Children, ropes and 14er safety

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing.
User avatar
Posts: 105
Joined: 2/1/2010
14er Checklist (31)
13er Checklist (20)

Re: Children, ropes and 14er safety

Postby elhombre » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:28 am

I too, am in the same boat with you. My little girl (9yo) wants to do more but I am very concerned about her for these reasons. Just as she (and children) are not mature enough to drive a car, they are not mature enough to make good quick decisions where serious injury is a good possibility. Mine is growing and learning, but she is still young. As a parent, I believe it is my #1 responsibility to get her to 18 yo so she can live a good life. The mountains are not going anywhere and our kids only want to do ALL the 14er's because we parents told them that it would cool to do it. I don't want to even imagine what I would feel like if my child got hurt climbing. More importantly, what an injury to my child would do to her for the rest of her life.

My friends and I have a saying "Sacrifice the body for the fun". I now know what that really means, but I don't think young kids really know what it could mean. At her age, we climb the easier stuff. There are so many good Class 2+ 13ers out there to climb that we stay plenty busy. The more difficult ones will come in time. But when we do go to the mountains, Daddy does get a day or two to go climb the harder stuff by himself. \:D/
"You cannot take any people, of any color, and exempt them from the requirements of civilization — including work, behavioral standards, personal responsibility and all the other basic things that the clever intelligentsia disdain — without ruinous consequences to them and to society at large." Thomas Sowell
User avatar
Brian C
Posts: 1241
Joined: 2/26/2008
14er Checklist (45)
14ers in Winter (5)
13er Checklist (19)

Re: Children, ropes and 14er safety

Postby Brian C » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:29 am

pvnisher wrote:Ropes have the appearance for increasing safety, but in reality they are just a tool. And like any tool, when used properly, they work well. But when used improperly, they cause far more harm than good.

A rope in this type of case would greatly increase the rockfall danger on the route. Since you would be going up the route first (you wouldn't want to be in the middle), the rope would be knocking stones down on your kids' heads if the route was straight, or down on other climbers below.

Short-roping (when you carry coils in your hand) for stability and a little assurance looks easy, but requires a great deal of technique and practice to ensure your safety and for the person being short-roped. (FWIW: Short roping is NOT pulling someone up the mountain, as described in Into Thin Air.)

Similarly, setting up a hand line will require a great deal of time, possibly some gear, but definitely a lot of know-how and a compatible terrain situation. It will be a bit of a hindrance on the route and, if done improperly, could actually cause falls since they'd be relying on it to hold them.

In summary, helmets are good (but looking up and avoiding a rock is better, when possible). Going slowly and carefully is good. Feeling free to turn around is good.
Ropes, if not used in the right way, are bad.

+100! Good post. It's true, if you don't know how to use one, then it does not make you any safer.
Brian in the Wild
Lists of John
"Nature never did betray the heart that loved her." - Wordsworth

Return to “Gear, Climbing Prep, Safety, etc.”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: mtnbikir and 5 guests