Why Girls Go Extreme - well done piece on girls and climbing

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Messages 1 - 70 of total 70 in this topic
Terry

climber
Spokane
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 12, 2009 - 11:31am PT
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,580017,00.html

Props to all the ladies having a go on the rock!
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Dec 12, 2009 - 11:41am PT
Well props here as well....but...LOL snicker...

"Her climbing partner, Rosie Vanek, an American who works for the international aid organization, The Global Fund, traveled some 10,000 miles from her home in Geneva to climb with Annie and a small group of women in Yosemite"

Guffaw...LOL!!!!!!
WBraun

climber
Dec 13, 2009 - 12:26am PT
Chicks can't climb.

When they grow up they do fly ......
Prod

Trad climber
Dodge Sprinter Dreaming
Dec 13, 2009 - 08:43am PT
Needs more pics.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Dec 13, 2009 - 09:29am PT
Tami,

the author of this FoxNews piece is Becky Diamond.
reddirt

climber
da subarwu
Dec 13, 2009 - 09:50am PT
that author's name sounds kinda pornish...

anyhoo, I stumbled on this last night:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzuFft64578

It's only 2+ minutes on youtube but I'd love to see the whole thing. Can't seem to find anyone who sells it though.

TranGOgirls is a movie about three Slovenian climbing girls - Tina, Tanja and Sandra - that put their strength, experience and dreams together to reach, as a first all female party, the very magnificent granite needles of Trango Towers in the beautiful mountain area of Karakorum, Pakistan in September 2006.
The movie focuses on two themes: the expedition and the different views on female alpinism.
See the struggle and the victory of three girls who have a lifelong affair with climbing, mountains and a big commitment to both of them.
Original movie length: 29:45. Camera: Tanja Grmovšek, Andrej Grmovšek, archive Grmoclimb, Jure Niedorfer; editing: Jure Niedorfer; directing: Jure Niedorfer, Tanja Grmovšek; music: Pasadena-Roda, QZN-Hand rolling.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 13, 2009 - 12:11pm PT
Given the readership of that particular news outlet, it is possible that female climbers are a revolutionary change in the culture....


"Longtime climbers and guides say it is now common to see women in pairs or in groups climbing moderate and even extreme routes, all without a man in sight." sorta been this way for a while, hasn't it?

This seems a bit strange: 'Rosie explained, “it can be a huge confidence and self esteem builder, and a learning experience about yourself.”' My experience is that women and men climb for similar reasons, that is, an athletic and mental mastery of the challenges the environment presents when pursuing climbing. Pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

and the last paragraph is disappointing...
'Later, Annie reflects on her climbing experience observing that men are often encouraged to participate in sports and in actions in which they take risks. “I think women have fewer opportunities in life to give themselves that challenge than men do because culturally they aren’t encouraged. How many female race car drivers are there? Or doing any risky sport - where you are pushing the limits of what your mind will think is possible? When do you get to feel that powerful?”'

so it's all about power?

and no mention of the Baffin Babes? They are bad ass!
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Dec 13, 2009 - 12:29pm PT
A woman needs a man in the same way a fish needs a bicycle.
dustonian

climber
Foresta
Dec 13, 2009 - 02:41pm PT
I see your point Tami, and it's well-taken--sure the writing is silly and outdated. But come on, this is FOX News!--the article is a quantum leap forward for mainstream media writing about climbing. They even got the definition of "free climbing" right! Is this possibly a first??
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Dec 13, 2009 - 04:33pm PT
You know, The Nutcracker, "five hours of intense climbing." And hey, here's Ms. B. Diamond on lead!


Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 13, 2009 - 04:42pm PT
The Baffin Babes will be coming - all four - to make a presentation at the mountain film festival here at the end of January. Perhaps I'll provide an introduction - in Norwegian.
Mason

Trad climber
Yay Area
Dec 13, 2009 - 04:50pm PT
I see your point Tami, and it's well-taken--sure the writing is silly and outdated. But come on, this is FOX News!--the article is a quantum leap forward for mainstream media writing about climbing. They even got the definition of "free climbing" right! Is this possibly a first??

That is the downright, sad truth.

Human beings are so far behind the evolution curve it's a joke.

I agree 100% with Tami. The fact that it is the year 2010 and we are still talking about how women have -finally- broken through the chains of oppression and started rock climbing is kind of a joke.

I took a Women's studies class a couple of quarters ago as part of a stupid upper division GE requirement for graduation and I laughed.

The fact that so many groups want to be seen as victims and given recognition as part of their "struggle" in history is just a reflection of our medieval state of mind.

Fox news is just looking for a story because their ratings are horrible and no one will watch them. They're owned by Newscorp which in itself is a joke of a company. Have you seen their stock price? They are trying to garner an audience by hiring extremely hot female anchors and female news journalists for their Fox Business segments and that doesn't even work. It just shows how backwards they are in their thinking. They have a segment on women's lib, but then their reporters were former models.

Captain...or Skully

Social climber
Top of the 5.2-5.12 Boulder
Dec 13, 2009 - 06:15pm PT
5 hours on the nutcracker?
Did she get lost?
(I've been lost before, different place....that sucks)

I'm with Tami.....ALL the gals I know are ALREADY "extreme".
WooHoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
bookworm

Social climber
Falls Church, VA
Dec 13, 2009 - 07:34pm PT
hey, did you all know that the washington, dc area has two of the best (i.e. most critically acclaimed) shakespearean theater companies in the WORLD? and that little staunton, va, has another?

probably not, unless you're a member of the shakespeare community, meaning those who read his plays, study his plays, read about his plays, read about people who study his plays, and, of course, attend his plays...an international community that i'm willing to bet outnumbers the international community of climbers...after all, there are far more people who make a living off of shakespeare than off of climbing

yeah, the article in the op might make us chuckle, but the article is not intended for climbers...try to imagine when you were first introduced to the sport...if you were anything like me, you devoured everything you could find and were amazed at the sport's long, colorful history

the critics of the writer/article are akin to those on this site who mock newbies for asking newbie questions or making newbie comments...why not just enjoy the writer's obvious excitement and appreciate her attempts to get it right?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 13, 2009 - 08:45pm PT
we re-wrote Julius Cesear in 8th grade, we retitled it "Heart Cesear" I think that re-writing borrowed heavily from The Firesign Theatre... "Et tu Brute (this aftershave is available for a limited time at the Forum for $5.99)"

It was notably adolescent in its humor... but I think we got an A...

check out theChick History Thread I believe Melissa's idea was to talk about all the women climbers... not just the famous ones.... the thread dates back to early 2005...

Over the last couple of years I have been honored to meet quite a few notable climbers, who happen to be women: Sibylle Hetchel, Ellie Hawkins, Mari Gingery, Mariah Cranor, Jo Whitford, Tami Knight, Mimi... so good to know more climbers with great stories and wonderful accomplishments.


dustonian

climber
Foresta
Dec 13, 2009 - 09:40pm PT
Alright, alright--Tami and Ed are right as usual. I guess I just give Fox too many props for trying and my expectations are already through the floor for that kind of story. I gave up a long time ago and take it for granted the tone and content will be patronizing and inaccurate. I'm glad there are still a few idealists around who think it could be better!

Plus, I climb with Annie and Rosie (from the article) so I find myself sympathetic towards this "well done peice" of hard-hitting journalism... if only Stephen Colbert had joined them in those "5 intense hours" on the Nut-racker for this insider's report!!

LuckyPink

climber
the last bivy
Dec 13, 2009 - 11:39pm PT
publicist wrote it , i bet
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Dec 13, 2009 - 11:45pm PT
Tami-

Maybe you Canadians are different, but there was no women climbing technical stuff in America with each other back in the 1960's. There were barely any women climbing with men then and as far as I know, Chela Kunasz was the first woman to lead in Yosemite. I do recall hearing rumors about Elaine Mathews back east, but don't know if she led in those days or not.

The fact is, a substantial number of men, particularly in California, would not even climb with a woman, claiming that no woman could hold a leader fall. When I got my wrist broken by having it shoved into a haul bag after the guy I was with took a 40 footer while I was belaying in slings, and I held the fall with a broken wrist, no body could say to me that I couldn't catch a leader fall. However, some of Yosemite's leading lights of the era would still would maintain that in general women couldn't do it.

If you never faced that kind of prejudice, that's wonderful, but to say it didn't exist, is to deny women's climbing history.
saa

climber
not much of a
Dec 13, 2009 - 11:58pm PT

Just for women to giggle... http://www.youtube.com/user/heibiondo83

cheers to all.
dustonian

climber
Foresta
Dec 13, 2009 - 11:59pm PT
Granted, it happened with Hans Kraus, but Bonnie Prudden cranking 5.9 in the Gunks in 1952 is still pretty damn impressive (from Wikipedia):

"In 1952, the pair were attempting a new climbing route on the cliff known as The Trapps. After attempting the crux overhang, Kraus backed off, handing the lead to Prudden. She was able to find a piton placement that had eluded Hans at the crux, and went on to claim the first ascent of 'Bonnie's Roof'. Since then, she has stated that she and Kraus always climbed as equal partners, always swapping leads."

I like how this emphasizes they were equal partners, regardless of gender.

Then of course there were Sibylle Hechtel and Bev Johnson doing walls together in the 70s, and Bev's solo of Dihedral Wall...



Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Dec 14, 2009 - 02:05am PT
Tami-

You're right about the prejudice being less almost anywhere but Yosemite.

And of course, women were climbing a long time ago, the question is were they climbing as a team and trading leads?

Meanwhile, this discussion just shows that we really need to get together a history of North American women's climbing to document how it started and how it changed.

Daphne

Trad climber
Mill Valley, CA
Dec 14, 2009 - 02:15am PT
Wouldn't Melissa's thread be a good place to start for a women climbers history? That still gets to the front page occasionally.

Edit: oops, missed Ed's post: he already had the same (good) idea...
ß Î Ř T Ç H

climber
. . . not !
Dec 14, 2009 - 03:00am PT
"well done peice on girls"
You've all been trolled - thanks for participating .
bookworm

Social climber
Falls Church, VA
Dec 14, 2009 - 01:35pm PT
has the number of women climbing increased in the last 20 years? absolutely

would non-climbers be surprised to see a group of women leading big walls? absolutely

would non-climbers likely assume that men make better climbers or that climbing is not a chick-friendly sport or that only crazy chicks climb? probably (by the way, i've been teaching toprope climbing for over 10 years, and i agree that women are "naturally" better climbers because of their lower center of gravity, which gives them better balance, and because their upper body strength is not as great, which encourages them to use their legs more effectively)

the point of the story is not, "hey, chicks can climb, too!" the point is to make non-climbers (especially girls and women) more aware of the sport, and to encourage more girls and women to explore what is to most people an "extreme sport"...i think it accomplishes both goals...good for becky


and my point isn't that shakespeare is worthy of our admiration but that two of the best theaters IN THE WORLD, are located in washington, dc, of all places...not new york or chicago or la...and staunton, va (pop. 24,000) in the southern shenandoah valley...you'd have to be somewhat of a shakespeare nerd to know that (or even care)
veryveryoldman

Social climber
The Bronx
Dec 14, 2009 - 03:44pm PT
Bookworm – well said.

Tami-

You wrote: “There is no "increasing" about it. That is simply GOOFY.”

Do you really believe that just because you and your girlfriends (and your “mum”) have been climbing together “TONS” for decades that one should conclude that there has been no increase in female climbers in recent years?

You don’t need to have much more than a “feather duster” for a brain to see that the first thing does not inexorably lead to the second.

Regarding the “chick history thread,” did you ever stop and (employing that laser-like intellect of yours which we know far exceeds that of Becky Diamond) ask yourself this question: “I wonder why I’ve never seen a thread entitled ‘Guys’ History’ or ‘Interesting Climbing Exploits of Men Throughout History?’”

Why do you think that is, Tami?

Maybe, just maybe, it’s because it wouldn’t make sense to start a thread like that, because the overwhelming majority of climbers were guys, notwithstanding you and your tons of girlfriends. If you dispute that idea, look through any guidebook, anywhere, and tally up the number of first ascents by gender. Show me one in which women have developed the majority of routes (or half the routes, or a third of the routes). However, you will find many more routes developed by women in recent years than in past decades. Those two facts perfectly support Becky’s thesis and completely discredit yours.

Becky simply produced a short “lifestyle” piece about the growing popularity of climbing among women, intended for a general audience (not blasé experts like yourself for whom climbing is commonplace). To most people who aren’t named Tami, it’s not a controversial idea, and not inaccurate in any way. Becky is a longtime climber (like you) and reads this forum regularly. She really doesn’t deserve your obnoxious and unfounded insults.

-Denis O’Connor
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Dec 14, 2009 - 05:33pm PT
Whoa. I was hoping this was a GGW thread, it's been awhile since that dust up.
nutjob

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Dec 14, 2009 - 07:47pm PT
I was having a conversation last night with my girlfriend regarding difficulty ratings for hikes. She categorically denies that any hike can be called "strenuous" (such as is often seen in hiking guides or trail ratings) because you can just stop and take a break and have a snack at any point. We were talking about Yosemite Falls Trail, and the hike up Half Dome, and she says "unless you're hiking up something like Everest, it's just not strenuous."

She gets my extreme vote.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 14, 2009 - 11:14pm PT
I thought about this on the walk home tonight...
... when some article is published on climbing, the climbers here are going to critique it, and some will like what they see, and others won't. I know that critiquing the critiquers is a sport, and it happens here too, but I'll focus on the piece.

First of all, what was the intention of the article, and what was the audience? The article title certainly is interesting, "why girls go extreme." And so you'd think that we'd find an answer. But aside from the fact that Vanek states that she doesn't consider what she does as extreme, and the examples of Lynne Hill and Steph Davis, we don't get any insight into "why they went extreme."

The focus of the article is more about the anecdotal evidence that there are more women climbers today than there used to be. There are no statistics to back this up. However, contrary to the argument upthread, it seems that women climbers do attract more women to the sport. Statistics for participation in the sport are notoriously unreliable and vary by orders of magnitude. At one gym there is a "218%" increase in lady's night attendance. Why? Of course there weren't gyms around 20 years ago, so it would be difficult to follow that trend. Is the increase in gyms responsible for the increase in women climbers?

If I'm a woman watching this, and I get inspired and want to go to a gym, there is little information associated with the article to help me know what I should expect. Nothing about who to find a gym.

There is a whole long discussion about the biomechanics of climbing which seemed simplistic. Are women better suited to climbing then men? Stronger, lighter, lower center of gravity... I don't think that those attributes are the ones supported by the very few papers on the subject... but there are so few that any conclusion could be possible.

Nutcracker is an interesting choice of climbs, it happens to be one done in the 60s in Yosemite Valley that had a woman on the First Ascent, as well as its futuristic use of passive protection. Not mentioned...

So the article which could have been a lot better really only conveys a sort of breathless excitement that women "are proud of doing something they didn't think they could do" and thus they "feel more confident."

And if it is true that "women have fewer opportunities in life to give themselves that challenge than men do because culturally they aren’t encouraged" it seems like such a loss, if more women climbed there'd be more partners to climb with!

In the end, the article had many opportunities to be much better than it turned out. Perhaps the disappointment with the writer is of what it could have been, the choices of topics, "women do have the physical attributes to climb," "women can overcome their fears and insecurities," "women can be mentally tough in dangerous situations," "women like to play with gear," "women can find other women to climb with;" I don't think any of us are surprised by this... or should be. Given that, room could have been made to delve deeper into the motivation of women climbers to understand their stories, and there motivations and where they drew there inspiration from, and what their aspirations are....

...I didn't get any of that.
gwendevers

climber
Dec 15, 2009 - 12:30am PT
AMEM Denny O!
murcy

climber
sanfrancisco
Dec 15, 2009 - 12:56am PT
Yeah, it's a nice piece presenting a perfectly true story about the fact that women climbers are increasing in numbers, in ratio, and in achievement. I think old-days women climbers overcame harder and harsher obstacles, and so I'm in much more awe of them (you, ladies). Respect to all.
veryveryoldman

Social climber
The Bronx
Dec 15, 2009 - 10:10am PT
Ed-

You make some thoughtful and reasonable points, with which I generally agree, and Becky might also. I think if she had had more time to produce the story, it would have benefited.

For some background on how it was produced, it was certainly not ordered from the top by Rupert Murdoch. Becky was going on a short trip to Yosemite with friends, and decided to pitch a story to her boss about it. Her boss says OK. So she gets a few shots, interviews a few people, and throws it together. It all happens very quickly, and then she's on to the next story. That's why there are so many missing elements and points, and no deep research. She'd be out of a job if she took the necessary time to do all that. The end result is not what we all, as climbers, would like it to be, but I think it was as good as it could be under the circumstances.

Tami, I don't have any problem with your latest post. We can certainly disagree in a civil way about how many female climbers there were at one time or another and whether their numbers are increasing. I was pissed off earlier about all your insulting language toward Becky, hence my tone.

Just so you know, she's no feather duster. She has filmed, written, and produced stories by herself for CNN and Fox from Sudan, the Palestinian territories, Baghdad, the Persian Gulf (embedded with the Marines), and Afghanistan (embedded with the Army).

One last thing, all those "extreme" references were not Becky's idea. Either the editors insert them to make it seem more exciting, or they tell Becky that she has to make it sound more "extreme" to be aired. Just the way it is at Fox News. (If you want to criticize Fox, you'll have to get in line behind me.)

-Denis
becky diamond

Trad climber
new york, NY
Dec 15, 2009 - 10:12am PT
I am the author and thought I would weigh in... This story was not meant for Climbing Magazine or the Sunday NY Times Magazine. I wrote a simple story with very limited time. The story was written for Fox News and an audience that has little to no exposure to climbing. It was meant to be a light story about a trend that I have observed over the last twenty years of climbing. Ten to fifteen years ago, it was not common to see women swapping leads at the cliff or climbing in pairs or groups without men. Today it is VERY common. It is something to celebrate and it was not meant to denigrate any of the male or female climbers who have been enjoying our beautiful sport for decades.

I did not say that women have never climbed or have never climbed together; however, I did assert based on interviews and the data that I could find that there has been a significant increase in the number of women who climb and climb together. Every woman and man that I interviewed for the story has observed this same general trend.

I did not have the time or space to delve into the long history of women who climb. The story was simply about why an increasing number of women and girls are attracted to the sport today and why women are natural climbers. I did not make up any facts of figures. I called Yosemite guides, climbers, and climbing gyms to piece this story together.

As for the title and going "extreme" - to fox viewers and the majority of people who don't climb -- ascending a 600 foot climb - whether it's 5.8 or 5.13 is extreme. If you make mistakes on a multipitch 5.8 climb - you can seriously injure yourself or die. If you make mistakes riding your bicycle you will likely get a few scratches. To a majority of people that would qualify as "extreme." I did include a response from Rosie Vanek about how she doesn't view what she and Annie are doing as extreme so that would be a fair representation of their views.

I had extremely limited time and space to produce this story and thought a little something on women and climbing was better than nothing at all. I am sorry to read so many angry and judgmental comments from my fellow climbers.

The easiest thing to be is critical. It takes no energy and no motivation. You can sit on your sofa and spew about things you don't like. If you are so outraged by this simple article on women and climbing - then I suggest you get off your coach and make some calls and take some time out of your own schedule (as I did - because I did this completely on the side after working 12 hour days covering others news/stories) and write or shoot something about our beautiful sport of rock climbing.

Becky Diamond


Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 15, 2009 - 11:07am PT
look, Becky, if you are going to "throw" something out there into the public's eye on climbing and it has the misfortune of being noticed on this climber's forum, people will give their opinions, and they maybe critical.

It can't be true that you produce stories and never have any criticism of the them, or that you yourself don't feel that they could have been better.

Tami has certainly put a lot of her creative stuff out in the public eye. And I probably spend way too much time hammering together stuff for the community. But my skills are not as a reporter/writer, that is your craft. Perhaps it is also a sign of the times that the community is large enough to notice these pieces. The poor writer for the NYTimes got an earful from the community over his Obit of John Bachar. He used the same excuse as you did "too little time to do a good job." I don't think the community appreciates that. You're a climber (he wasn't) so the expectation is that you are the better person to write such a piece. And as you read the comments, there were many people who wrote that they liked it, and some that didn't.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 15, 2009 - 11:16am PT
Dab.
becky diamond

Trad climber
new york, NY
Dec 15, 2009 - 11:24am PT
Honestly - I welcome discussing the article's weaknesses. There are many.

However, there were some personal attacks on me as well as some accusatory and judgmental responses which were - simply - gross.

Happy climbing to all and safe travels.

Becky
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Dec 15, 2009 - 12:03pm PT
I haven't read the article, as it was taking long to load last night and I was tired from traveling all day.

But I will say that it rather sucks, how commercial entities push, push, push for product, regardless of the quality with the items they push.

When I worked as a handbag designer I resisted strongly that push to "feed the machine." WalMart was very happy with one of the companies I worked with, because we had so many designers on staff. One day the boss of the company came to us(just the handbag people, of which we were 3; not backpacks, hair accessories, eyewear, cold weather...) and told us that he had made a commitment to WMart to create AN ENTIRE NEW LINE of handbags for their private labels EVERY 10 weeks. That's FIVE lines of about 50 products per year AFTER the merchandise edit. When I groaned out loud(because I was already creating 4 lines per year with a 300 styles-plus line(after editing), he said "What's the big deal? Just take some of the other stuff you do and slap on a different piece of hardware..."

Utter disregard for the additional work burden, or that I wouldn't be able to just puke up product but would actually try to make stuff the customer would actually WANT. Just cared about getting product out the door and money rolling in.

It's the same with media these days, and now with the internet the level of content needed to feed the machine has increased incredibly.

One needs to earn an income, and so one tends to go along with this model. Hopefully our writer of this article received a fair compensation for her effort(and that is between her and the media channel, of course), but she also is acknowledging the reaction caused by her action....Don't forget to include that in the cost of doing your business, Becky!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Dec 15, 2009 - 12:05pm PT
Becky - that's life in the STForum space... you are not known here, you posted twice ever (so far) and your introduction to the Forum was a link someone provided (with a complementary, if misspelled title). It caught the attention of people on the Forum that are interested in the topic area for many different reasons. STForum isn't particularly known for being uncritical, and wading in to it requires a modicum of skin thickness. But that, also, cannot be news to you. It must come with the territory.

It's only a Forum, after all, it is sort of amazing that it would be considered a worthy critic of the established news media.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 15, 2009 - 12:11pm PT
Read the Chick history thread for background before the next attempt, Better luck next time! Welcome to our mosh pit.

Twenty years ago, female climbing teams on walls, and hard climbs, was pretty firmly entrenched.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Dec 15, 2009 - 02:15pm PT
"Welcome to our mosh pit."

Feckin' jaybro...priceless!


Hey Becky, where'd that last post go? I wasn't done reading!
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 15, 2009 - 02:23pm PT
I finished the deleted post in the nick of time. I'm not really too much invested in the topic -- I've been hanging out with women who climb hard since 1973, back when I started climbing, hell my ex-wife was a solid 5.11 - 5.12 crack climber as far back as the mid-80's and nobody has even heard of her -- and all I gotta say is that becky needs to suck it up and lighten up. I mean, c'mon. You ain't gonna last five minutes around a JT campfire if you can't take some heat.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Dec 15, 2009 - 02:29pm PT
Turns into a dang bonfire sometimes....

Becky, we can always use new blood around here, but ya gotta be tough.
I've gotten a couple bloody noses here myself.

bvb, yeah me too. I climbed with a pretty hard core gal in the 70's. She was leading 5.10 in no time. We're talking old school trad at Smith Rocks too, not modern clippy clips! She had a few female partners after awhile too. Nobody ever read her name in a mag either.

What the heck was Kim Carrigan's girlfriend's name?
Louise-the-the-hot-babe....or something like that.
That was around 1980 I believe.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Dec 15, 2009 - 02:30pm PT
Tami - I find your comments not worthy of a fellow writer.

Don't sweat it. Tami's no writer. She can't even spell. All she does is draw dumb cartoons about rats. Seriously -- that's what she does. Cartoons about rats! And she thinks she can criticize someone who writes for a national media outlet? Where does she get off doing that?

Well, okay, talking about how Tami gets off is maybe out of line on a thread about how a rat cartoonist has the nerve to say she doesn't like an article about women suddenly starting to climb.

I mean everybody knows women didn't climb until recently, at least not without men along to make sure they didn't hurt themselves. And yet from the tone of her criticism, you'd almost think that Tami believes women did climb on their own before last year. Which is pretty stupid and something only someone who draws dumb cartoons about rats would ever dream up.

veryveryoldman

Social climber
The Bronx
Dec 15, 2009 - 03:41pm PT
Becky-

I reread the thread, and I’m sorry to say, these folks are right after all.

If you would have simply pulled your empty head out of your butt for one second, it might have occurred to you to check with the cartoonist from Canada before producing that piece, and then you would have been informed about her mum pulling down in 1940 and you would have realized that climbing could not POSSIBLY be increasing in popularity among women today. (And you would have worked in a reference or two to extreme childbirth! How could you have left that out??)

Or you could have asked Jaybro, who read a thread one time about chicks on a big wall in the ‘70’s. Or BVB, who had a wife that climbed 5.11. And then you would have realized that chicks didn’t start climbing yesterday like you said. (You did say that, right?)

But you couldn’t be bothered to do any of that, could you? No, you couldn’t. Because you’re a lazy, incompetent, dim-witted, slave to the machine. And you climb too slow. Your writing sucks too.

That hurt your feelings? Suck on it, beotch. Oh, and welcome to supertopo.

-Denis
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 15, 2009 - 03:46pm PT
Or BVB, who had a wife that climbed 5.11.
i said 5.11 - 5.12. and did i mention she looked smokin' hot in lycra? she really did.
veryveryoldman

Social climber
The Bronx
Dec 15, 2009 - 03:48pm PT
BVB-

My bad. Can I get her number?
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Dec 15, 2009 - 03:57pm PT
And David's rite y'know

Well it's true. I am right. I've actually tried to take Tami climbing a couple of times, and the results have been, well, less-than-stellar is maybe the best way to describe it.

One time, even though there were five men along to make sure she didn't screw up, she somehow managed to drop me fifty feet. And when I took her out into the mountains it turned out she couldn't even fasten her crampons on properly and just about killed herself. Fortunately, because of my earlier experience, I had refused to tie the rope on, so at least it would have been only herself she killed, not me too.

So you see? I know something about her. Can't climb safely... Can't spell... but somehow thinks she's entitled to have an opinion on an internet forum.

Rat cartoons. Jeeeezuzz. I'd tell her to go sit in the car, but she'd probably just drink all my whiskey. Again.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 15, 2009 - 04:04pm PT
BVB-

My bad. Can I get her number?

(928) 867-5309. Tell her I said "hi."
veryveryoldman

Social climber
The Bronx
Dec 15, 2009 - 04:36pm PT
BVB-

Ha! Thanks for the number. Don't think I'll really call though. Your ex might want to go climbing, and then my lack of ability would be revealed.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Dec 15, 2009 - 04:43pm PT
Tami, thanks for the note about Louise.
You're right, she was flat out amazing.
Terry

climber
Spokane
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 16, 2009 - 02:01pm PT
WOW. Tami, I don't know you but after reading your 'opinions' I'm glad I don't.

You are criticizing a human interest story written to the public in general, not the Alpine Journal. And, while it is apparently not PC for you to admit, the number of ladies climbing HAS increased in recent years.

But Exhibit A of your narrow minded, politically driven/enslaved world view was when you said:

"But that Ms D works for Faux is , IMHO, enough reason to prolly suggest her writing is floridly fluffy and with the brain of a feather duster."

WOW again. Talk about a generalizing, narrow minded, insulting, hypocritical, (need I go on) myopic, idiotic accusation!!

Gonna stop the rant as a number of others have put you in your place whether you want to admit it or not.

Becky, didn't mean to open you up to such crap. Thanks for offering the mainstream a piece that puts women and climbing in a positive light. I hope the Tami's of the world don't make you feel you have to preface your articles with an historical treatise of climbing history, poll all associated climber groups to get their personal opinions and provide an annotated bibliography.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Dec 16, 2009 - 02:18pm PT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50U2DXORVCo&feature=related
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 16, 2009 - 02:24pm PT
Thanks for offering the mainstream a piece that puts women and climbing in a positive light.

Personally, I'd prefer that nothing about climbing get offered to the mainstream, EVER. But I'm livin' in the 70's, so there you go.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Dec 16, 2009 - 02:39pm PT
I'm surprised the article generated so much anomosity, I thought it was fine for a general public piece.

Seems to me there are a lot more women climbers than there used to be and that there are more all women teams than there used to be. I just know that when I was 20 years old and had little else on my mind besides girls and climbing, I didn't run across tons of women climbers (maybe they were avoiding me!). As gyms and sport climbing became more and more common, it seemed more women were climbing.

Also, it seems climbing presents a relatively even playing field for women and men, whether because of biomechanics, culture, or whatever else. I'd be surprised to see a woman competing for and catching waves at a premire reef break packed with snarling locals, but think a woman sending a hard crack in yosemite is normal and relatively common, which is one of the really cool things about our sport. Hill's ascent of the nose was very inspiring to me and influenced how and what I wanted to climb (albeit at much more pedestrian levels)- there are not many sports where a woman's accomplishment has an impact on male and female participants.

Anyway, I don't the article deseved all the negative feedback, but this is tacoland!
dustonian

climber
Foresta
Dec 16, 2009 - 02:40pm PT
I'm with Tami, Stich, & BVB on this one...kinda tired of climbing being wrapped up and marketed into delightful little infotaining tidbits to be consumed and excreted like any other trendy fad to distract people from more troubling realities in the world. It's old news and the crags are already overcrowded as it is. A lot of type A careerists out there climbing these days though....I guess it was inevitable.
J-sheezy

Sport climber
columbus, ohio
Dec 18, 2009 - 10:55am PT
where is T&A @?
susu

Trad climber
East Bay, CA
Dec 18, 2009 - 02:42pm PT
I thought the article was good. Nice footage and photos, too, Becky! Could help lure more women to climbing. I really had to work to understand the criticsm heaped on this article. My experience over the last 15 years is also that there aren't many female climbers climbing outdoors, in particular, climbing trad, though there are more showing up than ever.

Edit: I really find all that's condescending about the article is much of the criticism directed against it.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 18, 2009 - 02:52pm PT
It you've only been climbing 15 yrs it's possible that you haven't drifted to the fringe where the hardcore wimin clmburs thrive....


Though I am sure it was not the author's intent, could be editing and merchendising, the article has a profoundly condescending flavor.
crunch

Social climber
CO
Dec 18, 2009 - 03:36pm PT
The article presents an image of women climbing together--fantastic, great. And yes, there is an increasing proportion of woman climbers (well okay, so the suggested ten-year timeline is absurdly short, but never mind).

In a larger context, how did we get to the situation where the three women can get together and climb, and another woman can, in 2009, write this article?

Perhaps because of all those uppity women who were determined to join in activities that were once so male dominated, like climbing--or politics--or, hell, even writing. Women feisty enough to stand up for themselves and create opportunities that are now taken for granted.

The article could not exist without women like Tami.
Emon

Trad climber
Dec 18, 2009 - 03:38pm PT

For whatever reason I read this piece not so much through the gender lens; my principal reaction was, 'Aa, consumerist America, Identity through stuff, where it's not only the activity itself that's empowering, but buying the gear for the activity that's empowering.'

Becky, since you've been brave enough to chime in on this often hostile thread, and I'm curious to know more about how the wheels of infotainment churn behind the scenes, I'd like to ask: Were you encouraged by editors or others in the process to mention the purchasing of gear and play up the purchasing opportunities involved with climbing as you wrote your piece?

Thanks,
Erika
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 18, 2009 - 04:39pm PT
Correction; stuff gets published, that editors want people, to read...
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Dec 18, 2009 - 04:53pm PT
Correction: Stuff gets published that will draw eyeballs, incite people to respond, and cause people to click back to see how their own words were received. More traffic = more ad $.

I'm surprised that there was so much sound and fury over the critique here. I thought that user comments (often negative) and all of the repeat visitors clicking back to see the latest was part of the online news delivery business model?

I was happy to see piece on average women's climbing, albeit one that didn't seem to be researched or presented with a ton of care. A lot of us still struggle in those damn peticoats and like to see our options. I don't agree with all of the criticism, but it did seem extremely tame compared to the typicial reader comments that follow any article that I read in my local online newspaper. This thread barely even qualified as a Supertopo dog pile (not that I think those are so great).

kwit

climber
california
Dec 18, 2009 - 05:27pm PT
i'm delighted to learn from so many of you that there is not and never was gender imbalance in the climbing community. certainly there isn't any on this forum. initially when i looked over the one of the "who in the hell are you people" self-portrait threads, i mistook the majority of those pictured for being male.

mea culpa. anecdotal evidence has no place on such a scientific forum; neither does evidence based on one's terribly myopic vision. cheers to all of the bearded ladies joining we women on here.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 18, 2009 - 05:40pm PT
For the mainstream media, and a less than stellar source (Fox) at that, it seems an OK piece. I disagree with their use of "extreme" in the title - arguably, a main reason why more women are now rock climbing is that it's no longer usually perceived as such, and rarely is extreme.

There were some very strong female climbers from this part of the world from the 1950s onward, including Elfrida Pigou, Esther Kafer, Alice Purdey, and later the Weed Farmer. As much or more mountaineers as rock climbers - the latter really wasn't something done in its own right until perhaps the 1980s. They undoubtedly have their own views as to what it was like, but I'd guess the proportion of those who regularly did roped climbing of any kind was 10%, at most 20%, female. The article is correct in identifying that that proportion has steadily risen since the 1970s, and may now approach parity. The M-F proportion of posters and posts on ST probably doesn't reflect that yet, although the M-F proportion of lurkers may.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Dec 18, 2009 - 05:49pm PT
Parity at the gym. Getting closer to parity at the crag when you don't look at who is doing what. Women leading on more adventuresome climbs especially w/ each other, are still a rare sight (to my eyes) relative to men.

I always notice a woman who is on the sharp end on anything R/X or harder than 10 in Yosemite, and I still don't see her very often. Often when I do see her, I recognize her because she is famous.
Cosimon

climber
Boulder, CO
Dec 18, 2009 - 06:28pm PT
“It was 10 to one, men to women. Now what I am seeing is 50/50,”

Nah, it seems more like 10 women to 1 guy these days... it's just a herd of women at the crags now.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Dec 19, 2009 - 09:56pm PT
Go girls! After watching the progress of "womens" gymnastics for 50 years, the future belongs to those graceful elfin creatures, flitting from bar to bar as from handhold to handhold. 200 pound guys: pack it up and head for the Himalayas!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 29, 2010 - 03:29am PT
The Baffin Babes presentation at VIMFF tonight was very entertaining and lively. They clearly had a good time with their 80 day traverse along the east coast of Baffin Island. http://www.baffinbabes.com/
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 29, 2010 - 03:33am PT
definite parity at the gym. actually there were more women leaders than men most of the time I was there a week ago.
Keeper of Australia Mt

Trad climber
Whitehorse, Yukon , Canada
Feb 2, 2010 - 05:07am PT
Our vision is always altered by the lens we view things through. Focal distance counts too. What maybe apparent close at hand may be radically distant some distance away. I wasn't active in climbing in my youth so whether or not there were less female climbers doing hard stuff then as now - depends on the perspective, location and lens. There have always been rad, amazing woman pushing the limits - just about everywhere. It may be the lens we are using now is different from the one used years ago -
Still waters run deep and I think if one did the research one would uncover some amazing stories and have a different perspective. As Tami and the Mighty Hiker note, without covering all of the high ground - in the Canadian Rockies and Coast Ranges - women have always been doing amazing things - pull a copy of Chic Scott's " Pushing the Limits - The Story of Canadian Mountaineering" and other volumes and it starts to come into focus. I suspect it is the tip of the berg. Their motives might be slightly different but their results are up there with the guys. Louise Sheppard was on par and setting the pace even with the blokes down under - in her prime and she still goes out and climbs hard stuff with other women - in fact I recall, she even hooked up with the Boonah phenom who got me into the game a few years back. Abby Watkins, another Aussie is up there and on it goes. Sue Nott and Karen Macneil on the Infinite Spur - those women could probably out perform 99%
of the men on the planet and they have lots of company - how about those denizens "Chicks With Picks". Amazing women and it is great to see these individuals doing their thing in the way they want to do it. I don't feel particularly threatened by it all - au contraire - I cheer them on . Go for it! I admire their skills, tenacity, and zeal for life. They are the latest in a long lineage of amazing women climbers even going back to early JTree and Yosemite days. Sometimes the perspectives we gain are marred by our sampling methods and various biases, systemic and otherwise, that we all bring to the game.
And some of males need a few slaps in the head to staighten put our brain cells into better alignment. I recall a guy ( a climber)
I worked for on an archaeology dig in the Barrengrounds of the Keewatin - ranting that women couldn't do Arctic Archaeology because they couldn't pack a 10 galleon fuel drum a mile through the tundra - as if that was the defining characteristic of Arctic Archaeology. It was nonsense then as now , and fortunately few females took him seriously , as well as the younger male members of his crew. While some of his attidude may well have been "stirrin the possum" a large part was just male stupidity. In any case, in the 30 or so years I have involved in northern fieldwork, lots of smart, dynamic and extremely capable young and old women have proved up on how really dumb his attitudes really were. Women have had to put up with this sort of nonsense for a longtime and to their credit they smile and just go out and do amazing things. I always tell my daughter to never let others (and particularly men) define her success or interests- she can bloody well do whatever she wants and she controls her destiny and success. Reach for your dreams, live your passions - settle for nothing less and as men we would collectively wear it a lot better if we were more supportive and more respectful. Many are but you know what I mean. The notion that these women who are into hard climbing and who climb together are "going extreme" is fairly bizarre as it seems to imply that they are anomalies and that it really isn't their place. This would be absolute bs of course - the toughest routes, the highest mountains, - that is all a woman's place - alongside the men. They have proven it from the earliest days and continue to lead by example - for their husbands, partners, brothers, fathers and so on. Good on them. And they do it with a sense of humour which is highly spectacular!
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
You wanted to!
Feb 2, 2010 - 08:30am PT
I've always thought that the girls were extreme.
Extreme!
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