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Stick

Mount hood....what do I need to know.

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Don't be too hurt.

I was escewered too for looking for a competent adult to help me take my 11 yr old up Rainier. But these were people who were worried about my daughter. That was the way I chose to take it.

She watched the Everest Cenimax and then asked to go up Rainier.

She is also a hearty athlete who carries her own weight backpacking and has a calm head. And I have summited Rainer several times and climbed seriously for 30+ years. I have not climbed Hood but if I did, I would take it seriously. There are clearly some easy ways up but the weather can turn on you quickly. Even if you never fall, your child could suffer serious problems.

Anyway, PM me and we can try climbing something. Maybe you can help me take my 12 yrold up Adams next spring and I can help you get your 4 yr old out when the time is right.

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I appreciate your comments and concern.

To the ones who commented on the risks they take climbing and not wanting to put there kids into the situation, if its such a dangerous activity why would you risk leaving your kids to grow up without a father should you be killed climbing?

.......

 

Speaking only for myself, it was considered and acted on.

 

I had summited Hood well over 30 times before my (now 21 year old) daughter was born.

 

I have not been there to climb except once since, and that was only to fulfill a guide contract for a friend. We got off the summit 20 min before a major lightning storm hit. We stopped below the cloudcap and started back up when it passed to go help some highly skilled, highly experienced, very savvy Portland Mt. Rescue folks who were still going up as we were going down. They were fine as it turned out, but not by much. Proving you can be the very best Mt climber in the world and end up dead. I can name some names and circumstances if you would like.

 

The loudness of a lighting strike near you is not something you can communicate on a computer.

 

As far as answering your first question, I bumped my life insurance and stopped the high risk things. I don't do the mountains and ice. I do not ride a motorcycle now as well. Kids made a huge impact on me.

 

I still rock climb, which is a lower risk activity. I do not make judgments for or about others who still climb ice or Mt's and have children, this is my choice. They make their own choices. I understand those parents still mountain climbing, I sometimes ache to run up Rainer or jump on the ice in the gorge when it hits, but I can easily get a quick pump in the rock gym, where it's warm and safe all winter, and spend the evening with my family, which makes it worth writing off the mts. As a family we do things together as well. A hike up dog mountain gets talked about for months, and your son would most likely love doing that with you as well. He doesn't give a shit about Mt Hood, he wants to be with you.

 

You came on the board asking advice, and got good advice in my opinion. These guys have seen people come on this board asking advice whom later wound up dead in what some would say is a tragedy. It is something these cascadeclimber folks take seriously (generally).

 

My dad died when I was 18 months old, due to no fault of his own, I take my responsibility as a parent pretty seriously, it is my prime job, and all else is secondary. But, I can see a time - where we kick the lil boy out soon as he's 17 now, where this will be changing. My son and I have gotten season passes the last 2 years, and it's pretty safe (and fun) to burn some fast runs at Meadows all winter. Great fun. So I'm ON the Mt, but not really ON the Mt. in a serious way. If the weather turns we head for the bar and a couple of hot buttered rums, and the lad has a hot chocolate and then drives me home while we discuss the highlight reel of the days events: prime jumps, runs where dad got left in the dust, major crashes, turns missed, etc etc :-) Sweet deal!

 

Good luck with whatever you choose. I feel you have already taken a very responsible and intelligent path gathering as much info BEFORE you jumped in, something not everyone does. Your son is lucky to have such a committed and caring parent.

 

Regards;

 

Bill

 

ps, read this trip report of Ivans day on the Mt. Keep in the back of your mind as your read this that it was great weather in PDX today. Click here to read it

 

 

 

 

Edited by billcoe

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some of these guys would have you think that climbing mt hood is all serious and sh&&. fact is, if you were experienced and if conditions were good (and if you were experienced youd have an idea on the conditions) the so side of hood is about like hiking a black diamond at a ski area. not a big deal- if you were experienced. the peeps who get in trouble are mostly out of shape, inexperienced and or idiots and very few are accidents involving people who have their sh&& together, particularly on the so side.

 

having said all that cuz you are not experienced you might want to heed some of their advice.

 

if it were me, i probably would take the kid up the south side and ski down. but thats me.

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Stick,

Just in case you're listening a little too intently to folks like hawkeye69, you might want to give this story a read. And don't pay too much attention to all the hoopla surrounding the chopper crashing. That's not the point.

 

The take-home message here is that you can do everything right, and someone else with no connection to you at all save that they're on the same route can come along and make for a very bad day for you and your boy. I'd leave the little tyke at home for this one, unlike hawkeye, but that's just me. YMMV.

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I am experienced and would not have taken my kids skiing in a backpack. Kids' heads are too fragile. 85% of all epileptics have had head injuries. Then there are the necks, and backs etc.

 

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We are going to spend next year (2008) hiking as much as we can. We are going to climb the south sister and I am also wanting to do the Black Butte crater (i think thats the right name)

 

 

 

I think exposing your son to the outdoors is one of the best gifts you could give him. My recommendation to all new climbers is start at the bottom and gradually build your base of experience and knowledge. You're on the right track if you intend to get some training and experience before climbing with your son. Then you can make your own informed decision.

 

The "easy" route on Hood includes a short section of rather steep climbing, risk of ice and rock fall, and numerous inexperienced climbers all around. Frankly, this "easy" route is rather dangerous and not particularily enjoyable. I encourage you to try it yourself and then decide if that's an experience that your son would appreciate. There's a lot of easy walkup mountain climbs that are pretty safe if you have a fair amount of training/experience (St. Helens, south side of Adams, etc.) and would provide a memerable experience with your son.

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When I was younger, in my previous family, I took a baby in a backpack skiing, on green and low-end blue.

 

Now in my old age, with my current family, I say:

 

"What was I thinking!"

 

I was younger then, and did think differently.

 

Now I'm older, I see the fragility of young life and my own cockiness in my youth differently.

 

I'm just glad nothing happened to add guilt to that.

 

(BTW: the baby in question is now a young adult and to the best of my knowledge has no interest at all in skiing - so that little imaginary connection did not occur)

Edited by crmlla2007

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Add me to the list of mountaineers who are adamantly advising you not to do this with your child, or any child. I think even a legal case could be made to charge you with child endangerment even if you were successful. Climbing, difficult climbing at high altitude as opposed to a walk-up, is no place for a child.

 

I have not been up Hood (yet), but from what I can tell about the mountain, it is in a league above other mountains in North America, a glaciated volcano that carries a serious risk of death that no one, to my mind, has a right to calculate for another person as an elective endeavor. Even when professionally guided an adult must sign a waiver - in final the adult must make a decision for themselves. It is my belief that you do not have the right to make this decision for your son.

 

I took my 5 yo son up Black Butte (mostly piggyback), a Class 1 walk up to 6400 feet or so and even that made me a little nervous, not from any objective danger but from the general sense I've gotten from many climbs to high altitude, and I'm sure many others get, that an exposed alpine terrain above treeline is a harsh environment that is hostile to human life. I get a kick out of being there myself, but I calculate my passage through it. Do a few climbs on your own and I'm sure you'll understand what I mean. In time I will take my son up higher (if he wants) but only when he is physically and mentally able to handle it, and only where the risk is minimal, in terms of rockfall, exposure to weather, etc, and I can most likely rescue him if need be. I will probably not allow him to climb high-altitude 4th or 5th class until he was of majority age, and that includes Hood. When he is 18, he can do whatever he wants.

 

High summits of difficulty are the province of physically fit, skilled adults, period.

 

Maybe you should consider a trip to Colorado, there are relatively easy walkups (and driveups) to 14k; done at the right time of year (usually early fall, when thunderstorms have abated) the risk is minimal, the exertion level satisfying, and the views decent.

 

 

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I think even a legal case could be made to charge you with child endangerment even if you were successful.

 

If that were the case every parent that takes there kids skiing and snowboarding are in the same boat.

 

 

 

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I think even a legal case could be made to charge you with child endangerment even if you were successful.

 

If that were the case every parent that takes there kids skiing and snowboarding are in the same boat.

 

Only if it were the case that the risks of mountaineering on Mount Hood and resort skiing were roughly equal, which, I'm sure you'll agree, are not.

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I appreciate your sense of responsibility, Clements, but I think you may be taking it a bit too far. I first went winter mountaineering at age 11, led peak climbs in the Sierra's at age 13, led 5.6 in the Gunks at age 14, and climbed technical rock in the Tetons at age 15. I did none of this at my parents' suggestion, but certainly I had their permission. I hope you will allow your son to take responsibility for deciding what he wants to do before he reaches the age of majority, and that may well include climbing a real mountain with his father - or perhaps with somebody else.

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According to his father who started this thread, the child in question is less than 3 years old. The original question before thread drift was about hauling this child up Hood. In that context, stick's and mattp's posts seem entirely irrelevant.

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Would you all be saying the same things if you'd recognized a world class mountaineer packing his 3 year old up the south route on a beautiful summer day? Just curious...

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In that context, stick's and mattp's posts seem entirely irrelevant.

 

Get a grip here, Builder. In the context of an ogoing discussion, your post is obnoxious. I neither sidetracked the discussion nor insulted anybody.

 

---

 

Back on track, I think Mike's comment/questinon has merit. I think that, to a degree, the "don't place your child in such risk" posters assume that the potential climber/father has insufficient skills and judgment. It could be no more hazardous to pack a child up Mt. Hood than to take them on any number of outings that these responsible parents would probably approve of.

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In that context, stick's and mattp's posts seem entirely irrelevant.

 

Get a grip here, Builder. In the context of an ogoing discussion, your post is obnoxious. I neither sidetracked the discussion nor insulted anybody.

 

Well, now you HAVE sidetracked the thread by throwing down. You're pretty thin-skinned if a mild "your post is irrelevant" excites you so much. So you have to get in my face with that word "obnoxious," eh? And who said anything about insulting anyone?

 

All your post contained was bragging about your boyhood exploits. Nobody cares what you climbed when you were 15. To repeat, it doesn’t contribute to the thread. What the boy does when he can make his own decisions 12 years from now is irrelevant to decisions his father may make right now, which *is* this thread's topic (and whether the boy will live long enough to make his own). You’re lucky I was so cordial as to only call your post “irrelevant.”

 

To call my post “obnoxious” is the height of arrogance. That's the pot calling the kettle black.

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My son is 3 1/2 yrs old and was born without the use of his legs and is still small enough to backpack around.

Dudes, the reason the dad wants to take his kid now is because his kid likely won't be able to do these things as a teenager/adult since he doesn't have the use of his legs...

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I suspect more people are injured skiing than climbing.

But no I'm not saying they are equal but people can and do die in skiing accidents.

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I suspect more people are injured skiing than climbing.

 

I don't know many climbers who voluntarily drop 60' cliffs or do 360s off jumps.

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I appreciate mattp's response, I don't think he was sidetracking anything - conversations work their way around... I might be wrong about Hood, I was just saying there is a threshold beyond which people shouldn't be venturing until they've had enough experience, as well as life experience. Sooner or later someone's going to try and get a 12 yo up Everest: it's not worth it, they need to experience a little more life first before they risk it to climb a mountain that carries a significant chance of death and bodily harm. So where's the threshold?

 

As far as the ski/climbing thing: skiing is considered a relatively safe family activity, as such many more people do it. Climbing is considered dangerous (and not that fun) by a lot of non-climbing folk and thus keeps out many people. Though 25-50 people die skiing in the US every year, this would have to be considered with total number of skiiers. There has been a concerted effort in recent years to mandate the wearing of helmets by children while skiing. So to objectively compare the risks we would need to study an equally distributed population in both camps, in terms of experience, age, etc. I might be wrong, skiing in general might be a more dangerous activity.

 

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According to his father who started this thread, the child in question is less than 3 years old.

 

He's 3 1/2 yrs old now. I was thinking of doing the climb in 2009 he'd be 5 then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I think you can definitely do it and do it safely if you prepare yourself properly, have the right equipment and the support of other qualified climbers. How you prepare between now and the climb will determine whether it could be considered risky or just a sporty outing.

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I'm sure that you have heard of many organizations for people like your son, but there is a very cool one up here that I think might be relevant to the discussion. It is called that BCMOS (BC Mobility Opportunities Society). They specialize in getting the disabled into the backcountry, and have quite the cool vehicle for it. Opportunities to get him into the backcountry will not end. I bet they'd be helpful even if there is not the equivalent down where you are.

http://www.disabilityfoundation.org/bcmos/

good luck

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Thanks for the link. Thats pretty cool.

I found this while looking around the site..thought it was interesting since the dangers of skiing was brought up.

In the mid-1980s, Sam Sullivan determined that he wanted to once again do the things that he had loved before becoming a quadriplegic in a skiing accident in 1979. One of those loves was hiking and being in the wilderness.

 

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