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Cub Climbing - Commercial vs. Tower

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  • Cub Climbing - Commercial vs. Tower

    In the Age-Appropriate Guidelines, it says Tigers, Wolves, and Bears can climb "Commercial" and "Horizontal" (whatever that is) walls, but that only Webelos and Boy Scouts can climb "Towers" and "Vertical" walls. At a local scout camp where I have taken Troops rock climbing, they have towers where they let Tigers climb during summer camp (this facility has been inspected and approved by National.)

    We are having our last pack meeting next week and planned to have a portable tower with auto-belays come to our school for the kids to climb (they've been to local birthday parties and such.)

    I'm confused then what's the deal...wouldn't a tower be considered commercial? I can understand not allowing kids to belay themselves, but this tower has mechanical belays. Does commercial mean only indoor climbing gyms? You'd think they would be more clear on that. Does a tower mean like a 50 Ft. "fire tower" found at the top of a mountain peak?

    Advice welcome. But let's face it - we're doing the tower for the kids regardless, even if they have to take off their Class B's (which we were going to let them wear for this meeting) and make this a non-pack event. If whoever writes the Age Appropriate Guidelines reads this, I'd suggest some edits to clarify more.


  • #2
    If it's a Cub Scout event and you aren't wearing a uniform, it's still a Cub Scout event, and you already advertised it as such. And you're probably paying for it with Pack money, so not sure how you would get away with making it a non-pack event.
    Besides, do you really want to be teaching your kids that skirting the law is the proper way to interpret rules that you don't agree with, or that don't fit your needs?
    "Horizontal" means bouldering, as in going up five feet and then across sideways. I would assume that commercial means that they provide their own insurance.


    • #3
      Your best bet is to talk to your council climbing chairman. I am a bit surprised they let Tigers on the tower but maybe it is only up to a certain height. The equipment our council uses would probably not fit the smaller lower level cubs very well, in fact my council does not let Webelos use the facilities at all even though National permits it.


      • #4
        Horizontal Walls are typically only 6-8 Foot Tall and run a long length...That way a Climber is Usually no more than 2-3 Foot off the Ground.
        Object is to Move Horizontal not Vertical.

        As For Climbing Towers...My Council allows Tigers to Climb on our $40,000+ Climbing Tower when it is in Operation, However thanks to New Rules We can Not have it repaired Locally, only through BSA Approved Vendor so we can't afford +10,000 repairs to keep it current inspected.

        Wish Someone would pull their Heads outta the A$$ about some of These Age Appropriate Crap..
        Want to Know why Cub Scouts quit and Never move on to Scouting....Because they want to do Fun Stuff and Hate having to Stand by while they watch others having fun. They Quit and just go do stuff with other groups that allow it.

        We have a Local Commercial Climbing Tower...
        A Broke Unusable Scout Portable Climbing Tower. We have No Camp Onsite Tower.. Wonder where our Scouts go?


        • #5
          I am a BSA climbing instructor. Cubs can use a climbing tower as long as it uses auto belay devices and run by a commercial company. If it's a district auto belay tower you need two BSA certified climbing instructors working it . Cubs can also climb in any commercial climbing gym. Cubs cannot rappel, but Webelos and scouts can. Cubs and Webelos can not rock climb using a belay rope. Only scouts can rock climb without the use of any auto belay.


          • #6
            Originally posted by F-P View Post
            Besides, do you really want to be teaching your kids that skirting the law is the proper way to interpret rules that you don't agree with, or that don't fit your needs?
            Horse Pucky. The Cubs have no idea what the 'Rules' are. They just want to have fun.

            SM bob answered your initial question. Enjoy your outing!


            • #7
              Agreed. We have a really nice indoor climbing facility not too far away and when we go there, we let the commercial outfitter determine who can do what, kind of like whitewater rafting with a commercial outfit. The little guys do just fine if they can reach the holds. For the cubs, I insist that they are belayed by their parents. The commercial company checks all of them out and it's a good feeling to watch a 7-year-old teaching his parent how to tie a proper knot.
              Some of those little guys are almost like spiders...just scampering right up. I don't even have a distant memory......