Family climb time
We’re a family of five (two grown-ups & three kids; 9, 6 & 2.5yrs). We like to be adventurous, are seasoned campers & hikers & generally happy in the outdoors scrambling or wading through nature. Adventure is fun, throw kids into the mix and it can be even more so, but finding activities to suit the needs of the different ages or indeed having enough arms to keep them safe isn’t always so simple.
We’ve been to climbing walls before, where the kids have enjoyed a club and we’ve enjoyed a coffee, looking at the walls with a hint of wishing. We first came to the Boulder Hut in Ellesmere Port not long after it had opened. Although that visit was definitely for the kids to have fun whilst we supervised, it was clear when we left our next visit would be just for us adults.
And so our new family adventure began.
You see, the difference here is how easy it is for us to come together as a family, or enjoy the walls in all the combinations we can muster. A family visit is usually more kids focused, but when they get hungry tummies we can grab them some food. Whilst one adult supervises, the other can sneak off for a climb. Both our older girls have passed their assessment to climb on the bigger walls, it’s great to bring them along individually for someone to one time away from siblings. I visit regularly with our toddler in the day time, his confidence has built up brilliantly and it’s great to burn off some of that endless energy, there are usually new ‘friends’ to find and play with too. We also have an adult session most weeks for ‘date night’ it’s a great way for us to reconnect with one another and keep fit at the same time.
Bouldering works so well for us because it simply doesn’t matter how ‘good’ you are & there really isn’t a ton of specialist equipment you need to buy before you start, (we have invested in some climbing shoes but these are available for hire if you don’t have them). We can come together and each achieve something very individual in our climbing whilst working out routes and techniques together. Our kids enjoy playing games in the kids' area as much as they enjoy completing the different routes on both the kids and adult walls. It is a great sport for their self-esteem as well as developing & maintaining all the natural strength, grip and movement that kids tend to have from a young age. My husband and I have quite different skill-sets, we are each ‘better’ at different elements of climbing so when we come together it’s fun to share those skills and encourage one another in their own project. The enjoyment is as much mental as it is physical and we can approach each visit differently depending upon what we want to achieve, whether that be a good physical workout or a slower, longer approach, improving technical skills or working on a particular problem. The routes are regularly changed, so there is always something new to challenge you. The Boulder Hut has an excellent training section too and along with climbing the different routes, I must say I enjoy it far more than any gym membership!
Early on in our climbing journey, I took the Boulder Hut’s Improver course (which I highly recommend to anybody wanting to boost their learning and confidence). This really gave me a good base from which to build my skills. Almost a year on from our first visit I can quite safely say I’m still a novice in many respects, but we are a family of happy novices and always feel welcomed by the friendly climbing community that is building within the Boulder Hut.