Monday, July 02, 2007

Up she goes

We took the kids climbing today for the first time. Fiona, who had patiently watched the 'big kids' through all their rappelling at Homeschoolers Family Camp without complaint, got it into her head that she would be climbing today. We set up a top-rope on a short easy face, and up she went. The photo takes it all delightfully out of context -- she could be three hundred feet up Half Dome for all you can tell, but in actual fact she's only about 5 feet off the ground. The gear, though, it's all about the gear. The kids' harness, cinched as tight as it can go and still not small enough, but heck, she wasn't going much beyond where we could actually reach her. The regulation rock-climbing helmet. The purple top-rope with its double figure-of-eight knot and two carabiners. The jerry-rigged (pink!) chest harness. Oh yeah, she was thrilled. And when we lowered her off the rock face, she sat back in her harness in that wonderful relaxed rappel position that the older kids had learned at camp. "I knew, because I watched the other kids at the camp," she said. "So I sat down in my harness, and you didn't even have to tell me."

The bigger kids were happy too. The sun was blisteringly hot, and we were climbing with the sun shining full force on the west-facing rock -- next time we'll go earlier. But they still hung in patiently waiting for their turns and were enthusiastic about the experience. Due to unfamiliarity with the area, we settled on a small, conservative climb right beside the main trail. But everyone got at least a couple of climbs in, amidst lots of trading of harnesses, shoes and helmets.

Afterwards, a sandy beach and the refreshing glacier-fed lake was just a few short blocks away. Ahhh!

5 comments:

  1. Oh Miranda, that is so cool. We have some good climbing spots around here, but neither dh or I are climbers, so I wouldn't even know where to start. What a fun activity! I imagine it must be a wonderful confidence builder!

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  2. How exciting!!!! Look at Fiona--too cute! And brave.

    Rock climbing is something I had on my list to do before I turned 30. Thirty came and went and I still have yet to experience it. I wrote about it in my book, my list to do before 30 LOL

    What a wonderful thing to pass on to your children!

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  3. I've always wanted to try this and now that the kids have seen your post they are convinced we should all give it a try...hmmm...now to find someone to teach us.
    C was convinced that Fiona was S - lol. "If she can do it, we should too!"
    Karen

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  4. This is great. My kids both climbed for a couple of years at an indoor facility, but have never made it out to a real rock face. Even indoors, the confidence that they gained was tremendous.

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  5. How fun! My 4 year old LOVES to climb at the climbing gym, but hasn't had an outdoor climb yet (other than the climbing walls at festivals). He loved this photo!

    Denise

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