Zion Climbing Center

Zion is a place where rock climbing meets community and where community meets Christ. The Principal concentration of the organization is to foster mentoring relationships, develop leadership in the community, and prepare persons to be successful in life. the organization also endeavors to be advocates for responsibility, equality, and justice in the community. It is the intention of the organization to use rock climbing as a medium to provide a value-based service to our community.

The Long and Short Of It

One of the things that is constantly brought up in setting and climbing is the issue of height. I don't know how many times I've heard someone complaining that they could make the move if they were just a little bit taller or blaming the route for being too height dependant. This was often me early on. I'm 5' 9" barely and seem to have shorter arms than the average bear. It seems logical, I'm just below the hold by an inch so if I was an inch taller I'd be able to do it. I'm afraid it's much more complicated than that. The real reason that we often fall is strength based, not height based. Nothing has convinced me more of this than Daniel Woods. For those of you who don't know he is a climber who has been around the world repeating and putting up some of the hardest routes. Without a doubt he is one of the strongest climbers out there today. He is 5'8". However, there is no doubt he could do every moved that I've called height dependent because he is incredibly strong. This is also true of the young Phenom Ashima who is sending V13s before graduating elementary school. She's super short. But each of these climbers have the ability to lock off, dyno, and hold extended movement better because they are infinitely strong. It's just easier to fall off and blame something that is out of your control than to admit the truth that you are just not strong enough to do that move. The fact of the matter is that as climbing gets harder the holds get further apart. That's why it's harder. It sucks sometimes that a route is a lot easier if you're 6 feet tall (however, there are also routes that are a lot harder if you're tall too). Maybe shorter people will have to deal with a foot cut that others don't or use an intermediate hold. That doesn't mean the problem is bad or you can't do it. It just is what it is and as a climber you figure out the easiest way to do it for you and climb it. 

Ashima comparing wingspan with an adult pro climber in Hueco Tanks.

Ashima comparing wingspan with an adult pro climber in Hueco Tanks.