Climbing Towards Equality

Saved this article from For the Love of Climbing a while back. Kathy writes about a trip to the Black Canyon for a long day of trad climbing and her thoughts on climbing partners.

She reflects on how lucky she feels to find a good male partner that treats her like an equal:

He doesn’t give me special treatment because I’m a girl – and there were times when I thought I was miffed because of it (why am I carrying weight PLUS the rope? I weigh less than him! And I do; homeboy has 115 pounds on me and made me belay with a Grigri the entire week)...

Thoughts like that came and went, though. There is a significant difference between us, and the reality is that there will always be a significant difference between male and female partners. That’s just basic anatomy. Men and women will always have key differences in our physiology.

If we emphasize this too much or too little, I think the point becomes moot: if you’re a climber, you are a climber. You carry your weight and develop and play to your strengths and work on repairing your weaknesses. If you’re lucky, your partners (both female and male) will be there to support you while you do.

I've witnessed first hand how disastrous male/female climbing duos can be if the two don't get along or they're dating and a long multi-pitch climb is the first real test of their relationship. But on the other side they can be great....like anything in life you just have to find the right person/partner.

Climbing the Ladder to Equality