Climbing, parenting, Enduring Patagonia, and the Supermouse

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 95 of total 95 in this topic
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 11, 2013 - 10:15pm PT
After a day of pondering Donini's suggestion, I've decided to take his advice and post this as its own topic, which I don't think I've done before. (If that's a pain in the ass, forgive me.) I'm interested in hearing how other climbing parents have handled these issues...

So here's the post, pulled from the end of another thread:

Having a strange climbing and Patagonia related experience here in California this morning -- my 12-year old son Ryan is reading Enduring Patagonia.

It's been very gratifying to see how much he's enjoying it, but it also raises a pretty serious question about what it means to be a parent, and a climber.

Of course I love climbing, and as an individual, it defines who I am as much or more than anything else, and I'd be delighted to teach Ryan to climb -- if it's something he genuinely wants for himself.

But I don't think it's right for me to make him into a climber just because I'm one. The sport is too damn dangerous, as any perusal of these threads makes painfully obvious.

We've done a little gym climbing and have taken a few trips up to Yosemite and Tuolumne, which have been great, and great experiences for Ryan, but I haven't pushed it too hard. We only go when Ryan asks to go, which he hasn't done very often -- just a time or two a year.

If Ryan wants to be a climber, I feel like it should be his decision as much as possible, one that he makes when he's a little older than he is now, when he's grown into more of his own person. This is one passion I really don't feel comfortable pointing him too strongly toward without him wanting it for himself. I have a pretty strong intuition that I shouldn't force feed it to him.

Of course, when the time comes, if he wants to learn, I'd be delighted to teach him. And I'd want to do it myself.

(By way of sporting comparisons relevant to another thread, Ryan's getting shown a lot more opportunities to embrace surfing by his old man, who doesn't perceive but a fraction of the risk in that sport that he does in climbing...)

I'd also be very interested in hearing from other parents how they've dealt with these issues. To me, it feels like a big one.

Guess what part Ryan just read...
Guess what part Ryan just read...
Credit: Gregory Crouch

(Also a great reply from Todd Gordon relevant to this topic and worth reading about halfway down the third page of the other thread at about #70.)

And where in the hell is David Fasel? Does anybody know?
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 11, 2013 - 10:25pm PT
you better talk to Mike Kennedy .... and then hold onto your hat!

Just kidding. completely valid topic. There is already a thread in existence just loaded with the stuff you are looking for.... damned if I can remember what its called though.

Hey things could be worse - he might yet take a shine to crystal meth! My kids think climbing is for the birds and old washed out has beens. I wonder where they get that idea?
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 11, 2013 - 10:31pm PT
MK? What about Julie? There can't be another human being who has sweated out more mountain trips than Julie...
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Feb 11, 2013 - 10:39pm PT
We went through it with our kids. And yes, there were times when I wondered how I'd feel if one of them died climbing, but then I remembered my own youth, and asked myself how things would have turned out if my parents hadn't introduced me to the wilderness.

I was guiding whitewater when I was fifteen, and loving every minute of it. If I hadn't come back from one of my trips, I'm sure they would have questioned themselves. On the other hand, if they'd protected me from all that dangerous stuff, I'd probably have ended up dead in a back alley, or in jail. So maybe they did the right thing.

For what it's worth, we did the same thing you're doing. Introduced our boys to climbing, but then left it up to them. Their choice was to go in other directions. But last summer, on a trip to Squamish, who did I run into? Yup, Number Two son (now 27) up to do some climbing.



Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Feb 12, 2013 - 05:20am PT
Greg,

Your approach is best in time he'll decide. My kids had been around climbing and climbers all their lives but I never pushed it. If they wanted to climb I took them and always made sure they had an enjoyable time. What was interesting to me is that my oldest didn't fully embrace it until he went off to college in Bozeman. He had training through our family and found himself in an environment full of outdoor orientated kids that loved the same things.

They all started climbing together and went through the frieghtful first several years like all of us. That period is what scared me the most when he was comfortable and knowledgeable enough to get himself into some real pickles which he did. Despite all the potential danger I warned him of he had to learn it himself through his own experiences.

He's all grown up and a compedent climber and skier and now he and his wife also a climber are expecting a baby. Pay back time, I'm sure they'll go through all those same nigths laying there wondering if their child is down or thinking they should have warned him or her about that descent etc. etc.

One things for sure being a climbing/skiing family sure makes reunions enjoyable beyond all the knife and fork activity. Good luck, he'll do fine either way. He's got a great dad that cares and that is the best ticket toward success.

Charlie D.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine
Feb 12, 2013 - 05:31am PT
(By way of sporting comparisons relevant to another thread, Ryan's getting shown a lot more opportunities to embrace surfing by his old man, who doesn't perceive but a fraction of the risk in that sport that he does in climbing...)

I wonder what the rates really are. I perused a surf (message) board and some casual "answer" sites, but there don't seem to be any hard and fast numbers on surfing mortality. Don't get knocked out by your board, smashed head first into the rocks, trapped out in a rip current, and you'll probably be okay. I'd reckon surfing has less, but what if you take alpine climbing out of the equation?

Do tourists on Everest count as climbers?

Had I children, I would probably do as DMT does.

Like Charlie says above, it's probably good payback for us climbers to have children who climb.
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Feb 12, 2013 - 06:29am PT
YOU WILL BE A CLIMBER.

AND YOU WILL ENJOY IT, DAMMIT!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Feb 12, 2013 - 06:44am PT
You planted the seed,
talk to him and find out his desires.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 12, 2013 - 07:37am PT
There won't be any real problem until career time comes along and he says "I've decided to be a mountain guide! Say dad, the certification stuff is pretty expensive. You don't mind helping me out there do you?"

At which point you say "I'll start thinking about it if you first go get yourself snipped!"


Hey that reminds me - listen to this. I heard it jut yesterday. This guy Kevin O' Leary nails it on multiple points:


http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/ID/2332935061/


Click on the "Kevin O'leary" then scroll to 26 minute.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Feb 12, 2013 - 08:01am PT
Greg, my son turned 12 today and climbing is how we spend time together. I just emphasize saftey and that it is about the experience not the end result. He reads everything about climbing that he can get his hands on. So I know he is interested in it. Many times our "climbing trips" turn out to be just hiking in the woods, shooting his bb gun, or just playing in the stream on a hot day. I just see it as a way to spend time with him in the outdoors. I have had many more friends hurt seriously by biking than climbing but most parents don't think twice about giving them a bike.

That being said it is probably easier to pay the ultimate price while climbing than most other sports, and I would never be able to forgive myself if something happened to either of my children while climbing, but who better to teach them how to be safe than you, and I think it will become second nature for them.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Feb 12, 2013 - 08:21am PT
Great topic.

I've got 4 younguns, 24, 22, 15, 13.

They've all been introduced HEAVILY to mountains, hiking, camping, lakes, canoeing, playing in the snow.

They've all been introduced LIGHTLY to technical climbing. They all like it a little, meaning they humor dad. But none of them have begged to take off on the sport.

They could never fill the shoes.....BWA HA HA hahahahaaaaa!!!


Credit: survival









Credit: survival









Credit: survival
TradEddie

Trad climber
Philadelphia, PA
Feb 12, 2013 - 08:32am PT
Of course I love climbing, and as an individual, it defines who I am as much or more than anything else, and I'd be delighted to teach Ryan to climb -- if it's something he genuinely wants for himself.

But I don't think it's right for me to make him into a climber just because I'm one. The sport is too damn dangerous, as any perusal of these threads makes painfully obvious.

We've done a little gym climbing and have taken a few trips up to Yosemite and Tuolumne, which have been great, and great experiences for Ryan, but I haven't pushed it too hard. We only go when Ryan asks to go, which he hasn't done very often -- just a time or two a year.

I think that sums up my approach nicely, (although I would define myself as parent first, climber second) and would be my recommendation to others too.

TE
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 12, 2013 - 08:58am PT
Super good thoughts, people.

Excellent point about the family reunions, @Charlie D. I didn't realize you were the patriarch of such an outdoorsy clan. Bring 'em out cragging some time!

Congrats on the coming grandkid. DeAnne (Ryan's mom) and I did Epinephrine in Red Rocks when she was pregnant, and although I'd guess that DeAnne didn't get the FPA of the route, since she was 5 months pregnant, I'd hazard that she probably nailed the MPA. I'll bet she still has it, too.

But last summer, on a trip to Squamish, who did I run into? Yup, Number Two son (now 27) up to do some climbing.

Bitchin'! Unplanned? That must have been fabulous.

I wonder what the rates really are.

Bombz, I've been surfing for 33 years and climbing for 28, and of all the people I've known surfing, I don't think I personally know anyone who has had an injury surfing worse than 30 stitches on their head from a scag. As a climber, I have personally shared a rope with 14 people who have gone on to get killed climbing. Although neither myself nor my partners have ever had anything so bad as a hangnail from climbing while we were climbing together. One of my career statistics of which I am most proud. Statistical sample is probably about the same size in each group in terms of raw numbers -- I'd guess about 300-400. Climbing is outrageously more dangerous than surfing, in my opinion and experience.

Great thoughts from the rest of you, too.

Perhaps we should post pics of climbing with the sprogs?
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 12, 2013 - 09:52am PT
,
I'd hazard that she probably nailed the MPA.


And certainly she got the MVP award in your household at least. He didn't suffer head injury in the chimneys I hope...... in other words he won't aspire to mountain guiding?

By the way I met your wife once down in Argentina . we were both working an Eco challenge race in ?Bariloche. Nice lady i recall

Now that would be a very good family trip - Bariloche, the frey spires and Tronador and Pampa linda, lots of wine and roasting lots of wild cow with the cowboys
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 12, 2013 - 10:10am PT
Here's my post from before.......thanks, Greg, for starting a new post;....yeah;...as parents, and climbers;....it's something we all grapple with.......

I'm w/you on this one, Greg. Climbing is my thing, not my kids. They are still sort of little (6,6, and 8), and I take them climbing every few months or so. They go out scrambling and running around in the wilderness all the time, but roped climbing not too often;....usually only when they ask or we are going w/other families who want to take their kids climbing. My kids love computer games, soccer, tennis, basketball, mountain biking, baseball, swimming;...that is their thing. I support those activities more than I support climbing. Climbing is my thing, not theirs. Climbing is a dirty and dangerous sport. I would rather see them surfing and snowboarding too......less likely to get snuffed and they can meet those cute rad surf/snowboard girls;...........(we got to hang out with the dirty camp four girls;....with their bad habits and foul mouths......worked for me, but probably not for them....).....
My son Von, who is handicapped and has CP, was scrambling and bouldering a few days ago in Indian Cove in Joshua Tree Nat. Park......he said, " Dad, will you teach me how to rock climb better. I want to be a good rock climber."....and I said, "Sure, Von....we can do that."......so there you go........

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Feb 12, 2013 - 10:20am PT
Once when I was four I was quietly sitting at the kitchen table while my father was practicing his violin. He stopped and went into the kitchen without seeing me at first. He reached into the fridge and took out a carton of milk, opened it, and started to raise it to his mouth and then stopped as he spotted me.

Sternly he wagged his finger at me and said, "You should never do this!"

Then he took a drink.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 12, 2013 - 10:31am PT
Then he took a drink.

I suck. I do that all the time.

And Todd, bring up that killer pic!
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 12, 2013 - 10:33am PT
I met your wife once down in Argentina . we were both working an Eco challenge race in ?Bariloche

We didn't make it, Bruce.

But that was a fun season, no doubt. Frey and Cerro Cathedral is a phenomenal trip. Imaginate is one of the best rock climbs I've ever done. Was it on Campanille Eslovenio? Great route; great summit.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 12, 2013 - 10:46am PT
The campanille. One of the best little route I've ever done! Make sure you listen to that podcast. I wish I did about twenty odd years ago
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Feb 12, 2013 - 10:52am PT
Done some climbing with my 10 year old daughter. Both in the gym and outdoors. She likes it, but is not wild about it. Her thing is taekwondo. You'll know pretty quickly if a kid is really into something on their own, or if they just want to dabble.

I'd generally agree with you that climbing, even bouldering and sportclimbing is orders of magnitude more dangerous than surfing. Maybe real big wave surfing is comparable.
But deaths in bouldering/sportclimbing are pretty rare. Plenty of broken ankles and the like, but it's only when you get into the alpine world that the mortality index really rises. So if your kid doesn't go down that road, and if you give them good instruction on safety, it is possible to climb without huge risks.

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 12, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
We only go when Ryan asks to go, which he hasn't done very often

I treated it exactly the same with our kids, and felt the same way. They sometimes climb a little bit, but are mostly into other stuff, like running (when they are not injured). I'm quite happy with this.
SGropp

Mountain climber
Eastsound, Wa
Feb 12, 2013 - 01:28pm PT
Great topic! It's conversations like this that make Supertopo a worthwhile visit, in spite of some of the real idiocy that happens here.

Sometimes it's helpful as a parent to look for guidance at our own upbringing.

My family were very active hikers and skiers, but not climbers, but they did have a friend that had climbed the Matterhorn.That fired my imagination ,aided and abetted by my librarian Grandmother who brought me a copy of ''The White Spider'' when I was 14.

When I expressed my interest in climbing,my parents insisted that I got a solid grounding in the basics, which I got in the Seattle Mountaineers Basic Mountaineering Course in 1969.

A year later my father and brother found me unconscious and bloody with a broken back at the base of a cliff from which I had fallen while climbing unroped. Months later, after the brace came off, I was back at it , climbing as hard and as often as I could. My parents did not try to discourage me, realizing that there was something good there in spite of the real risks.

About 15 years later , I accompanied my parents on a trip to pick up my sisters ashes who had died in a car crash. During that time I realized, that to be a parent can bring out our greatest strengths and deepest vulnerability.

A month later, my wife and I left on a planned trip to try and circumnavigate Moresby Island in the Queen Charlottes in a kayak. It was a particularly stormy summer on the west coast and after a few weeks we realized how easy it would be to simply vanish without a trace in that pitiless ocean.
I think at that point I finally fully grasped my own mortality.

Now years later, with two sons 22 and 18, I find myself ,as a parent, worrying as they go out into the world on their own adventures. We brought them up in the outdoors, camping and hiking from a young age. When they were teenagers I took them on mountain climbing trips in the Cascades to give them a taste of that incredible world above the snow line. I tried not to push it, hoping to give them a sense of what is possible.

The oldest one enjoys it, but I think the climbing made him nervous. He's into other passions of his own interest.

His younger brother seems to have gotten a stronger taste for adventure in the mountains , going regularly to a climbing gym and completing training as a wilderness first responder during his first year away at college. Recently ,he confided to me , that he had gone off bouldering on his own while he was in Japan on a school trip last year.
It will be interesting to see where and how far it all goes with him.
Just in case, I'm building him a custom made ice axe for his birthday.

I think it's important not to push them into climbing ,just because it's something that we love. It's really needs to be their own personal choice, that they arrive at through their own growth process. As a parent it's good to inspire them, provide some solid guidance and maybe some financial help getting geared up if it goes that far.

In spite of all the advances in gear and technique, it's still a dangerous activity. Worth it in my mind, but I wouldn't push anyone into it. Even so, there's a lot of worse things for a young person to get interested in. Or even worse ,not interested in anything at all.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 12, 2013 - 03:42pm PT
SGropp.... what a great post. Thanks for sharing.

it seems like most of us are coming at this situation on the same tack, although I suppose nobody's going to post, "f*#k no, I make those little bastards climb every weekend, whether they like it or not."

I ran into a similar problem of "climber cool" when I tried to do a story on "broken-hearted ascents" years ago -- ie, wild-ass climbs inspired by breakups. And although I'd HEARD stories about them for years, when I actually went to do the interviews, what I heard, over and over, was, "Yeah, well, I did that, but it wasn't really that unreasonable... I'd been thinking about it for a long time."

It really blew me away to listen to people lie about their motivations... I mean, come on, I'd been thinking about soloing the west face of GIV, too, but my motivation has never risen to the undertaking, and in that circumstance, the only scrap of motivation that's important is the shred that makes me decide to do it....

If Rolando Garibotti hadn't come through with brutal honesty and self-introspection and criticism, I don't think I'd have been able to do the story.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Feb 12, 2013 - 05:03pm PT
If you are a parent and climb a lot you are spending significant amounts of times away from your family. Is it selfish to not involve them in what many of us spend so much of our free time doing?
micronut

Trad climber
Feb 12, 2013 - 05:36pm PT
Good topic here.

I wonder sometimes too, but it goes with many aspects of parenting and life too...like sports.

My wife and I both swam on the US Team and we now have kids who are pretty good little swimmers. We really don't push, but it can be tempting because it meant so much to us at the time (Paid for college in full, we got to see the world and live the dream of an Olympic Hopeful.) Its in their genes for sure, my fifteen year old is already moving into NCAA scholarship postential in backstroke, but I often wonder how much to nudge. We have the tendency to go too light sometimes, because we don't want to be "those" parents. But there's also time to "suck it up and train with a little pain" and I think we do our kids no great service by backing off when it gets hard. The most important thing is "are you having fun and is this your choice?" We ask them that on cold and rainy days when swimming sounds like a drag, and they always say "yeah...let's go."

Credit: micronut
With climbing, it seems to be in their blood from out camping days that turned into family backpacking trips. Our little boys love it, and Sierra, the swimmer, is just starting to lead climb. SHe wants to lead her first multi-pitch this summer, a great, five pitch granite 5.5 in the foothills above Fresno. She first climbed it with me when she was about 12 and it was one of my most joyful days as a dad. We are planning on Snake Dike this summer and the boys really want to climb The Grack someday. I love that it's in their language....it's something we share. "Dad, that crack looks awesome doesn't it?" or "Dad, do coyboy boots ever have Stealth Rubber, cause that would be soooo cool."
Credit: micronut

EIither way, I'd be stoked to continue to climb with them when I'm an old man, or just enjoy doing anything that keeps the fire for adventure lit within them, be it Fly fishing, skiing or camping. Every year, each of the four kids gets a one on one trip with Dad, and they always ask to make it a climbing thing. WHo knows, maybe next year it will end up a tour of The Mall of America or The ComicCon. I'm just happy to make sure we support them in whatever they dream of doing and to be right there when they succeed or fail. If they really got after it and started doing hardcore alpine stuff, The true hardcore high risk stuff, I'd have to say I'd rather they chose golf, that would be hard for me as a dad.
Credit: micronut
GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Feb 12, 2013 - 06:16pm PT
Crouch,

Give me that rodent for a summer.

Ill beat him withs carabiners till scales the Captain.
Kids need to learn to push themselves.... Then he can reload my ammo and wash my car.
Bob D'A

Trad climber
Taos, NM
Feb 12, 2013 - 06:38pm PT
I have exposed my kids (all three) to climbing...they all went on to different sports/pursuits. I'm happy for them. All three are healthy, smart and their own people/person. Love them dearly...they have made my life better and more fulfilled.
Will_P

Trad climber
Melbourne, Victoria
Feb 12, 2013 - 07:03pm PT
From another perspective - I kinda wish my stepfather had pushed me more to get involved in 'his' passion of climbing. At the time, he took me out a couple of times for a weekend, but waited for me to initiate it. Once I was a few years older, in my later teens, and getting into it by myself, he was losing interest in climbing (no chance of that in your scenario, though, Greg!). Now I regret that we didn't share more time when it was mutual interest, that wou;d've made for some cool memories. So some gentle encouragement, even just in the form of 'want to go climbing this weekend?', might be just right.

Out of interest, and having read 'Enduring Patagonia' myself - what would your reaction be if he read it and decided he wanted to enlist?
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 12, 2013 - 07:47pm PT
Out of interest, and having read 'Enduring Patagonia' myself - what would your reaction be if he read it and decided he wanted to enlist?

I'd ask if he was SURE he wanted to do that, and if the answer was yes, I think I wouldn't have any trouble getting behind it. Hell, I learned a ton in the Army, and I liked it. I just didn't love it. I loved climbing, and therein lay the rub.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 12, 2013 - 07:48pm PT
@ Micronut: Great post.

@ghoulwej: He'd probably like that. Hell, I know he'd like that. All except the washing the truck part.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 12, 2013 - 08:02pm PT
Soccer is his thing;....climbing is Dad's thing..





Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 12, 2013 - 08:09pm PT
I like the idea of family biking.......

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 12, 2013 - 08:12pm PT
Summit or plummet; top or chop, son......(and tie your damn shoe, son....)...

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 12, 2013 - 08:16pm PT
Hip hop dance....sure...





Tap dance...(w/zombies...)..why not..



Nude gardening......whatever;...go for it..



Find your own path, dream your own dreams, set your own goals, float your own boat, ride your own wave, sleep in your own bed you make for yourself, ........I will support you in your quests and adventures.......
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Feb 12, 2013 - 08:35pm PT
Bull crap! I'm forcing my kids to climb so I have a belay slave!

Just kidding, and enjoying these replies and learning a lot from them.

@Todd: Careful with encouraging the snowboarding thing. I've seen people die two times, and lots of people get helo rides, but I've yet to see that first hand climbing!
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 12, 2013 - 08:41pm PT
Naked mud wrestling at Gordon's house!

(Not like it'd be the first time or anything...)
Michael Kennedy

Social climber
Carbondale, Colorado
Feb 13, 2013 - 06:01am PT
Greg, just take Ryan climbing and have fun. Let him try out skiing, surfing, hiking as well. The big thing is to help him develop an appreciation for the outdoors and a sense of adventure. He'll figure out where he wants to take it as he grows up. He's better off climbing than sitting around watching TV all day.

Bobby D says it well ... let your kids become their own people. They are a lot smarter than we sometimes give them credit for!
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 13, 2013 - 11:39am PT
He's better off climbing than sitting around watching TV all day.

Bobby D says it well ... let your kids become their own people. They are a lot smarter than we sometimes give them credit for!

No doubt, MK, that's my worst fear of all. Although he's a hell of a reader, which accounts for a lot of couch time. Gotta admit, I'm jealous of the amount of reading the little guy gets done. And I do a lot.

And Bob D.: I totally agree with you in that regard. We often underestimate children. I find it pretty fascinating to observe. Total naivite one minute, outrageous sophistication and insight the next.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
Feb 13, 2013 - 12:08pm PT
He's better off climbing than sitting around watching TV all day.

So true- my kid got made fun of the other day for not sitting around and playing video games. Modern times!

I don't push climbing at all, but my guys are still pretty young. They like the gym so I take them sometimes and have also taken them outside, which they like. I'm not sure about when they get older but surfing, skiing and the like seem a lot safer. I've climbed with two guys that went on to be killed and one who was permanently brain damaged. It's not the same as signing kids up for baseball.

Anyway, I was never more than a bush league punter and have dialed things down from even that so they may have to look elsewhere should they aspire to climb!
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 13, 2013 - 12:18pm PT
Anyway, I was never more than a bush league punter and have dialed things down from even that

TD, I'm just hoping that one of these days you'll sink low enough for it to be worth your while to climb with me again.

(Besides, we owe it to Theo to take him.)
Woody the Beaver

Trad climber
Soldier, Idaho
Feb 13, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
Low-grade weekender checking in on this topic! My son is 26 now, and he's found his own way to climbing, without any encouragement from me. (I'm tickled about it, by the way, and I love climbing with him.) I thought about it a lot when he was a little guy, and it seemed to me, on reflection, that since climbing has a lot of the mortal business in it, that I wanted him to get there -- if at all -- through a pull, rather than a push. And that's the way it happened; he found his own way. I owe the climbing world a lot, but I wouldn't blithely recommend this path to anybody else who might think that it's a simply wholesome thing to do. I remember some darkness, some scary stuff in my own attraction to the life. It's funny to see the distinct differences between Jeff and me: he's a sweet technician and up-floater, and I'm a swearing grab-and-pull guy. He's as measured as I am impetuous. Very interesting. Glad to be here, and thanks for the thread.
duncan

climber
London, UK
Feb 13, 2013 - 01:15pm PT
Interesting topic for a newish Dad.

I have no concerns about introducing my offspring to sport-climbing or bouldering. I don't think these are much more dangerous than daily life and the benefits of regular, lifelong, outdoor exercise far outweigh the small risks.

Offspring, aged 2 3/4, on a white circuit at Fontainbleau:



I'd be delighted if said offspring enjoyed rock-climbing, I'd love to share with him something that's important to me. I'd be less enthusiastic if he went on to put up new routes in the Himalyas. I suspect he will humour his Dad for a little then go off and do something to his own tastes. That is as it should be. Whatever you say to them, they do what they want to, eventually.


Some data (skip this bit if you don't believe in science or numbers)

Rough estimate of the risk involved from (trad.) rock climbing: 0.06-0.3 deaths per 1000 participants per year (a bit less risky than driving a car). The 'background risk' of a young person dying in the UK is 0.52 deaths per 1000 population per year, mostly car crashes, suicide and a few murders.

Mountaineering is an entirely different matter. The risk of climbing big mountains - Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Denali etc. - is about 1-3 deaths per 1000 ascents/attempts; in the big mountains (8000m+ and exploratory 7000m+)
it's 5-50 deaths per 1000 ascents/attempts.

Chance of a committed Alpinist/Mountaineer dying in harness is around 3% to 30% over their lifetime. Too high odds for me.

[mostly from Mark Stevenson here]



Sport-climbing, gym climbing and bouldering offers a negligible increase in danger over life in general. Sure John Long smashes his leg (after 40 years in the sport) but a non-climbing Largo is as likely to have fallen down stairs or have a heart-attack playing tennis. Trad. climbing is about 10x more dangerous then sport-climbing but not more dangerous than driving regularly. Easy alpine climbing is 100x more dangerous than sport. Himalyan mountaineering is 1000x more dangerous.

This fits with my personal experience of people I've known dying climbing. I can think of a dozen or so, all on mountains, none on rocks.




GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Feb 13, 2013 - 01:27pm PT
I just toured the Louisville Slugger bat factory...
Awesome Americana sports tour.
ALMOST made baseball cool again.

Maybe he should just play ball?
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 13, 2013 - 09:28pm PT
Dad;....you can't make me go climbing...



Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 13, 2013 - 09:31pm PT
I know you wanted a ninteno wii for your birthday, son....but I got you these hangers instead;.....give something back to the community..

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 13, 2013 - 09:34pm PT
I guess they DO sort of look like rock climbers.......what the heck;....I'll drop them off at the Pit w/Phil and happiegirl and see if they can hang....

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 13, 2013 - 09:37pm PT
You hang-doggin', son?......you are grounded;....go to your room....



Both of you are grounded.....

Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Feb 13, 2013 - 09:37pm PT
Great thread, thanks all. Wish I had had kids too.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 13, 2013 - 09:40pm PT
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 13, 2013 - 09:40pm PT
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 13, 2013 - 09:41pm PT




Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 13, 2013 - 09:47pm PT
"I want a port-a-ledge, a haulbag, some draws, and a new bouldering pad,a prana beanie, and some clove cigarettes........."....."I've been good this year, Santa..."...

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 13, 2013 - 09:49pm PT
OWth training, son.....it happens to everyone, son.....If you want to climb in Canyonlands, or the Valley;...get used to it....

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 13, 2013 - 09:52pm PT




Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 13, 2013 - 09:59pm PT
Pick a bed-time story;......15 climbs in Sedona that don't suck.....again;.....OK....but aren't you tired of that book...I've read it to you at least 100 times, Von....

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 13, 2013 - 10:05pm PT
Climbing isn't even a sport,...it's a hobby or pastime;...baseball is a sport...a real sport....

S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
Feb 13, 2013 - 10:14pm PT
I take my 10 year old climbing almost every Sunday, but I'm am still wondering if he enjoys the climbing, or if he just likes spending time with dad and he is just humoring me.
Credit: S.Leeper
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
Feb 13, 2013 - 10:15pm PT
Credit: S.Leeper
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 13, 2013 - 10:39pm PT
Climbing;..out.............tennis;..in...



Chicks dig rock stars...not rock climbers...(one hit single is all that it takes....)....

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 13, 2013 - 10:52pm PT
Once upon a time.....

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 13, 2013 - 11:00pm PT
Bowling;....now we are talking.............hell w/climbing.....





Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 13, 2013 - 11:19pm PT
Fantastic pics, all.

Todd, love the OW injury shot. Psyched to see this thread take on a life of its own!

Now I've gotta live up to Ryan's, "Makes me want to go climbing, Dad."
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Feb 14, 2013 - 04:50am PT
Greg,

One thing I failed to mention and that was my philosophy regarding parenting which essentially amounted to this: Your childs best chance at happiness is to be with a happy parent. That said I'm always happiest in the mountains. If the truth were known my kids never had a chance ;^)

Charlie D.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 14, 2013 - 08:23am PT
One thing I failed to mention and that was my philosophy regarding parenting which essentially amounted to this: Your childs best chance at happiness is to be with a happy parent. That said I'm always happiest in the mountains. If the truth were known my kids never had a chance ;^)

Charlie D.

Classic. And clearly true. My secret ambition is to take Ryan on a 2-3 month surf trip to Indonesia between high school and college... Last couple times out surfing together it has evolved to him on his board and me on mine, and he seems to enjoy it, so we're quietly making progress. ;-)
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Feb 14, 2013 - 08:46am PT
Greg doesn't surfing addiction lead to behavior where one learns that it is okay to be extraordinarily mean to noobies and non locals?
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 14, 2013 - 08:58am PT
Greg doesn't surfing addiction lead to behavior where one learns that it is okay to be extraordinarily mean to noobies and non locals?

Only when they get out of line, don't obey surfing's rules of the road, and fail to respect their elders, Jim. :-)

I haven't seen much of the extreme localism you're talking about since the late '80s... except when some shoulder-hopping punk ass up from Santa Cruz keeps dropping in on the locals at Ocean Beach... then the hammer falls.
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
Feb 14, 2013 - 04:52pm PT
Credit: S.Leeper

bump for a great thread
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 14, 2013 - 07:30pm PT


Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 14, 2013 - 07:32pm PT










Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 14, 2013 - 07:39pm PT
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Feb 14, 2013 - 07:55pm PT
Greg I sent you an article I wrote about taking my son climbing a couple of years ago. It was when he was living with me that we did the big climb. A multi-pitch climb on Beacon Rock. I called the piece "Bringing Up The Boy".

That was when he was 12. Now 5 year later he hasn't lived with me for 4 of those years. A lot has changed. One thing I did was I didn't push the climbing on him much. I always made it available but never made him go.

My daughter has not lived with me since my divorce and I don't get to see her as much as I would like to. I never pushed climbing on her at all. She has been a couple of times.

This next weekend I am taking both of them out hiking. My son has taken a shine to one of my secret climbing spots and wants to go up there again. His sister is wanting to go too. I don't care what we do as long as it is outside. I love sharing with my kids my love of the outdoors and exploring.

They both know I am a nut about climbing and that's all I talk about. I try to tone it down around them, but they know this is my lifestyle and give me a pass and will gently let me know when they have had enough.

I see a lot of potential with my kids as climbers. They have an abundance of energy and are tough as nails. My son is skinny as a rail and went climbing with me recently. I have not given up hope that one of my kids will turn on to the climbing gig. My daughter is 11 and I set up a rope in a tree to teach her how to jug a rope and she just flew up it several times. Maybe she will be a big waller. She certainly has the focus and mental toughness. Little itty bitty thing she is.

My son is going to turn 18 next year. I can't wait to take him on a road trip adventure. I see it big and am dreaming......
Noah my son after the Beacon Rock climb.
Noah my son after the Beacon Rock climb.
Credit: Plaidman
Emily being funny. She is a riot!
Emily being funny. She is a riot!
Credit: Plaidman
Kalimon

Trad climber
Ridgway, CO
Feb 14, 2013 - 08:32pm PT
Hey Greg, it is great to have you involved here! Thanks for your real climbing related posts.

As for the children, I don't think a parent should determine a specific path to follow and then somehow "enforce" it upon their child. We were sure to introduce our daughter to the outdoors from an early age . . . pretty much from in utero . . . Indian Creek even! She started skiing at 4 and was a very good hiker until the age of 10 or so. Then she went her own way with softball, basketball and eventually volleyball. We worked with and supported her in whatever she chose. At 18 now, I would have to pay her to go for an actual hike . . . no big deal, she is her own excellent person. I think you are intuitively on the same path of acceptance with your son. I have talked with my friends who coach young skiers in Telluride and many of theses kids are burned out on the sport at ages of 12-14 due to being pushed by their parents.

Go Demons! Sophie don't climb . . . yet.
Go Demons! Sophie don't climb . . . yet.
Credit: Kalimon
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Feb 14, 2013 - 09:03pm PT
Love the pictures of your kids all, thanks.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 14, 2013 - 10:02pm PT
Shed the mantle, Von....shed the mantle.....
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 14, 2013 - 10:06pm PT
Find your own path.....be unique;...be an individual.......check.......









Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 14, 2013 - 10:08pm PT
Apple don't fall far from the tree...(check out that sparkle in his eye;....).....

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 14, 2013 - 10:11pm PT


Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Feb 15, 2013 - 05:00am PT
Bob was always a good helper:
Bobby D.
Bobby D.
Credit: Charlie D.
Now he's my rope gun:
Bobby D. & Charlie D.
Bobby D. & Charlie D.
Credit: Charlie D.
Eric the youngest, now my ski buddy from Bozeman:
Tele-master Eric D.
Tele-master Eric D.
Credit: Charlie D.

Enjoy it all, every day, every minute!
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 15, 2013 - 08:15am PT






Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Feb 15, 2013 - 08:40am PT
Fine looking bunch of kids there Todd good work!!!
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 15, 2013 - 09:16am PT
Wow, this is really turning into a fun thread. I'm loving all the outdoor pics of us out with our kids.

@Charlie D: that is bitchin'. A colossal success. You look like you're having SO much fun.

@TG: good to know that fun is getting payed forward in the desert.

@Kali: Who are you? Are you the person who once found a message-board bomb in Refugio Frey? (Greatest practical joke I've ever played.)

Campus Point, summer 2009, Ryan graduates from boogie boarding to the ...
Campus Point, summer 2009, Ryan graduates from boogie boarding to the soft top, prepping for his first ride
Credit: Gregory Crouch

The lesson continues
The lesson continues
Credit: Gregory Crouch

The ride
The ride
Credit: Gregory Crouch

Dad, psyched
Dad, psyched
Credit: Gregory Crouch

Ride #2.... don't think he beat the section
Ride #2.... don't think he beat the section
Credit: Gregory Crouch
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 15, 2013 - 09:19am PT
@ Plaidman: I remember the story. Excellent that you're still getting 'em outside. :-)
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Feb 15, 2013 - 04:37pm PT
Just got him some new shoes. This may entice him further into the trap.
Credit: Plaidman

That story is still on my blog at:
http://blog.oregonlive.com/climbing/2009/12/beacon_rock_-_bringing_up_the.html

Plaid
Brock Wagstaff

Trad climber
Larkspur
Feb 15, 2013 - 05:51pm PT
Great thread Greg! I took both my kids climbing at an early age, but never pushed them. Many years later both of them love the mountains. My son never took to climbing, but my daughter still does it occasionally. Pics are from last summer when we did Moon Goddess together. Best part of that was spending time in the back country with my daughter and getting a chance to catch up on her busy life. I try to do at least one mountain trip a year with each of my kids.
Moon Goddess Arete
Moon Goddess Arete
Credit: Brock Wagstaff
Temple Crag
Temple Crag
Credit: Brock Wagstaff
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 15, 2013 - 06:22pm PT
@Brock! What a great pic of you and your daughter in front of the crag!

Way to make it happen.
splitclimber

climber
Sonoma County
Feb 15, 2013 - 07:13pm PT
great topic and pics
no kids myself but like seeing kids out climbing
my niece is 8 and loves climbing at the gym

but, this thread can morph into a SUPERMOUSE thread at any time :)
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 15, 2013 - 08:02pm PT




Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 15, 2013 - 08:06pm PT
Start them early....

Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 15, 2013 - 08:07pm PT
A young beck gordon w the late woody stark and Locker.....

Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Feb 15, 2013 - 08:10pm PT
Noah at 12 years old. He would be running up that wall now.
Bouldering at Rocky Butte, Portland, Oregon
Credit: Plaidman
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 15, 2013 - 08:34pm PT
Peak baggin'...

Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 15, 2013 - 08:36pm PT
Supermouse? You asked for it, you got it!

Supermouse inferno!!!!
Supermouse inferno!!!!
Credit: Gregory Crouch
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 15, 2013 - 08:39pm PT
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Feb 15, 2013 - 08:41pm PT
This is what happens when you pack too much stuff in your kids backpack. You end up carrying both of em.
Credit: Plaidman

Don't bring too much crap!
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Feb 18, 2013 - 08:35pm PT


Messages 1 - 95 of total 95 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews