Hey Jay! HT bikes rock 😎 Def a great way to get started and hone in on your bike handling skills. You can feel more what the bike is saying to you and how it wants to react and how you are going to react.
I disagree that a FS can climb better then a HT. My main argument is that FS are heavier and the general rule of thumb is that the lighter the bike, the better its going to climb. Also, in FS bike you get a slight pedal bob that will waste some of your energy, but FS have been improving in that area greatly.
I’ve been riding HTs for 15 years up here in east coast, known well for its rough terrain of babyheads and wet roots, and love it. I guess as the years are passing by my back is staring to hurt more and more, but no pain no gain 😉