Climbing Gym Logbook- Serious


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Trad climber
Asia, Indonesia, East Java
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 14, 2012 - 04:45am PT
Wow, can't believe I am even considering this, but here goes.

My climbing gym caters to large Korean, Japanese, and Chinese community here. Even our Indo-Chinese parents fall in this category.

These parent have been placing kids in various extra lessons for years, things like Kumon Math. To make our gym more appealing, we have been giving certificates of completion when our youth have certain Skills.

Climber Level 1 can tie the figure eight, put on harness and shoes, know the commands, and can come down a top-rope. Complete 10 routes any grade. (hanging ok)

Climber level 2, level 3

than on to Top-rope climber 1,2,3,

Advance climber 1,2,3

You get the Idea. Parents would like the kids to keep and maintain a standardized logbook. Trying to figure out how to format these logbook pages.

Basically, kids need to keep track of how many routes they climb, the grade, and the area of the gym they are located in. Wall 1, Wall 2 etc.

Any advice welcomed.

Obviously, the more visually appealing it is, the better.

I know, I know, what has climbing come to.


I'll post this on another site too, but thinking this site will be more helpful.


Sport climber
Oct 14, 2012 - 05:29am PT
I guess this is a troll, but a few words. Since this is kids - do not focus too much on the results, focus on giving them the mental tools that will help them grow better on their own. Give them a lot of different climbing experiences.
Some possible questions to answer in the log book after each training (kids age 12 and upwards can do this):
 What did I like best to climb today? Which climb gave me the best feeling? For what reason?
 What was the most important thing I learned today that will help me become a better climber?
 What did I do today that will help the other kids to become better climbers? (A question meant to contribute to a learning environment. Combine competition and cooperation.)
 If I should start today's training again now - what would I do differently?

Trad climber
Asia, Indonesia, East Java
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 14, 2012 - 06:12am PT
Actually, or unfortunately, it's not a troll. I really am looking for a way to have these kids keep track of what they climbed in the gym. Including the actual routes.

As a former Middle School Teacher, I love your questions. They look like some of the reflection questions I would often encourage my students to do. Always interesting to see what a student gets out of a situation or lesson.

In this case, the kids I am dealing with are younger, 7 years old to 11 years old is the program range.

Guess I am looking for a logical way to record the routes because they have to complete a set number of routes before they can go to the next level.

Your question will definitely help with other aspects of the program, that's for sure.

In some ways, I wish this was a troll.

Trad climber
Oct 14, 2012 - 08:13am PT
Hi Guangzhou how about having the kids draw or take photos of the prospective routes they will complete as they move through the levels.

just an idea. If I think of anything else I will post up. Hope to see you in Cebu someday.

Peace Eric

Trad climber
Oct 14, 2012 - 11:30am PT
Develop an app or have one developed for you. I am sure there are many ubergeeks here who would love to do the work.

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Oct 14, 2012 - 12:41pm PT
There's a gym in Riverside that used to have a touchscreen system called ascent tracker or something, with the idea of logging your routes/problems. You might check with them (Threshhold climbing, although they no longer use the system, they might even have written the software.

As you might imagine, continual clouds of chalk dust and chalky hands + touchscreens = no bueno.

Gym climber
Oct 14, 2012 - 01:53pm PT
I'd think the trick is to keep the difficulty of the climbs out of the equation. You don't want to discourage a youngster because they can't climb as hard as others, but they still have the motivation to climb as many routes as others.

All we climbers know, it ain't the grade that makes for fun, but the entertainment comes from the psychical movement of getting up and doing it.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oct 14, 2012 - 02:13pm PT
A journal is a good idea, I wish I had kept one from when I started, many climbs I did are forgotten over time. Maybe a logbook to keep lists, but the good stuff is going to be in the journal.

Oct 14, 2012 - 08:09pm PT
What the parents should do then is to have their kids set-up and maintain their own Blog. That could include pics of the route (they will change someday, I hope) and their personal comments. You could set the parameters of the context.

Andrew Barnes

Ice climber
Albany, NY
Oct 14, 2012 - 09:04pm PT
Keeping kids motivated and entertained is the important thing. I wouldn't worry about the parents and their desires, I'd just focus on keeping the kids happy. Some positive reinforcement and evidence of progression can help.

Nowadays, kids are so gymnastically strong and talented, that it should be easy to create plenty of progression categories. The obvious suggestion is to tie it to the quantity of climbing and the difficulty. A kid who consistently climbs 5.10 is in a higher category than one who consistently climbs 5.8. A 5.10 leader is in a higher category than a 5.8 leader. And so on. At some point, the whole exercise becomes a bit pointless, and
reverts to the usual problems with numbers, grades, and ego massaging. So whatever you do, the challenge is to enable the kids to have fun, keep learning new things, and keep them interested.

Trad climber
Sydney, Australia
Oct 14, 2012 - 09:19pm PT
Eman - its not as bad as it sounds...why shouldn't your users put a bit of structure into their training? I used to keep a log of the climbs I did in the gym, with the idea that I could quantify what I was doing, and then work towards continual improvement. It started very simple with grade being the main factor ie identifying the climb (yellow gr 19 middle of back wall) and listing how many of what grades I did. Then started working on specific problem areas (crimp strength, footwork issues, pocket pulling etc so included the overall climb "type" as well as grade and length. As this is your gym, you have the option of naming / labelling routes, and in conjunction with your routesetters, setting routes that work specific skills at increasingly harder grades in order to come up with a "certification" program.

I don't see an issue with this. As you know, it bears no relation to true climbing skill or competence - but if your gym climbers (and esp their parents) want metrics, why not? I also imagine the majority of your users are strictly gym climbers - and then increasing fun is what its all about, and measurements and challenges help with that.

Trad climber
Asia, Indonesia, East Java
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 14, 2012 - 10:25pm PT
Some excellent points so far, and all taken into consideration. I should clarify, the program is already in place, we just want to add a paper-journal for kids to share with parents.

While I agree I need to keep the kids excited and engaged, ultimately, it's also a matter of keeping the parents happy so they keep their children coming. Keeping the kids excited is easy, explaining to parent how this is helping their kids develop is more complicated in a society that is test and paper driven.

Internally at the gym, we already have a simple data base that keeps track of each kids progress. That part is simple enough. What I am looking for a paper journal that is visually appealing and easy for youth to log in info.


Climber Level 1

Awareness of safety rules and hazards, appropriate dress and behavior.
Putting on a harness.
Participate in warm ups.
Connecting harness to rope with a re-tied figure of 8 knot with stopper knot.
Climbing a chosen route with confidence.
Correct method of descending a climb.
Correct use of climbing commands.
Climb at least 10 different routes

Climber moves to level 2 than three Each level has a couple more technical skills and set number of routes.

Next step is top-rope climber. (Kids have hard skills and learn to belay top-rope. For this, set number of routes climbed and set number of route belayed.

I don't mind structure, I just don't want to zap the fun out of climbing. Higher level of the program have a show progress in climbing grade component also.

This isn't completely new, the UK has the The National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme Similar to what we are doing. Once we have multiple locations, we can extend the program for sure.

Thanks again for the input.


Nate D

San Francisco
Oct 14, 2012 - 11:02pm PT
Kids think visually, as do most adults I reckon. For logging routes, possibly everyone gets an overview map of the gym, with routes numbered, as a visual reference. And/or they "color in" the routes completed - some sort of color coding system by grade perhaps - to make it fun.

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Oct 14, 2012 - 11:34pm PT
Well, one thing that comes to mind is that it would make it easier for all your gym people (not just the kids) to track what they have done if YOU create in your system an internal database of routes. Give every route you create from now and forward a code that gives information about the location=wall, length, grade, and if it can be led or not.

(I don't know about the gym you own but at mine some routes can only be led, some can be led or top-roped, and some can only be top-roped)

So if it's a traversing lead only pink 10.c route set today on the El Cap wall (wall number 14) that's 40 feet high but the traverse makes the length 50 feet, unique identifier # 36:


Once you have a database like this you could incorporate the ID into any kind of app or manual logbook. Like I say, your other gym members may like this feature too.

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Oct 14, 2012 - 11:41pm PT
I vote for creating an American "everyone wins" style tracking system so that a kids failure to advance from 10a to 10b after 4 sessions (or whatever) isn't used to against them them. Give awards and advancements for all kinds of silly stuff that indicates fun, effort, citizenship, etc. that the parents won't really get unless they are already climbers. Reward the difficulty stuff too, because that's fun and motivating for the kids who are willfully playing. I just wouldn't make it the only thing.

There's a dad/kid combo that I see at my gym on the weekends that makes me ill. My husband had to hold himself back for confronting this guy in anger. He never climbs...only belays and "coaches" (aka belittles) his tiny girl child (guessing 8 yr old). Once she grabbed an off-route hold on a 5.11 crux of a lead when the rope got behind her leg, and he said, "That's it! We're leaving. You're obviously not into this," and speed lowered her from the clip. She just hung her little head when she touched down. So sucky. Don't create a situation where the parents can abuse their kids for their performance even when they aren't there to berate them in person.

Trad climber
Asia, Indonesia, East Java
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 15, 2012 - 12:33am PT
"Speed Lower," great visual.

Data base is already there, just need a paper version that kids can keep in a journal style/format.

Program definitely grade orientated.

Keep them coming. I guess I am looking for something like a Scuba Diving Logbook. Paper version.


between the flat part and the blue wobbly thing
Oct 15, 2012 - 01:00am PT
This is depressing. The f**king helicopter parents can't just let the poor bastards do something fun. They have to turn it into goddamn indoctrination. Keep a log so each kid knows exactly where he stands in relation to the others, so the parents know exactly how they compare to the other parents. God knows we wouldn't want a situation where no one knows where they stand. There'd be chaos, insurrection, the very breakdown of society!

OK, rant over. Carry on.

Trad climber
Oct 15, 2012 - 01:01am PT
Have a sheet per level with each of the skills as a check list. When you complete one you get a sticker on it. Complete all of the skills on the sheet and you get a new page with a picture or a chapter of a story of a climber going on an adventure. Have the chapters progress from bouldering in town to climbing Everest as the highest skill. Stickers, pictures, adventures. That would have me pretty excited as a 7 year old to find out how the story ended.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 15, 2012 - 01:15am PT
Tell them that there are no rules, no prizes, and that they can do whatever they darn well please as long as they have fun, play nice and don't get hurt. And scare their parents.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 15, 2012 - 01:19am PT
Make it even more exciting by introducing paintball guns!
It'll bring new meaning to 'redpoint'!
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