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mountainmatt

Weight, height, and climbing levels

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Just interested to know what the relation is between someone weight and their top climbing level. I know that thin wirey people with huge ape indexes can climb hard, but what other body types?

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Chris Sharma is tiny (not sure about his weight) and his climbs speak for themself. I've known very beefy guys who climb hard trad 11+ and hard mixed m10+. It's easy to get hung up on body size as a limiting factor in climbing ability, but its just not the case. People of all sizes can climb hard.... koombyeya my lord, koombyeya...

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Yah, I've never bought into the body size thing to much. Sure, there are a handfull of routes that may be anatomy specific, like thin crack, but usually body size is used as an excuse for why you fail on something when it really is lack of skill or determination.

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Personally I'm 5'2" and have trimmed down to about 270 and now I climb 5.14 (previously I could only pull 13+).

 

Here is a picture of my son and I on our fishing trip on the coast, that was back when I weighed 340, since then like I said I've really trimmed down and sometimes I even boulder now considering I finally weigh less than many of the boulders.

fat_people.JPG

 

I'd say height is the biggest disadvantage and not weight. I've been on a number of 5.14's with long reaches which definately made them around 5.15b/c, but you don't hear me tossin grades around or complaining b/c of my fat ass (Its genetics anyway, I don't have a choice). Nobodies making you shove whoppers into your mouth. Just become anorexic, nobodies stopping you.

 

My advice: Just crank harder you sport climbing fatty gym wanker. rockband.gifrockband.gifrockband.gifrockband.gifrockband.gifrockband.gif

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Sharma is 6 ft. tall and looks about 165 now, so I don't think thats a very good comparison, but I think motivation and desire to climb hard far outweigh body type.

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Lynn Hill is 5'1"

Beth Rodden is 5'1"

Katie Brown is 5'2"

 

All are about a 100 pounds though too. Just shows you can be short and climb hard or be like Dave Graham or Chris Sharma and be tall and climb hard. I think the key is just being skinny and maybe having super human grip strength helps too.

 

Step Away From the Whopper!

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Granted you are not going to be sending hard face climbs if you a very, or even a bit, overweight. The key is you need to have an athletic build. That doesn't neccessarily mean you need to be emaciated, because I've seen it done by people who definately are not. Being tall, and skinny, with the grip strength of mutated baboon on pcp does help but are not the limiting factors.

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Well, it seems that short has its advantages--you are more compact and can keep your cg under control easier--and tall has the advantage of greater reach, so they probably balance each other out. My spousal unit is very short and some moves that work for her don't work well for me (although I'm not very tall either) and vice versa. And tiny fingers are great for wee little holds and cracks that sausages can't use. As for weight, I've never seen a fat* climber any more than I've seen a fat centenarian. rolleyes.gif

 

*edit: Oops, I can feel the flames coming. So if you are about to get offended, I don't mean a little plump...I mean shocked.gif !!

Edited by Maestro

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It seems in general that comparing height, not weight has more bearing on the climbing grades you can do. Obviously there are climbs suited to every body type but in general it seems many climbs, face climbs especially are height dependent. Adding weight is purely physical stamina and power. If two people, the same height were compared, one fat one skinny the skinny guy wouldn't have to hold up as much weight but it doesn't mean the fat guy couldn't build up more strength to compensate and match it. Obviously there will be a limit to this where bone and ligament will only get so strong at which point reducing weight is the only answer. As for height, somebody once told me that ratings were generally based on a person who was 5'10". I could actually see some truth in this. I can think of a few climbs that are rated say 11b, but the crux reach for me is definately not 11a and more like most 11+ or maybe 12- routes I've done. So I guess its the same difference. I have to be stronger to lock off lower to compensate for my height. I've always figured that for me to climb 5.11 I'd have to pull 5.12 moves to make up for my height b/c so many 11's are 11's b/c certain sequences become reachy. I definately know alot of climbs where I led them and thought that if my wife couldn't hit that reachy hold I could just barely grab its going to be a hell of alot harder than 5.10 for her.

 

On another note I like the guide books that sometimes include short people ratings smile.gif or say whether or not the crux is reach related. My climbing partner is really tall and I've definately watched him cruise some 11's that were probably 10's for him and 12's for me. He could reach through from one 5.11 hold to another whereas I had to climb off holds you'd only find on 5.12's or do another sequence to link it.

 

Personally I think tall and skinny is probably the best climbing body, then again if we talk crack climbing it all goes out the window that is until you hit 12's where cruxes become possibly spread out face holds again.

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. I've always figured that for me to climb 5.11 I'd have to pull 5.12 moves to make up for my height b/c so many 11's are 11's b/c certain sequences become reachy....He could reach through from one 5.11 hold to another whereas I had to climb off holds you'd only find on 5.12's or do another sequence to link it.

 

Personally I think tall and skinny is probably the best climbing body, then again if we talk crack climbing it all goes out the window that is until you hit 12's where cruxes become possibly spread out face holds again.

 

you're rerating routes cuz your short? Now that's some funny shit! yellaf.gifyellaf.gif

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I think that there are routes that have a different rating if you are short versus tall. In general being tall helps a lot, however there are cases where being tall makes the move too hard. When Lynne Hill sent To bolt or not to be, she had to discover all kinds of intermediate "edges" to alow her to get up the route. Do you think it was really a 14a for her?

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ummm...yeah, i really think it was 14a for her...also, seeing as beth rodden pretty much hiked it compared to her own 14b and is the same size, yeah i think it'd be 14a and seeing as scott is about 5-4 (rather short for a guy don't you think?) and sent it, i'd still say its 14a...

 

I'm short, so i know what i'm talking about...

Edited by RuMR

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Chris Sharma is tiny

 

What are you high? Sharma is about 6 feet and built like crazy. Tiny is Lynn hill. 5.1 100 pounds.

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Just wait... I'll come out with a book called "Washington climbing Guide for short people" or... people who need an ego boost. It will basically contain routes which will be all upgraded one full number grade for that "short people" rating since obviously all climbs need to be re-rated for short people. It can also be used by those who have poor self esteem, the chest beaters here on CC.com and most sportos.

 

And I'll even dumb the text down so you can understand it yourself. Maybe even include extra items in brackets like [sarcasm], [ironic], etc so you'll know when you read it. Baaaam! hahaha

 

Think about it though. Not every climb fits my generalized statement. I'm not rerating climbs merely stating that for a grade I am very familiar with I find a handful of lower rated climbs which don't fit. Its no different than comparing a super thin crack to handsize and rating. Tommy Caldwell after freeing the great roof figured it was harder than Lynn Hills initial rating, why b/c maybe it seemed like the 13d or whatever she gave it since her fingers were so tiny.

 

Either way some climbs will always be more difficult which could be because your fat, short, tall or spend too much time trolling on CC.com.

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I think it was made pretty clear by Maestro that fat people dont climb wink.gif ooooohhhhhhh

Well, I said that because the few tubbies I've seen trying to climb huffed and puffed and didn't get far off the deck...but over on RC.com, it looks like they are in abundance: heavy climbers thread

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Just wait... I'll come out with a book called "Washington climbing Guide for short people" or... people who need an ego boost. It will basically contain routes which will be all upgraded one full number grade for that "short people" rating since obviously all climbs need to be re-rated for short people. It can also be used by those who have poor self esteem, the chest beaters here on CC.com and most sportos.

 

And I'll even dumb the text down so you can understand it yourself. Maybe even include extra items in brackets like [sarcasm], [ironic], etc so you'll know when you read it. Baaaam! hahaha

 

Think about it though. Not every climb fits my generalized statement. I'm not rerating climbs merely stating that for a grade I am very familiar with I find a handful of lower rated climbs which don't fit. Its no different than comparing a super thin crack to handsize and rating. Tommy Caldwell after freeing the great roof figured it was harder than Lynn Hills initial rating, why b/c maybe it seemed like the 13d or whatever she gave it since her fingers were so tiny.

 

Either way some climbs will always be more difficult which could be because your fat, short, tall or spend too much time trolling on CC.com.

just out of curiosity, how tall are you?

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Hahaha. Thats hilarious. Maybe they should aid climb instead. Seems an overwhelming number of aid climbers are a bit pudgy [Troll]*.

 

*Item in bracket so Rumr can understand the context of the message.

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5'6" with a neg. ape index. So compared to alot of hard climbers I'm a giant even with a poor reach. But then again I'm also 270 lbs. which limits me to mostly easy 5.14's.

Edited by tradclimbguy

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obviously you were serious since you rambled on for a couple of paragraghs about how difficult climbing was for you compared to your "tall buddy"...

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5'6" with a neg. ape index. So compared to alot of hard climbers I'm a giant even with a poor reach. But then again I'm also 270 lbs. which limits me to mostly easy 5.14's.

well...i'm about 5'-5" with a spare tire and a dead even ape index...

 

sure, there are the anomalies as far as this route is harder cuz your short, but in general, there is almost always a way around a reach...

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ahhh. I probably should have included some pictures or emoticons too, huh. Would that help.

 

and yes I was being serious, problem with that? I should have probably stated something way more generic like to climb all climbs at any specific rating you have to climb well enough to overcome certain differences with the climbs whether it be hold size, angle, distance between holds, etc. I guess I just figured some generalizations like 5.12 moves or holds etc was clear enough to apply in a context for rating sections of other climbs.

 

Ever done Beetle Bailey? First pitch is 5.10 something but if you can't reach the ledge just past the first bolt it definately isn't rated the same and possibly even a show stopper.

 

Then again since I rambled on so much whatever I wrote probably isn't clear so I'll work on a dumbed down version for you, but I might not have it finished until tomorrow.

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