Children and 14ers

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
wadwaxx
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Children and 14ers

Postby wadwaxx » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:38 am

Obviously this question has some very object case by case answers. But I am interested in taking my son and in the future sons on 14ers. What ages were your kids when they started and experiences have you had. Advice anyone? (safety is my first concern that is why I am asking)
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Re: Children and 14ers

Postby CO Native » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:58 am

My daughter did her first (uncarried) when she was 5. Just take your time, bring plenty of snacks and supplies, and be conservative about the weather.

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Re: Children and 14ers

Postby smrcka » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:06 pm

...and warm up to the big day with several prep hikes of gradually increasing difficulty and altitude.
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Re: Children and 14ers

Postby Scott P » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:57 pm

What ages were your kids when they started and experiences have you had.


For the 14ers, age 3 for my son; age 5 for my daughter, though they climbed other mountains before those ages.

At age 9, my son has climbed 277 mountains, many of them more difficult than the hardest CO 14ers. At age 7, my daughter has climbed 148 mountains.

The best advice is to get out there and do it. Start at an early age (preferably get them on some trails as soon as they can walk), climb often and be safe. Ditch the TV and video games. TV and video games are probably responsible for most of the lack of excersize among today's children.
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LetsGoHigher
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Re: Children and 14ers

Postby LetsGoHigher » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:10 pm

Scott P wrote:
What ages were your kids when they started and experiences have you had.


For the 14ers, age 3 for my son; age 5 for my daughter, though they climbed other mountains before those ages.

At age 9, my son has climbed 277 mountains, many of them more difficult than the hardest CO 14ers. At age 7, my daughter has climbed 148 mountains.

The best advice is to get out there and do it. Start at an early age (preferably get them on some trails as soon as they can walk), climb often and be safe. Ditch the TV and video games. TV and video games are probably responsible for most of the lack of excersize among today's children.


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greenhorn1
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Re: Children and 14ers

Postby greenhorn1 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:30 pm

Altitude may be an issue so be careful. My son has NOT climbed to the peak of a 14er but we've been within a few hundred feet multiple times. We don't stress if we don't reach the top with him present because those mountains will always be there later for us to climb.
Also, sometimes he just doesn't feel like hiking as much as we want to so we entice (okay bribe) him with pizza (Pizza Works is his favorite) and candy bars or whatever else it takes. We also have to stop by each pond, lake, cairn, anything unusual to check it out. Sometimes we even offer to carry him even though he's 7. It's much slower hiking than we're used to but it makes for wonderful family memories. I hope you have a chance to at least try a 14er with your children in the near future. Good luck! :D
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Re: Children and 14ers

Postby geojed » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:42 pm

My 3.5yr old son made it up to the mine buildings on Sherman this last Labor Day. I carried my 18 month old son there in a baby backpack. My 3.5yo was tired by then and I was going to try to summit on my own but he really wanted to come with me. So I put him in the backpack and carried him to the top. He was too big for the backpack really (he's pretty tall for his age) and weighs about 45lbs (all muscle 8) ). Carrying a 50lb cargo up to the summit was pretty tiring and he was getting cold due to the wind, but the thing that kept him going was that there was a snowfield on the top that I promised him he could play in for a long time if we made it to the summit! :D It worked! I then carried him back down to the mine and he walked the rest of the way down.

I think the most important things are keeping them motivated and interested.
Last edited by geojed on Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Children and 14ers

Postby michelle » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:08 pm

greenhorn1 wrote: sometimes he just doesn't feel like hiking as much as we want to so we entice (okay bribe) him with pizza (Pizza Works is his favorite) and candy bars or whatever else it takes.


Ha ha, this is our M.O. sometimes as well.

My son has only hiked one 14'er and did pretty well. We have done some longer, non-14'er, hikes with him and have to keep it interesting for him or he gets bored. We usually make them "destination" hikes to ghost towns, lakes and such. Also, we discuss the type of rock, trees, leaves, flowers, animals or animal signs that we see along the trail. Many times we end up not going as far as originally intended but as long as we all enjoyed ourselves, that is all that matters.

The main concern I have for him is getting enough water and I try to get him to drink more the previous day as well as during the hike. Others have even mentioned drinking more water for a few days before a long hike.
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Re: Children and 14ers

Postby Manky » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:25 pm

Our twins hiked Handies when they were four. This year when they were five, we hiked Sherman and Princeton and they have done great. Get them out hiking beforehand and bring plenty of snacks and treats for the summit. Nerds work best.
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Re: Children and 14ers

Postby greenhorn1 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:16 pm

geojed wrote:My 3.5yr old son made it up to the mine buildings on Sherman this last Labor Day. I carried my 18 month old son there in a baby backpack. My 3.5yo was tired by then and I was going to try to summit on my own but he really wanted to come with me. So I put him in the backpack and carried him to the top. He was too big for the backpack really (he's pretty tall for his age) and weighs about 45lbs (all muscle 8) ). Carrying a 50lb cargo up to the summit was pretty tiring and he was getting cold due to the wind, but the thing that kept him going was that there was a snowfield on the top that I promised him he could play in for a long time if we made it to the summit! :D It worked! I then carried him back down to the mine and he walked the rest of the way down.

I think the most important things are keeping them motivated and interested.


We used a baby backpack for much longer than the suggested weight as well. Whatever it takes =D>

michelle wrote: We usually make them "destination" hikes to ghost towns, lakes and such.


Good call on saying "destination". We use optimistic wording too such as calling a false summit a "bonus peak" to make it sound exiting that we aren't there yet - lol. We also "play" Survivor or Dual Survivor during the hike. One time my husband made a "spear" so my son could try fishing in a lake near the trail. Then he hopped in a bush and pretended he just found a shelter to spend the night in. He really enjoyed that!
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