although it doesn’t really seem like it from this website, brian and i are avid rock climbers (though i have to say brian is more of a couch climber than an avid one at this point in his life. i’ve been carrying the climbing torch for the family even through two pregnancies. this needs to be said in order that the stereotype of man climbs, girl follows will not be carried on in perpetuity. it’s one of my things. sorry. end soap box.). the “climbing” page of this website is sadly neglected. having kids has slowed us way down, and in the past two years, we have climbed outside less than a dozen times total. however, three of those times has been in the past four weeks. we have even gone camping! in a tent! things are looking up.

a few weeks ago found us climbing down at the new river gorge in west virginia with a good friend of ours we hadn’t seen in a long time, karl. likewise, we met up with some of karl’s friends. one of these friends, larry, i found out is a father of two kids who love to climb. so i had a couple of conversations with him about climbing with young ones and how to get them interested in it at a young age. seb, so far, has shown a little bit of interest in the sport, but we have trouble finding places for him to climb, mainly because he is so short. larry gave us some great advice, and yesterday at coopers rock state part, wv, we were able to try it out.

brian bought a length (50 ft) of 8 mm cord (mini-rope, if you will) that we bring with us everywhere when we go climbing now. yesterday, he scoped out a short (~15 feet tall) block with a low angle slab and lots of features for seb to climb up. seb donned his new chest harness and mad monkey climbing shoes. daddy tied him in with a mini double bow-line knot then went up to the top of the boulder to hip-belay him.*

and after that, seb became a climber. he climbed his first official route. three times. each time getting higher and higher and more and more confident. he quickly learned how to look for the best foot and hand holds without much help from us. he had a blast, more importantly.

*climbing is a dangerous sport! we do not recommend using these climbing techniques for all new beginner climbers! sebastien is 4 years old and less than 30 pounds so we can both use an 8 mm cord rather than a 10-11 mm rope and also belay him without an anchor and still keep him safe.