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On 1/09/2013 snowkiwi wrote:
>Hey, thanks for all the advice, guys.
>I'd actually not thought of top-roping them from above making a difference,
>but I can see why it might. I've definitely found soloing up next to them
>for "on the spot" beta helps!
We've been teaching our 12 year old niece to climb on and off - one of the biggest troubles is lowering her down, she gets terrified and clings onto the rock (or plastic depending) - she sometimes downclimbs halfway before she finally let's go.
So maybe some entry level abseiling just to get the nerves sorted out?
Another thing to consider - newbies don't know good rock from bad rock (or total choss)
As long as it's a fun day out, most people are happy to climb on anything. We had a friend in hushpuppies climbing a wet mossy slab in Italy who proudly proclaimed the 12m grade 4- as "My Everest"...
So don't worry about the guidebooks- wander around Mount York and find something you know your kids could climb, chuck up an anchor and play around.
I saw a 6 year old leading a grade 15 at Thompson's Point.
The biggest issue I had with my daughter and her friends climbing when younger was always the lowering off. Some suggestions from experience:
I would start with short easy climbs/boulders that they can top out and walk off easily. That gets the climbing interest and confidence up. These don't need to be in a Guidebook.
Then I would set up a toprope on a very short vertical face as a swing to play on. Not climbing the face all the way to the top. Lowering is all about confidence.... letting go. Trusting the rope and belayer etc.
Then once they are happier lowering off, find a short wall to climb up and lower off. Nothing puts them off more than a fear of lowering off when I get higher.
When beginning with kids, it must be fun and about getting up something. Let them ask for something more challenging when they're ready.
My kids also hate lowering off. Low angle abseiling helped abit with that. They're about 4 years younger than yours. I found the soft parade was best for them when they first started but the track along the bottom is steepish and roughish and a bit "boring". Even though there's not as much for climbing for them to do they love going to dam cliffs because they can explore the creek etc. when not climbing
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