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ken4ord

So when did your kid(s) start climbing???

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My daughter is now 1.5 years old and already has shown some promise she might take up the sport. She like hanging on the start hold on my wall, she climbs the metal bars on door and windows and today she was hanging off the underside of the table.

 

 

So I was wondering when your kids got started climbing?

 

Got any tips when and how to start them out?

 

Also I asked on an other thread, but anyone know what the smallest rocks shoes are?

 

 

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I didn't start climbing till late, but my earliest memory in life is my dad putting me in a pair of skis and giving me a push down a very small hill. I was 1.5 at the time.

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I started my kids out at 5 (son) and 3 (daughter). Regrettably, my son has now become a boulderer only :( however, my daughter is starting to tear things up on roped climbs.

 

As for the smallest shoes made for kids, I've found mad rocks down to size 1 which my daughter now uses. However, we used tennis shoes and other tight fitting shoes for years and I feel they should be fine for most kids when they are just getting started.

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I was roped up for the first time at 5, and started hoisting haul bags (my younger sister) with the bear pulley systems in the rain forest about 6.

 

How I didn't become an aid climber I'll never know.

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I first put my oldest at a rock gym climbing camp when she was 6. She didn't like it.

 

Last summer, I put all three in rock gym camps as soon as they were out of school. They were 9, 7 and 4 at the time. Then I took all three to Smith a few weeks later. We then went back to Smith a couple weeks after that.

 

Getting them comfortable lowering inside made outside much easier. We were with two other kids at Smith who had never climbed before and the lowering was very difficult for them.

 

We also took lots of snacks and as suggested by Rumr, candy, which really came in handy with some cuts/owies that happened. It was all about fun, no pressure to do anything they didn't want to. This was hard for my hubby since my son was very timid when tied in. He had no problem bouldering though. We've done some gym climbing since then and he is now ready to go back to Smith and excited to give it another go in a couple of weeks.

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My girls like it most when there are other kids there.

As the years begin to accumulate, I realize that their persistence and appreciation increases.

I am very proud of who my girls are.

My goal is to provide fodder for their goals regardless of what mine might be.

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ken-

 

i've always figured as long as you're taking reasonable precautions to keep them safe, they're not too young to try anything at a modest level. if she wants to climb up stuff....great! let her climb. if she doesn't, i'm sure she'll find some blocks to stack or dirt to play in :)

 

when i was a little kid i think climbing was considered playing. you just climbed up stuff until you got too high and then called for mom. mom then talked you down and yelled at dad for encouraging that kind of stuff. ropes came later but can't see why you couldn't rope her up now.

 

my son liked it for a while (age 7-8) then he didn't (8-11) now he seems interested again. remember they change a lot. fears they didn't have will magically appear for no apparent reason and suddenly they will get bolder than you ever imagined w/o warning.

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Great stuff here. I figured that she could start at any age as long as she is having fun, I just wanted to get idea what others experience has been.

 

Bug, definitely think having other kids around will be key. The other day we had all of guards, cleaner, nanny and there kids (all 20 of them) over at the house. Definitely Simone showed more of an interest on the wall than other times. Most likely due to see all the other kids trying to climb. I must say my arms were quite tired by the end of the 1 hour long bouldering session, which meant catching kids for hour as they fell off the wall. Fun time though.

 

Maybe I will finish up Simone's climbing wall/play fort this weekend.

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mine all started around 6. they are now 8,9, 13. the oldest one says she loves it and tells all her friends about climbing, but when we go out shes not too into any more. the 9 year old loves to climb in the gym, but gets real nervous on rock. my 8 year old is usually pretty fearless. she was the only one to make it to the top of (or even try on this one) the 35 foot top rope we had set up at smith a few weeks back (all though, while being lowered off, she was the river way below, and started crying from the exposure, thought she was a lot higher than she actually was!). all the other kids stuck to the 20 footer, and were pretty nervous on that one.

ill keep encouraging them. if they want to keep climbing, great. if not, i may be able to deal with it?

bug, i agree. other kids around definately help. mine seem to like to show off then, making it less fearful for them!

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Aye Ken.

It sounds like you are spending a lot of time with her.

Good on ya! The more I put into my girls, the more I get back. It almost sounds selfish in a way but it's good both ways. There are very clear correlations between happy teenage girls and long term involved fathers.

I get instructions from my 12 yr old now on what NOT to say in public. It's hillarious. But at home, she is still my little girl.

Cheers!

Keith

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Yeah man, It is great here I am able to give Simone a lot of attention, especially now while her mom is gone for a month, I have too. We live close to work 5 minutes and her school/day care is halfway inbetween. I am able to have lunch with her every day. It is great.

 

I am expecting Simone will start giving me directions. Right now it seems as though she is trying, but I have a hard time trying to understand what she is saying especially since she is using three languages (english, french and kinyarwanda) and she does not have a full vocabulary. So sometime I can't tell if it is a word or something she is making up, it is funny.

 

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My son is 4 and is ready to try - I'm not in a hurry as I just want him to have fun.

 

Do y'all use chest harnesses on your kids? Their hips are so slim I'd worry about them falling out of harnesses in the event of flipping over, which would be scary anyway.

 

Thanks.

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YES!!!!

The bod harness for kids is great.

I used webbing and tied them in knots all over. They didn't like it though.

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At 9 my son started on a relatively simple wall at the school gym so I started taking him to a "real" rock gym. Amazing how fast they learn and grow! Bringing in tutors like Tony Yaniro and Boone Speed may have been a bit over the top in the early years, but they helped intoduce training techniques and got the good habits going. He was in the USA Climbing comp circuit for five years before burning out. It's a delicate balance between competition success and just plain fun in climbing, so be careful about pushing. I'm not sure the mental stress is all that healthy for kids since they typically lack the tools to cope until some level of maturity is reached. After a year of sloth and almost 16, he's only now wanting to climb again.

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YES!!!!

The bod harness for kids is great.

I used webbing and tied them in knots all over. They didn't like it though.

Misty Mountain makes a full fledge/full strength lead rated harness for kids...its the best out there...

:tup:

Edited by RuMR

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