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delila99


Oct 20, 2007, 10:50 PM
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Tips/advice for a tall giantess :-)
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Hey to everyone... I'll keep this one short..

I'm a 6'2 giantess Tongue, and as I've progressed and gotten to my current limit of leading 5.11a [sport], I've been having an increasingly difficult time preserving my balance, especially on overhanging routes.. my partner gives me unsolicited beta, which i can't apply anyways because i'm a foot taller than him..

Seriously, any and all advice on optimizing one's height and overcoming its limitations would be greatly appreciated.. Giants unite! Wink


8flood8


Oct 21, 2007, 6:08 AM
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skip the crappy holds and use your height to get to the easy ones.


rhythm164


Oct 21, 2007, 7:11 AM
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I'm 6'2" as well, and wouldn't shave off an inch. Use it to your advantage, reach past the bumf if there's a better hold above. You're actually the first person I've heard call height a disadvantage, could it be possible that your limiting factor is training and technique, not stature? If you want to improve your balance, hit the deck and start crunching. I've found a strong core to be more or less the key component to keeping better balance on harder routes. Jump and a hangboard, find some finger training exercises and work contanct strength. I'd say you have an up on everyone at the crag being that tall, you just have to learn how to manipulate it, and that just comes with experiance. Good luck!

cheers,
A


8flood8


Oct 21, 2007, 7:59 AM
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oh yah...

if your feet are cutting on overhangs, learn about drop knees and as the above poster said, core tension.

if you press really hard with your toes your feet won't cut as much.

another tip is to emphasize a squeezing with your thighs, this lets you know you are generating from your roots.

also you could work on internal / external rotations (keep your reaching hip closer to the wall). this will help you take advantage of your long reach.


reno


Oct 21, 2007, 8:21 AM
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rhythm164 wrote:
I'm 6'2" as well, and wouldn't shave off an inch. Use it to your advantage, reach past the bumf if there's a better hold above. You're actually the first person I've heard call height a disadvantage, could it be possible that your limiting factor is training and technique, not stature?


Pfffft. Short people. Tongue

6'5" here, and I find that height/reach can be both a blessing AND a curse. Sure, it's nice to be able to reach things that other folks have to make a move or two make, but that longer body frame also changes the physics a bit. I'm sure that the physics gurus among us can expand on how this works.... probably something to do with lever arms or left arms...fulcrums or breadcrumbs... vectors, Victors, Vicars.... whatever.

Point being that I find myself all out of sorts on some routes because I've skipped a hold or a foot placement, and now the sequence is all f'd up.

My suggestion is actually the opposite of everyone else's so far: Don't reach too far, and keep your arms/hands and feet in tight. Small movements, never stretching for a hold. This will keep your strength in towards the core, make you focus on footwork, and give you a better appreciation for how the short vertically challenged among us have to climb.

Wink


bent_gate


Oct 21, 2007, 11:46 AM
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The Tall Persons Anthology

Well I'm 6'3" and I think all 6'+ people should get to have there own category for everything!Laugh

Most sports have an advantageous body type. In basketball it's an advantage to be tall. But don't tell that to Spud Webb. He's 5'6" and didn't get the memo on that, and he kicked butt in the NBA. So as with all generalizations, it's good to understand their effect, but foolish for them to become an excuse, for it to define you or limit you.

With height comes additional reach, but usually at the expense of increased weight. So height can be more of an advantage on slabby climbs where you can reach farther than someone who is shorter. That is because all of that additional weight that you have over the short person can be kept over your feet. But as the wall gets steeper, and goes to overhanging, most of that additional weight becomes a disadvantage over a smaller/lighter person as the weight applied much more by the arms.

I find that many slabby climbs feel about one grade easier to me than others. So certain types of climbs can favor one body type over another, but I don't think it really handicaps anyone more than one grade, in general.

Beyond slabs, strength to weight ratio is the biggest physical factor. It's much easier to climb an overhang if you are 110 pounds vs. 190 pounds. Your arms need to be that much stronger without other types of compensation. Short people (and even tall people) can often be heard saying, "Oh, I wish I could reach one more inch to that hold".

But if given the offer, "I will give you one more inch, but you have to carry a 5 pound weight to carry on the rest of the climb," you usually realize that it's not worth the tradeoff. Wouldn't you like to see that 5'0" climber try to carry an 80 pound backpack up an overhang? Yes, their grade level would drop.

If you remember the DaVinci drawing of Man



Within the box, his wingspan equals his height (thus it's a square). This is the average proportion for adults. Some are lucky to have a wing span that is 1 or 2 inches longer than their height. They are jokingly referred to as having a +1 or +2 Ape Index.

The reality is that long arms and short legs (like a chimp) is an advantageous morphology to have for most aspects of climbing. But by the time you get to the size of a Gorilla, even with long arms, that extra weight is too much of a hindrance for climbing.

As and aside, the tennis player Pete Sampras looks like he has the longest arms. He looks like he could touch his kneecaps while standing up straight. He would probably do well in climbing.Tongue

So short person beta will rarely work for a tall person. Tall persons will often have trouble with a bouldering gym "sit start", as they will often find their knees in there teeth when they are on the starting hand and footholds. Fortunately, you don't run into this outside where one should be climbing anyway.

But pulling roofs always pose the most dramatic differences for people of different heights. Especially when "set" in the gym, a tall person will often find that the first handhold over a roof is too close to the lip of the roof, and that they can't get their foot onto the lip of the roof without having their knees in their teeth at the same time. And if it's bunched up for a short person, then it can often be physically impossible for you to do the same. The solution is to simply reach for a higher handhold before pulling the feet around to the lip of the roof. The other option is to use a foothold (if it exists) that is just under the lip.

If a short guy set the route, the first handhold over the roof will be too low for you, and the next highest handhold will be well out of reach because they anticipated the next move as the climber standing high after the lip. A good setter would also provide a foothold just under the lip for the tall guy, but it rarely happens.

Fortunately, outside, mother nature doesn't discriminate the same way, so there is almost always alternatives to use. But occasionally they’re roofs or moves that leave no other options for different body types. But it's so much less common.

I've also found that outdoor routes that short people tend to like, don't bode as well for me. And vice-versa. When certain moves just seem to line up for your body type, you will tend to like the route. Beware short people routes! When frustrated I have said that routes should be given a tall and short person rating.

Of course it is a joke, because even grades alone should not be a limit on what you believe you can do. They can protect you when you need to know a difficulty range where a fall could be dangerous, but on sport routes, it just gives you unnecessary pre-conceptions.

But the bottom line is that all these things can be compensated with technique and strength training and proper head space. Will it limit you if you climb Trad? Probably not at all. Will it limit you if you climb sport? There is a chance you may never be able to climb 5.14. (I wonder what the tallest/heaviest person to climb 5.14 is?) So you may have to live with 5.13s. Though I’m not sure I would limit myself to that either. Cool


delila99


Oct 21, 2007, 11:50 AM
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In reply to:
Don't reach too far, and keep your arms/hands and feet in tight. Small movements, never stretching for a hold.

This one makes sense.. The biggest improvement I'd made was taking small steps and not giant ones, just because i could... having said that, i know that strenght is also probably my biggest shortcoming - I'm the long and thin body type, much like an uncoordinated spaghetti Wink

I dunno, perhaps also perfecting the aformentioned techniques (drop knee, etc.) will greatly help as well..

Thanks for the words of wisdom guys.. much appreciated..


mturner


Oct 21, 2007, 1:14 PM
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bent_gate wrote:
Tall persons will often have trouble with a bouldering gym "sit start", as they will often find their knees in there teeth when they are on the starting hand and footholds. Fortunately, you don't run into this outside where one should be climbing anyway.

So not true. If I only had a dollar everytime I've been stumped on a low start outside I'd have plenty for a few nights at the stripclub.

I'm 6'1" with a +3 ape and my partner is 5'6". We both try to challenge each other based on our own strengths, but it seems like every route/problem that I've ever done that he hasn't was just "because you're (meaning me) tall." Man, that irks me.


clausti


Oct 21, 2007, 3:13 PM
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mturner wrote:
bent_gate wrote:
Tall persons will often have trouble with a bouldering gym "sit start", as they will often find their knees in there teeth when they are on the starting hand and footholds. Fortunately, you don't run into this outside where one should be climbing anyway.

So not true. If I only had a dollar everytime I've been stumped on a low start outside I'd have plenty for a few nights at the stripclub.

I'm 6'1" with a +3 ape and my partner is 5'6". We both try to challenge each other based on our own strengths, but it seems like every route/problem that I've ever done that he hasn't was just "because you're (meaning me) tall." Man, that irks me.

there are a lot more things that are prohibitive for short climbers than for long climbers.

just remember, reno, as far as sequence being "f'ed up".... the sequence is all in your head. the "normal" sequence didnt exist till you saw your partner do it. learn to climb like a shorty- erase preconceptions and find what works for you.

as far as the giantess thing goes- while you presumably have the height for "guy beta," you dont mention if you have the upper body morphology to pull it off. short climbers often rely on delicacy over power when there is an option, but you may not be able to rely on delicacy if you're knees are in your teeth, as it were. pushups, pullups, and hangboard stuff is gonna be your friend. build up your shoulders to go with your hieght, and then the longer lever arm problem will stop being as much of one.


JohnCook


Oct 21, 2007, 3:20 PM
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How does a 6ft, 4.5 ape index overcome the long arm lever problem, other than climbing with my elbows tucked in which is really awkward.


reno


Oct 21, 2007, 3:23 PM
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clausti wrote:
just remember, reno, as far as sequence being "f'ed up".... the sequence is all in your head.

Actually, it's all on the rock. Ain't much in my head beyond some empty air space and a few ear hairs.

In reply to:
learn to climb like a shorty- erase preconceptions and find what works for you.

Yes, ma'am.

Wink


clausti


Oct 21, 2007, 3:34 PM
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JohnCook wrote:
How does a 6ft, 4.5 ape index overcome the long arm lever problem, other than climbing with my elbows tucked in which is really awkward.


climb hand cracks?

(no idea i'm 5'2. your name is "john" so i'm assuming you dont have the lack of testosterone in the shoulders problem the aforementioned giantess does.)


JohnCook


Oct 21, 2007, 3:39 PM
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Good guess. Favourite type of route is hand jam cracks, until last sept, on UK grit and limestone. The steeper the better up to 5.9/10. No lack of testosterone, althought on steep face climbing often lack balls. Have the big shoulders, and after 12 months not climbing, have the big gut to match. Don't worry am now back on the climbing wagon and working on fitness, then technique for face climbing to match the local indoor walls. Not much else near where I live.


mturner


Oct 21, 2007, 4:45 PM
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clausti wrote:
there are a lot more things that are prohibitive for short climbers than for long climbers.

Spoken like a true short climber.

I think I'd be ok with this if it wasn't for the fact that I think you guys are making excuses for yourself at the expense of devaluing our sends.


clausti


Oct 21, 2007, 7:46 PM
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mturner wrote:
clausti wrote:
there are a lot more things that are prohibitive for short climbers than for long climbers.

Spoken like a true short climber.

I think I'd be ok with this if it wasn't for the fact that I think you guys are making excuses for yourself at the expense of devaluing our sends.

pssht, no. only making excuses for why i will never try certain routes again. (ever.)


mturner


Oct 22, 2007, 8:47 AM
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clausti wrote:
mturner wrote:
clausti wrote:
there are a lot more things that are prohibitive for short climbers than for long climbers.

Spoken like a true short climber.

I think I'd be ok with this if it wasn't for the fact that I think you guys are making excuses for yourself at the expense of devaluing our sends.

pssht, no. only making excuses for why i will never try certain routes again. (ever.)

that's the spirit! Unimpressed


clausti


Oct 22, 2007, 9:56 AM
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mturner wrote:
clausti wrote:
mturner wrote:
clausti wrote:
there are a lot more things that are prohibitive for short climbers than for long climbers.

Spoken like a true short climber.

I think I'd be ok with this if it wasn't for the fact that I think you guys are making excuses for yourself at the expense of devaluing our sends.

pssht, no. only making excuses for why i will never try certain routes again. (ever.)

that's the spirit! Unimpressed

if normal routes turned into R routes because you couldnt clip the bolt till *after* you'd done the crux, you wouldnt do them more than once either.


mturner


Oct 22, 2007, 10:03 AM
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clausti wrote:
mturner wrote:
clausti wrote:
mturner wrote:
clausti wrote:
there are a lot more things that are prohibitive for short climbers than for long climbers.

Spoken like a true short climber.

I think I'd be ok with this if it wasn't for the fact that I think you guys are making excuses for yourself at the expense of devaluing our sends.

pssht, no. only making excuses for why i will never try certain routes again. (ever.)

that's the spirit! Unimpressed

if normal routes turned into R routes because you couldnt clip the bolt till *after* you'd done the crux, you wouldnt do them more than once either.

hmm if it's a safety issue that's one thing, I'll give you that one. But at least for the short people I've climbed with, that's not a factor.


clausti


Oct 22, 2007, 11:24 AM
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mturner wrote:
clausti wrote:
mturner wrote:
clausti wrote:
mturner wrote:
clausti wrote:
there are a lot more things that are prohibitive for short climbers than for long climbers.

Spoken like a true short climber.

I think I'd be ok with this if it wasn't for the fact that I think you guys are making excuses for yourself at the expense of devaluing our sends.

pssht, no. only making excuses for why i will never try certain routes again. (ever.)

that's the spirit! Unimpressed

if normal routes turned into R routes because you couldnt clip the bolt till *after* you'd done the crux, you wouldnt do them more than once either.

hmm if it's a safety issue that's one thing, I'll give you that one. But at least for the short people I've climbed with, that's not a factor.

do you sport climb? cause, honestly, clipping a bolt mid-crux is more often a shortie problem for me than the actual moves. flexibility will make up for much to all of height deficiency, but theres not a whole lot you can do about bolt placement on an onsight.


mturner


Oct 22, 2007, 11:35 AM
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clausti wrote:
mturner wrote:
clausti wrote:
mturner wrote:
clausti wrote:
mturner wrote:
clausti wrote:
there are a lot more things that are prohibitive for short climbers than for long climbers.

Spoken like a true short climber.

I think I'd be ok with this if it wasn't for the fact that I think you guys are making excuses for yourself at the expense of devaluing our sends.

pssht, no. only making excuses for why i will never try certain routes again. (ever.)

that's the spirit! Unimpressed

if normal routes turned into R routes because you couldnt clip the bolt till *after* you'd done the crux, you wouldnt do them more than once either.

hmm if it's a safety issue that's one thing, I'll give you that one. But at least for the short people I've climbed with, that's not a factor.

do you sport climb? cause, honestly, clipping a bolt mid-crux is more often a shortie problem for me than the actual moves. flexibility will make up for much to all of height deficiency, but theres not a whole lot you can do about bolt placement on an onsight.

nope don't sport climb too often so I see your point.


blueeyedclimber


Oct 22, 2007, 11:40 AM
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clausti wrote:
mturner wrote:
clausti wrote:
mturner wrote:
clausti wrote:
mturner wrote:
clausti wrote:
there are a lot more things that are prohibitive for short climbers than for long climbers.

Spoken like a true short climber.

I think I'd be ok with this if it wasn't for the fact that I think you guys are making excuses for yourself at the expense of devaluing our sends.

pssht, no. only making excuses for why i will never try certain routes again. (ever.)

that's the spirit! Unimpressed

if normal routes turned into R routes because you couldnt clip the bolt till *after* you'd done the crux, you wouldnt do them more than once either.

hmm if it's a safety issue that's one thing, I'll give you that one. But at least for the short people I've climbed with, that's not a factor.

do you sport climb? cause, honestly, clipping a bolt mid-crux is more often a shortie problem for me than the actual moves. flexibility will make up for much to all of height deficiency, but theres not a whole lot you can do about bolt placement on an onsight.

There's your problem..stop sport climbin'Wink


mtnjohn


Oct 22, 2007, 11:58 AM
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I was told a long time ago by an insane climber that there are only two reason you cannot suceed on a climb:
1) You aren't good enough.
2) you aren't strong enough.
That's it. Period.
Get better or get stronger. That's it.
If I improve my technique I climb better.
If I get stronger I climber better. No other excuses.


maldaly


Oct 22, 2007, 12:15 PM
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Lot's of good comments. If your partner keeps spraying unsolicited beta, dump him.
Mal


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bent_gate wrote:
The Tall Persons Anthology

Well I'm 6'3" and I think all 6'+ people should get to have there own category for everything!Laugh

Most sports have an advantageous body type. In basketball it's an advantage to be tall. But don't tell that to Spud Webb. He's 5'6" and didn't get the memo on that, and he kicked butt in the NBA. So as with all generalizations, it's good to understand their effect, but foolish for them to become an excuse, for it to define you or limit you.

With height comes additional reach, but usually at the expense of increased weight. So height can be more of an advantage on slabby climbs where you can reach farther than someone who is shorter. That is because all of that additional weight that you have over the short person can be kept over your feet. But as the wall gets steeper, and goes to overhanging, most of that additional weight becomes a disadvantage over a smaller/lighter person as the weight applied much more by the arms.

I find that many slabby climbs feel about one grade easier to me than others. So certain types of climbs can favor one body type over another, but I don't think it really handicaps anyone more than one grade, in general.

Beyond slabs, strength to weight ratio is the biggest physical factor. It's much easier to climb an overhang if you are 110 pounds vs. 190 pounds. Your arms need to be that much stronger without other types of compensation. Short people (and even tall people) can often be heard saying, "Oh, I wish I could reach one more inch to that hold".

But if given the offer, "I will give you one more inch, but you have to carry a 5 pound weight to carry on the rest of the climb," you usually realize that it's not worth the tradeoff. Wouldn't you like to see that 5'0" climber try to carry an 80 pound backpack up an overhang? Yes, their grade level would drop.

If you remember the DaVinci drawing of Man



Within the box, his wingspan equals his height (thus it's a square). This is the average proportion for adults. Some are lucky to have a wing span that is 1 or 2 inches longer than their height. They are jokingly referred to as having a +1 or +2 Ape Index.

The reality is that long arms and short legs (like a chimp) is an advantageous morphology to have for most aspects of climbing. But by the time you get to the size of a Gorilla, even with long arms, that extra weight is too much of a hindrance for climbing.

As and aside, the tennis player Pete Sampras looks like he has the longest arms. He looks like he could touch his kneecaps while standing up straight. He would probably do well in climbing.Tongue

So short person beta will rarely work for a tall person. Tall persons will often have trouble with a bouldering gym "sit start", as they will often find their knees in there teeth when they are on the starting hand and footholds. Fortunately, you don't run into this outside where one should be climbing anyway.

But pulling roofs always pose the most dramatic differences for people of different heights. Especially when "set" in the gym, a tall person will often find that the first handhold over a roof is too close to the lip of the roof, and that they can't get their foot onto the lip of the roof without having their knees in their teeth at the same time. And if it's bunched up for a short person, then it can often be physically impossible for you to do the same. The solution is to simply reach for a higher handhold before pulling the feet around to the lip of the roof. The other option is to use a foothold (if it exists) that is just under the lip.

If a short guy set the route, the first handhold over the roof will be too low for you, and the next highest handhold will be well out of reach because they anticipated the next move as the climber standing high after the lip. A good setter would also provide a foothold just under the lip for the tall guy, but it rarely happens.

Fortunately, outside, mother nature doesn't discriminate the same way, so there is almost always alternatives to use. But occasionally they’re roofs or moves that leave no other options for different body types. But it's so much less common.

I've also found that outdoor routes that short people tend to like, don't bode as well for me. And vice-versa. When certain moves just seem to line up for your body type, you will tend to like the route. Beware short people routes! When frustrated I have said that routes should be given a tall and short person rating.

Of course it is a joke, because even grades alone should not be a limit on what you believe you can do. They can protect you when you need to know a difficulty range where a fall could be dangerous, but on sport routes, it just gives you unnecessary pre-conceptions.

But the bottom line is that all these things can be compensated with technique and strength training and proper head space. Will it limit you if you climb Trad? Probably not at all. Will it limit you if you climb sport? There is a chance you may never be able to climb 5.14. (I wonder what the tallest/heaviest person to climb 5.14 is?) So you may have to live with 5.13s. Though I’m not sure I would limit myself to that either. Cool
Awesome job.


rockprodigy


Oct 22, 2007, 1:53 PM
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Posts: 1540

Re: [delila99] Tips/advice for a tall giantess :-) [In reply to]
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Height is only an advantage if you know how to use your FEET. Most people don't understand this, they just bitch about things they can't change - seems like a waste of energy to me. Better to spend that energy improving your footwork.

The world's top climbers come in all shapes and sizes (rarely obese, unless you're a british slab climber), so no excuses for anyone.

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