Seeking School of Rock for my son!

If you are a beginner climber and want to ask other climbers any questions - then this is the place to ask.
Post Reply
Liamsdad
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:19 pm
Real Name: Morné Strydom

Seeking School of Rock for my son!

Post by Liamsdad » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:24 pm

I'm Cape Town based and my boy, 10 years old, would love to get into outdoor climbing. And I would love to let him. Only days kids have time, are weekends, and I can't find anyone who can teach kids, outdoors, on weekends.
I reckon a climbing school will make a killing out here. I'll be the first client. Any takers?

User avatar
Justin
Posts: 3647
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:31 am
Real Name: Justin Lawson
Location: Montagu
Contact:

Re: Seeking School of Rock for my son!

Post by Justin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:43 am

Hi Morne,
I've got some courses coming up (still finalising dates). Ross Suter also does weekday climbing classes, although it might be for older kids (I'll check with him and let you know).
Climb ZA - Administrator
justin@climbing.co.za

Liamsdad
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:19 pm
Real Name: Morné Strydom

Re: Seeking School of Rock for my son!

Post by Liamsdad » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:05 pm

Hi Justin,
Thanks mate. I have spoken to Ross, and like you mentioned, he only does week days, which I can't make. Which is why I'm looking for a weekend deal.
Please keep me in the loop with your courses.

Cheers!

Warren G
Posts: 854
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:48 am
Real Name: Warren Gans

Re: Seeking School of Rock for my son!

Post by Warren G » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:34 am

Is he self motivated, experienced (even just in gym climbing) and safe? My humble suggestion is not to throw money at the problem as suggested above, but instead follow the time honoured tradition of mentorship. Finding a mentor is no easy task, and the growth he experiences thru this process alone would be invaluable for him as a person. I assume he is already an active gym climber, part of one of the clubs? My guess is due to his age the best form of mentorship would be a regular group who frequent Silvermine: he will outgrow them, but its a great start. Assuming he is already in the youth competition teams etc, why not talk to a coach about putting him in contact with the right people?

Sport, Bouldering or trad? Finding a bouldering crew is certainly the easiest to find, followed by sport (as mentioned above), then trad. Another crucial but understated element is simply where he lives: Noordhoek is far from most climbers. At he is 10, Trad is unlikely -although I know a 13 year old boy who outperforms about 80% of trad climbers in this country, who was safely leading on gear before his 12th birthday.

Finally, have you though much about high school yet? I was fortunate enough to go to a school offering climbing (in Durban), and that lay the foundation for my adventures as an adult.
Sandbagging is a dirty game

Liamsdad
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:19 pm
Real Name: Morné Strydom

Re: Seeking School of Rock for my son!

Post by Liamsdad » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:25 am

Hi Warren. Thanks for the reply and suggestions. Lots of valuable stuff there.

My humble suggestion: don't assume. Or jump to conclusions. I never, as you say "suggested throwing money at the problem". Been raising my son for 10 years, my daughter for 13. They're relatively well adjusted human beings. They didn't get that way by me "throwing money at the problem". And while we're on it, where is this "problem" you're referring to? I have a son who enjoys climbing things. I want to provide him with opportunities to express himself in this way. I would not pay someone and then go do my thing. I would be there with him, supporting him. What I really want is a father-son experience in the outdoors. No "problem" here, just a dad wanting to be a good dad.
My reference to "making a killing" merely comes from my experience as a marketer, and after trying to find an outdoor climbing school for youngsters, and finding nothing, I remain convinced that it is, for someone, a great gap in the market.

Now that that's cleared up. I do appreciate your reply and I did find a lot of value in it. He has no experience whatsoever. But I'm not keen on an indoor gym. Hence my original post about finding an outdoor climbing school. I'm also not convinced a gym is needed to learn to climb. After all, how did the thousands of climbers do it before the climbing wall craze hit the world.
But, that too, is just my humble opinion.

Again, thanks for the reply and suggestions.
All the best,
Morné

User avatar
Nic Le Maitre
Posts: 1217
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:40 am
Real Name: Nic Le Maitre
Location: Stellenbosch

Re: Seeking School of Rock for my son!

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:24 am

Hi Morne

Far be it from me to defend Warren but I think that you are talking past one another. "The problem" is the lack of someone to teach your son to climb outdoors, yes? Warren's suggestion of finding a mentor is the way that most of us got into climbing. You however want to join on these trips and learn too?

Venture Forth have a bunch of instructors and courses. ventureforth.co.za
Happy climbing
Nic

Liamsdad
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:19 pm
Real Name: Morné Strydom

Re: Seeking School of Rock for my son!

Post by Liamsdad » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:30 pm

Perfect. Thanks Nic.

I'll check out venture forth.

Ghaznavid
Posts: 427
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:37 pm
Real Name: Ghaznavid

Re: Seeking School of Rock for my son!

Post by Ghaznavid » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:00 am

Consider signing up for some MCSA trips. They will probably ask you to join the trip as well (as MCSA KZN does - it is necessary from a liability point of view, but spending time with your son in the outdoors will be really good for him). If you ask around, I'm sure some of the MCSA meet leaders would be happy to mentor him.

I started mentoring an 11 year old 5 years ago, definitely underestimated what he was capable of at first - now he has completed 3 Drakensberg Grand Traverses, well over 100 of SA's 3000ers, over 50 Drakensberg passes and has lead a few Drakensberg rock climbs. So it is important not to underestimate youngsters.
"There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation." Herman E Daly

ant
Posts: 287
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:09 pm

Re: Seeking School of Rock for my son!

Post by ant » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:12 pm

Some suggestions:

1) Given that indoor climbing is very accessible, start there and curate an interest. They offer beginner courses and even occasionally offer 'intro-to-rock' courses. It could also be a good place to meet other mentors, or other youngsters who want to band together for an instructor

2) A focussed course. These are run by various individuals and companies. The syllabus of these courses aims to expose participants to all the essential safety skills and techniques, so that they can continue to practice and train independently in the knowledge that they are following (or NOT following) recognised safe practices. Typically the 'intro' course is around 4 days, and thereafter a course to lead on trad is another 4 days. But each instructor will have their preferred format.
(please check they have the appropriate SETA qualifications - those qualified will be only too happy to show you their card)

3) School. As Warren describes, pre climbing walls, many of us had our first introduction to the love of mountains by a programme offered by a particular school. This is usually driven by a particular teacher. As a 33-year old bachelor I'm not up-to-date on the latest here, but this info should be easy to come by.

4) A mentor. Someone who is willing to take him along on climbs. I believe this is harder to do than in former years, given the digital age and pace, but I still see it being done. The gym, or the MCSA is a good place to start

Personally my journey (pre climbing walls) included a few of these:
I attended a junior school where climbing was offered as an extra-mural, and there was an active sport-climbing competition scene at the time.
Aged 17 I wanted more, and exasperated with trying to get free rides, persuaded my father to part with cash for a 4-day 'learn-to-trad-lead course*, and I've never looked back.
Immediately I became a more 'reliable' apprentice, and in my matric year Simon Larsen took me under his wing and we climbed every Saturday. I joined the MCSA specifically to learn more about what adventures are out there and to meet partners, and another MCSA member Paul Setterfield took me along on my first big country climbs in Du Toits, the Cederberg and the Klein Winterhoek.

Good luck!

*This was at 'Cape Town School of Mountaineering' at the time - which has since been absorbed into Venture Forth.

Ant

Liamsdad
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:19 pm
Real Name: Morné Strydom

Re: Seeking School of Rock for my son!

Post by Liamsdad » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:59 am

Thanks lads. Lots to ponder. Appreciate all the info.

Post Reply