In the latest issue of Veritcal Times, the Access Fund's magazine, Laura Snider wrote a great article about The Good, the Bad,and the Beautiful parts of bringing kids to the crag. Check out Snider's great article from the Access Fund's blog.
Kids at the Crag: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful
~ By Laura Snider
I was slogging up a steep approach trail in Boulder Canyon last summer when I got passed by a guy with a pack and play attached to his already enormous crag pack. His wife wasn’t far behind. She carried less gear but shouldered the more precious cargo: their son, who couldn’t have been more than a year old.
By the time we got to the base of the crag, they were already setting up the portable playpen in the shade of a tree and a friend was flaking a rope at the base of a climb. The kid seemed psyched (or at least quiet) that afternoon and the parents were able to get in a few quality pitches with the help of a friend.
But climbing with kids doesn’t always go so smoothly. I’ve seen kids shivering in the cold—one blue-lipped little girl wrapped in a puffy pink uni-suit at Shelf Road comes to mind—obnoxious minefields of toys at the base of climbs, and worst, kids who are left to hang out helmetless in dangerous rockfall zones.
As the number of climbers continues to balloon, finding kids at the crags will be increasingly common, with mixed results. While poorly behaved kids (and more to the point, poorly behaved parents) are sure to inspire more Internet rants on climbing forums across the country, taking kids climbing may also create a powerful connection between children and the outdoors and help mold the next generation of land stewards.