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Question for female climbers
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By Pearlin Churchill
May 24, 2012

I'm doing a paper on how the sports climbing community has adapted to women's needs. My ideas are clothing/equipment, events/workshops, books specifically for women/websites, etc,...

I would also like to know why women start climbing in the first place, what are their initial goals and problems they face when they're starting.

If anyone has any ideas or information about how the community has adapted to women, it would be very helpful. Thank you!


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By Woodchuck ATC
May 24, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

I know BD and others have made women's cut/fit harnesses for several decades now. Certainly clothing like Patagonia and Prana make climbing clothes that are styled for women. Shoes like Evolv have been making lasts to design the shoe fitted to a womans shape and size foot. Some argue that the 'nano wires and other small biners were designed for a smaller womans hand, not just lighter weight. Thinner, lighter ropes certainly are an advantage for all sport climbers but especially for women. And Miguels at the Red built the nice clean shower building which I'm sure alot of women climbers were very happy about/;-))


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By clausti
May 24, 2012

Woodchuck ATC wrote:
Thinner, lighter ropes certainly are an advantage for all sport climbers but especially for women. And Miguels at the Red built the nice clean shower building which I'm sure alot of women climbers were very happy about/;-))



wow.


The industry would have made thinner, lighter ropes with or without women climbers and our delicate little inability to clip heavy ropes, or something. Because thinner, lighter ropes are, you know, less weight. In a sport where strength-to-weight matters.

Showers at Miggy's are nice, but I, for one, have a vagina AND spent a summer there before the nice shower house was up. And if I had to postulate a group that was aimed at, I'd say "everyone," with maybe a side of "college outdoor groups."

But keep telling yourself that women can't deal with dirt, lemme know how that works out for you.


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By clausti
May 24, 2012

Pearlin Churchill wrote:
I'm doing a paper on how the sports climbing community has adapted to women's needs. My ideas are clothing/equipment, events/workshops, books specifically for women/websites, etc,...


the google can tell you all of that. Women's packpacks, harnesses with higher rise, low-volume shoes, pastel colors all over any harness I'd want to wear even if I don't like that. she-climbs workshops, chicks with picks, lynn's hills book, katie brown's book, ect.

Pearlin Churchill wrote:
I would also like to know why women start climbing in the first place, what are their initial goals and problems they face when they're starting.


I started climbing because it was the very first athletic activity I didn't suck horribly at. And I liked it, I thought it was fun. I was 15, and about as gangly and about as coordinated as a newborn horse. But when you can have three points on, well, it's that much easier not to trip over your own feet.

My initial goals were "the pink route without falling" and "get my parents to let me climb outside." My initial problems were "I'm not very strong." and "my parents are controlling assholes." The first I still have, with different numbers attached to the back of my rants, and the second I grew out of.


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By Alicia Sokolowski
From Brooklyn, NY
May 24, 2012
Hanging out waiting for Die Antwoord to come on stage

I don't really sport climb, basically all trad for me. I started climbing because I enjoyed mountaineering, and didn't want to get stopped from climbing a mountain by a pitch or two of technical climbing. Now, I go more for the technical climbing than the mountaineering, go figure.


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By Elena Sera Jose
From colorado
May 24, 2012
bacon

I started climbing because it was very challenging to me. I enjoy nature and getting dirty and tired while having an adventure involving decision making and taking calculated risks. Its a great stress relief too. Its become a lifestyle cos im able to relocate to climbing areas due to flexible job schedule. I love it!


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By randy88fj62
May 24, 2012
Thunderbolt Peak in the Palisades

Petzl makes a climbing helmet specifically for women that accomodates a ponytail.


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By APBT1976
May 24, 2012
Black Dike 12/25/11

randy88fj62 wrote:
Petzl makes a climbing helmet specifically for women that accomodates a ponytail.


Dude i so need one of those ;)


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By Princess Mia
From Vail
May 24, 2012
Chillin' at City of Rocks

Uhmmmmm
Still waiting for any company to start/continue to make gtex or softshell pants that actually allow a girl to go to the bathroom
Where are the crotch zip pants???? Patagonia used to make them, as did TNF and REI.....

Halfmoon pants don't really work


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By Princess Mia
From Vail
May 24, 2012
Chillin' at City of Rocks

.....and I climb simply because I can, plus it is a pretty girly sport.......
:-)


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By beccs
May 24, 2012

I started climbing because it got me outside to the places that I already loved and doing something that my uncoordinated body could handle. I kept climbing because I found it to be a very accepting environment. People werenít judged on how good they were, they were just psyched that you were psyched. If people made me feel like I sucked (which I did) and that mattered then I would never have continued.

Iíve only been climbing for 12 years so I think I missed out on some of the greater adaptations the sport had for women. I have heard all sorts of bullshit from women over the years, that they have been treated like a piece of meat at the crag, that guys automatically assumed that they sucked even before they set foot on the rock (it would be interesting to get a guyís vantage point on this one). I canít say that Iíve ever dealt with any of that, and I think a lot of other peopleís experiences have to do with how they carry themselves (confidence, out-goingness, not putting up with crap from douches, etc).


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By Dirty Gri Gri, or is it GiGi?
From Vegas
May 24, 2012
Growing a winter coat in Red Rock Canyon- December 2013.

Pearlin Churchill wrote:
I would also like to know why women start climbing in the first place, what are their initial goals and problems they face when they're starting.


I've always liked the outdoors, which helped fuel my love for climbing. I went from being a rock hound, to a bottle digger, to a snake hunter , morphing into an enthusiastic desert explorer, and hiker, to a scrambler in Red Rock, which then got me interested in becoming a climber.

One of the problems that I encountered when "first starting out" (over 10 years ago) is that I didn't personally know any female climbers, or any male climbers either in Vegas. At the time I wasn't into people too much, and was somewhat unfamiliar with climbing gyms, and wouldn't have been interested in them that much anyway, as it's hard for me to have a good time indoors. My full-time female hiking partner/best friend, and I would mainly see male climbers when we were out scrambling in the canyons, but with both of us uninterested in approaching men we didn't know in the desert, and weren't into asking others for help anyway, or being bothered to take a class, we just scrambled on. Also, my friend didn't care to hang around men on her days off at the time (worked as a correctional officer at an all male prison) so to make a long story short, we were slow to come around to actually climbing. We started with a "how to" book, and went out on our own, which was not the safest way to begin.

I did eventually end up biting the bullet, and started hooking up with male climbers whom I would meet when out hiking, which felt strange, because climbing is a very intimate sport, and I already was in a relationship with a man. I didn't come in contact with any local female climbers in Sin City till later on (my friend had decided that climbing wasn't for her).

That was then, and this is now, where climbing has become so incredibly popular with everyone from kids, to housewives, to folks from all walks of life that I don't see many problems that women may encounter in this sport today, except for keeping healthy relationships with a significant other who may not be into your favorite sport, and the fact that to be any good at climbing, you may have to be away from home a lot.

Edit to add: as far as changes in climbing products to accommodate women- IMO changes have been made to make climbing appealing for everyone now, not just for women climbers.


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By Mark Mueller
From Flagstaff, AZ
May 24, 2012
Great quality rock on this one!

randy88fj62 wrote:
Petzl makes a climbing helmet specifically for women that accomodates a ponytail.


I have the Petzl Elios and bought the female version Elia, for my girlfriend last year. It still has the adjusting knob with the added ponytail arch in the back. She loves it.


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By Woodchuck ATC
May 24, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

clausti wrote:
wow. The industry would have made thinner, lighter ropes with or without women climbers and our delicate little inability to clip heavy ropes, or something. Because thinner, lighter ropes are, you know, less weight. In a sport where strength-to-weight matters. Showers at Miggy's are nice, but I, for one, have a vagina AND spent a summer there before the nice shower house was up. And if I had to postulate a group that was aimed at, I'd say "everyone," with maybe a side of "college outdoor groups." But keep telling yourself that women can't deal with dirt, lemme know how that works out for you.



!! The lighter ropes comment is directed at anyone who seemt to think that 'dragging' a 10.2 or 10.5 is so terrible...man or woman. I don't own any, but get the message from those that do use them, about how much less weight that rope is to drag along. I grew up with 11mm, so a 10.5 seems like a thin rope to me.
As for Miguels, geez have a sense of humor...it was a closing comment meant as a joke. Everyone enjoys the showers; makes us all smell better. Nobody is saying women can't take dirt.


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By lynne wolfe
May 24, 2012

Mia Tucholke
44 mins ago


Uhmmmmm
Still waiting for any company to start/continue to make gtex or softshell pants that actually allow a girl to go to the bathroom
Where are the crotch zip pants???? Patagonia used to make them, as did TNF and REI.....

Halfmoon pants don't really work

Hey Mia-

Check both Arc'teryx and Mountain Equipment. Arc'teryx still makes really nice wool long johns with the crotch zip, as does MEC. Then the Arc SV bibs are a bit overkill but have the zippers. I usually have my local seamstress put the zipper in for me- is relatively inexpensive for soft shells, then $$$ for hard shells. But as a winter/ summer climbing/ ski guide, it makes a HUGE difference. I drink more so am on top of it more physically.

And when I started climbing in the 70s, there sure weren't many women climbers. I found, however, that the gender gap disappeared when I took the sharp end. So- why did I start climbing? Best reasoning goes to an old poster for Coral Bowman/ Beth Bennett's Great Herizon climbing school in Boulder CO: Coral is making a delicate move in Eldo and the caption says "Dance in the Vertical World."

I spend a lot of my professional time trying to help women get beyond that inner voice that says "I can't," and showing them all about precise footwork. Have had many mentors over the years, both men and women. I climbed with a number of other women whose skills were about even with mine- that was the best. Couldn't really give up leads cause "oh, you can do this better."

When I first started guiding, though, it was a bit of an issue. Middle-aged guys would look at me and say, "you're the guide?" Mmm that was good for the confidence. Now I am middle-aged myself and crusty, don't get that at all any more. So- ladies, just get out there and try, no shame taking a whipper or turning around. You learn a ton.


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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
May 24, 2012
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord

APBT1976 wrote:
Dude i so need one of those ;)

me too!


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By beccs
May 24, 2012

Woodchuck ATC wrote:
!! The lighter ropes comment is directed at anyone who seemt to think that 'dragging' a 10.2 or 10.5 is so terrible...man or woman. I don't own any, but get the message from those that do use them, about how much less weight that rope is to drag along. I grew up with 11mm, so a 10.5 seems like a thin rope to me. As for Miguels, geez have a sense of humor...it was a closing comment meant as a joke. Everyone enjoys the showers; makes us all smell better. Nobody is saying women can't take dirt.


You said that "thinnner ropes are an advantage for sport climbers, but especially for women".....if you're not saying that thinner ropes are more of an advantage for a woman than a man then what are you saying?

Pair that with your comment about smaller biners being designed for women....well, when you make some comment about showers at a popular climbing area being for the ladies it just seems like another misguided comment.


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By Tyson Anderson
From Las Vegas, NV
May 24, 2012
Rapping from the top of Cat in the hat

I eat luna bars


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By Princess Mia
From Vail
May 24, 2012
Chillin' at City of Rocks

Yes ArcTertx make an excellent pant!!!!! But their smallest is too big for me :-(
I can't wait for them to make their high end bib in a woman's or a smaller size.


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By APBT1976
May 24, 2012
Black Dike 12/25/11

Tyson Anderson wrote:
I eat luna bars


lol,

Response of the day award goes to Tyson. I also eat Luna bars, those lemon ones are the bomb, smores are no bad either..


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By APBT1976
May 24, 2012
Black Dike 12/25/11

Mia Tucholke wrote:
Yes ArcTertx make an excellent pant!!!!! But their smallest is too big for me :-( I can't wait for them to make their high end bib in a woman's or a smaller size.


Mammut, Anniversary line i would imagine. My mens pants have a poop shoot so i would think the female version would also?


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By APBT1976
May 24, 2012
Black Dike 12/25/11

Mia Tucholke wrote:
.....and I climb simply because I can, plus it is a pretty girly sport....... :-)


It is?

I was thinking more like meaty girl sport!!

Maybe that's just the north east? I suppose there are the wicked skinny girl climbers but most of those are pretty gangly, homley/nerdy in the north east...

I guess a step above female cyclists rugby or lacross players. Runners are where all the pretty girls are at imop!! Nothing like a girl with a motor that can run and it shows all over her!!


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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
May 24, 2012
My navigator keeps me from getting lost

Woodchuck, the best course of action may be to recognize that you're standing in a hole and stop digging before it's too late.


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By Woodchuck ATC
May 24, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

beccs wrote:
You said that "thinnner ropes are an advantage for sport climbers, but especially for women".....if you're not saying that thinner ropes are more of an advantage for a woman than a man then what are you saying? Pair that with your comment about smaller biners being designed for women....well, when you make some comment about showers at a popular climbing area being for the ladies it just seems like another misguided comment.



I guess what I meant overall is that manufacturere have taken into account ideas, comments and suggestions for resizing gear for various reasons. Some of those happen to be an advantage for a small hand, smaller lighter person thus can be thought of helpful( not specifically intended for) women. When I get brief in comments, I tend to think past every other intent that might be construed. As for the showers, guess we should take a poll as to who appreciates them the most down at the Red.


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By Woodchuck ATC
May 24, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

Crag Dweller wrote:
Woodchuck, the best course of action may be to recognize that you're standing in a hole and stop digging before it's too late.



All gear is intended for everybody equally, no matter what sex, race, creed, , ethnicity, club, transportation preference you may be. Nothing is designed just for,,,whoever. There, that's the statement they want to hear.....we have no helpful suggestions for Pearlin?
AND I also eat Luna bars.


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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
May 24, 2012
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord

she-pee?


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