Climbing system for teaching kids?

dmonn

Well-Known Member
Location
Mequon
My 8 year old grandson is going to be staying with us for a week this summer and I think he'd really like climbing. I have a youth harness for him and a variety of hardware. A few years ago I watched a climbing contest where they had a system set up for kids to use. It was a 3:1 self-tending system connected to another rope that allowed a person on the ground to lower the kid if they couldn't figure out how to lower themselves. Another person on the ground could control the descent if the kid started dropping too fast, or help hoist the kid if they were having trouble. It used a mechanical for climbing/descent. I don't have such an animal, but have an HHX and rope wrench setup where one of them could probably work.

I don't remember the details of how it was setup, though. I do have a 2 pulley trolley with upper attachment hole, and that seems like it could be used. I also have tons of rope, a portawrap, variety of micropulleys, biners, hitch cord, HH2, HHX, and rope wrench. My grandson weighs about 60 pounds. When my 5 year old granddaughter shows up, I'm sure she'll want to climb too. She's a peanut size. Maybe 40 pounds or less.

Any ideas on how to set things up? I'm basically an SRT guy, so this moving rope thing has me a little confused.
 

Brocky

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
I started my granddaughter on a moving rope system so I could hold the rope for safety. If SRT there would be another rope attached that I use to belay with. Maybe put one system on another to be able to lower.
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Jonny

Well-Known Member
Location
Buffalo
For the 5 year old, probably just put her on belay and yank her up and lower her. She’s probably too young to have total control over descending. Rope terminated to her saddle/ harness, through a false crotch or pulley and back down to a belay device on your own saddle, it’s pretty simple. I got a spare Grigri, you’re welcome to borrow til Autumn or so, shoot me a message if interested.
 

dmonn

Well-Known Member
Location
Mequon
I think MRS is the way to go for a kid. I like being able to control their descent from the ground if needed and yet allow them to do the descent "on their own" if they want. A 3:1 system appeals to me, since neither kid has much upper body strength yet. They're both pretty adventurous kids, though, and pretty fit for little folks.
 

Brocky

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
Extending the hitch some allows the climber to just pull down below it, and automatically advances the hitch.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
Moving rope is torture. Blake's hitchbsetups are torture.

Get him ankle-high shoes to avoid getting chuffed by the foot ascender, adjust the knee ascender for his step, and send him into a small tree with climbable branches instead of having him ascend the rope 30 feet up. I have done this with three kids and the uptake depends on the tree selection, the right shoe, and the adjustment of the knee ascender. The main issue is to let them know about how the ascenders can hogtie them if they meet the climbing device. I make sure that I am in the tree next to them so that I can sort out the hogtie, which happened once. All three were very young and took up climbing immediately.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
Also, I have the kids tie knots in the rope as they go up - at least one at 5 feet above ground. If they forget to undo them while descending, just tell them to put their foot ascender back on the rope and take a step up.
 

Njdelaney

Well-Known Member
Location
Detroit
I do MRS with my 4.5 year old and a hitch climber set-up. He's pretty small so I can haul him up from the ground. Sometimes I set an SRT line for myself next to his just in case he gets stuck. I also sometimes haul him up from in the tree. What I do every time is make him show me at least twice that he can manage the hitch to lower himself before he's more than 5 feet off the ground. I haven't had any trouble yet other than him wanting to come down a little too fast hahaha. Controlling the tail makes it super safe and uncomplicated. SRT will come around age 6 I'm guessing. And from my vantage point, he has fun both tree climbing and rope climbing(or roping as my son calls it). Once he is a bit older I think connecting the tree climbing to the rope climbing will happen naturally.
 

dmonn

Well-Known Member
Location
Mequon
I do MRS with my 4.5 year old and a hitch climber set-up. He's pretty small so I can haul him up from the ground. Sometimes I set an SRT line for myself next to his just in case he gets stuck. I also sometimes haul him up from in the tree. What I do every time is make him show me at least twice that he can manage the hitch to lower himself before he's more than 5 feet off the ground. I haven't had any trouble yet other than him wanting to come down a little too fast hahaha. Controlling the tail makes it super safe and uncomplicated. SRT will come around age 6 I'm guessing. And from my vantage point, he has fun both tree climbing and rope climbing(or roping as my son calls it). Once he is a bit older I think connecting the tree climbing to the rope climbing will happen naturally.
That was my thought for using MRS--you can easily control the kid's descent rate from the ground, and also easy to avoid them from getting hogtied at their TIP on SRS. I had that happen to me once, and it was a challenge getting loose. Easy to avoid once you've done it and are aware of why it happened and how to avoid it. I don't want to scare the kids, so I think it would be best to avoid the possibility for a while. SRS after a while. And I love the comments about making it more about climbing the tree than just climbing a rope. The tree in my front yard should be great for that, and I can easily set it up to belay him while he free climbs a little. I'll make him stay tied in, but would also probably want to have him on belay just in case.
 

ConeCollector

Active Member
I set up a 3:1 ish system for my 5 year old to climb an oak at our house. I tied him in with a hitch climber system with a friction saver mid canopy. Then I ran the tale of the rope through a higher TIP with a pinto. With this set up I can hoist him up while I am on the ground. He can then operate the VT to let him self back down. While I control the tale as a belay.
I will often climb with him too. I found he has more fun if I’m up there in the tree.
When he was smaller I tied him in with a dorsal attachment and belayed him but he didn’t like that much. He enjoys the rope part of the experience.
 

MatKep

Member
Location
South West FL
Teaching my 10 and 7yr olds to climb MRS. Started them on a Blake’s and prussic foot loop, tending both by hand. Have them tie a slipped overhand every 10’ or so as they ascend, just in case. Easy to control their decent. Promoted them to an open MRS on a hitch climber, still using the prussic foot loop to ascend. I climb SRT next to them, keeping their tag end close at hand and still using the slipped overhands. Found they have much more fun (and will stay up longer) when I’m up there with them. Always end the climb with some fun swings.
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
into a small tree with climbable branches instead of having him ascend the rope 30 feet up.
My 13 year old nephew is in town and was visiting, and really wanted to climb. I followed your lead here except that I don't have a small tree with low branches. So an extension ladder was used up to the the lowest branches. He had a blast and it was much more enjoyable for both of us than trying to teach him how to climb the rope up to that lowest branch.


He's climbed before with me, but it's been a little while. I gave him a refresher course on the mechanics of the equipment and set him up with a bomb proof anchor point and close supervision. He made it up to about 45 feet in this tulip poplar and wanted to go higher, but I stopped him there. Not enough experience to move his TIP and harder to help double check his connection points from the ground.
 

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moss

Well-Known Member
Kids are strong like ants compared to adults, they don’t need MA to ascend unless they have some specific medical issue with their arms or other aspects of body strength. Majority of kids can climb a Blake’s well. I use a prussik footloop or handled ascender with a foot loop to keep their leg power in the game.
-AJ
 

ARLO

Well-Known Member
I attach the end of the rope to the kid and then up to a pulley and down to a belay device (Grigri, RIG, D4) on a basal anchor. Then I strap my granddaughters (ages 3 and 5) into an Edelrid kid's full body harness and clip them to the end of the rope. Then I pull them up and let them swing around. To start with I just pulled them up a few feet and let them swing, but now I can't get the oldest one high enough. She is forty feet in the air, yelling "higher grandpa, higher!" At some point I will introduce them to MRS, but for now they are just happy to get up in the air.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
For their very first climb I've done top rope belay (MRS). They are tied into the end of the rope. The friction device is on my on my harness (I'm on the ground). They climb and don't worry any the rope at all...

I learned at ropes courses and rock climbing before climbimg trees so that made sense to me.
 
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JeffGu

Well-Known Member
Kids, these days. Back in the day, we didn't have fancy climbing gear. Dad taught us to climb trees with nothing but a rope, a hangman's noose, and a pickup truck. It was exciting as hell. Well, except for the rope burns on our necks. If Dad hadn't put those gunny sacks over our heads, it would have been worse. After a few "climbs" he'd start swearing, and say, "I give up! I'm stuck with the little shits!" and stomp into the house. No idea what that was all about.

I'd show you pics from the family photo album, but all that stuff was confiscated as evidence during the trial.
 

moss

Well-Known Member
Kids, these days. Back in the day, we didn't have fancy climbing gear. Dad taught us to climb trees with nothing but a rope, a hangman's noose, and a pickup truck. It was exciting as hell. Well, except for the rope burns on our necks. If Dad hadn't put those gunny sacks over our heads, it would have been worse. After a few "climbs" he'd start swearing, and say, "I give up! I'm stuck with the little shits!" and stomp into the house. No idea what that was all about.

I'd show you pics from the family photo album, but all that stuff was confiscated as evidence during the trial.
Jeff, Jeff, off your meds again, you know you’re not supposed to remember all that! Everything will be just fine, just do what they say you’ll be fine.
-AJ (in the next cell over sewing illegal tight eyes)
 

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