Girls Gone Wide - Offwidth Rock Climbing in Vedauwoo Wyoming
This is the story of three women putting their bodies on the line for the sport they love. The sharp rocks of Vedauwoo, Wyoming aren't forgiving and that's before you even start to account for the normal pains of offwidth climbing. You get to see how tough these rock climbers are when they finish climbs breathless covered with bruises and scrapes. Watch out Wide Boyz! There's a new crew in town and they're not taking prisoners.
What is Offwidth Climbing?
Offwidth climbing is defined by the fact that the climb doesn't match normal body sizes. Offwidth cracks are larger than your fist but small enough that you can't fit your entire body inside. You won't find normal hand and finger cracks on most offwidth climbs. Instead, climbers have to resort to offwidth techniques like double stacking hands, chicken wings, shoving hips and shoulders into chimneys and generally inching up the rock by trying to fit whatever weird assortment of body parts will let you cling to the rock.
Cast and Crew
Tony Archie Kim
We are here in Vedawoo Wyoming to climb off with cracks for a month. Bouldering ropes climbing although everything here is basically a boulder anyway because it's like 25 feet long. I really like the style I really like placing big cams and I've come to beautiful to do more of it. What the [ __ ] am I doing here? I have quite an ambitious list of projects for this month. I only have two because the Vu is hard and I might only send two. Spatial relations. Here to get my ass whooped basically. Bad girl's dream. I'm here to try hard stuff. Jihad. This is a pain in the ass root. My main goal the one that I'm most excited about is big pink and then whipping boy. Mary and I are gonna be here for a month climbing some of the hardest nastiest off widths in Vedauwoo. Actually Mary's gonna climb the hardest nastiest off widths in Vedauwoo and I'm gonna project Big Pink for a month. The climbing in Vedauwoo I think is particularly unique. Grades are just kind of [ __ ] here. The climbing out here is so hard. The crystals are much larger and much less forgiving. It has very few wins and a lot of failure. It's like flat all around and then all of a sudden there's just these like piles of rocks all over. It's whimsical it's painful it challenges you in a way I don't think other places like it do big pink has been on my list for about a year i think of it as like the partner climb to worm drive i was here a year ago and i projected worm drive for a couple weeks and when i sent it it felt like very affirming that it was like i can climb hard off with coming back to Vedauwoo big pink was high up on my list i don't love it i went up to it the first day that we were out here and i kind of failed give me night mike just keep me really tight mike this is the most desperate thing I've ever done so like I can take ah yeah if you big fist this would be sick I have tiny hands and I'm not as strong as Mary i can't arm bar for that long yeah I think I gotta go right side I decided to completely flip everything around and go right side in and just get like the most shittiest tightest chicken wings that I could imagine oh it's big it's big and it's pink I'm getting out of here do it again with style you did it with style you look pretty i did all the moves that's good and then i came back and tried it uh it did not go well my shoes were falling apart kaya is she's a very unique person the top part doesn't feel so bad i can just do that a little bit it's [ __ ] done it's very much like improv it's like yes and that cracks as a [ __ ] [ __ ] me it's not a [ __ ] you're a [ __ ] that's true and then i rested for about an hour and went back to it i just thought like i was like you know I'm just gonna do my best like I'm just like I'm just gonna [ __ ] go for it like you can go hands-free you just have to like really commit to the karate kicks and that like bottom heel toe to press on it there's one section where i get like a really bad chicken wing and my feet are really bad and i had to just like press up and i started slipping out and i just like made the decision I'm not gonna give up like I'm slipping but I'm gonna keep trying she's doing the tightest chicken wings she could do and screaming and we're just getting hyped come on come on come on come on i like walked my foot up a little higher and it was like the hardest thing I've ever done nice come and then i got through that crux i was like [ __ ] okay I did that part don't give up now you just [ __ ] got it that was so rad dude oh my god her screams brad and finally getting to the chains like it felt really good holy [ __ ] yeah dude I could feel her like deciding to try harder like in deciding to not quit like every time she power granted it was so cool [ __ ] hell guys dude I'm crying a little bit so I started crying when you got to the top I was like I just yeah i cried a lot at the time yeah okay i don't know i feel it's like very validating because it feels like I'm actually good at this you know so yeah I'm like actually good at this okay um if i was to describe off with i would say that it is it's just like so absolutely absurd that it it's a really good time i think the easiest way to describe it is finding a crack that is fist width and bigger and trying to figure out every single way you can to either move up the crack or stay in the crack so you have to learn how to stay in cracks and pray to whoever that you don't slip out or that you can move up and you don't get a rest unless you lock in your body putting elbows in you got to like double hand stack you got to put your knee in you got to put your calf in sometimes you even put your head in every inch is a mile and every tiny little bump is one step closer to the anchors and it's just it's a goddamn wrestle where are we going where are we going do you know bad girl's dream yeah bad girl's dream i was really nervous and there was like a bunch of our friends sitting at the base watching and i got a bit of performance anxiety i also wore a knee pad because my knee got messed up the first go I got my knees stuck and then i like yanked it out and it was just like pulling skin off I'm like doing butterflies and shitty cat log and then i shove a knee in already to my like like skinned knee and i go ah take here i got you ow take please I'm sitting on you Mary Mary your legs on the rope no this is not awesome all right here Mary he's stuck Mary do you want to tie in all right got it i need more vibes didn't do so good cleaned it came down I'm excited to give it another go all the skin is rubbed off so I gotta tape it so I'm gonna do this again today I'm bleeding through them I'm wearing band-aids under that too and i took the knee pad off taped my wound on my knee hurt so bad up there that's why i got pissed i think people underestimate Mary a lot because she's small and i think that people look at how she climbs and say like it's easy for her because she's smaller Mary has spent 10 years climbing and perfecting her skills she's putting her 10 000 hours we're cozy up here for a bad girl's dream i sent it my second go about maybe half hour later all right mike you can take like felt good yeah hard but really good she might be one of the best in fact she is one of the best female off with climbers in the world right now let me rip when Mary was going out to try bad girl's dream it's like right next to Gloria's fantasy it's this wide sexist crack that goes up for a long time has like an overhanging bulge it's really [ __ ] hard last season i tried it probably like four or five times and every single time I was just like i it's impossible I'm gonna get revenge on this route it felt like an easier big pink like it was the same exact size a little bit wider than big pink so i could get better chicken wings in she's [ __ ] strong I basically just walked up to it and sent it first go first try so that's how you really feel oh this guy couldn't be my ass but it felt like redemption to be like i got it like i got it do I think that women have an advantage or a disadvantage enough what thing I pondered about this quite a lot I think I would tend to default to the answer that every crack has its technique and it has its size and so for the greater degree I think it's about even in my opinion across men and women when they do off wits all be it but of course like all cracks certain sizes are going to suit certain body sizes so for example if you've got someone who's bigger and can't get a hip in and can't get a shoulder in but then you've got someone who's tiny get the whole body in it becomes a chimney then that's going to be better but that same person may have a much smaller body size or smaller span and can't reach as far back in really flared cracks to the fists at the back maybe for example so I would say it's pretty darn fair across it but I mean that comes from my opinion as a coach and a guy i mean i haven't had the chance to be a woman in life jihad I didn't really get to give it a real go I went up there with the wrong gear I thought jihad was a character building experience I think it'd been a second since people have climbed jihad it's just filled with pack rat nests i couldn't finish the climb with all that stuff in a way like you couldn't jam because of all the all the stuff it's a bird's nest um with no gear it was [ __ ] gross i just went into aid mode i cleaned out the last big pack rat nest without warning Mary decides to start scooping pack rat nest and [ __ ] all down on top of us it's raining [ __ ] hallelujah sorry guys Danny said you're bringing a single rack he's like because you bumped the seven four ways i would bring one seven two sixes and two fives and then the red the point five and then he did save my ass with the tiny ears a little bit of the slack there right and Sadie followed it and cleaned it out some more i can't wait to go back and actually like get to do it myself this is a pain in the ass root whipping boy is my current project I'm not as sendy as Mary so it takes me a little bit longer to send things you know whipping boys [ __ ] hard yeah come on just kind of scary first little bit was really cool it was a really nice warm up to the [ __ ] heinous crux i finally kind of figured that part out dear lord Satan please allow Kaya to send right now that would be great that felt really good i top roped it that day and i sent it clean on top rope i actually was originally not going to do it and Kaya one last time she says are you sure you don't want to do it and i was like [ __ ] [ __ ] okay fine I'll [ __ ] do it it's just like a really gnarly chicken wing with the right until i can get above the constriction and turn around and go into this like really shitty fists pod i have all the beta down i know what i need to do it's just a matter of like doing it yeah that thing's brutal i mean i kind of came into video thinking i was like a 512 like sport climber and that i could like pretty much do all the 511s i taught Sam how to trad climb last fall I've never seen anyone so naturally talented at rock climbing before viva is like no you're not actually even a five nine climber like maybe you're a five climber you're not a five ten climber and I'm like okay that's what I'm fighting for and she wants it so very badly she made me like grass and she made me sit down and like do like a breathing thing for 10 minutes like take deep breaths which was actually pretty hard because i was hyperventilating because i was so much like [ __ ] got on cupcake i was pretty happy with my first couple attempts at it but then I just started getting really freaked out and i would get like near the top I feel like her greatest flaws how bad she wants it because it makes her so nervous i went for something it i slipped it caught me and then I just started like sobbing on the climb i think it just kind of broke me down emotionally she got in her head and we had to tell her to take a step back i talked to Mary and kaya and Sadie and they were all like you gotta like take a break celebrate your wins and like go climbing for fun it's supposed to be fun oh I see why people hate this life without parole the v4 boulder invert off with boulder problem it's hard it's like hard and burdock with lots of pressing i like realized when I was getting out onto it i realized that i actually wanted my feet to be facing the other direction so i would be there on the climb holding on to my jug and i would take my left foot completely out of the crack turn it and put it back all the way in i need the left foot to be facing me you know I'm not I don't want to be facing backwards it's a really good climb once you get the technique down it feels very doable and as soon as i got my left foot like hooked over that ledge i was like I'm safe she's been amazing and it's been really cool to see her develop those trad skills and put her mind to something because she wants it and and get it yes yes girl girl good job i set my first boulder here and then i came back and everyone was like really proud of me and i was like wow okay so I've done this folder you know I've done a bunch of five nines and now I'm thinking like cupcake don't seem so bad anymore it's a flared crack and I'm going up into it and it's like an upside down feet and so my hands like slipping out as I'm going up because I'm below it just every single time I clip I'm afraid of falling and it for me it feels very slippery like my hands are very small and I'm breathing so hard if Mary asks like I was breathing really slowly for the beginning part I'm trying to calm down I'm like getting my foot on the pebbles I'm locking my foot in i just keep getting it higher i keep like shoving my elbow in and then the top is just really not glamorous at all the top is like just a beach whale and it's just like you're like humping up my legs go up actually at the end because I'm just on my knees what just happened i just think cupcakes [ __ ] yeah like ah it's not about climbing hard it's about being yourself challenging yourself and appreciating and growing i don't want to be that person who's like the boo is significantly sandbagged but maybe like the world is just soft instead of who it was correct but when i got up there I was like yes finally finally so I think the way in which off-white thing has changed since i started is that one there's a lot more knowledge about it and people understand the techniques a lot better there's loads more online i also think it's become way less macho street brawling hard man kind of syndrome about the whole thing and there's more women in it i see a lot more kids youths trying it as well it feels to me like a much more open community which I think is really cool spatial was was hard it was very tricky i went in it with like a scouting mindset it has like a 13r grade and i was a bit nervous for the r rating I just went into it with like the mindset of try each move individually figure out where the gear goes and just kind of be very cautious got to the anchors and that's a [ __ ] that's a [ __ ] right there lowered really really cool route I think the movement is unique and neat and it was hard so I feel challenged which is [ __ ] awesome this thing i think is really safe takes really good gear the whole way oh yeah I got a six [ __ ] stuck this is sad I was nervous my first go for sure and so I just went needs a hammer you know what [ __ ] it if somebody wants to like climb this 5 13 and the day that I'm gonna be resting and like take the six it's whatever nobody did imagine that it was my second day on it third overall go and I was super psyched because i had photographed my friend kick on it I remember watching him do it two years ago I hope that i can climb that one day hill [ __ ] Satan I was psyched everything hurts yeah my shoulders hurt my bicep hurts my inner right thigh hurts this shoulder also hurts there's a goby on my shoulder that hurts my legs are really tight there's a goby on each elbow like the little tiny like needles were going in the outside that my chest hurts like these muscles I'm feeling really good my ribs are sore though the only thing i got on this week was whipping boy most people do whipping boy left side in if they have smaller butts they can stay a little farther into the crack i cannot my butt is very big I cannot stay in the crack and so I have to like go right side in and i get a better chicken wing with the right and there's like facey features to grab for her honestly is way harder she's just a different size and it's super hard for her and she had to come up with some really weird way to make to make it happen that was really strenuous 11c is [ __ ] hard out here it's not easy cause kaya is the only person I've ever seen and I've filmed a lot of off with climbers and she's the only one that like whips out of off with she like goes and falls she goes until failure and that's like really inspiring to me the inside of my sleeve is just like a crusty blood it's like a scab and super disgusting all right I'm gonna do it I took one rest day i got this and I tried it and I fell at the hand jam and then i was like [ __ ] okay I'll do it again the next day and I did it again the next day and I fell out the hand jam again come on girl and then Mary made the excellent point that maybe I know my beta but i am just too tired so i took three rest days which was perfect I needed to take three essays there's sleeping I'm not safe with you this is my home because then i went up to it first go yesterday morning and I just like walked right up to it and sent it which was sick sick I [ __ ] did that how do you feel what did you just do i just sent whooping boy yeah watching Kaya come into this awareness that you know she's just as much of a climber as like anybody else she loves this she wants this I've sent everything that i came here to send I had like two projects and i said both of them I just was kind of nervous going into it but then the pitch itself i feel like to lead it is super safe and it didn't really climb like an off width it just kind of climbed like an awkward crawl i think someone said this month that she is gunpowder and rusty nails and I would agree with that the leader bumps the gear and it's really safe to lead then you have a really bomber rest on this giant potato you can take a nap up there for like 45 minutes if you wanted to so it's like a overhanging flare so if you come out like it's really hard to get back in the ledge is completely covered in like rat [ __ ] and piss it's just awkward it's not particularly hard it's just an awkward climb and then i just went on my back and just like [Music] until um until it turned do like hand jam blared hand jam bone locker hand jam and then there's a jug I came down all happy and I never had to do it again kaya followed it and I think following it is actually the scary part of it i had a terrible terrible terrible time she got out of the chimney part and sit on this big potato rest and she was like how dare you there's no more gear for like 20 feet like if i fall out like there's no way for me to get back in the crack i will have to like essentially lower to the bottom and like lead on top rope this route again kaya are you mad at me no are you are you disappointed we'll talk about this later i was like i might fall out here and if i do there's not an insignificant chance that the rope is gonna shred over the edge here I'm sorry but then I get to the six that she bumped and it stuck which I guess is better than no gear I was having an experience but you know what it's done we never have to go back I'm not gonna go back anytime soon I need a break need some space [Music] so [Music] i i started rock climbing as a young adult i was very poor and then i got loaned a set of rigid stem friends and those were my first camalots and honestly without that first set i would not be where I am today used clothing I think is probably the thing that i buy the most I've bought articles of clothing from used gear stores and spent hundreds and hundreds of hours like wearing it on spatial relations the integral piece that I placed for that climb was actually a three and a half which they don't make anymore and i bought it used I actually bought it off of rerouted living in it climbing in it sleeping in it waking up the next morning and continuing to climb in it i think it's really really important investing in new companies like rerouted that focuses on trying to like get gear back out there is like important buying used gear from places like rerouted can help get you into the outdoors [Music] i came here with this lofty list of goals when i was telling people about it they told me that it couldn't be done hell [ __ ] Satan hot girl's summer pretty much done them all having women around you that are supportive and badass and want to do the same things that you want to do and want to support you and you want to support them creates like such a positive feedback loop in rock climbing i really enjoyed watching her send big pink and get to the top and cry about it because like she finally i saw how strong she was and how competent she was my ability to climb hard is directly related to the women that I've been climbing with it made me cry because I'm like I've been telling you this the whole time you're so capable and just as good as the rest of us even more so in so many other ways and like it was cool for her to see that too you know the support of your friends is so vital to rock climbing like we think that it's this sport that you do alone but without your friends you can't send like you need a partner to believe you you need someone to spot you you need someone to motivate to do the trip with you every success I had my girlfriends would be like I'm proud of you for this the friendship is almost as cruxy as the climbing i know that if i get it you'll be happy for me i know that if I don't you'll be proud that i tried it's meant a lot to me it makes me feel like I can rock climb hard if i put my mind to it and if my friends are there with me if you try hard enough if you train enough that you can make anything happen if you really want it.