UKH

8 year old jumars El Cap

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 Enty 29 Oct 2022

Is this a new low for Yosemite?

Is there nothing that parents won't do to spray over social media?

It's all over US msm too. 

https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/28/us/sam-baker-kid-climbing-el-capitan-friday/index.html

(Is rocktalk the correct forum?)

E

16
In reply to Enty:

What concerns you, is it that someone is taking their kid on the route, or is it that they publicise on social media that they did something with their kid, or is it that anyone climbs a route like this and puts it on social media and/or press.

Just asking as a simple question... no subtext of any kind.

In reply to Enty:

A classic case of there being no way of knowing what all your dislikes mean!

Post edited at 15:20
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 ashtond6 29 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

And the parents gloating on tv interviews how the kid is a world class cutting edge climber  

 Only a Crag 29 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

Stretch to say jumaring up all the way is "climbing" ElCap. No idea the dislikes, with this shite publicised all over social media, what next a 6 year old trying to get up it, I mean I might as well get my 4 year old into training. 

In reply to Only a Crag:

Is he jumaring the whole thing? Or are people just cynically assuming that? I've only seen it covered in vague terms by non-climbing media who wouldn't think to mention the difference. But the BBC Newsround story before he started said his Dad was aiming to get him to lead at least one pitch and mentions "hanging by your fingers". He's certainly jumaring a lot of it, but maybe not all, unless anyone's seen a better report than the vague and breathless reporting I've seen so far?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/63386184

Sure, it's a bit of a non-story and there's some slightly shameless self-promotion going on but I bet they're still having a fantastic time so good for them.

2
In reply to CantClimbTom:

Clearly no 6 year old is capable of climbing any of the routes on El Cap other than as a massive Prussik. This is clearly a vicarious undertaking and for what gain. Anyone who thinks this is OK clearly doesn’t understand climbing ethics. And what happens in the event of an accident or bad weather. In 1976 in Nov, on North America Wall, we were stormbound in snow and ice for 3 days. We were able to get down eventually, but other’s weren’t so lucky dying of exposure

16
 ashtond6 29 Oct 2022
In reply to Luke90:

Been followed by Tom Evans and well discussed on his page.

are you just assuming people are cynical without knowing the facts?

 alan moore 29 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

8 year old jumars should be as good as new and fine for El Cap.

Have a good trip!

In reply to ashtond6:

> Been followed by Tom Evans and well discussed on his page.

Great. Who's Tom Evans and where's this page? I'd be interested in a version of the story by someone who's writing for an audience that understands climbing.

> are you just assuming people are cynical without knowing the facts?

No, I think it was pretty clear that I was just asking whether anyone actually knew much about how he'd done it because the sources I'd seen were useless, as was the one in the OP.

 Brass Nipples 29 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

Buy them now, they will be fine 

1
In reply to Luke90:

Oh, he's the El Cap reports guy. Certainly doesn't sound like he's got much time for the whole endeavour! Not sure whether he's written more about it somewhere else but I can only see a dismissal of the thing before it starts and then a brief mention of it hopefully being nearly over. I agree that it's silly to claim he's "climbed" the route but I still can't find it in me to dislike them for doing it. Seems like the kid's enjoyed it and will have great memories. The media exposure is a bit shameless but that's the world we live in.

 dunc56 29 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

And to think all the fuss that Honnold bloke made of his bit of climbing. An 8 year old could do it! I feel cheated !

 dunc56 29 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

And I have to applaud his dad not giving in to the temptation to live his life vicariously. Instead he provides a sterling example of the commitment to exercise and diet required to be a true rock athlete. His son only has to follow his example and the world is his. 

1
 Clwyd Chris 29 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

I read the title and thought you were going to ask if it was safe to use 8 year old jumars, I was all ready to reply "of course it bloody is"  -) 

 Iamgregp 29 Oct 2022
In reply to Philb1950:

I think this is perfectly ok. In fact I think it’s great.

And as for for what gain?  For the gaining of a really special, and bonding experience that father and son will treasure for the rest of their lives. 

That’s something truly special, if you don’t see it the same way then I’m truly sorry for you.

Post edited at 20:32
29
 Hardonicus 29 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

I'd use 8 year old jumars. Maybe you're too soft for the Captain?

3
In reply to Iamgregp:

> And as for for what gain?  For the gaining of a really special, and bonding experience that father and son will treasure for the rest of their lives. 

In current times I would (cynically perhaps) say that part of the motivation is for all the 'likes' they'll get on the 'gram and the like.

In reply to Luke90:

> Oh, he's the El Cap reports guy. Certainly doesn't sound like he's got much time for the whole endeavour!

I couldn’t really bring myself to read any further than the top post where he calls an 8 year old a “miserable scammer puke”. I hope the kid never stumbles across that page. 

2
In reply to Enty:

Looks like the kid and his dad are having a great time. It’s a reminder that climbing is just pi**ing about on rocks and having a good time. Shame on them for not realising its a sacred activity. Great photos too.

3
 jon 30 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

> The father-son duo are climbing in a four-person team, which involves one person climbing ahead of the others and setting the ropes for the others to follow.

That sort of changes the father and son bonding crap, doesn't it?

6
 Brass Nipples 30 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

Must not forget most people jumar their way up Everest.  This will be good training for that.

 Darkinbad 30 Oct 2022
In reply to jon:

> > The father-son duo are climbing in a four-person team, which involves one person climbing ahead of the others and setting the ropes for the others to follow.

> That sort of changes the father and son bonding crap, doesn't it?

Sounds like a pretty common 3-person team ascent style with an 8-year-old along for the ride? Or were you expecting him to belay his dad too?

4
In reply to Iamgregp:

It’s not great it’s ridiculous and was potentially dangerous, jumaring up two thirds of Triple Route (they left out the bottom part). Can’t wait for the next episode of  rope sliding Looney Tunes. It might also catch on in the Peak and we can be inundated with 6 year olds Jumaring  up Quietus or Dangler, but to really push through the grades what about End of the Affair or similar?

15
 Roberttaylor 30 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

To be fair, most folk jumar half of el cap.

In reply to Roberttaylor:

If not more if you're space hauling.

 Roberttaylor 30 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

>Oh, he's the El Cap reports guy. Certainly doesn't sound like he's got much time for the whole endeavour!

>I couldn’t really bring myself to read any further than the top post where he calls an 8 year old a “miserable scammer puke”. I hope the kid never stumbles across that page. 

Old man shouts at clouds, many such cases! 

1
 Iamgregp 30 Oct 2022
In reply to jon:

No. The father and son are both there. Many fathers and sons do the same at football matches where there are 10s of thousands of other people there. Bonds don’t have to be formed in privacy. 

3
 jon 30 Oct 2022
In reply to Iamgregp:

> ... a really special, and bonding experience that father and son will treasure for the rest of their lives. (...) Many fathers and sons do the same at football matches where there are 10s of thousands of other people there. Bonds don’t have to be formed in privacy. 

Yes, but they probably don't tell the world they're going to the match on social media in the weeks leading up to it. They probably don't claim that the kid is the youngest to have ever been to a football match. They probably don't accidentally mention it to CNN. They probably don't take a cameraman along to record it all and spray it all over the media... This was clearly not very much to do with bonding, but everything to do with dad's shameless self promotion ...

Anyway, I hope the kid enjoyed it. And just to put it into perspective, read this:  http://www.jimherson.com/climbing/tr/niad-kara.html

OP Enty 30 Oct 2022
In reply to Stuart Williams:

> I couldn’t really bring myself to read any further than the top post where he calls an 8 year old a “miserable scammer puke”. I hope the kid never stumbles across that page. 

There's no way Tom was including the kid in that phrase. He's talking about his publicity seeking dad and the pirate guides. Did you see the bit about Yosemite and El Cap locals refusing to be involved?

E

 Iamgregp 30 Oct 2022
In reply to jon:

How does any of that detract from the father and son bonding experience? I think it doesn’t at all.

In fact I think knowing the world is watching only heightens the expirience for both of them.

17
 kevin stephens 30 Oct 2022
In reply to Iamgregp: thinking of all the adventures i’ve had with my son when he was growing up, showboating and mass publicity would have ruined the experience for both of us

By contrast i remember enjoying reading of Andy Kirkpatrick climbing El Cap with his daughter which seemed to me to be more meaningful

Post edited at 18:39
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 Iamgregp 30 Oct 2022
In reply to kevin stephens:

I’m sure you’re right, but why would you assume that everyone has the same attitudes towards publicity as you and your son?  Some people like to garner publicity, others not. I don’t see what the problem is. The publicity around this doesn’t detract from your family experiences.

You seem missed to have the part when Andy K wrote about how his ascent with his daughter was filmed for a bbc tv show?  

Or does that not count as “mass publicity”?

7
 kevin stephens 30 Oct 2022
In reply to Iamgregp: I mentioned that deliberately aware of the TV show. However the Kirkpatrick climb came over as much more reflective and meaningful where the daughter seemed to share some of the responsibility and awareness of this for the undertaking rather than “look at my son, he’s the youngest blah blah”

Post edited at 19:39
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 Wicamoi 30 Oct 2022
In reply to kevin stephens:

Not a comment on the father and son in question, about whom I know nothing, but I can't help thinking of The Fast Show.

"Right, here we are at Halfway Ledge, Toby. No, there's no time for a breather. You don't want to be late, do you? Come on, chop-chop. Only 450 metres to go, or 457 to be precise. Oh do stop crying Toby: how old are you now? Yes, eight, I thought so. By the time I was your age I had already scaled Everest, Annapurna and K2 without any of these pathetic tears of yours. Or oxygen. Now, come on. No, you take the heavier pack."

In reply to Enty:

I was wondering what was wrong with 8 year old jumars?

1
In reply to Enty:

If this had been a story about a father climbing El Cap (with or without another climbing partner) a d bringing his son with him to jumar up with him I'd be impressed, the kid done good. A big jumar, even just 60m free hang It takes more cohones and fitness than 99% of 8 year olds can do. Good on the kid. But the media circus and refusing locals and all the rest of the oddness I'm reading is souring what could have been better 

Post edited at 20:22
 kevin stephens 30 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

Thanks for the link. Anyone posting on this thread should read it

In reply to Enty:

Paywalled

 Pedro50 30 Oct 2022
In reply to pneame:

> Paywalled

Not to me.

Summary: father and son both jugged. Two "guides" led and fixed ropes.

If the guides were paid it was unlawful.

Post edited at 21:03
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 kevin stephens 30 Oct 2022
In reply to pneame: i could read it?

 65 30 Oct 2022
In reply to Roberttaylor:

> To be fair, most folk jumar half of el cap.

Aye, and most of them are adults who have made the decision to go up there for themselves. 

1
 kevin stephens 30 Oct 2022
In reply to Roberttaylor:

> To be fair, most folk jumar half of el cap.

Equally most folk don’t jumar the other half of el cap

I recently jumared El Cap and it gave me Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Not sure what damage it could well do to a growing 8 year old.

Even if you can forgive hyping it up to the media, it seems pretty disingenuous for the father to be billing the son as an "expert in the sport" who can "do everything the great climbers can do".

In reply to Enty:

Bingo! Did a bit of digging around and found this from the Dad’s website... makes total sense now...

‘Joe Baker is the founder and CEO of Superhero Sidekick a company that helps CEO's scale their businesses. Joe also founded Adventure Homes a luxury Vacation Rental business in Colorado Springs. Joe also hosts a podcast twice a week that you are not going to want to miss.

Joe was given the title of CEO Emeritus of Save The Storks after resigning in 2019, an innovative non-profit that helps pregnancy centers reach thousands of moms across the country with love, life-affirming support, and an alternative to abortion. After founding Storks in 2011 with his wife, Ann, they have grew the company from just a revolutionary idea to a org with a million dollar per month budget and a 50-member team. The organization is still headquartered in Colorado Springs.

Joe Baker loves adventure, he actually thinks it’s his spiritual gift. He and Ann fell in love while rock climbing in the backcountry of Wyoming and Joe proposed while skydiving. Then, instead of buying a house after they were married, they bought a Mercedes Sprinter van on their credit line and toured America casting their vision of how to save mom’s and babies from abortion.

However, Joe and Ann’s greatest joys are their little boys named Samuel Adventure, Sylvan Lightyear, and Joey Danger.

All of Joe and Ann's boys are little climbers but Samuel has already started breaking records and getting news attention. When Sam was five him and Joe climbed Pingora, a grade V peak in the back country of Wyoming. Then at six Sam and Joe climbed and camped out on Lost Arrow Spire in Yosemite National Park and garnered international attention.

In the end, Joe and Ann's passion for families and love of adventure and the outdoors is inspired by their love for the Creator. This infectious faith drives everything they do. They experience God most vividly outdoors, so if you are looking for Joe and Ann on the weekend, try taking a hike at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs and look up.’

In reply to Enty:

Addendum: this is why I could never live in America. 

1
In reply to dig26:

> Addendum: this is why I could never live in America. 

Really? Not all Americans are like Joe. BTW, we have more than our own share of oddballs over here.

2
In reply to dig26:

It's the sugar in everything and 120V mains that I couldn't stand.

1
In reply to pneame:

If you can't read it there are a couple of key points IMHO

1) The Baker family website is asking for donations

2) The people who watch the ascents from the valley with telescopes and long lenses have made some comments including this 

"...Evans watched the Bakers’ ascent daily. He estimated that he observed them for at least eight hours over four days as they progressed hundreds of feet up the cliff. He said he did not see either the son or the father attempt to put hand to rock and physically scale the face.

Instead, he said, they were led by a pair of guides who climbed the route as one would expect — leading pitches, placing protection, establishing anchors and hauling up supplies — and then fixed lines for the Bakers to “jug up.”..."

Jugging El Cap is mildly impressive, ordinary people couldn't do such things.

But jugging El Cap after paying guides to fix rope and haul for you and then telling everyone via the media you and your son "climbed" and he's a world class climber then seeking donations, now that's ******* astonishing!

Post edited at 05:50
 apache 31 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

This account of a proper father daughter bonding trip is so much better that the media spray show -

http://www.jimherson.com/climbing/tr/niad-kara.html

OP Enty 31 Oct 2022
In reply to dig26:

That's astonishing. Have you got the link?

E

In reply to Enty:

just search joebaker.org.

The family website Sam Adventure makes for equally disturbing reading - that borderline psychotic level of enthusiasm about their family’s achievements, the dodgy fundraiser. The SF Chronicle article someone linked above is worth reading, just refresh / go back to beat the paywall. 

In reply to Enty:

How many kids would even do that and not be terrified after the first couple of pitches?

1
 jon 31 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

... and from facebook: 

> As a family we set one colossal goal per year per person starting at age five. He’s only eight but has already climbed a bunch of huge walls…set many records, and placed in competitions against climbers much older than him. I had never even heard of a seven or eight year old that could climb 5.12. And so when Ann and I saw that he was almost ready we started planning, daily training and counting down the days.

> When you pray for our safety, please also pray that we have good weather and that God prepares Sam’s heart for all that’s in store for him.

2
OP Enty 31 Oct 2022
In reply to jon:

Grim

E

 Fellover 31 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

I have a very dim view of all the social media promotion about this and think it seems ridiculous to claim a record for such a thing. I'm also not very impressed by the climbing of the heart/mammoth fixed lines and skipping of the initial 10 or so pitches (I'm not really a fan of those fixed lines in general but that's a separate point), but I suppose if you're jugging the whole thing anyway it's maybe not a relevant distinction!

However, I did meet Sam and his dad on the Grey Ledges when they were on route and they were very friendly, the Dad encouraged me to share the anchor they were at and Sam seemed to be having a pretty good time despite the fact it was getting late and they were still a few pitches away from Camp4 where they were planning on sleeping. As it's been brought up already in this thread, they did seem to me to be having a good father-son bonding experience, though that sort of thing is hard to judge. Sam seemed pretty self aware as well which I was impressed with, at one point his dad said to him he was going to be the youngest to climb el cap and Sam replied that he'd be the youngest to jug it. I've since met another 8 year old (I don't normally interact with young kids not having any myself) and it made me realise that 8 is pretty young and that Sam was actually remarkably composed for the age and that an 8 year old managing to jug el cap is pretty impressive.

1
In reply to CantClimbTom:

Thanks!  Yes, definitely a bit  (!!!) self promoting. I’m not sure I’d be able to prusik up el cap - I’m sure I’d want to give up from mental despair at the pointlessness. 

 deepsoup 31 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

Going off on a bit of a tangent:
"Evans, 78, is a retired high school teacher from Southern California who spends three months a year documenting activity on El Capitan’s sheer walls."

Is this a really old photo, or is Tom Evans in pretty incredible shape for a man of almost 80?


 Fellover 31 Oct 2022
In reply to pneame:

Tbf climbing it any way is probably equally pointless!

2
In reply to Fellover:

> Tbf climbing it any way is probably equally pointless!

Er, yes. Good point!  

 Offwidth 31 Oct 2022
In reply to deepsoup:

It's an old photo... just search.

On the subject of Tom (a lovely dedicated guy) this made me smile.....

https://www.rockandice.com/climbing-news/el-cap-sees-90-percent-decline-in-attempts-following-tom-evans-retirement/

 Offwidth 31 Oct 2022
In reply to Fellover:

Good post.

I'd add that I'd struggle to understand why/how you would fully jug the Grey Ledges.  The stuff about them not putting a hand on rock at all would seem ridiculous at that point.

We met quite a few interesting folk on the wall but also got a very strong negative reaction from a guy who seemed incredibly friendly and nice, until we joked about Trump!

Post edited at 11:39
In reply to Philb1950:

> It’s not great it’s ridiculous and was potentially dangerous, jumaring up two thirds of Triple Route (they left out the bottom part). Can’t wait for the next episode of  rope sliding Looney Tunes. It might also catch on in the Peak and we can be inundated with 6 year olds Jumaring  up Quietus or Dangler, but to really push through the grades what about End of the Affair or similar?

I was wondering how you feel about Andy Kirkpatrick taking his 13 year old daughter up El Cap in 2013?

https://thebmc.co.uk/my-life-ella-kirkpatrick-climbing-el-cap-yosemite-tv#:~:text=Ella%20Kirkpatrick's%20story%20of%20becoming,on%20Children's%20BBC%20in%20February.

 gethin_allen 31 Oct 2022
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> I was wondering how you feel about Andy Kirkpatrick taking his 13 year old daughter up El Cap in 2013?

There's quite a difference between a 8 year old and a 13 year old.

 Offwidth 31 Oct 2022
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Frankly treking at high altitudes probably has higher risk. I can sympathise with Phil being upset with the media crap, and negative parental behaviours but talking about risk in that way seems contrary to his normal philosophy on the subject.

I still clean aid in the Peak to keep slick for bigger aims (and to show others the techniques), but certainly not on classic routes.

OP Enty 31 Oct 2022
In reply to deepsoup:

> Going off on a bit of a tangent:

> "Evans, 78, is a retired high school teacher from Southern California who spends three months a year documenting activity on El Capitan’s sheer walls."

> Is this a really old photo, or is Tom Evans in pretty incredible shape for a man of almost 80?

2014 that photo. 

E

 deepsoup 31 Oct 2022
In reply to Enty:

> 2014 that photo. 

Ta. Pretty youthful for a man of 70 too, I'd have guessed at about early 50s.
(I almost said I'd be very happy to still be looking that fit at 70, but to be honest that ship has already sailed!)

 Fellover 31 Oct 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

Thanks.

Sam did jumar the grey ledges without any climbing as far as I could tell, I watched him from the belay, not sure about the Dad, I was abbing back down before he set off. The whole 'they didn't put a hand on the rock' thing is a bit disingenuous - I watched them both touch the rock at the belay! I suppose it's not meant to be taken literally, just to mean they didn't do any climbing.

> We met quite a few interesting folk on the wall but also got a very strong negative reaction from a guy who seemed incredibly friendly and nice, until we joked about Trump!

Yes, I feel like Americans can turn from extremely friendly to quite unfriendly when it comes to political topics. I think that's mainly because they start out very friendly though, whereas a Brit would just start out grumpy and then get more grumpy when you disagreed with their politics, so the change isn't as obvious!

Were you out there this year?

In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

If she Jumared I,d feel the same. If she climbed OK, Same with Leo Houlding and his kids.

In reply to Philb1950:

> > I was wondering how you feel about Andy Kirkpatrick taking his 13 year old daughter up El Cap in 2013?

> If she Jumared I,d feel the same. If she climbed OK, Same with Leo Houlding and his kids.

What happened to your concern about the weather when you first complained about it being a terrible idea?

"And what happens in the event of an accident or bad weather. In 1976 in Nov, on North America Wall, we were stormbound in snow and ice for 3 days. We were able to get down eventually, but other’s weren’t so lucky dying of exposure"

If you don't care about the risk unless they're jumaring then really it's just a stick to beat them with because you don't like their style. And I get that. I don't think there's anyone here who likes the song and dance they've made of the whole thing. Or the silly claims about his skills. Or the questionable fundraising. It's all very American in the worst possible way. And very much not the kind of climbing culture we're familiar with or want to see too much of.

But at the end of the day, it's still a very young kid having a great adventure that he'll remember his whole life, with his Dad alongside him. And I find it hard to get too upset by that. Yeah, he's "climbing" it in awful style (not even climbing), but he is only a kid. Wouldn't want to see it happen too often, obviously, and I suspect we won't. The park might crack down and the media won't be quite so interested when someone tries to get a seven-year-old to do it because they've already blown their load on this one.

Storm in a teacup. Forgotten next year. Shame on the Dad for tacky social media hype and pushy parenting. Good on the kid for his guts and persistence. No real harm done.

(Unless the fundraising turns out to actually be dodgy, in which case I'll hope to see him in court for fraud.)

 Offwidth 31 Oct 2022
In reply to Fellover:

No .... last time was when all the big rockfalls happened, a few years back, pre covid.


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