/ Climb Like a Girl - Part 1
These questions and others are asked by Mick Ryan in the first of his four part article which takes an indepth look at women's climbing, using the USA as an example but exploring universal themes.
Read part 1 now - http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=107
UKC Articles - http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/
Hurrah - nice one Mick. :o)
Good article mick.
"As Don Whillans is reported to have once said, “Never noticed a female monkey not climbing as well as a male, have you?”
I liked that one too!
Just one point-
Don't necessarily agree that women have shorter legs than men in proportion to their height. I think it's the exact opposite- my 5'4" girlfriend has inside leg length at least 3-4" more than me?
It's refreshing to watch women climb as it appears to me they rely far more on technique and balance than men. Ok that was 2 points.
In Victoria Oz there's a famously hard roof crack line called Passport to Insanity. The FFA was by a woman. 2 of the next 3 FFAs were also by women.
It won't be long before the world's best climber will be a 12 yo bulgarian girl trained in gymnastics.
> Don't necessarily agree that women have shorter legs than men in proportion to their height. ...
> It's refreshing to watch women climb as it appears to me they rely far more on technique and balance than men. Ok that was 2 points.
And its noticeable how many really top class climbers are quite small and wiry rather than lanky... three, three points!
As a female climber I'm glad that these articals are being written I'm only 17 and have climbed for aslong as I can remember and although alot of the stuff I do is indoors it's all I have access to at the moment. Although attitudes are changing I've found that some guys aren't happy and it really puts there noses out of joint when I climb an E3 route on my first attempt :)
I have just moved back to Blighty from 15 years in the colonies (US).
Here is my point. When I left the UK in 1989 the harder routes were often poorly protected, few bolts few pegs. I have found that the fillies dont like to get killed very much as part of their weekend sport. I met some lovely continental ladies who were superb climbers but did not like to lead here because it was so darned dangerous. In those days if you put a bolt or peg anywhere some idiot in tights would come a remove it.
In fact in my kingdom of cornwall this is still true - except for the tights.
So thats why we dont get as many good girl climbers in the UK (or didnt). Its also why the sport has taken a turn towards boldering, buts another rant.
In those days if you put a bolt or peg anywhere some idiot in tights would come a remove it.
Even though I am not a female, do you think I could improve my grades, if I wore tights?
In this second part of Climb Like A Girl, Mick Ryan takes a look at the womens rights movement of the Sixties and its effect on climbing. He introduces Bev Johnson one of Lynn Hill’s role models, takes a look at the modern climbing feminist Tori Allen and discusses grade-ism and how some male climbers feel threatened by women climbers.
Read part 2 now - http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=110
Call me a New Man if you will, but I think all this stuff about men being threatened by women climbers is just female fantasy stuff. No man I've ever known or even watched is the slightest bit threatened by women, 10 year old children, persioners or anyone else climbing harder than them. It's not like most of us haven't had ample opportunity to get used to the idea that some people are better at climbing than we are. The more women who climb as hard as possible the better, is the view of the entire male climbing population, in my experience. It's not hard to see why they might take that view, after all.
I realise this is dull, would not make much of an article, and would disappoint women who like to imagine that they are doing something they're not, but I'm afraid it's the truth.
Anyone on here ever felt threatened by women climbers?
No. You see? I'm right.
Did Mick Ryan honestly write this????
I disagree John.
I saw a lot of the attitude talked about in this article when Louise Shepherd was setting high standards for on-sight climbing back in the 80s in Australia. The local climbing mags never gave her the credit she deserved and there always seemed to be suggestions that routes were 'easy at the grade' or they should be down-graded.
A little example I heard about in this country was at the Cromlech when Louise flashed Lord of the Flies in 1985 and the locals got Graeme Livingston to second it in trainers. Sounds like a rather cheap attempt to demean Lou's achievement to me anyway (although I'm sure the people there will insist it was all done in good humour and Lou certainly didn't make any issue out of it, she always let her climbing speak for itself.)
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