Paul Schnettler (paulsch@SSEC.WISC.EDU)
Tue, 4 Aug 1998 13:14:30 -0500
My son returned from camp this year with his climbing MB.
The restrictions were: 13yrs old and at least 100 lbs.
(I don't know who makes these restrictions)
The camp facilities were what I would consider a military style rapelling tower.
The tower was 25 ft. tall (90deg. vertical) and the climbing routes (2) were of
different difficulty levels. After camp he begged to go to a local climbing gym.
Last weekend we went to a BOULDERS (tm) and had a blast. I noticed a bunch of
differences between the two setups.
The climbing gym didn't have as much vertical (18-20ft.) and the walls were a
textured rock-like concrete material whereas the camp climbing tower was 2x6
tongue and groove lumber.
(much easier to climb the rock) The wall surfaces at the gym were also at
different degree of slope and the climbing rock outcroppings were much more
My son remarked that the gym experience in his opinion was much easier to climb.
Boulders (tm) made us sign a waiver and gave instruction on how to use the belay
gear, then let us climb. There were no age or weight restrictions. We were only
allowed to use the anchored "clip in" type belay ropes. There were other free
ropes which were only used by climbers which had passed a belay test which
included using the required climbing knots and carabiner assisted belay rigging.
The climbing gym also dedicated alot of space for "bouldering" climbing routes
which typically didn't require any ropes. (only a couple of feet off the floor)
I would recommend the climbing gym experience to anyone. I'm unsure if the BSA
would consider this a high risk activity. My 11 yr. old son was not allowed to
climb at camp but excelled at the climbing gym. My 15 yr. old son said the gym
experience was more fun than the camps tower but by no means offered any rope work
or information on technique and safety, which he got at camp.
I would assume the rope and technique work would fall under "lessons" which the
gym was more than willing to provide (for an extra fee)
Paul Schnettler SM.
T-164 Stoughton, WI
Automatic digest processor wrote: Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 13:44:33 EDT
> From: Robert Gerhard <RAGerhard@AOL.COM>
> Subject: Indoor Climbing
> Okay, list...time for some opinions:
> How do you feel about indoor climbing gyms? (We would climb a mountain...but
> North Texas is flatter than a pancake!!) Is this something we can / should do
> with the kids? Even boys as young as Webelos? (You've seen Cub Scouts -
> they'll climb over ANYTHING!!!)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City