Father-son duo bonds during Spokane Mountaineers Mountain School course

July 5, 2018

Snow camping. It may not be everyone’s ideal form of father-son bonding.

But that’s exactly what Aaron and Logan Binns, 18, did this spring. The father-son duo shivered in a shared tent in the snow of North Idaho’s mountains as part of the Spokane Mountaineers’ 2018 Mountain School. They woke up hours before dawn to climb up nearby peaks. They got sweaty, hungry, tired and occasionally injured.

And they couldn’t be happier.

“I think it’s really cool to do it with my dad,” Logan said in an interview in May. “A lot of kids don’t have good relationships with their parents.”

The two have “always done outdoor things” together, Aaron said. But after Aaron took the Spokane Mountaineers’ backpack school in 2010, he heard about the club’s Mountain School. He knew Logan was just beginning to get into rock climbing and he thought it would be a good way to spend more time with his son.

“Logan likes doing this stuff and so do I,” Aaron said. “I think Logan and I really do have a passion for the outdoors.”

It also gives Aaron some peace of mind. He knows his son is well-trained and prepared to go outside. Especially after completing the 13-week-long Mountain School course. Seeing Logan in the context of Mountain School has made him feel more confident about his son’s decision-making abilities.

“I used to worry more about Logan,” he said. “But now I find myself going, ‘He could actually help me.’ ”

As for sharing a tent in the snow? Both said it was a fun experience. One that may have helped them become better friends.

“We were making fart jokes in the tent,” Logan said.

Aaron added, “I enjoyed that.”