This was the second time I climbed Old Rag. My 9-year-old son, JP, and I left Maryland the night before and stayed at a Comfort Inn in Culpeper, VA. We got an early start the next morning and hit the trail around 9. It was the first "big" mountain that he had climbed and it took him a while to get his climbing legs that morning, but once he did we made very good progress. It got exciting for him when we started to scramble over rocks on the last third of the trail. I have always said that the scrambling on Old Rag is more difficult and challenging than what I experienced on the Keyhole route of Longs Peak in Colorado. There were a few points where I had to lift JP or "belay" him over some tough rocks, but he came through like a trooper. Attaining the summit of any mountain is special, but it was very gratifying for me to see the satisfaction and pride that my son felt when he made it to the top. He pushed hard all morning long, with a few peanut butter sandwich breaks in between, and reached the top in grand style. I'm looking forward to doing 14'ers with him Colorado!
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