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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 23
Author
Your intro to climbing.
Reluctant
15/10/2012
2:16:05 PM
As I have 2 kids starting to climb I am looking to the chockie brains trust to supply anecdotes of their intro to climbing, especially if as kids, and the things parents did right and wrong.
I have only just stopped patting myself on the back for getting them out there at all. Some bribes were required.

Miguel75
15/10/2012
3:13:33 PM
How old are your kids? I have a 5yr old and we go to Cliffhanger with another family and their 4yr old. There's an overhanging climb next to the small bouldering wall, behind the beginner wall, which is a very fun swing for little kids. I tell my daughter provided she climbs to the top of a climb 5 times I'll let her hang on the rope and swing her around...

If she's not too into it I'll usually throw the 4yr old on and give her a swing, which prompts my daughter to get climbing. I never force her to keep climbing. If she wants to stop I'll see if she can do a move or two more, and then lower her.

I've taken her outdoors though it didn't go too well, which I reckon was my fault... Not enough easy small climbs for her!

Eduardo Slabofvic
15/10/2012
3:15:51 PM
Taking my little nice and nephews climbing I found the best thing to do was to get them used to the idea of swinging and jumping around on the rope before they got too high up, that way they are O.K. with trusting the rope and placing their feet against the wall and walking down as you lower them, otherwise they freak out when it's time to lower off. They were 4 when I first took them climbing

Big G
15/10/2012
3:34:55 PM
Trying to get my 7 year old into it for the last year - she likes the gym but will rarely go to the top even if the top is lowwer than the high point of her previous climb. Outdoors I have just tried to get her used to the environment ie hanging around watching climbing she sometimes gets on the rock and then usually freaks out abnout 4-5m off the ground. The other issue is that I keep finding the start of a lot of 'easy' climbs is often the hardest bit so she gets worked up before the genuinely easy stuff starts.

She loves swinging on the ropes though and I agree with Eduardo's use a desensitisation.

pmonks
15/10/2012
3:40:05 PM
The approach I'm taking with my kids is "fun first". My thinking being that if they're having fun outdoors, they'll eventually catch the bug for some kind of outdoor activity (not necessarily climbing) and at that point they'll be self-motivated to do it as much as they can. My biggest worry isn't how to get them into climbing, it's that they won't discover something they're passionate about (it took me over 20 years...).

Ah crap - I think I've just realised I'm turning into a seppo...

[edit] And to answer your question a bit more directly... I hit the gym fairly regularly with my kids - the gyms here also run summer camps and I put them in those too (so that they're not just learning my bad habits). Outdoors I've found that my kids tend to prefer bouldering to the roped stuff - I think it's a combination of height and also the boring (to them) sitting around waiting for the ropes to be setup etc. - bouldering is instant gratification.

We've also had plenty of trips where very little climbing was done - they want to swing on the ropes instead of climb, or fly a kite instead of boulder, or go splash in a creek or a million other fun things to do - when that happens there's usually no point fighting it.

I took my 5yo up to Yosemite last weekend, for example, and in 3 days we "only" did 3 climbs and squeezed in an hour's bouldering. I went a bit stir crazy mind you, but in looking back it was an awesome weekend - we splashed in the river, sat in El Cap meadow and played "spot the climbers", kicked a soccer ball around the campsite, chased squirrels, watched deer feeding at sunset, saw 2 humungous coyotes and stirred up a huge wasps nest (that last one didn't go so well - I don't think she'd classify her first wasp bite as "fun").

Sabu
15/10/2012
4:17:27 PM
I'm thinking that building a love of the outdoors is probably be the first step. As kid that's what I always remember growing up; going out and spending time in the mountains, hearing stories about the mountains and always being exposed to it is I think what drove me to seek it out when I was older.
TonyB
15/10/2012
5:14:19 PM
My son is almost 3. Seeing other kids climb is the only thing that has motivated him to climb up a couple of metres. I can't imagine him climbing like this at 4 :
https://vimeo.com/29066466

rodw
15/10/2012
5:18:18 PM
Just remember just because you like climbing doesn't mean they will...my daughter likes to come bouldering indoors occasionally but has no desire to head outdoors to the real stuff...enjoy those times with her as I know she truly wants to be there, rather than being dragged along by her old man doing shit she really not into...and has no problem saying no don't fell it today..when she would rather be doing something else.

If she ends up getting into it later on, thats great...if not no biggie that is her choice....its not like her climbing or not will affect her future or anything.
widewetandslippery
15/10/2012
5:58:45 PM
Give her a go with the drill mate, its probably genetic, your cuz doesn't mind some drilling. Bet your dad would be a mad bolter. Give the girl some dewalt time;) she plays percussion.

rodw
15/10/2012
7:04:37 PM
No way she might get too keen and Id be stuck at the crag all day cutting into my pub time..
widewetandslippery
15/10/2012
7:13:10 PM
she'll be old enough to drive before you know it;) and buckleys if she'll want to hang out with us!
skegly
15/10/2012
7:14:03 PM
I take my 5 yr old out and scout out awesome climbs for him which when roped up he spits it about a metre of the ground. Take make mum's advice he then did a nice little boulder 2m high which he has a ball naming 'worm farm' and 'zip 1 & 2' and so on. Then my 2yr old will race up after him. .
Maybe ask Karl his 5 yr old is doing some pretty cool stuff.
martym
18/10/2012
8:10:40 PM
Print this out & read it to them every night - they'll be keen as beans in no time!

southcol
18/10/2012
9:33:45 PM
My kids (boys 3&6) enjoy outdoor climbing far more than indoors. In fact indoors is normally a waste of time/money and on rock they love it it. I always belay them from above so they are climbing up to me, with my partner at the bottom. We have done around 20+m high with them in this style. Top belaying is the go with mini ones.
At places like Mt Arapiles, I set up a flying fox with an old climbing rope and rescue pulley attaching them with a body harness. It adds a little bit of rope confidence and fun.
TonyB
19/10/2012
7:16:19 AM
On 18/10/2012 southcol wrote:
>My kids (boys 3&6) enjoy outdoor climbing far more than indoors.

At what age did they start ?

BlankSlab
19/10/2012
7:23:11 AM
I have memories of my Dad taking me climbing in the early nineties at 5 or 6yr old. Well it was more like i had a harness on and was tied to a tree so i could sit on the top and watch him climb up to me. But i do remember at that age climbing a few times outdoors and a few years later spending weekends rigging up rope swings and things for my freinds.

Go foward 20 years and now its a passion of mine. I think he is pretty happy about that.
technogeekery
19/10/2012
10:47:50 AM
Both my boys (6, 8) are starting to enjoy climbing very much. I started them off in the gym when they were 4 & 6, just bouldering at first, but very soon they wanted to climb the bigger walls. The older one has no fear, great concentration, and desire to climb the steepest stuff (prefers overhangs to anything else). The little one is a bit more sensitive / imaginative and sometimes backs off, but I don't push him at all. They have both been outdoors a few times now and love it. We treat it all as a big adventure, with nature spotting, cave exploring, tree climbing etc being as important as the rock climbing. As many people have said, fun is everything, and when they don't want to climb any more, we move on to rock hopping, playing pirates, whatever. They are now getting to the stage where they don't have to be supervised every second (at most cliffs with safe bases) so when the kids are done climbing, they can go play while the dads get in a route or 3.

Its a fair amount of work getting the kids involved in climbing, and has to be done slowly and patiently with not a lot of climbing satisfaction yourself. But I'm hoping that it will pay off in years and years of climbing fun with my sons - and it is already paying off in us enjoying good times together in the bush/mountains.
technogeekery
19/10/2012
10:49:49 AM
And on that note - if there are any climbing parents in Sydney who want to hook up on weekends to take the kids out (and possibly sneak in a couple of routes ourselves), I'm always up for that.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
19/10/2012
11:12:27 AM
On 15/10/2012 Reluctant wrote:
>As I have 2 kids starting to climb I am looking to the chockie brains trust
>to supply anecdotes of their intro to climbing, especially if as kids,
>and the things parents did right and wrong.
>I have only just stopped patting myself on the back for getting them out
>there at all. Some bribes were required.

&
On 15/10/2012 rodw wrote:
>Just remember just because you like climbing doesn't mean they will...my
>daughter likes to come bouldering indoors occasionally but has no desire
>to head outdoors to the real stuff...enjoy those times with her as I know
>she truly wants to be there, rather than being dragged along by her old
>man doing shit she really not into...and has no problem saying no don't
>fell it today..when she would rather be doing something else.
>
>If she ends up getting into it later on, thats great...if not no biggie
>that is her choice....its not like her climbing or not will affect her
>future or anything.

+1
I never really had a direct intro to climbing as I took it up of my own volition and was mostly self-taught, however I introduced my two daughters to climbing (as often as practical), when they were very young.
Neither really took it up as a passion, though they were happy enough to dabble in it from time to time over the years, and the youngest one has continued to enjoy the outdoors component that was always an integral part of the experience along the way.

The real dividend came many years later in an unexpected form...
When they started dating and introducing their boyfriends to me to take them climbing!
~> It was an easy exercise in sorting-
Heh, heh, heh.
Karl Bromelow
19/10/2012
11:27:01 PM
My boy, Kai, is 5 years old. He was born in Yorkshire and touched gritstone within his first week post partum. Maybe that was the magic or maybe it was the fact that I buried his placenta in the forest above Caley, the snowy day after his birth (I forgot to remove the plastic clip and that and a chewy looking bit of umbilical cord were all that remained of a foxes meal when I returned a week later!).
Anyway whatever it was that got us off to a good start with him it probably also helps that we have a climbing wall in the garden at home, which he loves to play on, and that he's always been fully involved with all of our adventures since he came into our lives. He's been multipitching since he was 3 years old and has climbed in New Zealand, Australia, England and most recently California, where he was a joy on a month long climbing road trip. As much a member of the gang as any of us, he couldn't tie on enough.
A few other things that have undoubtedly contributed to his enthusiasm for climbing are: friends that take him seriously and have kindly welcomed him into our group as warmly as they ever treated me, a mother who is a passionate climber too and a life in which adventure is the real world and the rest is a means to that end.
I have also always invested in serious, excellent quality kit for him, whether that is his climbing gear, skis, snowboard, kayak, wetsuits or even bicycle. Money is always very tight in our household but what we do have gets spent on a life that is rarely ordinary.
I do sometimes wonder if he'll remember all of this because I can barely remember anything from before the age of 7 or 8!
Cheers, Karl

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There are 23 messages in this topic.

 

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