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Partner phaedrus


Jan 2, 2006, 8:58 PM
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Eight Year Old Conquers World's High Peaks
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At eight years old and four feet tall, Aidan Gold is likely the youngest person to climb the 20,300 foot Island Peak on Nov. 10 with his father and several guides. In addition to Island Peak, Aidan and his dad reached the peak of 10,400-foot Haustock and 13,400-foot Monch in the Alps, 17,200-foot Awi Peak near Everest, and the whole family, including 5-year-old Janick, made it to the 17,700-foot Everest base camp. Aidan said the toughest stretch for him was a 45-degree face of rock and ice on Haustock.

"It's the worse 3,000 feet I've ever done," he said.

"I got cold two times in Nepal. No times in Switzerland," Aidan added.

"Boy, a morning at 17,000 feet is cold," he said. But Aidan is uniquely undaunted by the rigors and monotony of climbing for hours at a time. He has an uncanny focus, his parents said.

Part of that focus is because of Asperger's Syndrome. He was diagnosed with the type of autism when he was 3 years old.

For more info, go to:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/...54205_everest02.html

http://news.yahoo.com/..._st/mini_mountaineer


http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/...6climber02_aidan.jpg
Aidan Gold, with his brother, Janick, at their home.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/...imber02_vertical.jpg
Climbing Sherpa Namgye Sherpa leads Aidan Gold up Island Peak. Aidan's father, Warren, took the picture.


scottquig


Jan 2, 2006, 9:13 PM
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Cool. I wish my parents made me do that!


ihategrigris


Jan 2, 2006, 9:19 PM
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Maybe it's just me, but isn't it somewhat irresponsible to drag an 8 year old up a 20000ft peak? I mean.... theres so many things that are uncontrollable in high altitude mountaineering, is it really something someone that cannot possible understand the risk be dragged into? This story seems very strange and somewhat disconcering to me.


bluenose


Jan 3, 2006, 1:11 PM
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I think it is great that this is a family outting, everyone at the base camp and all.

Who says that an 8 year old cannot fathom the risks involved? Just like anything else, proper supervision is the key.

The only concern I might have would be any possible issues that may result from the low oxygen atmosphere with a kid.

Jeff.


jred


Jan 3, 2006, 1:31 PM
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Maybe it's just me, but isn't it somewhat irresponsible to drag an 8 year old up a 20000ft peak? I mean.... theres so many things that are uncontrollable in high altitude mountaineering, is it really something someone that cannot possible understand the risk be dragged into? This story seems very strange and somewhat disconcering to me.
I agree there is something weird and even selfish on the parents part. What is the hurry to get an eight year old doing such things, at eight years the child has not experienced much in life. What is the big rush to get him into potentially life endangering situations? To think that an eight year old is aware of the dangers and can make a calculated assessment of the risks is absurd.


apolobamba


Jan 3, 2006, 2:50 PM
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I think this a great story. This kid is having great adventures and appears to be enjoying them.

For you who do not approve, STFU. Parents are well aware of the dangers and have come to peace with their decisions. If my parents protected me like you wish, I would missed out on a magical childhood. Here a few of the things I would have missed out on if my parents insisted that I played soccer instead.

* Racing Lightening sailboats in small craft warnings.
* Speeding around Greek Island on the back of mopeds.
* Living and traveling around West Africa.
* Climbing the volcanoes of the Jos Plateau

Second - Life is difficult with a child with developmental issues. I have 3 friends with autistic children. They search and work very hard at connecting and bringing joy and love to these kids. Bully for these kids. Bully for these parents.


jred


Jan 3, 2006, 2:57 PM
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I think this a great story. This kid is having great adventures and appears to be enjoying them.

For you who do not approve, STFU. Parents are well aware of the dangers and have come to peace with their decisions. If my parents protected me like you wish, I would missed out on a magical childhood. Here a few of the things I would have missed out on if my parents insisted that I played soccer instead.

* Racing Lightening sailboats in small craft warnings.
* Speeding around Greek Island on the back of mopeds.
* Living and traveling around West Africa.
* Climbing the volcanoes of the Jos Plateau

Second - Life is difficult with a child with developmental issues. I have 3 friends with autistic children. They search and work very hard at connecting and bringing joy and love to these kids. Bully for these kids. Bully for these parents.
Am I to understand that you participated in these activities at age 8? Judging by your lack of social graces it seems that a team sport such as soccer might have benifited you. STFU?


apolobamba


Jan 3, 2006, 3:13 PM
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yes - Ages 9 -11.

Social graces - pffffffffft, why waste the time on blow hards.


jughead


Jan 3, 2006, 3:34 PM
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That lil bastard.... you were all thinking it i just said it :lol: :D hehehe


jughead


Jan 3, 2006, 3:34 PM
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That lil bastard.... you were all thinking it i just said it :lol: :D hehehe


jred


Jan 3, 2006, 3:48 PM
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yes - Ages 9 -11.

Social graces - pffffffffft, why waste the time on blow hards.
So ages 9-11 are the same as age 8? Please define blow hard, is that a person who does not tell people to STFU for expressing their opinion? Your "I did it so it must be ok" argument is not really cutting it. You would be better off trying to explain how mountaineering is a safe activity for 8 year olds? Maybe you could describe all of its benefits and how they greatly outweigh the risks, keeping in mind that this is an eight year old we are talking about. Maybe there is something positive to letting a child do this, I just can not think of anything at all right now.


jpdreamer


Jan 3, 2006, 6:34 PM
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Based on the tone and information in the seattle post article, I see no evidence to support the idea that the parents are attention seeking. It suggests the risks are well mitigated and the kid had a great time, and personally I think it's great that they have found one way to let his view his autism, in thus himself, in a positive light. And although having a kid at high altitude certainly does demand some thought as to if the kid's well being is prioritized, all the evidence presented here suggests that it is. Besides, the journalist knows a lot more about the situation than we do, and he is obviously OK with it.


shanz


Jan 4, 2006, 2:23 PM
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wish i had started that young


triznut


Jan 4, 2006, 2:55 PM
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yes - Ages 9 -11.

Social graces - pffffffffft, why waste the time on blow hards.
So ages 9-11 are the same as age 8? Please define blow hard, is that a person who does not tell people to STFU for expressing their opinion? Your "I did it so it must be ok" argument is not really cutting it. You would be better off trying to explain how mountaineering is a safe activity for 8 year olds? Maybe you could describe all of its benefits and how they greatly outweigh the risks, keeping in mind that this is an eight year old we are talking about. Maybe there is something positive to letting a child do this, I just can not think of anything at all right now.

Jred,

I'll tell you one good reason an 8yr should do this...

Climbing a 20,300 ft mtn is a huge accomplishment, period. Let alone for an 8yr old. This is a REALLY BIG ACCOMPLISHMENT for an 8yr old! This experience will allow him to push for and most likely achieve other big, almost impossible kinds of goals.
Hey if the kid wants to do it and the parents are good too, then they can do whatever they would like with him.... For those of you hating... Just make sure you don't let your kids do things risky (they can hate you later for that), but let others do as they please.

Hey did you know that you have a better chance of dying on the road in a car than you do on a mountain. Let's be honest here, taking a kid for a car ride is much more risky than a mountaineering adventure. So maybe we shouldn’t let kids ride in cars now too??
At least this is the case around my parts. The States baby!


jred


Jan 4, 2006, 3:11 PM
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I think my point is being missed entirely. Of course it is a great accomplishment for an eight year old, good for him. What I am questioning is the need to bring a kid so young into a dangerous situation that they in no way could perceive the risk. What is the hurry? A child of that age has a lot of life to live and most experiences will be new, so why the rush to get him into dangerous situations? To state that cars are more dangerous than mountaineering is idiotic, sorry man but that is a very, very weak argument. Who cares where you are from? What does that have to do with anything?


triznut


Jan 4, 2006, 4:10 PM
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I think my point is being missed entirely. Of course it is a great accomplishment for an eight year old, good for him. What I am questioning is the need to bring a kid so young into a dangerous situation that they in no way could perceive the risk. What is the hurry? A child of that age has a lot of life to live and most experiences will be new, so why the rush to get him into dangerous situations? To state that cars are more dangerous than mountaineering is idiotic, sorry man but that is a very, very weak argument. Who cares where you are from? What does that have to do with anything?

Ok I'll bite... So why are car accidents not a valid argument?? Do they not happen, or are statisices wrong when they show that more people die a year from car wrecks in the world than say mountaineering.
Now I think if you think about this one a little longer, then you will see why location makes a huge difference on the possiblities of dying in a car wreck :roll:


dietmoxie_15


Jan 4, 2006, 5:11 PM
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I think that if the kid is safe and having fun then its fine. All the mountaineering that I know is what I've learned from Freedom of the Hills. I am in no way knowledgable about all of the dangers of mountaineering, nor do I pretend to. But if the parents and the guide know what they are doing, then it should be fine. I mean those rich people that climb Everest, do they understand all of the risks involved in mountaineering, probably not. But they still demand that they be taked to the top. Also, for an autistic kid seeing that they got to the top of such a huge mountain can really lift their spirits. Also, saying that more people are killed in cars than in mountaineering is true but at the same time not the best way to portray the infomation. Almost everyone rides in cars, not everyone mountaineers. If percents were given, even an estimate, than it would make the argument more valid.
Have a safe Year
Billy


kirsten00


Jan 4, 2006, 7:55 PM
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I think this is a great accomplishment for such a young person. We are all achieving things at such young ages now, why not add rock climbing to the list?

Well done to the people involved! :)


stevsop


Jan 4, 2006, 8:13 PM
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Maybe it's just me, but isn't it somewhat irresponsible to drag an 8 year old up a 20000ft peak?

It would be irresponsible not to.


pink_chalk


Jan 4, 2006, 8:21 PM
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I guess it just depends on your comfort level with your child. My parents sheltered the heck out of me. And now? I'm a rock warrior... and they still try to keep me inside a bubble. They even have a hard time looking at climbing pics. Not the ideal situation for a family vaca to summit K2 :lol: I think its way cool that this 8 year old kid is traveling the world from ground up. Yeah there's risk involved, but try crossing the streets in Bangkok :shock:


epicsaga


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I want to see that kid on the summit of Everest with no bottled oxygen. Now THAT would be dangerous!!
Talk about good publicity for autusim charities, even more then Matthew on "The Shield" TV show!
This is all about the trend to set records. This year its 8. In 5 years a 6 year old will be at Everst base camp. Then a 4 year old. How about a woman giving birth at 20,000 ft in 2010? That will trump all the records.
Mark my words it'll happen.
STFU


olderic


Jan 5, 2006, 10:23 AM
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I think my point is being missed entirely. Of course it is a great accomplishment for an eight year old, good for him. What I am questioning is the need to bring a kid so young into a dangerous situation that they in no way could perceive the risk. What is the hurry? A child of that age has a lot of life to live and most experiences will be new, so why the rush to get him into dangerous situations? To state that cars are more dangerous than mountaineering is idiotic, sorry man but that is a very, very weak argument. Who cares where you are from? What does that have to do with anything?

Do you have children of your own?

.

Or are you one of those goody-two-shoes who preaches to others and advises them how to run their lives?


jred


Jan 5, 2006, 11:00 AM
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I think my point is being missed entirely. Of course it is a great accomplishment for an eight year old, good for him. What I am questioning is the need to bring a kid so young into a dangerous situation that they in no way could perceive the risk. What is the hurry? A child of that age has a lot of life to live and most experiences will be new, so why the rush to get him into dangerous situations? To state that cars are more dangerous than mountaineering is idiotic, sorry man but that is a very, very weak argument. Who cares where you are from? What does that have to do with anything?

Do you have children of your own?

.

Or are you one of those goody-two-shoes who preaches to others and advises them how to run their lives?
Why would I answer your question? You are clearly a dick head. Is that the best argument you have? An insult. You are taking the easy position macho man. Why not tell me of all the benifits and how they outweigh the risks, I just can not see very many personally and am curious as to what they are. Why not just tell me?


lewisiarediviva


Jan 8, 2006, 8:23 PM
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Maybe it's just me, but isn't it somewhat irresponsible to drag an 8 year old up a 20000ft peak? I mean.... theres so many things that are uncontrollable in high altitude mountaineering, is it really something someone that cannot possible understand the risk be dragged into? This story seems very strange and somewhat disconcering to me.
I agree there is something weird and even selfish on the parents part. What is the hurry to get an eight year old doing such things, at eight years the child has not experienced much in life. What is the big rush to get him into potentially life endangering situations? To think that an eight year old is aware of the dangers and can make a calculated assessment of the risks is absurd.

jred, have you ever climbed with an eight year old? It is sooo not selfish. It would be selfish to be constantly leaving him with the babysitter so that you can climb.

Well, they could sit at home and watch movies together all day instead.

Is an eight year old aware of the dangers of getting in the car?
Actually, he's probably safer on the mountain than riding his bike around the neighbor hood, precisely because an eight year old knows they shouldn't be in the road, but does he get it?

My son wears glasses. Guess how many baseballs have hit him in the eye. Three. Guess how many trees he hit on the ski slope last weekend. Two. Guess how many of his best friends have died at the age of eight. One- diabetes, 24 hours after diagnosis. Guess who says they would rather climb the middle teton this summer than play baseball or soccer this spring.

My daughter has been diligently attempting to ride her unicycle. Her class mates mother, down the road, says "Oh that is so dangerous." She wears wrist guards and a helmet. She follows her brother and her dad through the trees on her skis. She's the youngest to climb Norton Peak in the Idaho Smokey Mountains. She was all smiles up and all smiles down. She is also excited about climbing the middle teton. She is furious that I won't let her ski "the bowl" with her dad and brother.

jred, kids don't like to be cooped up- and my son knows very well that if you want to do something you better get off your butt and do it, because one of his best friends taught him that it could be to late one day.

ihategrigris, so many things uncontrollable in high altitude mountaineering? Things are uncontrollable in New Orleans too. Sharks off the coast of Florida. The teenager that just left school on a warm blue spring day and is driving down your street. The house that collapse in Pakistan. The kid that lives near the beach and the Tsunami hits. . .

It absolutely disgust me that parents would suppress their children. Teach them to not dream, to cast aside courage, to not set goals, to never feel success . . .


jred


Jan 13, 2006, 11:17 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Maybe it's just me, but isn't it somewhat irresponsible to drag an 8 year old up a 20000ft peak? I mean.... theres so many things that are uncontrollable in high altitude mountaineering, is it really something someone that cannot possible understand the risk be dragged into? This story seems very strange and somewhat disconcering to me.
I agree there is something weird and even selfish on the parents part. What is the hurry to get an eight year old doing such things, at eight years the child has not experienced much in life. What is the big rush to get him into potentially life endangering situations? To think that an eight year old is aware of the dangers and can make a calculated assessment of the risks is absurd.

jred, have you ever climbed with an eight year old? It is sooo not selfish. It would be selfish to be constantly leaving him with the babysitter so that you can climb.

Well, they could sit at home and watch movies together all day instead.

Is an eight year old aware of the dangers of getting in the car?
Actually, he's probably safer on the mountain than riding his bike around the neighbor hood, precisely because an eight year old knows they shouldn't be in the road, but does he get it?

My son wears glasses. Guess how many baseballs have hit him in the eye. Three. Guess how many trees he hit on the ski slope last weekend. Two. Guess how many of his best friends have died at the age of eight. One- diabetes, 24 hours after diagnosis. Guess who says they would rather climb the middle teton this summer than play baseball or soccer this spring.

My daughter has been diligently attempting to ride her unicycle. Her class mates mother, down the road, says "Oh that is so dangerous." She wears wrist guards and a helmet. She follows her brother and her dad through the trees on her skis. She's the youngest to climb Norton Peak in the Idaho Smokey Mountains. She was all smiles up and all smiles down. She is also excited about climbing the middle teton. She is furious that I won't let her ski "the bowl" with her dad and brother.

jred, kids don't like to be cooped up- and my son knows very well that if you want to do something you better get off your butt and do it, because one of his best friends taught him that it could be to late one day.

ihategrigris, so many things uncontrollable in high altitude mountaineering? Things are uncontrollable in New Orleans too. Sharks off the coast of Florida. The teenager that just left school on a warm blue spring day and is driving down your street. The house that collapse in Pakistan. The kid that lives near the beach and the Tsunami hits. . .

It absolutely disgust me that parents would suppress their children. Teach them to not dream, to cast aside courage, to not set goals, to never feel success . . .
To answer your first question, yes I have climbed with many eight year olds, at least five hundred, I am a rock climbing coach and climb with my friends kids tonnes. You make a good argument for getting kids involved in sports. I think it is great that you are involved in your kids life so much, nice. That being said would you allow your kids to do anything at any risk? The activities you involve your kids in are great activities for people of their age, what I am questioning is whether high altitude mountaineering is the best activity for an eight year old, nothing else. Mountaineering ain't no uni-cycle man.

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