I don't know this lady (the second entry down), but I tip my hat to her. Not that I've ever been eight months pregnant myself, but judging from the state of my assistant at the moment I don't think seconding Deep Zawn adventure routes would have been my approach if I were.
Or am I just an overprotective male and everyone does this?
I climbed with my wife when she was 7 months pregnant, on the main cliff at Gogarth. Kept the rope pretty snug and she wore a full body harness for comfort on stances. Maybe not everyone's approach, but I couldn't see why not.
Perhaps a better route than a traditional thrutchy chimney in the circumstances.....
I know neither the climber concerned nor your assistant, but I would comment that if you're fit and active before pregnancy (as might be expected for a half reasonable climber in a first pregnancy), you can often remain far more active than is considered "normal" by most of the population.
I didn't climb past about 7 months (and wouldn't have managed E2/3 before pregnancy), but that was mainly because cold and damp autumn weather arrived.
Yes, Mrs JCM was dancing the night away two days before giving birth (an activity she specialised in; I don't think she'd have been so keen on climbing).
Actually, stalking the climber in question a little further, I see she did climb Delstree a week or two before, which if it's the one I'm thinking of does indeed involve some moderately grim thrutching. Reasonably tough pre-intro to grit for the nipper.
Didn’t Liz McColgan run the London Marathon when some alarming number of months pregnant, or have I made that up?
My internet connection is failing to load most pages fully, but a quick google suggests she ran some marathon at 7 months pregnant, so I doubt you're making it up entirely.
Assuming there's an element of "what might happen to the baby" in your protectiveness, personally I found that didn't really kick in whilst pregnant. I was far more wary of climbing (particularly trad lead climbing) when the kids were babies, and very dependent on me, than I was whilst pregnant.
>Assuming there's an element of "what might happen to the baby" in your protectiveness
No, not really, more an element of 'bloody hell, how on earth can you climb E2 with all that sloshing around in front of you'?
With a bit of 'God, imagine the waters breaking on a bridging move on pitch one while I'm three pitches down in Deep Zawn' thrown in. It'd be a damned tiresome helicopter rescue. but mainly it's the sheer physical effort that impresses me. Though of course some people get bulkier than others.
I've climbed an E3 in a party of three including someone who was at least 6 months pregnant, and Louise Thomas put up a Pembroke E6 when 6 months pregnant. How many months gone was Alison Hargreaves when she climbed the Eiger north face? Still, 8 months is pretty far gone.
I don't remember the bump getting in the way all that much at all. Admittedly I was climbing around VS, rather than E2, but that was more or less my pre-pregnancy limit.
Physical effort wise, the climbing itself didn't seem too bad either, but a round trip to mountain crags was noticeably tiring by 4 or 5 months pregnant.
Which reminds me of the one time a bump was a problem - trying to untie myself from belay at the back of the sentry box on Engineers Slabs. My husband had tied me in to a krab on the (?)peg at the back of it, and arms weren't long enough to get it without squeezing in to some extent.....
I did my normal cycle commute to work up to 6 or 7 months in both my pregnancies. The main reason I stopped each time was that my bike was a gents tourer drop handlebar bike rather than a more staid sit-up-and-beg, and my knees were starting to thwack into the bump!
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: I asked my climbing partner whether she had ever done the route I am currently projecting (hard 7c+), she said she'd only ever top roped it cleanly. Sensing an opening to take the mickey I was about to say some thing when she added "I was seven months pregnant at the time and just never got back to it!" I also know of someone who was easily top roping 50 for 5 at Kilnsey (hard 7b+, I think all routes are hard for the grade) when over 8 months pregnant
Sheesh! And, possibly more impressively, climbed 8a 6 weeks after giving birth. Chapeau again.
Mind you, I still think top-roping sports routes, even quite hard ones, is one thing and Shibboleth/Quatermass another. Clearly I am overestimating the physical side, but there’s still the what-if issue.
But anyway, clearly the weaker sex are not so much weaker as I think, not that that’s any big surprise in general.
> Sheesh! And, possibly more impressively, climbed 8a 6 weeks after giving birth.
"I mean, look at the fuss women make about child birth. Now, I'm not saying it doesn't smart a bit, but if blokes did it, I reckon you'd be looking at, what, give birth, have a couple of Paracetamol, maybe a bit of a nap and then back to work within the hour."
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: My wife climbed the Squamish Chief at 7 months, 10 pitches up to E2, the baby came at 8 months, otherwise we would have continued (no, there is no link).
There are common sense unwritten rules, wear a chest harness (because the sit harness had to be looser than you'd normally want), avoid traverses, no arduous approaches, no leading, low commitment, routes you already know.
Other than that, its the perfect pregnancy activity, low impact, less exhausting than walking up a gentle incline for her.
> "I mean, look at the fuss women make about child birth. Now, I'm not saying it doesn't smart a bit, but if blokes did it, I reckon you'd be looking at, what, give birth, have a couple of Paracetamol, maybe a bit of a nap and then back to work within the hour."
> Gary Strang
Many doctors lay an egg when you ask them if rock climbing is ok to do when pregnant, these people are generally not climbers though (many other doctors think its fine once they know what is involved). They are usually quick to recommend riding a bike as a low impact activity, which gave my wife much more cause for concern.