First World Problems for Female Rock Climbers

  • Finding shirts that fit shoulders/back muscles
  • People wondering if bruises on legs are from abusive boyfriend
  • Too many sports bras
  • Climbing partner thinks this actually is a date
  • Nail polish
  • Are you spotting me or just touching my butt?
  • Finding a “female” harness with big/many gear loops for trad
  • Those looks you get from your mom when you tell her what your vacation plans are
  • Hiking into the sketchiest areas, sometimes through thigh high snow, just to find a place where no one can see you pee
  • Finding small sized gear… in stock
  • Finding technical clothes that dont have flowers, butterflies or swirly patterns on them
  • Prefer to date a climber.  Don’t want to date in circle of friends…. forever alone.
  • Have to pee on a multi-pitch climb
  • Hair caught in rappel device.  Hair in face during crux.  (aka always have to have hair in ponytail)
  • Guy repeats hard boulder problem?  Rad.  Girl repeats hard boulder problem?  Downgrade it.


62 thoughts on “First World Problems for Female Rock Climbers

    • I struggled for years with that. Until someone told me: Why don’t you just let down your pants with your harness on and crouch down. A bit startled I tried and – it works perfectly. Ever since I never took off my harness, any more… the only thing you need on a belay stand is a small ledge. no below and no upward wind :).

  1. I just started climbing with my fiance a month or so ago and I’m loving it. I haven’t had the chance to climb outdoors yet but I’ve definitely experienced getting my hair caught in the rappel device and have learned that it’s totally pointless to paint my nails 🙂

  2. I love the part about not dating in circle of friends…so alone. So true!! And if I was alone for the day, I would ask a random guy for a belay and they would hit on me entire time. Dude, just belay me!

  3. Nice one on the swirly pattern. I mean, sure, some like them. But the male equivalent would be if EVERY male piece of clothing came with skulls, lightning bolts or trucks on it…

  4. Boobs in the way! Can’t find a bra big enough for the boobs that still goes around a 32 inch chest! Argggh! The assumption that women who climb are always flat is totally off base…

  5. I have always found it kind of ridiculous that most climbing shoes are either ‘unisex’ or ‘women’s’, and that the women’s designs are usually just the flowers and swirls you mention… I’ve definitely observed a lot of guys who are obviously only giving beta to try to mack on girls, and offering to spot so they can stare.

  6. For the last one: Downgraded or not, it’s still big succes too grap a FFA(First Female Ascent) though you could have just made the 100 ascent. I have trouble seeing the big problem, but i’m happy not too be a girl on a multipitch.

  7. I just found your site and can tell I will be a regular visitor. I’ve been complaining about peeing in deep snow all winter long, “It’s not fair.” Great list.

  8. I have ALMOST lost my fear of people seeing me pee, and find myself thinking, everyone’s seen a naked bum before, what’s the big deal, I pee pretty fast, as long as its not on the trail or anything : )

  9. Nailed it! I May Be A Dude But I’ve Heard This From Every Female Climber I’ve Ever Known. Spread The Word People, These Trends Need To End. Women Rock, Get Over It, Get Used To It, And Move On!

  10. I was once on a ledge in Zion when a female climber apologized in advance for peeing on the ledge. While lead belaying her partner. We looked away but she said she took her leg loops off to do it.

    This was aid climbing, so of course the belaying (with a grigri) wasn’t very active… but still. It’s possible!

  11. I’m gonna push back on your expectation of finding a “female” harness. The main difference is an extra-long belay loop and I’ve never seen a serious climber who doesn’t tie their figure 8 tighter than their belay loop. Women using these harnesses have a belay loop that sticks out rather comically, and I actually kind of hated it when I was belaying from a gear anchor, it’s just in the way. You definitely shouldn’t be wearing your harness at your waist, so don’t let the salespeople tell you that. Like anything bearing weight (your backpack’s hipbelt, for example), it should be just above your hipbones. When you flip over and all of your weight is on that belt, you want it on your skeleton.

    To be a bit more productive, I am an extra-small in BD/Mammut/Petzl, etc and I did have some trouble finding a harness in my size that could accomodate a full trad rack effectively. The trad-specific harness often comes in size small and larger only. The assumption being that anyone my size is probably female and therefore doesn’t need to carry a trad rack for leading. Or not. I ended up buying a Misty Mountain harness. You can get a “female” harness in their basic model, the Cadillac, which is a pretty hefty trad harness. I bought the men’s because I fit the sizing chart for a men’s small, but the women’s sizes have larger leg loops for the same hipbelt if you need that. They are only available online, but you are allowed to try them on and exchange for size as long as you call them and promise you didn’t wear it outside the house or climb in it.

    • I also own a misty mountain harness in XS…it is SUPER comfortable and lots of space for pro! I love it! I got mine at Pagan Mountaineering in Moab. I especially like that both the leg loops and the waist are adjustable: Im not sure if its just me, but I have trouble finding a harness that will fit my thighs comfortably AND be small enough to fit my waist. I can’t comfortably wear any female style of BD harness 😦 Another harness I like (cause it fits!) is the Mammut Ophira.

      • I climbed in XS Mammut harnesses for years and thought I loved them. Again I don’t need the bigger leg loops and hate the long belay loop so I always went with the “men’s” harness. Before I climbed in my Misty, I put it on and loaded it up with my entire rack and I was floored by how much more effectively it managed the weight. I felt 10 pounds heavier, but didn’t feel the weight pulling in any one spot or buckling my hipbelt and causing it to pinch anywhere. I can’t believe I climbed so many trad routes in those cheap Mammut harnesses!

        • Yeah, I ended up with the Misty because the Mammut harness wasnt comfortable when weighed down with a rack…but I prefer it when sport climbing because its not as bulky as the Misty

  12. Pingback: First World Problems For Female Riders | bikepirate

  13. LOVED the list 🙂 so true. I think we got 1-2 two of your bullets sorted though 🙂
    BTW- Your about “me” page -Maybe one of the best “about me” pages I’ve read!
    Keep writing, I’ll keep reading – promise 🙂

  14. Love the post..can really relate to it.. As an avid girl climber and outdoor girl…. Finding a female to climb with outdoors… Big problem !!

  15. “Have to pee on a multi-pitch climb” So I was surprised when I heard from my fellow female climbers who were used to drink as least as possible amount of water when they’re on multi-pitch routes –

  16. Get a go girl. They work great, and freak out guys. I used 1 on a fire assignment without thinking and turned around to everyone very confused.

    And I use nail polish… To mark my gear 🙂

  17. Get a P-style! You can pee standing up, without taking your harness off, pee without baring your butt to the world, and no drip dry (let’s be honest, drip dry is really just a euphemism for damp undies that now smell like pee and make you feel a little chafe-y.) I carry it in a mesh holster attached to my backpack when backpacking, always at the ready. Will never be without one.

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