Rock climbing is one of the greatest activities that we have enjoyed as a family. Not only does it get you moving, but it builds confidence and aids in problem solving skills. Of course climbing is inherently dangerous, but with the right knowledge, gear, and techniques those risks can be mitigated.
My husband and I have been rock climbing for almost six years, and it is one of those activities that never gets old. The sense of adventure and opportunity for growth both physically and mentally is what keeps us coming back for more. And now that our daughter is almost three, she has been showing interest in climbing as well. She is OBSESSED with the “Kid Zone” at the High Point gym downtown. I absolutely love watching her confidence grow every time she gets just a little bit higher. She just beams from ear to ear when she makes it to a new high point.
Luckily for us, we have access to fabulous climbing gyms right here in Chattanooga.
The gym is a great place to start your climbing journey and why not take the kids along! If you, like me, have an energetic toddler, climbing is a great way to get those wiggles out! High Point even offers a multitude of classes to teach you safe belay practices and rope handling.
Want to find a gym near you? High Point has several locations with the main one being off Broad Street, a brand new location in Cleveland, and the Riverside Location. We also have a brand new bouldering gym in the area called Synergy.
While the gym does have harnesses and shoes for rent, we have purchased this Petzel one. If the actual climbing shoes are too big for your toddler, tennis shoes will certainly get the job done. However, we started Brynn with these water shoes from Amazon. They have been a fantastic first shoe, but just recently, she grew into her first pair of real climbing shoes made by La Sportiva.
Brynn’s favorite route at the gym is the city scape towers and it seems to be quite popular among kids of all ages who climb in the “Kid Zone.” There are other simple routes to start out on as well, that will help build confidence in their ability, before moving on to the ones with rock holds.
The gym, of course, is a great place to get started in the sport, but climbing outside is even more fun! And for many, building confidence starts in the gym with the ultimate goal of taking those skills outside. There are so many places to boulder, sport climb, and traditional climb all around Chattanooga. Some of our favorite places to take the whole family are bouldering focused, which if you’re unfamiliar, means you climb short routes without ropes and use a crash pad to jump down to. We have found Stone Fort and St. Elmo to be the most kid friendly.
Brynn’s favorite part about bouldering outside is playing on the pads with her animals and exploring, but soon she will be joining in the climbing with the rest of us! And so far, Cedar has been loving the time outside as well!