Hiking Gothic with a 5 year old

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Re: Hiking Gothic with a 5 year old

by Marmaduke » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:32 pm

Dancin wrote:Good Day:

Last year, when my son was 4, we climbed both Porter and Cascade the same day. The day took 7 hours to complete (with about 1 hour of breaks along the way) The next day, to take it easy, we climbed up Blue Mountain (this took only about 5 hours with a lot more breaks as we were taking it easy).

My question is: understanding that my 5 year old boy can hustle with the best of them, can anyone suggest the easiest route to take while keeping the miles down to a minimum.

Any suggestions?

My only suggestion is don't become an idiot parent like the one promoting his son hike Everest.

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by Lolli » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:47 pm

Talk withScott. His son Kessler has been hiking and climbing with him since he was a baby. At 5 he had hiked up on numerous summits.

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by MoapaPk » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:55 pm

Probably this should be in the eastern US forum.

The most direct route up Gothics, from the saddle with Saddleback, is primarily a steep walk on slabs. There used to be cables and ladders (they are mentioned in recent on-line articles -- but I haven't been up that trail in 30 years). Provided you stand behind the kid, and have the strength to hold you both (and he doesn't freak out on such stuff), you should be fine. Consider short-roping him on the way down, so if he does slip on the rock, you will stop him. If the rock is wet, don't go.

The route from Armstrong (on the other side) is a walk, albeit a tiring one, as it starts lower and goes over two other peaks. There were big steps back 35 years ago on the southern trail (5-10' ledges), which will be giant for a kid.

If you camp at John's Brook, you'll have fewer miles to travel on the day of the hike.
Last edited by MoapaPk on Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by nartreb » Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:06 pm

The shortest route probably involves parking at the Ausable club and doing a three-mile road walk to the Weld Trail. (I haven't done it this way, taking my info from the SP page on Gothics) Otherwise I'd suggest a two or three-day trip walking in along Johns Brook and camping along the way (don't have a detailed map in front of me but I'm sure there are legal sites), or something similar starting from the Loj.

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by MattGreene » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:58 am

I'd do as MoapaPk suggested - park at the Garden, and then head by John's Brook to the junction where the trail splits at the saddle between Gothics and Saddleback. The cables are still on the approach to the peak, but they may be too thick in some sections to be of much use to a 5-year old's small hands. Still, if the slabs are dry that section should be a simple walk-up. Even if they're wet, there's more risk of bruising your rump than breaking a bone. I rarely fall anywhere, but those slabs can be slick! If your kid has the energy, I'd continue to follow the ridgeline, and hike back to John's Brook via Armstrong and Upper Wolfjaw. That's really the safest route, but it's also the longest and has the most ups and downs.

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