Today I took the boys to Rock Sport for a little rock climbing time since my mom was there anyway with some of her students. Sean is a great climber, full of enthusiasm and gusto, but Ashton is afraid of the rope. Not of climbing (he went higher than he should without a rope on!), just of the rope, and it moving. I spent quite a while explaining and showing him how it works, and that it is his friend since it keeps him from falling. It took him most of the 2 hours we were there to warm up to the rope- I think bouldering without a rope helped him warm up to climbing, and then he didn't do so bad top-roping. I got some good pictures and some great videos of our day.
Here is Sean on top-rope (this was about as far up as he would go):
They have a "balance rope" for you to practice on- Scott is leading Ashton across:
And my mom and Sean take a turn (Scott looks a little glazed here, eh? :)
I also did a little belaying for Scott. I should mention that he works at the climbing gym in Berkeley, and is both a regional and national route setter. He sets more routes himself then some other gyms change their routes in a year. He climbs everyday, and is one talented (and ripped!) man.
We spent quite a bit of time in the bouldering room since the boys didn't like being tied down nearly as much as getting to climb up a short route and jumping on to the crash pad as much as they wanted. I like this succession of Scott and Ashton climbing at the same time, and Scott traversing right over him without so much as a pause.
And on to the videos! The boys always BEG to be swung. This means clipping them in, and then actually getting them off the ground. Basically this means that I have to tighten the rope as much as possible, sit down on the floor to raise up the kid on the other end, and as I stand up, I have to keep the rope (and kid) in place with my left hand as I yank the slack in with my right hand. This used to not be such a big deal, but with an almost 60 lb. child it takes a bit of effort. After doing this once with each of them, I just had Scott lift them up for me instead. :) Thanks Scotty! Here is Sean on the end of the rope- sorry about the shaking. This isn't always the safest thing to do, but how can I deny them when they enjoy it so much?
And Ashton's turn:
Back to the bouldering room. Here is Ashton climbing (quick like a monkey!)
And one final one of Scott. :)
I wish we could go more often- it's addicting, but expensive.