Brian Doub at Castle Rock
Easy climbs - 5.5 and under
Recently, someone asked where, with routes 5.5 and under, they could take their young children (four and six) to climb. I’ve described several routes at these grades in my book, Fun Climbs Colorado, as well as earlier in this blog, and list some below.
Mr. Breeze 5.2 ***
East Slabs 5.0 – 5.4 *
From the parking lot, walk up the road and cross the creek. The low angle east face is directly across the bridge. Walk uphill along the right side of the cliff until about halfway up the talus on the east side.
From about halfway up the talus field, climb up cracks and face to a tree on a good ledge to belay. From here, follow a groove up to the summit. I took my son up this route when he was five years old and he enjoyed it very much. Climbing with three people is helpful for taking small kids up the climb, so that someone can stay with the kids at the belay.
Castle Rock, West Face 5.5 *
Rocky Mountain National Park, Lumpy Ridge
Gina’s Surprise 5.4
Alexi’s climb 5.5
Lincoln Creek: Burger Shack Area, Finger Food Wall
The easy routes here are multi-pitch gear routes and thus a little more challenging for beginning climbers, who are inexperienced at removing protection, and for kids who would be left at the belay alone (and have to belay the leader, unless it’s a party of three).
Other areas to which I took my son climbing when he was young include City of Rocks and Devil’s Tower. We climbed in Italy, France and Spain once he was seven years old. Europe is very kid-friendly with well-equipped campgrounds, well-bolted easy routes, and lots of other diversions.
If you’d like to share your favorite easy, kid-friendly climbs, please clcik on the red numeral to comment. Thanks!