For this weeks post, here is our first page for the climbing section. We haven't been very successful in getting our kids to go climbing, probably because we mostly did multi-pitch trad climbing before kids. Here is what I wish I knew before we had kids:
If you loved climbing before you had kids, the good news is that there are lots of ways to keep climbing after you have kids. The bad news is that you may have to change which disciplines you do. And if your partner was your primary climbing partner, you may have to get better at finding extra adults to bring with you. Here’s the rundown on the challenges associated with each type of climbing when you have kids:
In general, consider doing hikes ahead of time to the crag to check out the “kid-friendliness”. Set low expectations for that hike and don’t bring all the gear with you - if you happen to be able to boulder around a little then consider it a bonus!
Even if you remember a spot being kid-friendly it might not be - if you didn’t bring your kids with you the last time you were there, or if it was a long time since you were there with your kids your memories might have faded about the difficulties.
If it’s one of your first times out with kids on real rock, note that climbs need to be really easy for the little kids - and even 5.2’s can be too reachy! You may end up setting up a top rope or finding a boulder problem that’s not in the guidebook because it’s too easy, and that’s fine, the most important thing is that the kids have fun and enjoy climbing.
The final tip: if there’s only one climb the kids can do and it’s a busy area, have someone go early to set up so that you get the climb you need. And when other people show up, please share the rope with them or take it down as soon as the kids lose interest. We need to find ways to support other outdoor parents as much as possible because it can be challenging even as it is rewarding.
Two Silicon Valley engineers who have had a love of the outdoors since childhood. Parents of two small kids, spending our free time exploring the outdoors with them.