I haven't heard from my son in a month


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Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 22, 2012 - 04:03pm PT
I sent him off to a NOLS course in Patagonia. He called me from Coyhaique on September 22 and said he was good and getting to know the others in his group. No news since. I know it would be bad news if we did hear from him but it is very disconcerting to not have any contact with him. I am dying to hear all about it. He turned 21 last week. He should be home for Christmas.
Taken 1-7-2012. Bairs Creek approach to Mt. Williamson.
Taken 1-7-2012. Bairs Creek approach to Mt. Williamson.
Credit: Banquo
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Oct 22, 2012 - 04:06pm PT
He looks pretty solid to me. I bet he's having an amazing time.


Dingleberry Gulch, Ideeho
Oct 22, 2012 - 04:10pm PT
I'm a NOLS grad and there are a few NOLS affiliates here as well. I was off the grid for 5 weeks once on a course. I know my parents worried hard. It's part of the job.

He's in good hands and NOLS instills a solid ethic. Be envious, but be concerned like any good parent should.

I've been thinking about sending my teenager on one of those.

Trad climber
Oct 22, 2012 - 05:05pm PT
I was lucky enough to do the semester in Patagonia course 12 years ago, and at least at that time, we resupplied in the field and had no opportunity for phone contact until we were back in Coyhaique. I know I didn't shower for 80 days, so I think that coincided with phone availability too...so don't worry, he's having the time of his life! Also, they do have enough communications (e.g. radios, EPIRB, etc.) to arrange for a rescue if needed, as it was on our course, so no news is good news in this case:) I hope he takes great photos...and tell him to bring home some "manjar", which he will no doubt be addicted to by the end of the course and which is very hard to find here.

Trad climber
Oct 22, 2012 - 06:00pm PT
Banquo get a grip man. Your son is a man now. He's out having fun and living life. If he calls home it's a bonus. Most likely he's to far from a phone and couldn't tell you what day it was on a bet. Catch up with him at Christmas.

Peace Eric

Social climber
the Wastelands
Oct 22, 2012 - 06:11pm PT
isn't there someone you could call on the phone or email just to find out if he is ok and the adventure is proceeding according to plan?

surely there is a contact point, just a concerned father checking in?

Social climber
Oct 22, 2012 - 06:28pm PT
Banquo, as a parent who has not heard from her son in 9 months (tho he not be climbing) I know the anxiety and worry you must be feeling. I pray he is safe and just wanting to prove he can handle some situations on his own. Hope he calls you soon.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Oct 22, 2012 - 06:30pm PT
As the mom of a son the same age as yours I know the anxiety. I hate it when long periods go by.. Hope you hear soon....but the adage "no news is good news" usually is true!

Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oct 22, 2012 - 06:34pm PT
I used to do that to my parents, my dad had the police knocking on my door once, that fixed the communication breakdown. Now as a parent I feel guilty about that.

I am sure your son is fine, be proud!

Topic Author's Reply - Oct 22, 2012 - 06:38pm PT
I'm not worried about him, it's just strange to not hear from him. In today's world we are accustomed to hearing from people no matter where they are.

In 1981 I decided to go on a trip. I bought a ticket across the pond. On my way to SFO I stopped by my parent's house and told mom I was going and didn't know when I would be back or where I was going. She cried and gave me a $100 bill she had stashed away. I was gone for a year and made my way all the way around the globe.

In those days there was no internet and mail typically took a week or more each way. I sent her a few letters and called her once from India. The phone call took all day to make. Not only did she not hear from me for a month or more at a time, she had no idea where I was. I think I caused her a lot of distress. She told me later that she had regularly sent letters to GPO's all over the Middle East and Asia to places she thought I might visit.

I think he is safe enough.

Social climber
Oct 22, 2012 - 07:09pm PT
When I was 26 I buggered off to Africa with a female travellin' companion, 22 years old, and went out of contact with my folks for eight or nine weeks. Drove 'em nuts. So I can totally relate.

My son is also the same age as yours and in the military. I anticipate there may well be times in his future I'm greatly concerned about his well-being.

Then again, it's my 21 y/o daughter who goes off to a party involving a rugby team, out of contact for 2 hrs and I'm really up on two wheels................

No wonder I gots all this grey hair.....

I look fwd to seeing this thread in the future with some great stories.


Topic Author's Reply - Oct 22, 2012 - 07:33pm PT
Sully, somebody has to have me murdered 1st.

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Oct 22, 2012 - 07:34pm PT
Our daughter up in Seattle lost her iPhone and it took four weeks for her iPhone 5 to arrive. I think she and my wife only barely survived the ordeal.

Oct 22, 2012 - 07:35pm PT

You raised them. If you believe you did a Good Job, instilled some personal responsibility, life skills, and helped them develop some common sense then Cowboy/girl up and have some Faith!

My Dad was gone from home during WWII for the duration of that event and another year doing occupation work in Korea. Essentially no contact with family. I used to work in the Guiana Highlands for 9 months at a time with essentially no contact.

Dealing with your own situation and living in the moment is good for people. Staying attached to that world you left behind cheapens the experience you went away to have.

Modern comm's are an addiction. Many adolescents of today can hardly take a piss without texting Mom to see if it OK....


Topic Author's Reply - Oct 22, 2012 - 07:46pm PT

Is your son a submariner? I think I heard so anyway. He must be out of contact sometimes.

Trad climber
Oct 22, 2012 - 09:05pm PT
My younger brother disappears overseas for a month or two every winter...and comes back with a smile you just know means he had more fun than he'll ever let on...

I wish the same for your son! Lucky kid to have such a great dad.

the last bivy
Oct 22, 2012 - 09:12pm PT
eek! on the other hand , I can't hide from my kids for even 24 damn hours.

really though, I hate it when I don't hear from them. hang in B. there are some good posts here.

Oct 22, 2012 - 10:34pm PT
I also am guilty. I was usually too far out to be near a phone or it cost too much to use. It also was a good thing since when I did get to use a phone, I would end up having an argument with my mother. She wanted me back NOW, I shouldn't be in places without phones, I should pay the BIG amount even though it would mean leaving me without money to survive, etc.

Later in life when my Dad was alive... It was I who would call him when he was out too late. Dad thought that was hilarious.


Mountain climber
there and back again
Oct 22, 2012 - 10:51pm PT
Banquo,I have spent a lot of time away from my folks on wild escapades. On most of my expeditions I was away for many weeks doing stuff they had every right to be worried about. Unlike my past experiences he is in good hands. My mom finally stopped asking where I have been and what I was going to do next. Now, my son is pulling the same sheet. Thank God he is a facebook addict so I can check up on him.

Not hearing from our kids usually means they're cool. Good luck and hang in there Bro.

Social climber
Oct 22, 2012 - 11:00pm PT
Banquo - Subs? Not yet. Has volunteered for that service but must do that 2x before being considered to train for the Dolphins. Rite now he's just Navy :-)

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