Today we took Penelope rock climbing for her first time! We have 'bouldered' with her a little. At a park here in Redmond they have boulders with holds on them. She likes to climb those but today was her first time with the real thing.
Yesterday I picked up a kid sized harness from work. She's been asking to go climbing for a long time (months and months she's been asking). Today we decided to do it. We drove to Smith Rock State Park, only about 20 minutes away, picked up the guide book and a year pass to Oregon State Parks and away we went.
Penelope was very excited and had to carry her harness herself. It took us a little bit of scouting around to find the area. Then we had to wind our away around and climb over boulders to finally make it.
I set up a top rope on what I think was a 5.4, harnessed her in, gave her a talk about safety, how to climb, and sent her on her way. She's a natural. She jumped right onto the rock and started climbing. When she'd hit difficult spots she feel around and try things out. The highest she ever got was maybe 15 feet off the ground but she was stoked!
Fortunately she weighed enough and there wasn't too much friction in the system that when we lowered her she actually came down (we've actually seen little kids that literally won't come down because they don't weigh enough and someone has to climb up and pull on them to get them down).
Jessi got to climb as well. She was also stoked because it's been forever since she was able to climb.
It was an awesome evening, we got to go out as a family and do the stuff we love, the surroundings couldn't be beat (watch the video below to see), we climbed, we hiked, we had fun, and we had huckleberry ice cream on the way home. Man it felt good to get out and climb, even though it was easy, and do it with my family. Climbing is one of Jessi and I's favorite past times together.