Being the only female and the shortest in the group, I find my climbing technique has to often differ from the men. I have neither the strength or the height advantages which the the others benefit from nor am I as flexible as Chris who being the smallest of the men can stretch his legs that far it even makes me twinge.
I do believe however that I have my own little advantages, being smaller and lighter means I don’t actually need the strength the guys have and I have noticed that being smaller sometimes actually pays off as I can take a different route that won’t mean me lunging for the next hold or I can move myself into a smaller space.
Something else which I also think is to my learning advantage is that they often get to watch how each other climb, they can watch how each other move and mimic it on their attempt. I can’t always do this as I have to move differently and although many would consider this a disadvantage, I am happy that I have to find a way up myself as I learn more about my own climbing technique by doing this … no matter how frustrating it can be at times.
I have to admit though, I am often jealous of their height advantages, especially on a tricky start. Sometimes watching them climb a route really puts me off especially if I see them needing to reach as far as they can but then I at times it also makes me much more determined to prove to myself that I can do it.
I’ll expand on this over the next couple of weeks but for now just wanted to share some thoughts.