
L Kap · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 55
Eric Chabot wrote:

Lk that doesn't surprise me. Based on your profile you probably don't spend a lot of time at crags that are stacked with hard 5.12s and 5.13s, and areas with hard boulders. I mean no disrespect, I think all types of climbing are cool and it sounds like you have a lot of experience with the aspect of the sport that appeals to you. And I agree with you that being tall helps-- on moderate routes where the terrain is slabby. And on isolated harder routes as well.

What I wanted to emphasize is that short women are out there, crushing. And for what it's worth, I think the commenter you criticize is also right, that being small is an advantage when the climbing is overhanging on small holds. I disagree with his prescription for campusing below v6, I think movement practice and mental training are probably more important to get through the 'beginner' grades, for short and tall climbers alike. I'd say rather than lazy, climbers who feel height-limited are often times inexperienced in the movement skills needed to climb harder routes.

I think the reason you and jb arent finding common ground is that you might climb really different types of routes and areas. Go to rifle or pipe dream cave in Maple any weekend and I guarantee the ladies are gonna be out there crushing hard 12 and 5.13. at Joe's valley I see chicks climbing v7 all the time. To everyone that reads this thread, thinks 12a is a hard grade, and wants to climb harder, just go to a crag where high level climbers are working on routes and watch them doing their thing. It'll blow your mind and reset your frame of reference.


To the next generation, and the Euros, 5.12 are beginner routes. We need to face that fact and until we do the Euros are gonna keep blowing our doors at the comps. Sasha d talks about this in her interviews. When hard climbing is normalized, it isn't hard any more, and anyone can do it, even the shorties!

Yes, it doesn't surprise me that if you frequent areas with hard climbs and surround yourself with people crushing hard 12s and 13s, that seems normal to you. Statistically, that is not the middle of the bell curve of climbers, it's on the far end. Yes, young climbers are pushing the outer limits of difficulty as they have always done, and better gear and training techniques makes it possible for people to climb harder safely. I'd still be surprised if the middle of the bell curve shifts much year by year, or decade by decade, because a) most climbers are recreational and not elite athletes, and b) human physiology evolves at a glacial pace. It would be an interesting survey project to see what the mass of climbers are climbing year over year. It's like speed or endurance running in that regard. Elite athletes are breaking records every year, but the vast pack of recreational runners is probably still running about as fast / far as they did twenty years ago.

ETA - The Boulder Climbing Community just did a survey of Colorado Front Range climbers. Check out the results for the question 6  "What is the upper end of your preferred range of climbing routes?" Fully 83% said 5.12 or lower. Which, according to Aweffwef, makes 83% of Front Range climbers wimpy undertrained "beginners". Over half said 5.11 or lower, including me. The fat belly of the bell curve is people who top out somewhere in the 5.11s to 5.12s.  drive.google.com/file/d/1Zd…

Eric Chabot · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 45
L Kap wrote:

Yes, it doesn't surprise me that if you frequent areas with hard climbs and surround yourself with people crushing hard 12s and 13s, that seems normal to you. Statistically, that is not the middle of the bell curve of climbers, it's on the far end. Yes, young climbers are pushing the outer limits of difficulty as they have always done, and better gear and training techniques makes it possible for people to climb harder safely. I'd still be surprised if the middle of the bell curve shifts much year by year, or decade by decade, because a) most climbers are recreational and not elite athletes, and b) human physiology evolves at a glacial pace. It would be an interesting survey project to see what the mass of climbers are climbing year over year. It's like speed or endurance running in that regard. Elite athletes are breaking records every year, but the vast pack of recreational runners is probably still running about as fast / far as they did twenty years ago.

ETA - The Boulder Climbing Community just did a survey of Colorado Front Range climbers. Check out the results for the question 6  "What is the upper end of your preferred range of climbing routes?" Fully 83% said 5.12 or lower. Which, according to Aweffwef, makes 83% of Front Range climbers wimpy undertrained "beginners". Over half said 5.11 or lower, including me. The fat belly of the bell curve is people who top out somewhere in the 5.11s to 5.12s.  drive.google.com/file/d/1Zd…

Wow that's an interesting survey! It is easy for any of us to just hang out in our own bubble. 

With survey results like that it can be interesting to cut things the other way. Almost half of climbers (48%) want routes 5.12 - 5.13 and harder! I'd say people there are pretty strong and that 5.12 might not be such a lofty grade after all if it is accessible to half of the climbing population.


I'd argue that climbing is in a very different developmental stage as a sport than running, with the last 20 years seeing the advent of research based training protocols, lots more performance oriented youth programs, large well equipped training facilities for everyone, exposure of the everyday climber to strong people, etc. We are about to be in the olympics for the first time and running has been in them since 776 BC

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 614

I don't buy those statistics from the BCC.
There are probably 100 people at Canal Zone and Little Eiger today climbing 5.10 and below vs 10 (or fewer) people at Easter and the Slab, mostly climbing 5.12s.
Maybe one party on 13s.

If I had to guess, I'd say the average sport climber around here leads 5.10 with the occasional hangdog session on an 11.
I'll bet even lower for trad, although I don't climb trad much any more.

Just look at which are the most popular crags?
People want to go to Other Critters (lots <5.9) that they are willing to climb in the blazing sun to do it.

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 612
L Kap wrote:

I'm surprised you think Aweffwef's post was supportive of your points. That post implies that you, JB, have an advantage on everything you climb since according to Aweffwef you only climb "beginner" climbs (v5 / 5.12), and according to him tall people have an advantage sub-v6.

I'm  a mediocre climber.  I admit that.  I walk around Rifle and I'm the worst climber there.  So, is there a point you're trying to make?  

His post is basically bragaddocio that real climbers climb harder than v6 / 5.12, and a short person who trains hard enough (iron crosses, campusing, L-sits, front levers, etc.) will find shortness to be an advantage. Translation: be a short pro climber. 

What he's really saying to you, L Kap, (since your reading comprehension is clearly lacking) is that only when you reach a certain level of competence do "you actually have a right to complain" about being short "until then, it's simply laziness."
L Kap · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 55
Mark E Dixon wrote: I don't buy those statistics from the BCC.
There are probably 100 people at Canal Zone and Little Eiger today climbing 5.10 and below vs 10 (or fewer) people at Easter and the Slab, mostly climbing 5.12s.
Maybe one party on 13s.

If I had to guess, I'd say the average sport climber around here leads 5.10 with the occasional hangdog session on an 11.
I'll bet even lower for trad, although I don't climb trad much any more.

Just look at which are the most popular crags?
People want to go to Other Critters (lots <5.9) that they are willing to climb in the blazing sun to do it.

Your observations align with mine, Mark. I don't think half of Front Range climbers actually are competent 5.12 sport climbers. That's definitely not what I see at the gym or outside.

The survey asked what's the upper end of your preferred range of routes, so the 5.12s might be aspirational. Or maybe people who occasionally jump on a 12a on TR to get a good thrashing. There are a good number of people who climb harder, but they aren't the majority. Also, consider that the survey sample might be skewed to people who strongly self-identify as climbers, whereas the population of "people who have gone climbing outside" is probably quite a bit bigger.

Anyway. I don't want to hijack the thread - just providing some counterweight to the "I don't mean to sound elite but..." posts. 

L Kap · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 55
John Byrnes wrote: I'm  a mediocre climber.  I admit that.  I walk around Rifle and I'm the worst climber there.  So, is there a point you're trying to make?  
That he specifically said your height gives you an advantage on everything you climb since you climb sub V6. Which I don't believe you agree with. Re-read his post. 



What he's really saying to you, L Kap, (since your reading comprehension is clearly lacking) is that only when you reach a certain level of competence do "you actually have a right to complain" about being short "until then, it's simply laziness."

I understood his point. Perhaps you didn't understand what I said, which is that his statement is a) braggadocio and b) an eye-wateringly unrealistic representation of the actual experience of the vast majority of actual climbers, especially women.

 

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 614

Yo, LK.

Arguing with Lord Slime is a waste of time.

And if you review Fewfae's other posts on 'average' climbing ability, you'll find he/she is totally out of touch.

Even so, their posts often contain worthwhile nuggets...at least as much as the rest of us.

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 612
amarius wrote:

OK, perhaps you have difficult time understanding Lena's point because she is a woman, and not tall.

So, I am going to translate it for you into man-talk. I also qualify because, I am, relatively weak, old, and inflexible.

Think of your hardest send.
Remember that grade.
If it is grade in 5.11+ range, take it down 1 number
Think of routes you did in that range.
Think of routes at that range that had awkward body positions.
Think of any that felt comparable to your hardest grade.
Count them
Post the number here.

I'll give you two clear examples.  Back when I was young, 40, I was onsighting 11+ in Yosemite.    

1) I crossed the Merced to do a 5-pitch, 5.10 warm-up route.  The final pitch had a short "5.7 OW" that bulged out from the wall, undercut below and slab above.  No gear.   I could use my feet at first and pushed myself up into the slot.  But once my waist was slotted, my hips wouldn't fit through the constriction, my feet were dangling, and my hands had nothing to jam or grasp.  I had to do some desperate squirming and palming which felt like 5.12.  Edit: Oh, I forgot to mention the screaming.

2) Later that week I did Astroman.  As I remember the Harding Slot is rated 5.8+ and my partner (5'7") squirmed right up it.  But the thing was so tight I couldn't expand my chest to take a normal breath.   I was about 10' inside the wall, unable to breathe.  The hardest and scariest pitch I ever did.   I had bruises on my nipples, hip-bones and the tip of my nose was abraded.   I got out of that thing completely hypoglycemic and adrenaline scorched.

So a 5.7 and a 5.8 were absolutely desperate; hows that for some examples?
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

General Climbing
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