I was feeling pretty good on Monday evening, and we wanted a break from housework, so we went rock climbing.
Unfortunately I can’t climb AT ALL! Julie can climb pretty well, though hasn’t done so since we got here to UT. Our climbing time is all about the kids. They love it. They feel accomplished and strong and love to tackle new challenges. Like all siblings, they especially love trying to outperform each other by making a climb faster or by accomplishing a harder route. It is an individual event, but great for the whole family.
There is an indoor rock climbing wall in Provo called The Quarry that is just right for us on Monday nights. On Mondays, the cost is only $6 per person from 6pm-10pm. This is a serious discount that we would like to take advantage of far more than we do (this was only our second time).
They have more climbs than I have been able to count. I haven’t asked, but I’d guess the walls are up to 45-50ft tall. They have many, many options. even the youngest enjoy “climbing the alphabet” (alphabet handholds that ascend the wall). The staff is polite and helpful as well as the other patrons!
Most of the wall space is set up with ropes in place waiting for climber and belayer to connect and climb. These range from a beginner/youth level to advanced difficulties.
They also have a significant amount of space for lead climbers as well. This section has carabiners in the wall waiting for a climber to ascend with rope in tow. This section is all advanced climbing.
Not only do they have traditional climbing walls where harnesses and a belay are necessary. They also have an awesome “bouldering” room. This area has shorter walls but requires some high-skilled technique to complete the “routes”. My kids don’t follow those, but just climb using anything available. This is great fun because they can each climb at the same time rather than waiting for Mom or Dad to be available to belay them on the traditional walls.
Rock Climbing Monkeys
I admit I can be a braggart about my kids, and this is no exception. They are awesome!! None of them are afraid to try even the hardest walls, yet they still succeed more often than they fail. When they have shown mastery over an entire section of wall then they attempt to just do one route on that section (doing a route limits your hand and foots holds to only a certain color rather than simply using anything within reach, this makes it much more difficult and requires more skill AND strength).
Steven, our littlest monkey who can climb, has yet to make it up an entire section of wall. His short arms and small hands make it very hard. But he still gives his best and is getting better. He likes to show off when he finds an overhang with a hold he can hang from.
Andrew can make it to the top of certain portions of the easier sections (like the alphabet) and finds a way to scamper up many portions of the bouldering room. His arm/leg length is the only thing holding him back from the most difficult sections. Kid is a great climber.
Nikki, only slightly taller/longer than Andrew, has the same issues he has. That little bit of difference though shows up in what she can do. She can scamper up most walls that her older siblings can do.
Charlee is soooo strong at this! On Monday she was about 1/3 of the way up one of the harder sections when one of the college kids next to us started up near her. In short order their heads were at the same height. I jokingly told her she’d get $2 from me if she beat him up the remaining 30ft. I just paid out the money!! (Poor kid really heard it from his friends for losing to a little girl!)
Kristie is a whole ton of strength wrapped up in her petite frame. Her light stature and strong grip make her a machine on those walls. She is able to get anywhere she decides to get to! Any time I give them a new goal (“climb this route and touch that hold”) she is likely to be the first to accomplish it!
Joshua, well, being the biggest and strongest tends to make him the best at our sporting activities. This isn’t any different. In terms of pure ability, he is our best. The others are more impressive because of their size, but he is our strongest climber and most skilled. He tries harder routes than the others, and so he fails more often. But he keeps at it and gets better quickly.
Caitlin didn’t make the trip this time. She was sick and stayed at home with the little one.
As with all such activities, I’m always left wanting more. Mostly I want to be able to participate myself, I admit. But the kids have so much fun and do so well that I want more for them too. I love their smiles, laughs, and effort to do well.
Unfortunately time is scarce, and money is even more so. So this isn’t a regular event for us. But it is one that we will try to repeat as often as occasion and finances will allow. If you are looking for a fun activity to try as a family, then I highly recommend you give this a try!
I should add a shout out to Paul Murray and his great rock wall at the Family Cinema in West Plains, MO. His wall was the first one to which we took the kids. It is also an awesome location and we have had a ton of fun as a family there as well. If not for Paul’s friendship and suggestion we might not have tried rock climbing as a family, and we would have missed out on something awesome if we had. Thanks Paul! Hope all is well!!