/ How do you get your teenager out of the house and up the hills

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highland scrambler - on 02 Nov 2012
Like the (in)famous fashion model who "doesn't get out of bed for less than 10,000", my teenage son took some persuading to get out into the hills with me !

The solution, both for him - and I suspect for many others - is to make the payoff worth it.

So what makes a day out in the mountains 'worth it' ? Well, it helps if the scenery is spectacular, but what really does it is delivering that dash of adernaline that makes you feel 'alive'. And at the end of the day (assuming you have survived), you want to feel that you have really achieved something - something that will stay in your (and their) memory for weeks, months - or hopefully for years to come.

In Sam's case, that meant migrating from offering 'just walking' - to discovering, planning and executing the biggest, meanest, scariest and most exciting mountain walks and scrambles in Britain!

Where better to find these than in the Highlands of Scotland. The wildest region of Europe, with some of the most iconic views, breathtaking arrettes and satisfying scree runs.

We've had so much fun that we've now set up a new blog : "Highland Scrambler" http://highlandscrambler.wordpress.com/ , which aims to share the highs and highs of the very best of these mountain ridges. Take a look at the first set of reports, add your own comments and scrambling experiences, and please do send me your posts and routes on what makes you come alive in the mountains. What have I missed ? Where's your adrenaline playground ?

Just maybe we can build a library good enough to get anyone out of bed - even a supermodel or teenager!
marsbar - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to highland scrambler: I found in the past that Scouts that hated walking loved going on night hikes, much more exciting.
Neil Williams - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to marsbar:

Yeah, we find night hikes popular but day hikes much less so.

Neil
highland scrambler - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to marsbar: Hmm - combing the two and having night scrambling sessions for scouts sounds a little too extrame!!
aldo56 - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to highland scrambler: Where are you based? I think the routes themselves make the world of difference.

I've been on some right boring walks in my time and i'd suggest teenagers need a bit of adrenaline to keep them interested.

Aonach Eagach was my first proper ridge and after that I'm hooked. Also, I presume you climb? If so, get him into a gym and then outdoor to some climbs with big walk ins.
kinley2 - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to highland scrambler:
The solution, both for him - and I suspect for many others - is to make the payoff worth it.


What? Tell him you left his I-phone on the summit? ;-)
highland scrambler - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to aldo56: Based in the worst place possible : near Birmingham!
Get up to the Highlands for one week every year.
We looked at the Aonach Eagach when we stayed at the Clachaig Inn in Glencoe this year : wasn't quite happy about leading on that ridge (specially as I'd cracked my son's ribs when surfing recently!). Did Bidean nam Bian instead.
How hard-core is the Aonach Eagach ?
highland scrambler - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to kinley2: Hah ! My daughter has lost 4 of those in the last 18 months - and she hasn't been near a mountain! There was a good story attached to each incident though.
Mal Grey - on 02 Nov 2012
In reply to highland scrambler:

There's nothing on the Aonach Eagach, in dry conditions, that should prove harder than what you've done on Liathach and especially Corrag Bhuidhe on An Teallach, where I see you took the excellent direct route up the buttress. All three, though different in style, offer a similar level of difficulty, but the direct ascent of Corrag Bhuidhe Buttress is the hardest bit of any of them, in my opinion.

Nice blog site, by the way!
ollieollie - on 03 Nov 2012
In reply to highland scrambler: how old is he?? if in the latter teens a well earned pint post walk might get him moving
ajones - on 03 Nov 2012
I was out on the hills walking with my dad from a fairly young age. I probably did have a stage where I 'rebelled' against it and didn't want to do it but that will have come before the teenage years - as a teenager I was out walking and climbing with a bunch of like-minded friends (some of whom I still climb with half a lifetime later), though at that point I was still out on the hills most weekends with my dad as well. I think having a group of peers to share the activities with helps with the motivation (and makes it into a good social activity on top of the actual climbing/walking experience).
highland scrambler - on 03 Nov 2012
In reply to Mal Grey: Thanks Mal.
Corrag Bhuide was pretty scary - more for me than Sam I think - and much harder than Liathach.
Will have to do Aonach Eagach next time - if only because it'll give an excuse to stay at the Clachaig again!
highland scrambler - on 03 Nov 2012
In reply to ollieollie: He stopped being a 'teen this September - though we have been doing the Highland trip for about 7 years now.
Latest challenge is trying to get him onto 'proper post-trek highland ale' - keeps going for soft-southern cider stuff!
But yes : almost the best bit is sitting in the bar in the evening, running over the day's epic moments - and planning the next day's route.
I guess that's really the pay-off!
highland scrambler - on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to ajones: A group of peers with the same interest would be ideal - not quite so easy to achieve when you're living in the Midlands though.
I guess joining a local walking club / climbing club is the best solution, not sure what the age profile is for those though ?
tlm - on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to highland scrambler:
> (In reply to aldo56) Based in the worst place possible : near Birmingham!

That isn't bad at all! (especially when compared to Holland, Kent, Suffolk etc)

It's an easy journey to Snowdonia or the Lakes, you've got places like the Welsh borders even nearer...
tlm - on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to highland scrambler:
> (In reply to ollieollie) He stopped being a 'teen this September -

So he is a man?
highland scrambler - on 04 Nov 2012
In reply to tlm: Yeh - Holland is not great for Scrambling !
Welsh borders (Hay Bluff, Long Myndd, etc) are fun for 'mature' walkers - BUT that's the whole point. Hills like that don't really do it for teenagers! Where's the rush in a gentle saunter down a green hillock ??
Closest is the Glyders / Tryfan, etc - but there are so few that you run out of 'new' challenges too soon. Hence the focus on the Highlands : a never ending stream of adrenaline-fueled days out.
malky_c - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to highland scrambler:
> Closest is the Glyders / Tryfan, etc - but there are so few that you run out of 'new' challenges too soon. Hence the focus on the Highlands : a never ending stream of adrenaline-fueled days out.

I think the opposite might be true actually. I prefer the Highlands overall, but distances are comparitively large and scrambling is quite spread out. Snowdonia has a lot more potential in a smaller area. I lived 20 minutes from northern Snowdonia when growing up, and never quite exhausted the scrambling possibilities despite going out just about every week as a teenager.

Some of the best stuff is slightly more obscure than the likes of Crib Goch and the N ridge of Tryfan. eg try Clogwyn y Person arete, Dolmen Ridge, or Bryant's Gully to name just three. Glyder Fach has over half a dozen great scrambles on it alone. I recommend getting hold of Steve Ashton's 'Scrambles in Snowdonia' if you haven't already - there's about 100 routes in there.

While the Highlands have some of the best individual routes (and the best scenery and atmosphere), worth bearing the above in mind if you are getting fed up of doing 16 hour round trips all the time!
highland scrambler - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to malky_c: Great - thanks malky_c. Will certainly get hold of the Steve Ashton book and try some of the other routes. May end up having to rename the blog site!!

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