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Climbs that are good for kids
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By Jeffrey LeCours
From New Hampshire
Sep 28, 2012

I'm soliciting climbs that would be good for kids. My girls are 7 and 9 and are quite good climbers for only being out a handful of times. What I'm finding is that the girls can climb stuff with smaller feet or crimpy edges but have trouble on moves that are reachy for them. They're both relatively short... so holds that are within reach for a teenager are a big throw for them.

We've done some of the slabs at Pawtuckaway (Flake Route and Pete's Tree) and some easier stuff at Rumney (Week w/ Pete, Mowli Grape, Dirtigo, Triple Delight, first half of Ale 8 One).

Thoughts are welcome. :) My hope is that by starting them off on easier stuff now while they're young, they'll see the amazing places climbing can bring them, get psyched, learn how to safely do it, and will skip classes in high school to rope gun Edge of the World for me. ;)


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By Blissab
Sep 28, 2012

Hey Jeff,

Try Chapel Ledges, in Ashfield, Massachusetts for some easy/moderate slab climbing for the kids and beginners. Easy and short access and good top-rope set-ups. Safe place and flat deck for route starting.

Check-out the Western Mass Climbers Coalition website and this site for some information.

Good swimming hole on the other side of the road, in the warmer weather.

Good luck,

AB


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By Jeffrey LeCours
From New Hampshire
Sep 28, 2012

Thanks AB! Sounds great. :)

I've never been to Echo Crag in NH and wonder if that would be good. Lower angle / juggier routes will be best to grow their confidence though, so I wonder if they'll be able to handle the cracks I see in photos from there.

I know Square Ledge (in Pinkham Notch) has a couple of climbs that will be great for them. I'd love to find more stuff like those (Standard Route).

I thought that there might be a fun line up at the Lost Horizon (at Sundown) but seeing a photo of the 5.6 there makes it seem like it might be too "cracky" for them right now. I wonder...

I think I'd have a great outing with them (individually) on the slabs at Whitehorse. However, they're usually a pair and they might still be too young to multipitch stuff right now. Maybe Clip-A-Dee would be a good intro for that.


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By freezeus
From Pittsfield, VT
Sep 28, 2012

At Rumney, both upper vader and vader have some climbs that are great for kids, below new wave, 5.8 crag, triple corners. My 11 yr old daughter loves leading at Rumney.


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By Jake D.
From Northeast
Sep 28, 2012

the 5,6,7 at Jimmy cliff "middle" would be good. they are not reachy and are fairly slabby past the first few bolts. can do Clippity and Lady and the tramp on the true slabs. (great views from the top of all of these)


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By S. Neoh
Sep 28, 2012

Yeah, I would think upper Darth at Rumney will be pretty good for kids. Juggy climbs tend to be better for them than the moer techy slabs. Younger kids have impressive power-to-weight ratio; as long as they can reach the hold, they can and will yard on it. Trusting their feet on slabs, not so much.


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By Just Jesse
From Methuen, MA
Sep 28, 2012

If you're in the S.NH area, Deer Leap in Windham is a sweet place to bring the kids. Less than vert but not slabby, easily TR'd and aside from 1 or 2 5.12's, most of the climbing is sub 5.8 and juggy. It's never crowded and the walk in is a breeze too. Took my lil' brothers here when they were around that age, and they dug it.

There's a thread on it in the eastern states section w/ an old guide...


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By Dan Felix
Sep 28, 2012

Square Ledge in Pinkham Notch is great. I haven't done any of the routes on the face yet since I'm not yet climbing trad, but the chimney is excellent for kids. There's a couple routes around the same side as the chimney that can be done too, and everything except the face can be done with a 60m top rope. If you climb trad, then go and make a day of it!


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By "H"
From Manitou Springs
Sep 28, 2012
Axes glistening in the sun

Cathedral has the North End. Fairly easy to set up topropes. Generally a cool crowd or at least there was 20 years ago.


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By Jeffrey LeCours
From New Hampshire
Sep 28, 2012

Great suggestions. I'm going to add these rumney routes to my todo list:

Glory Jean's .6)
Cafe au Lait (5.6)
False Modesty (5.6) (although a bit of a reach start)
Kate's Arete (5.4)
Sixth Sense (5.6)
Lazy Days (5.5)
Little Angler (5.8) maybe with a high directional?
Pee Wee's Playhouse (5.4)
Pee Wee's Big Adventure (5.4)
The Little Mermaid (5.6) maybe
Rack for Sale (5.7)
Things You Should Have Learned in Kindergarden (5.6)
Piece of Cake (5.5)
The Nuthatch (5.7) <-- would LOVE for them to be able to play on this.. but I think they're just too short and new for it.
Supersize Me (5.6)
Fear of Abraham (5.6)


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By Dan Felix
Sep 28, 2012

If you've done Dirtigo, you should have turned around and done Wimpy-Gilman too. ;)


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By Jake D.
From Northeast
Sep 28, 2012

Nuthatch is tricky as hell haha maybe their tiny fingers will like it though.

Did it right after it was bolted.. easy.. this summer...hard-ish.. did something wrong i suppose.

add Teachers Pet .7 at Jimmy.. crimpy balancy dihedral start to really easy .4 top. could be a good challenge.


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By Jeffrey LeCours
From New Hampshire
Sep 29, 2012

Jake D. wrote:
Nuthatch is tricky as hell haha maybe their tiny fingers will like it though.


The thing I like about nuthatch is that the rope is directly above them pretty much the whole time. Hanging around and trying to figure out how to move upward is one of their favorite things.


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By Travis Dustin
From Hollis, NH
Apr 25, 2013
NH

Great Thread! Any one have some other great routes for kids/ beginners?


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By jim.dangle
Apr 25, 2013

Travis Dustin wrote:
Great Thread! Any one have some other great routes for kids/ beginners?


Guides take beginning parties out to Jockey Cap all the time to learn the tricks of the trade. The side wall is small and well featured. I've never climbed there though.

MA actually has a lot of nice areas for kids. Mostly because the crags are smaller and easily topropeable. Places like Crow Hill, Hammond Pond, and Redrock are where many generations of kids learned to climb (myself included).

In NH, I'd agree with other posters that Square Ledge (near Pinkham) is my favorite beginners area. The setting is great and the climbing is easy. The Chimney is probably one of the perfect first leads and a great little top-rope. The front face is pretty spectacular for new climbers and very easy.

Edit: In Pawtuckaway, don't miss the Dome and Ridgeline climbs either. The Dome in particular has nice easy long top ropes climbs. it's usually much quieter than the Slabs and because it's up high and more exposed gets less bugs.

Jim


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By Dan Felix
Apr 25, 2013

Jeff of you see this and haven't done it yet, Cafe au lait is likely not a good one for the kids. Did it last weekend, my girlfriends 11 year old daughter (5'3" tall) had trouble with the start. My 10 year old daughter gave up and was barely off the ground. My 7 year old son made it to the cave though. There's a ton of rope drag if you top rope it. The crux is definitely the start. There's better climbs for kids at Rumney, IMHO.


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By john strand
From southern colo
Apr 26, 2013

Family Crag at Shell Pond


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By Jeffrey LeCours
From New Hampshire
Apr 26, 2013

Dan Felix wrote:
Jeff of you see this and haven't done it yet, Cafe au lait is likely not a good one for the kids. Did it last weekend, my girlfriends 11 year old daughter (5'3" tall) had trouble with the start. My 10 year old daughter gave up and was barely off the ground. My 7 year old son made it to the cave though. There's a ton of rope drag if you top rope it. The crux is definitely the start. There's better climbs for kids at Rumney, IMHO.


Yeah, you're right - the start can be a little tricky. The reason I thought it might be good is because you end up stemming up above. Thinking again, this might be tricky for kids with small legs.

In general, when my girls get put in sticky spots (whether it be the start or higher up)... I'll let them get at it for a few attempts until they get frustrated and then I give them a little belay-assisted dyno.

A week or so ago we finished up the easier climbs in the Jimmy Cliff alcove. Sydney enjoyed following the Alcove Crack as well. I also let her follow up Nuthatch and she loved being the chimney. She had no problem squirming and scumming her way up through the parts where she wasn't finding the feet. She loved the exposure too! Of course, this might not be for everyone.

What are your suggestions for better climbs for kids at Rumney? Do share! :)


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Apr 26, 2013
Stoked...

jim.dangle wrote:
Guides take beginning parties out to Jockey Cap all the time to learn the tricks of the trade.


I learned to climb at a summer camp in maine. . . our trips were to Jockey's Cap (Left side), Cathedral's north end (practice slabs right?), and square ledge. All were great IMO for varied reasons.


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By JohnnyG
Apr 27, 2013

Whitney Gilmam...I did it with my wife and son when he was negative 8 months old. But he hasn't been climbing in the almost 4 years since....Hmmm neither has my wife.


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