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njgail11
09-20-2009, 09:50 PM
I do not want to come across sounding like a mean and terrible person like some of you may think i am after reading this. I just would like to get something off my chest that has been bothering me for a few years. I would like to give you some background first about me and my husband. We started vacationing in the white mountains in 2004 and starting hiking for the first time in the whites in 2006. We fell in love with the whites and have been going there every summer for vacation and to hike. We also hike were we live in New Jersey and we hike in PA. I go on this forum practically every day to read all of the posts. I know how hard and strenous alot of the hikes are in the whites, and i just don't understand for the life of me why someone would put their young child in harms way i just don't understand it. I would like to hear how other people feel on this matter.

TrishandAlex
09-20-2009, 10:32 PM
Okay, I'll give it a go.

I've taken my 5 year old up Moosilauke in December. However, I never put her in harm's way.

To make any kind of claim that anyone was putting their kid "in harm's way," you'd have to know that family and those particular kids very, very well.

Also, the definition of "in harm's way" is very different depending on who you ask.

Here's my definition of "in harm's way" -- allowing a kid to watch television and play video games, not paying attention to what the kid is eating, allowing them to wear midriffs when they're 8, not getting them outside for at least a few hours each day...also, letting them play football, be a cheerleader, signing them up for gymnastics...those three sports are far more dangerous than hiking well-prepared.

Oh yeah, riding in a car at all, that's INCREDIBLY dangerous. I always feel that the most danger Alex and I have ever been in was on the road driving to the trailhead. Some people really like to tailgate!

Bottom line...I hike with both my kids. Both are pretty tough and one in particular can handle (and enjoy!) almost any kind of trail. I'm not going to hold her back. I will stand by and spot when necessary, though. I will always carry enough stuff to keep my kids and I warm, safe and dry for two days should I become injured and have to wait for rescue. I will always turn back whenever I feel the need.

Guess it's a question of what you're used to. I don't consider well-prepared hiking all that dangerous. Bring proper gear, spot your kid, be prepared to turn back.

FisherCat
09-20-2009, 10:37 PM
If you don't mind my asking, because I couldn't discern this from your post, do you have children? Have you taken them hiking yourself?

Knapper
09-20-2009, 11:12 PM
I know how hard and strenous alot of the hikes are in the whites, and i just don't understand for the life of me why someone would put their young child in harms way i just don't understand it. I would like to hear how other people feel on this matter.

I agree and disagree with your sweeping statement based on my own personal experience vs. what I have seen done on the summit. I started hiking before preschool and before that, I was carried in a baby carrier on day hikes. I did all sorts of trails with varying difficulty out west around Lake Tahoe where I grew up as well as hikes in a lot of western states. We always did a lot of research on trails that would take more than one day to do and that was before the internet. Some of them went successful some of them were washed out by unseasonable weather. Some we took with trails that were well maintained while others were bushwacks. Good or "bad" hikes, they were all memorable and something I wouldn't trade for the world as they were partly what brought me here. And my love for the trail came from experience that I gained by my dad teaching me. Would I have done Tuckerman Ravine in the summer as a first grader, yes. Would I have done Huntington Ravine Trail, probably but my dad would have said no. Would I do Huntington now? No unless I had to help on a rescue. But I had the benefit of having a parent that helped teach me to make the right and wrong decissions or at least guide me in making them.

But I will agree with your statement on some levels. Should parents with infants be hiking to the summit with a baby backpack strapped on. NO!!!. We have helped parents who didn't give their baby enough water on the way up or didn't cover them up enough and they got sunburns. Or continued hiking in cold weather and had the baby shivering when they arrived or worst. Add the fact that the trails up are steep in some areas and I have seen and helped people that were blown down off trail with just packs. I can't even imagine how I'd feel if there was a baby carrier on their backs when that happened. So, I will agree with you there. But then i teeter on how I feel about "young kids" hiking the trails.

If the kids want to do the hike, are with a responsible parent/leader, are prepared for any kind of conditions, and are fit to hike, then I say let them do it. How else will they get into the sport? But if you are parent dragging a kid up that doesn't want to be there, then no. If you are leading a kid up in freezing temperatures with shorts and a tank top on, then no. If you are leading a kid up with a 20oz bottle of water and nothing else, then no. If they are tired and told you 2 miles ago that they want to stop or go back to the car, then no. If they are unfit and get winded just kicking a soccer ball, then no. If you are leading them up Huntington Ravine in the rain, then no. If you are going up Lions Head in tennis shoes in winter, then no. I could go on and on but everything I listed isn't limited to the kids following their parents. The same can be said of any age. In spring, summer and fall, I see plenty of kids hiking the summit happy as a clam. Their parents even saying they wish they had their energy. The kids are about the same age I was when I started so I see nothing wrong with them coming up. Kids are resilient and most that are on the trails want to be there. It's a parents role to set guidelines for the day and help them make informed decisions.

But I guess it all comes down to differnent parenting techniques and what you deem "putting them in harms way". Each parent views the world different and are entitled to their opinions. But, like any sport, there are dangers that are involved. Who's to say hiking in the Whites is safer than having a kid play baseball, football, or bike riding. If any sport is taught correctly and played correctly then it is "safe". But there are hidden variable even in those. Baseball has fast pitches and bats, football has tackles, and bike riding has automobiles or potholes. There are dangers everywhere if we look for them. We could insert anything for the start of your statement and still have it be true to some degree. For example "I know how fast and dangerous boating on a lake is and i just don't understand for the life of me why someone would put their young child in harms way i just don't understand it." Or "I know how fast and steep alot of the ski trails are in the whites, and i just don't understand for the life of me why someone would put their young child in harms way i just don't understand it." I guess for better understanding, what tails do you deem hard and strenous, what age you are referring to, what age would you allow your kids to start hiking, what kind of weather conditions are you referring to, etc.

mtruman
09-20-2009, 11:12 PM
Bringing your kids into the mountains doesn't mean putting them in harms way. If you take the right precautions (as you should for yourself) there's almost no better place that I can think of for kids to be. If they don't want to be there you shouldn't drag them there. It's OK to help them learn to love it though. I knew that Trish would be the first to answer this post when I saw it and I'm glad that she did. When I first started reading her early trip reports of hiking 4000 footers with her very young children I wasn't so sure about it. It seemed like it might be too much for them and that they were maybe being "dragged along". If there is any doubt about this read Trish and Alex's blog and their journey to complete all 48 4Ks while Alex was just 8 years old. There cannot possibly be any doubt when you see the joy on that kid's face that she is not being dragged.

We've been bringing our daughter into the woods (and up mountains) since she was little as well. She always loved it and we always ensured that she was safe. As a teenager she has hiked and backpacked with us and with other groups and is as capable out there as we are. I only wish that she spent more time out there now.

TrishandAlex
09-21-2009, 12:47 AM
Ryan and Mark, great posts.

(Psst, Mark, Alex is 6 and a half, we started when she was 5). :)

mtruman
09-21-2009, 06:35 AM
Ryan and Mark, great posts.

(Psst, Mark, Alex is 6 and a half, we started when she was 5). :)

Yes, the 8 was a typo :o - I meant to say 6. If she was 8 it would still be amazing.

Great thoughts Ryan. Couldn't agree more with all your observations.

billysinc
09-21-2009, 06:42 AM
I think hiking with children is fantastic and so long as the adult in attendance is prepared then I think it's fine.

My one concern that I see from time to time is when I see baby backpacks and not so much going up hikes but descending. I've slipped coming down rocks enough that I cringe thinking about what would happen to those little passengers if a slip occurs as pretty much all would be 3 years or younger.

Snow Miser
09-21-2009, 08:02 AM
I have to agree with everyone. As long as the parents and kids are properly prepared, it's great to get younger kids into hiking. One point too is kind of related to what Trish pointed to, look at the obseity rate of kids these days. It's incredible how parents let their kids get that way. That in itself is doing great harm to them. And much of that is due to kids not getting outside for some good exercise and mental stimulation other than what video games and TV provide.

rockin rex
09-21-2009, 10:52 AM
Those of you who know me, know I have to chime in here. First, being from New Jersey myself, there are MANY more dangerous things in Jersey than hiking up a mountain with your child. I have had my kids in the outdoors since they were just a few months old. I started carrying them on my back when they were old enough to hold their heads up by themselves. When I felt it was safe for them to summit mountains up we went. I started taking them up on my back when they were two. The parent is 100 percent responsible for that child!!!!! I never went alone with them on my back in case a problem ever did arise.. I ALWAYS had someone strong with me who could keep an eye on my kid in the pack and if needed could have gone for help. Folks on this forum have met my 2 boys and neither one of my 2 boys would ever say I put their lives at risk. Both Madison and Baxter have been carried up on my back numerous times to the summit of Mount Washington and both have walked up with Baxter having done Huntington Ravine for Seek the Peak. I fully believe my kids are the outstanding children they are today because of the lessons they learned in the great outdoors. There is no better place for children to be than climbing mountains. I do agree though that it has to be done safely and that is the parents responsibility. Those on this forum that do hike with their children love their kids and make sure that EVERY base is covered when they take them out. You should see what is in our pack when we head out. Safety is our firs concern!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! By the way Baxter also ski races in high school. Now that scares me : )

BlueDog
09-21-2009, 02:56 PM
I can attest that Rex's boys are VERY good hikers. I'm late 30s and I'm sure both of them can teach ME how to be a better hiker.

Harm is all in the perception. IMHO, a parent that takes their kid out into the mountains to hike if far more responsible and in a safer environment than one that lets the kid sit in front of the TV playing PlayStation all day.

Addicted
09-21-2009, 02:59 PM
I won't say much different than anyone else. I don't have kids. I do fully intend to bring them hiking when I do have them. I wish I went more as a child. The White mountains can be dangerous. I have hiked enough to know what would be reasonable with a child though. There are plenty of adults who hike where they are not capable to hike (have seen a lot of stupid stuff), but anyone that is a true hiker knows limits and what would be reasonable, based on the child. Would I bring my 8 year old nephew who HATES to go for walks and hikes? Absolutely not. He loves the outdoors and hunting for bugs and snakes and critters, but doesn't like the walking part. If it's not going to be fun for them, why force it? Kids have a lot more energy than us adults and I wish I could bounce from rock to rock like they do and still be ready to go. They dont' have the fear that we do (one slip and I'm a big chicken on the way down, waiting for the next slip) but that's where they need someone to keep an eye on them and show them the way. I think children are totally capable. I think little Alex has shown all of us that.

Bill O
09-21-2009, 06:49 PM
You guys are too nice. Besides bordering on troll-like, it is a completely inaccurate statement, with no data or reasoning behind the claim.

A bit like me going into a forum for CT residents and stating that CT sucks.

Brad
09-21-2009, 07:18 PM
It is an interesting question and the answer is - it all depends. I took my oldest grandson to the summit of Mt Washington when he was 9. We were prepared - he is very athletic and strong and he follows directions. I am very experienced - but know to pick my days for good weather to not have an issue.

I would like to believe no parent puts their kids in harms way knowingly. Hiking or walking in a park can be done "gently" or in a very strenuous and done in a difficult manner. Part of a parent's job to to make sure the kids are safe. They might stretch themselves more than they thought they could, but you certainly strive to be safe. Whether a person is a child or an adult you go at an activity in stages. Starting with Mt Washington is not a good approach for anyone of any age. But, with the proper preparation a person can hike the mountains of NH just fine.

We have had house guests who wanted to climb Mt Washington because they had heard so much about it - and we have steered them to something more in line with their capability. This is adults - it does not matter what their age is, they should do things within their ability range. This past summer we had a friend join our grandchildren here for several weeks. There had been discussion about doing Mt Washington and as soon as I saw him get out of the car I knew that was out of the question. We steered the activities and objectives to be in line with capability. And even that he was not able to do as a "very active kid". He was not used to pushing himself to achieve.

The key is it is up to us as adults to manage expectations and provide activities that can be done safely. I would have no problem going with my oldest grandson in any weather in the summer. We may do some winter hiking this year. But, it will be a very safe thing to do. The younger grandson is not there yet. We are still working up to more difficult hikes with him. If he likes it, we will continue. There are parents here on the forum who have been hiking with their kids for years and climbing a mountain, knowing how to be well prepared, understanding the weather are all a part of those kids' experience. They are very comfortable outdoors having fun.

KD Talbot
09-21-2009, 08:05 PM
You guys are too nice. Besides bordering on troll-like, it is a completely inaccurate statement, with no data or reasoning behind the claim.

A bit like me going into a forum for CT residents and stating that CT sucks.

Gotta agree with Bill!

I thought for sure we had our first real blowout in the making. I guess it shows the good nature of the folks here.

It is a testament to the citizens of this forum.

KDT

njgail11
09-21-2009, 08:22 PM
I would like to thank all of you for your thoughts on the subject. I was nervous on the comments i would receive. You all took the time to explain and not in a harsh way. I do have a better understanding why parents hike with thier children in the whites. I was raised in the city most of my life and now i live in the suburbs near the shore. Me and my husband only just started hiking in the last couple of years. My daughter is 25 and my son is 22 and i also have 2 stepdaughters one is 20 and the other is 23. The kids are grown and mine do not live with me anymore, so this is why we got into hiking to do something together. Well I would like to thank everyone again, and if anyone else would like to comment that would be great.

njgail11
09-21-2009, 08:27 PM
Bill O and KD Talbot you were the only ones with that kind of answer.

Bill O
09-21-2009, 10:28 PM
Bill O and KD Talbot you were the only ones with that kind of answer.

Kevin and I have been around the block a few times. He is correct though, because this forum is made up of such nice people you received rational and friendly replies. Be careful trying that on another forum though. The number of views on this thread suggest that many other people simply refrained from commenting.

FisherCat
09-21-2009, 10:30 PM
Our folks started my brother and I when we were pretty young. We had always been active outdoors anyway, but that's what happens when you grow up in the Whites. I would say there were just as many families that didn't hike as there were that did, but it was never an issue of not going because of safety concerns as much as it was probably a lack of interest. Even in Jefferson where I grew up there were residents who never bothered hiking, but were active outdoors in other areas. My folks never took us on a hike where I remember being terrified because in the end they knew they would be responsible, especially if it meant carrying us out! And I think that's what hiking led to. Just as many outdoor activities such as downhill & nordic skiing, snowshoeing, hunting, fishing, mountain biking, hockey-pond, rink, street varieties, trail running, sap collecting, wood harvesting, all certainly with a measure of inherent risk, but confidence in one just grew to confidence in another. Start 'em when their young, immerse them with similar activities, and in the end you get a pretty well-rounded, capable individual.

Geez, I mean our parents let the woods be our playground and I'm glad they did. I ended up in many situations, even when young, encountering wildlife on my own and such. It was just all a part of it. Even though we had a black bear that regularly slept under our porch on hot, hot summer nights ( those nights were rare mind you, but there was a nice patch of sand he would dig into where it was cooler) they had no qualms about us running around outside the next day after they checked to make sure it was safe. That's life in NH folks. Remember, my folks didn't get a flush toilet in the house until 1987and our two homemade solar panels did quite well too.

mtruman
09-21-2009, 10:45 PM
The reason that I spend so much time on this forum and other hiking forums is because of the people (at least the majority). It's one of the reasons that I like hiking so much as well. It isn't just the mountains and the woods and the trails - it's the wonderful people (again the majority) that you meet out there. That's the kind of person that I want my child to be and one of the many reasons that I think kids should be out there.

Brad
09-22-2009, 05:20 AM
When I was 5 years old I started going to an 8-week summer camp on Cape Cod. When I was 8 I shifted to a camp in NH and continued to go there till I was senior staff and was out of college. The NH camp always has been and still is extremely strong in woodsmen skills, trips program, trail maintenance, and teaching how to appreciate the outdoors. I would like to pass on some of that love to my grandkids.

If I had grown up in a big city, I might have a greater appreciation for the symphony, opera and other activities. I like them - but, I am not passionate about them like I am being outdoors. My oldest grandson would not last 5 minutes at the opera. But, get him out on a trail above tree line and see the smile as he looks out over a valley - sees where he has climbed from - and soaks in the whole experience. Just seeing that is a wonderful experience for me. Sure, we might get caught in a rain (or even snow) storm in the summer. But, we are prepared for it and it becomes just a part of the memories.

The key is to be prepared (where are the Boy Scouts here?) and be safe.

Here is a picture of my 9-year old grandson on Mt Washington for the first time (it was not his first hike by any stretch - but, was certainly harder than the other hikes). We were going from Lakes of the Clouds to the summit of Mt Washington and the clouds started to roll in. Look carefully and you can see the smile.

http://images24.fotki.com/v799/photos/8/8235/3779383/IMG_6185a-vi.jpg

Snow Miser
09-22-2009, 08:01 AM
The reason that I spend so much time on this forum and other hiking forums is because of the people (at least the majority). It's one of the reasons that I like hiking so much as well. It isn't just the mountains and the woods and the trails - it's the wonderful people (again the majority) that you meet out there. That's the kind of person that I want my child to be and one of the many reasons that I think kids should be out there.

I love hiking, and this forum too for the reasons Mark states above. Also, there are so many nice people on here that are willing to take the time to give you advice, or give answers to whatever questions you may have. It's a great place to be with such a great bunch of folks!:)

Brad
09-22-2009, 09:22 PM
Hikng is one of those things no one can do for you. You get above treeline and you did it yourself. Get to the summit and see the view and know you accomplished something. I still get a thrill out of it and for kids it is a thrill too.

mtruman
09-22-2009, 10:07 PM
I thought of something else that I had mentioned to our friend Mary on Sunday during our hike. The first 4K that our daughter did when she was 9 was Cannon. We hiked up the Kinsman Ridge trail and she was in the lead pretty much the whole way. She also had a constant smile on her face. When we got almost to the summit she turned to me with the biggest smile of all and said "Dad - this is even better than Disney World!". That was one of the happiest moments of my life...

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_KuEV5mt1_ak/SrmBoSpnsbI/AAAAAAAASLk/Yc6co638rbU/s640/040810-104130.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_KuEV5mt1_ak/SrmBoiWLfFI/AAAAAAAASLo/0_tNyr9ysaU/s640/040810-111916.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_KuEV5mt1_ak/SrmBpJbm2bI/AAAAAAAASLs/NMaL7bqaOYA/s640/040810-123028.jpg

claaky23
09-23-2009, 04:08 AM
I hike Monadnock every Thursday before I have to go to work for 4pm. Once the summer started winding down these Thursday hikes were VERY lonely. Not many people can say they've been on the summit of Monadnock by themselves since it is such an extremely busy summit, but the first two Thursdays of September I had a half hour to myself.
LAST Thursday, On my way up the mountain I could hear lots of voices and yelling. When I got to the top there was about 60-80 kids there from a field trip. I'd guess 4th-6th grade age.
Anyone that could hear them all chirping away about how awesome it was that they made it and how "hard" some of the climbs were would understand that hiking with children is more constructive than destructive. It was really a thrill and a privilige for me to see all those kids on the summit. Way better for the kids than a field trip to Plymouth Rock or Old Sturbridge Village.
That being said; parents who would consider a hike a significant accomplishment for themselves, in my opinion should not attempt the hike with their children. Someone who has never climbed something close to Washington, should probably avoid taking their kids with them on their first attempt. Let me give an very specific example before I get pounced on. I know a couple that does not exercise, hike walk or other. they recently tried, for the first time, climbing a mountain(Monadnock). The couple is grossly out of shape. They carried their 2 yr old son up in a carry pack, making the task even more difficult. How can you be responsible for an additional person, when you aren't sure you can take care of yourself?
That's just my opinion.

JC

njgail11
09-23-2009, 08:53 PM
Brad and mtruman i would like to thank you for taking the time to write and send a picture. Great shots and your right the children look happy. I am so grateful people took the time to be nice and explain to me why they hike with their kids. I do understand now.

Thanks

Rich
09-24-2009, 10:07 AM
But I will agree with your statement on some levels. Should parents with infants be hiking to the summit with a baby backpack strapped on. NO!!!

Ooops, sorry Ryan...I promise we'll never do it again, besides I'm all out of infants. Question...is it OK to hike to the summit with an infant AND a 4 and a half year old?

http://images41.fotki.com/v1580/photos/5/1249195/7674906/NH040052-vi.jpg

Charlie
09-24-2009, 11:47 PM
would this be the same as taking a older person on a hike

i took one for seek the peak :eek:


and he kicked my but also :D

i say its up to the parents are the ones that will make it safe for the kids to hike and if the parents are not safe well they should not be there

BlueDog
09-25-2009, 08:47 AM
Must have been a theme that weekend. Brad told me he has some big kid hiking with him that just wouldn't act his age! :D


would this be the same as taking a older person on a hike

i took one for seek the peak :eek:


and he kicked my but also :D

i say its up to the parents are the ones that will make it safe for the kids to hike and if the parents are not safe well they should not be there

Charlie
09-25-2009, 12:57 PM
Must have been a theme that weekend. Brad told me he has some big kid hiking with him that just wouldn't act his age! :D

that was Ed O'Malley :D not me :eek:

kaseri
09-25-2009, 02:08 PM
Okay, I'll give it a go.

Here's my definition of "in harm's way" -- allowing a kid to watch television and play video games, not paying attention to what the kid is eating, allowing them to wear midriffs when they're 8, not getting them outside for at least a few hours each day...also, letting them play football, be a cheerleader, signing them up for gymnastics...those three sports are far more dangerous than hiking well-prepared.

I couldn't have said this better. I agree one million percent with you Trish!

Brad
09-25-2009, 09:11 PM
that was Ed O'Malley :D not me :eek:
Now kids - stop fighting.

Dee3
09-27-2009, 03:38 PM
You guys are too nice. Besides bordering on troll-like, it is a completely inaccurate statement, with no data or reasoning behind the claim.

A bit like me going into a forum for CT residents and stating that CT sucks.

This right here offended the heck out of me, and I am not even the one who wrote the post.
How in the WORLD is this poster merely expressing his/her views in a polite way bordering on troll like?? Because you dont like what she had to say??
She has EVERY right to feel that taking kids on hikes in the Whites is a bit much for kids. Just like you all have every right to believe that it is okay.

Her post was respectful, and was not distasteful. GO BACK AND READ THAT POST AND TELL ME HOW YOU CALL THAT TROLL LIKE BEHAVIOR!! My God the poor woman was even apologetic and everything. She merely expressed an opinion on something, and asked how everyone else felt about it. For that she gets called a troll? My GOD..if THAT is what you call troll behavior, I doubt you really get the meaning of what a troll is. Because then you are saying that no one can be on here with a dissenting opinion on something, or they get called names.

Tell me, am I now a troll because I am sticking up for her right to ask a darn question?? Im sorry, but have things gotten so bad that unless everyone thinks like we want them to, even on something as small as children hiking, that we consider them the bad guy??

I have hiked the whites myself, and some of it CAN be difficult. So, merely ask why someone takes kids on these hikes is not hard to understand. But, when someone questions something like this, you just explain things to them, so maybe they understand that the kids really arent being harmed, or really can do hikes like that. The pictures that folks posted of kids hiking are excellent examples to show folks who may worry about the safety of kids. It shows that kids are doing this all the time and loving it. Myself, I feel taking kids on hikes is good as long as the hike is not too streneous for their ability. I like the idea of starting them early too.

So, me and the OP have different views on kids hiking too, but I can answer the question that was respectfully asked without calling her a troll and getting all overly sensitive and defensive.

Do you know that there are people who have the exact same opinion on taking DOGS on hikes that are a bit difficult? Thats just the way it is. We will not all agree. But we dont need to be called names for it.
Im sorry Bill, im sure now you are going to call my post "troll like behavior" because I also disagreed with you on something. But to me, your post and attitude was out of line.

JimS
09-27-2009, 04:50 PM
This right here offended the heck out of me, and I am not even the one who wrote the post.
How in the WORLD is this poster merely expressing his/her views in a polite way bordering on troll like?? Because you dont like what she had to say??
She has EVERY right to feel that taking kids on hikes in the Whites is a bit much for kids. Just like you all have every right to believe that it is okay.

......................

Do you know that there are people who have the exact same opinion on taking DOGS on hikes that are a bit difficult? Thats just the way it is. We will not all agree. But we dont need to be called names for it.
Im sorry Bill, im sure now you are going to call my post "troll like behavior" because I also disagreed with you on something. But to me, your post and attitude was out of line.


Both of them said their piece and moved on...

I'm not going to call you a troll, but I don't see how this personal attack makes the situation any better...and rants like this really are not what I am here to read. Can we lock this before it gets even less civil?

BlueDog
09-28-2009, 09:53 AM
Dee3,

I think what set off the troll-alarm is that the OP has a relatively low post count, for one. Most people tend to "warm up" to a forum, learn the personalities and general disposition of the forum. If that was the case, I think the OP would have seen that 99.5% of the people here are highly responsible hikers, and those that hike with kids take their child safety very seriously. Most of the time, we are the ones out on MW with a 20+ lbs pack on for a day hike, versus the folks we pass on the trail that left PNVC at 2pm, armed with a bottle of water and flip-flops on their feet.

Second, the OP first tried to set us up with a lot of resume and then their only statement on the issue was "just don't understand for the life of me why someone would put their young child in harms way i just don't understand it." IF the OP had followed that up with 'here's why' they think that and offered anecdotal evidence, then maybe the discussion would have been different. But they made the generalization, same as if I said that women shouldn't be on the mountains and only prefaced it with how experienced I am.

Not trying to fan the flames here, but I can see how the connection to troll was made.

KD Talbot
09-28-2009, 08:39 PM
When I first saw this thread and the subject I jumped to the immediate conclusion that it was a personal attack on a certain member and the lifestyle she has chosen. I used all my reasoning skills to restrain from my initial thoughts and keep my mouth shut.

Knowing said individual I was sure she would handle the question with dignity and respect for the thread poster. She handled the question with alacrity and aplomb, like I knew she would.

After following the drift of this thread I came to realize that my initial feelings were probably wrong and that it was an innocent question directed at no one in particular. I don't know the original poster, nor do I profess to understand their mind in asking this question.

That said, initial impressions, I'm sure we all have learned, are sometimes wrong. It is sometimes hard to understand the meaning of written word without being able to talk face to face and be able to take in the emotion of a conversation. Especially hard when questions can't be immediately asked or answered.

Again, I want to compliment the members of this forum for their understanding and ability to answer what certainly seemed to some to be what they call a "flame" on internet bulletin boards. At first look I'm sure many had the impression this was a "flame" and that this person might be trolling.

If this question, as written, had not been asked here, where the conversation is pretty civil compared to other forums I've been on, this question would not have been received as well and may have turned into an all out war where the thread had to be locked, with a lot of hurt feelings. I have seen it before, as I am sure the moderator has as well.

KDT

Brad
09-29-2009, 02:34 PM
My reaction was it was a very good question. I have friends who do not understand hiking - being above treeline - being out up north in the winter. It is all just beyond them. To then do these wild things (them they are wild) with children would be a mystery. This forum is frequented by a very responsible set of folks - so asking the question here was a very good thing.

Hopefully, folks continue to ask questions here that might be different from our norm.

njgail11
09-29-2009, 08:56 PM
:)A member asked if i had kids and if they hiked with me. If you remember i posted i have grown children and never hiked with them. I grew up in the city and only just started hiking a few years ago with my husband. I live in a suburb down the jersey shore and vacation every summer in the whites. This question was certainly not asked to attack or single out anyone. It's just that i only been hiking a short time and love it, but still alittle nervous and unsure of myself sometimes. I do have a hard time hiking sometimes,but getting better. So the reason why i asked the question was i see on the trails alot of kids with their parents hiking and not very prepared. Here i am having a hard time on a trail and are very prepared. I am 47 years old and i have been learning a new sport HIKING. I go on this forum almost every day of my life for the last few years just to read about everything. I do not ask alot of questions or answer anyone of them either. I just like to read everything. I go on ghost flowers web site also tim and val and also trish and alex. I love to read all of them. I'm sorry i started such controversy but i do have a better understanding and understand why parents hike with their kids. Thank you for all of the members who spoke their minds with kind words it is very appreciated. Also i forget that kids are like the energizer bunny they just keep going and going and going they can run circles around us old folks. Ha Ha

Snow Miser
09-29-2009, 09:22 PM
njgail11, As far as I'm concerned, it's great to have you here. You asked a valid question, and you received many different responses based on peoples' feelings on the subject. And that's a good thing. It's good for everyone to voice their opinions and in return listen to others' responses. Isn't that what America is based on anyway. We all share common interests here, like hiking, photography and weather. So stay here and get involved a little more, because we all have ideas to share with each other.

njgail11
09-29-2009, 09:30 PM
Snow Miser, thank you so much for that reply that was sweet. I will stay around the forum and get more involved.

Christine

FisherCat
09-29-2009, 10:59 PM
:)A member asked if i had kids and if they hiked with me. If you remember i posted i have grown children and never hiked with them.

Sorry njgail, I was one of the ones (at least at the beginning ) who asked that question. I didn't see anywhere in your ORIGINAL post that you had kids. Many people start hiking in the Whites after hiking in other areas. Since you live in another area I thought perhaps you hiked with your children in other places when they were younger.

I never found your question inflammatory, there have been far worse. Better to ask then to assume.

That being said, its good to have an active forum member!

Brad
09-30-2009, 05:52 AM
NJgail11,

Just remember there are some people here older than the hills and folks in their 40's are old enough to be our kids. I hike with my kids all the time :cool: and their kids. Hiking is one of those things you can do for many years. Just match the trip to your abilities. This forum is a great place to get recommendations and advice. Unfortunately, we all have seen people out there unprepared - and many with kids. Many of us have carried other people's kids out because they could not go any further. The key is to learn and be as prepared as possible.

Great to have you here.

mtruman
09-30-2009, 07:15 AM
Christine - I echo the sentiments of Bob, Scott and Brad. I never found your post inflammatory and am sorry that some here did. You definitely asked a reasonable question (and after the explanation with very good reason). I'm glad that there was some reasonable discussion on this topic between the sometimes heated posts.

This is a good topic and one that all of us who do hike with their kids should always be thinking about. I also think it's important for us to communicate our experiences and hopefully knowledge to the others that are out there with their kids (or maybe aren't yet) so that they can have similar wonderful experiences and raise the next generation that will love being out there as much as we do.

Glad to have you as a forum member and look forward to your future participation.

Uncas
10-05-2009, 10:34 AM
I recently got a facebook message from John harlin III, he has an article coming out in March In backpacker magazine about his trip with his daughter to Mt Chamberlin. Im sure he will touch on this.
His book Eiger Obsession touched on one instance where his dad took him rock climbing and put him in some danger.

I really think it depends on the hike, we all know some hikes even in winter are not dangerous. I imagine there is more danger from people taking their kids up Mt Washington in late summer or fall on nice days that turn horrible for the unprepared.

I worry more about getting a child hooked on hiking/climbing to the point where they find a hobby that could kill them later in life. I really wouldnt want my 18 year old off trying to alpine climb with a friend for the first time.....It is something I ponder

njgail11
10-07-2009, 09:22 PM
Thanks Mtruman

BlueDog
10-08-2009, 07:00 AM
Seems we aren't the only ones debating this topic...

from Backpacker.com
Should 13-Year-Old Jordan Romero Climb Everest? (http://www.backpacker.com/september-2009-higher-education-should-13-year-old-jordan-romero-climb-everest/articles/13271)

Romero climbed Denali at 11 and has bagged five of the Seven Summits. He hopes to climb Everest in 2010, but is mountain climbing good for a growing kid?

mtruman
10-08-2009, 07:31 AM
Seems we aren't the only ones debating this topic...

from Backpacker.com
Should 13-Year-Old Jordan Romero Climb Everest? (http://www.backpacker.com/september-2009-higher-education-should-13-year-old-jordan-romero-climb-everest/articles/13271)

Romero climbed Denali at 11 and has bagged five of the Seven Summits. He hopes to climb Everest in 2010, but is mountain climbing good for a growing kid?

I read this article last month and it's quite the story. Way beyond what we're debating here but a really interesting case. Jordan is quite the "kid".

Brad
10-08-2009, 07:52 AM
It sounds like he has a lot more experience than many of the adults you see out there climbing Everest.

TrishandAlex
10-08-2009, 08:47 AM
Regarding Romero, or any other child prodigy -

The only people who can judge whether or not Jordan should be doing this is his parents. Going from the articles, and from people who have personally met the Romeros (I haven't), it seems like it is a healthy family (parents aren't pushing the child). The kid's obviously got a lot of talent, strength and stamina.

Should ANY 13 year old attempt Everest? No. But this particular 13 year old? He's capable and willing, so that question should only go to his parents.

Uncas
10-08-2009, 09:34 AM
I think its up to the parents, personally I think he shoudl be able to climb it.

But it makes me think, where does he go from there....k2, the alps and more dangerous peaks are most likley in his future. And people who climb those enough put themselves in situations where the odds start adding up. And the greatest climbers in the world die for no other reason then being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Its a double edged sword.

TrishandAlex
10-08-2009, 10:26 AM
But it makes me think, where does he go from there....k2, the alps and more dangerous peaks are most likley in his future. And people who climb those enough put themselves in situations where the odds start adding up. And the greatest climbers in the world die for no other reason then being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Its a double edged sword.

True, but that's the choice of the individual. If, as an adult, he chooses to keeping climbing, he'll probably do so because he feels he MUST (from the inside, not from his parents). It may be his true passion.

Also, life is dangerous. The odds of being in a car accident at some point during one's life is HUGE...maybe even on par with the odds of a very experienced climber getting into trouble on K2 (?)...but that doesn't stop anyone from driving.

Snow Miser
10-08-2009, 10:47 AM
Also, life is dangerous. The odds of being in a car accident at some point during one's life is HUGE...maybe even on par with the odds of a very experienced climber getting into trouble on K2 (?)...but that doesn't stop anyone from driving.

Perfectly stated!

Uncas
10-08-2009, 04:36 PM
True, but that's the choice of the individual. If, as an adult, he chooses to keeping climbing, he'll probably do so because he feels he MUST (from the inside, not from his parents). It may be his true passion.

Also, life is dangerous. The odds of being in a car accident at some point during one's life is HUGE...maybe even on par with the odds of a very experienced climber getting into trouble on K2 (?)...but that doesn't stop anyone from driving.



Everythign has risk's in life, and im sure a lot of the people who climb big peaks do it because of the risk.

A total of 58 climbers have died on Annapurna -- a fatality rate of 40.8%.


For every 4 people who reach the summit of K2 1 dies. I think there was a time when every women who summited had died on the way down. But Recently women have managed an up and down saftely.

Bill O
10-08-2009, 04:47 PM
Anybody know the youngest to climb everest? Probably close to 13 and probably Sherpa? I have serious doubt this 13 yo could climb E. It is a major difference from Denali.

Brad
10-08-2009, 06:51 PM
My biggest concern with any attempt of Everest is the crowds and backups at key points on the "trail" up in the Death Zone. You may be fit - you may be prepared. But, if you can not move because of others, that is a tough position to put anyone in.

bikehikeskifish
10-09-2009, 07:52 AM
I'm late to the party of course but I will respond briefly on two points.

First, on the topic of trolling... This is a 'popular' question (there are numerous variations on the theme, of course) for trolls to ask. You are not the first. The title of the thread is a bit on the "op-ed" side. The visceral reaction is no different then questioning any parent's ability over any other activity. Ask the same question about bicycle racing (or skiing) on a cycling (or skiing) board and some people will have that visceral reaction. In my own personal life, I know that I (the father) give my kids a bit more rope than my wife (the mother) does. And the amount of rope varies from family to family. I regret that we now live in a time where we can't just kick the kids out the door on Saturday AM, let them in for lunch, kick them out again, and know they'll be home for dinner. I had some great adventures fishing and playing ball and building forts in the woods, etc., when I was growing up.

Second, I had the joy and privilege of taking my family on Trish & Alex's 48th and it was a special day for all of us, and one my kids still talk about (not that it was that long ago.) Thanks to Trish for inviting us, and for saving a kid-friendly trip for #48. It was the 3rd 4K for my two, and something like the high teens overall. It was nice to see that kids are still kids and do kid-like things. I.e., the four kids all hung out together and played with the stuffed moose, and gathered rocks and sticks, and danced, and had make-believe time. Being a lover of the outdoors, I will take any day I can to share it with my kids, even if there is some risk involved. The greater the risk (or challenge), the greater the reward. My kids get hurt worse scootering or cycling in the driveway than they ever have while hiking.

Go back and read http://www.mountwashington.org/forums/showthread.php?t=5349... A lot of very happy, smiling, little faces!

Tim

Chris3D
12-01-2009, 10:55 AM
Wow, and I'm even later to the thread! Found it on a Google search for hiking with children, and I'll add my 2 cents since my wife and I plan to hike Mt. Washington next year with our son, who will be 1 year old.

Why would parents take their children hiking? For us, it's part of a healthy lifestyle we feel is very important to raise our son in. Danger comes in all forms, direct and indirect. One of our biggest fears for our son is the hypnotized, blank stares we see on other children as they sit in front of their TV or video games for hours on end, day after day. To us, that's a far more dangerous environment than the potential risks of hiking.

My wife and I met hiking, and until her pregnancy, we rarely let a weekend pass without spending at least one, and many times both, days hiking, anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. Last year, in addition to numerous smaller day hikes, we hiked Camel's Hump, Mansfield (twice in two days), Killington and Pico (in the same day) in Vermont. We hiked in Franconia Notch, although rain prevented us from hiking the Flume, and we hiked Mt. Washington (nearly) twice in two days. On our first attempt, it began to rain just as we reached the head wall of Huntington Ravine. The rocks were too slick for us to attempt the scramble, and so we turned around and descended. The next day, still sore and tired but determined, we successfully summited by way of Lion's head. We finished the season with a 20 mile ridge hike along the Shawangunk range in New York. In addition to hiking, I SCUBA dive and we've both started rock climbing, both of which are activities highly dependent on calmly and carefully managing risk through experience, planning and preparation.

We know our capabilities, we know our limits and we're not afraid to modify or abort a plan should the conditions necessitate. We just picked up a backpack carrier and are starting to take our son on short walks and hikes to get him used to the experience (so far, he falls fast asleep after :30) and to refine our gear, his clothing, etc. We'll spend the spring working up or fitness level on smaller hikes and only when we're comfortable with our fitness, our preparations and only when the conditions are ideal will we attempt Mt. Washington. Under those circumstances, I'm comfortable with the potential risk we'll be exposing our son to.

Finally, in all fairness, I will admit to a degree of selfishness in our desire to take our son hiking with us, since it IS an activity we choose based on our enjoyment of it. But we also choose it as our means to staying healthy, active and in shape, both physically and mentally, and that plays a large part in how, and how well, we're able to raise our son. We like to say "if Mommy and Daddy are happy, Baby is happy".

So, I guess my key points are that risk is everywhere, we can manage risk but rarely avoid it. If parents have the skill and have adequately prepared for the challenge, I see no issue with taking children hiking in the White Mountains.

smithtim
12-03-2009, 11:47 AM
Gotta agree with Bill!

I thought for sure we had our first real blowout in the making. I guess it shows the good nature of the folks here.

It is a testament to the citizens of this forum.

KDT

gotta agree 100% if this was put up on something like summitpost......



Just to share my two cence.. I think children hiking is a great activity and I would much rather see a group of kids enjoying a great day hiking with their family as opposed to sitting in front of the TV playing video games!

Of course I would be concerned if I saw young children on a strong class 3 or + climb, but then again I get concerned watching most adults on such climbs

-Tim

MelNino
12-03-2009, 09:30 PM
I think it was my 2nd time of Mount Washington....we had a successful hike, and were in Pinkham just chillin and getting goodies.

I was buying a hat, and a woman was behind me, talking to a young girl (the girl was around 8 I think.)

The mom was encouraging the girl to get a shirt or sweatshirt, since she had done so well.

I asked the mom if they had hiked up. Indeed they had, and the girl looked no worse for wear, in fact, she was bouncing around.

So, the only beef I have with kids hiking is when they show me up....I was beat and this girl had so much energy still!!!!

As for the 13 yr on Everest...if he climbs, I wish him well, and if he knows what he is doing I say go for it.

MelNino
12-03-2009, 09:33 PM
I am too lazy to do a better search, but here is an article on youngins climbling Everest. ITs from 2005, so it is a rather dated



http://www.mounteverest.net/story/Everest2005Danielle,20,wantstobeyoungest7summiterF eb32005.shtml

HeyRay
12-04-2009, 11:36 AM
I am with Trish and Alex!, I have been camping in the whites long before my youngest was born she is 6 now. My oldest now 15 did washington in a day via tucks when he was 8. My 10 year old has been up to tucks and They have all done numerous trips up to MT Willard.
Since I climb we also do alot of climbers trails, several on the Kanc, for those no people kind of days. It is really all about how comfortable the parents are and one thing for sure PARENTS KNOW THEIR KIDS ABILITIES, we have raised them and played with them. They are all different and require different paces and teaching skills.
I would rather have them cold and wet on a hike then soft and squisey on the couch. They love and look forward to getting out. This year we will all winter camp at a lean-to in CT. My 15 year old will start winterpack backing with me this season.
Teach them well and they will be the wiser!
Ray