When is High Adventure to High?
Bill Roswell (Bill_Roswell@OXY.COM)
Wed, 29 Oct 1997 11:02:12 -0600
I have a problem I hope you can help me with.
We are beginning a new high adventure program in the area of
mountaineering (ascending/ rappelling /rock climbing).
The person who first volunteered to lead has a lot of experience and
his son is a 13 year old first class scout. The man has built a very
nice 14ft. four sided, rock climbing tower (two sides rock climbing,
hanging rock climbing strength builders and one side rapelling) in his
back yard. Every week he takes his son and 3-5 others (most happen to
also be scouts) to a park near town which contains 20 foot limestone
cliffs for rapelling and ascending/descending. Also, one a week these
same boys go to an indoor rock climbing gym with three 35 foot walls
and several smaller rock climbing rooms and walls. Most of these boys
own their own equipment (harnesses, rock climbing shoes, chalk bags,
caribeners, ropes, helmets, ascenders, etc.). These weekly events are
held as private events, not associated with scouting. The person and
his son are also planning a private ice climbing trip to Colorado in
My point is that these boys are already very, very advanced. However,
the person wants to add even more challenge. He is proposing a trip to
an indoor Dallas gym with a 110 foot rock climbing wall and a trip to
a magazine mountain in Arkansas, that has very high cliffs.
However, this person only wants to work with the advanced scouts and
hasn't come up with a training program or criteria of how other scouts
would enter this advanced group. We are still working on that.
I have read the books on venture backpacking and venture rock
climbing. I myself am a very experienced backpacker and have put
together and lead the venture backpacking program. However, I think
the program this person is proposing; he even uses the names
ultra-high adventure and extreme high adventure, is to "extreme' to
meet safe scouting principles.
What are your thoughts?
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City