Boulder Hut co-founder, Sam Oxford, has been climbing for the past 10 years. She started putting plans in place to open Boulder Hut when she was being made redundant in 2012. Having had Jack in 2015 she realised the huge gap in the market for a climbing wall which caters for everyone from birth.
Climbing with kids
Our 25 month old has tagged along with us to climbing walls since he was two weeks old. In his first year we were holding him up against the wall, as the climbing holds are nice and bright and really grabbed his attention. Over the past year he's developed more and more and is now climbing up to about 8 feet (with a spotter and boulder pad) and we’re so happy that he's really taken to climbing without us forcing it onto him. Hopefully this signals a happy future with lots of climbing trips.
Last weekend we bought him his first pair of climbing shoes, a pair of La Sportiva Stickits, from Joe Brown's in Capel Curig. He was ecstatic with his new shoes and even tried them out on the climbing wall in the shop, with only tiny footholds and hardly any handholds.
The shoes, although they are a couple of sizes too big for him, have a handy adjustment cord which means that they fit snugly now and hopefully this will give a couple of years' wear out of them. He's had a little climb at home with them on, but now just wants to wear them everywhere – not really suitable footwear for the park!
At Boulder Hut, as well as the vast boulder field, we’re designing a climbing wall especially for toddlers to allow the smallest climbers to explore and improve their technique. If they’re not quite ready for the hard stuff then there’ll also be a soft play area and chill out zone.