Why Technical Climbing
Technical climbing requires the application of nearly all aspects of our being. Thus, it is unique in providing a depth of joy and a broad nourishment of one’s potential.
1. Climbing develops superb overall muscle tone and physical grace.
2. Climbing sharpens multi-dimensional and sequential problem solving skills.
3. Climbing requires an understanding of many aspects of physics and mechanics.
4. Climbing demands the development and use of excellent judgment.
5. Climbing sharpens one’s capacity for critical analysis.
6. Climbing requires focus and presence in a way that few other activities require.
7. Climbing teaches that concrete and serious consequences ensue from action.
8. Climbing demonstrates that to live effectively we must honor our intuition but seek verification through analysis.
9. Because safety in climbing depends on team effort, it demands that students develop and maintain the highest standards of behavior and attitude in relation to partners. Students are pressed to express compassion and honesty in the face of fear. To be safe, climbers are required to consider deeply the emotional and physical well being of their partners.
10. Rather than experiencing pleasure in partners’ defeats, climbers are urged instead to contribute to, and even find satisfaction in, the success of others.
11. Through climbing we can learn humility in the face of fear and personal limitations.
12. Climbing illustrates that ethical behavior arises naturally out of concrete circumstances.
13. Education itself is the natural vehicle through which children can satisfy their hunger for development. In addition, education exponentially expands opportunity for further development of potential well into the future.
14. Education helps verify for children that they have effect and that they belong in this world. Through education, children gain the skill and knowledge required to contribute positively to others and thus gain access to a resulting sense of meaning and purpose. These are the ingredients of what is often called “self esteem.”
15. Access to the vast beauty and solitude of the mountains is in itself transformative.
16. Because of the personal character of climbing relationships, students of various backgrounds quickly learn to communicate across the boundaries of age, race, and differing social experience. The intensity of climbing relationships offers an opportunity to gain greater understanding of the lives of others. At the same time, students are pressed to develop the humility and honesty required to allow others access to themselves.
Many summer camps and guiding services offer short instructional courses associated with recreational climbing for youth. However, few, if any, offer a multi-year, intensive, and structured curriculum with specific long-term goals for children of our students' backgrounds while being taught by nationally classed technical climbing instructors.