It’s May in Colorado, G is 6 months old, it’s time he went rock climbing! We took the family up to Duncan’s Ridge, a little top roping area just west of town, for our first climbing outing with baby. I told Mark on the drive over that I was really nervous. Not about the rock climbing, but because our success or failure on this day would set the tone for future outings with G. Would he be easy or difficult? Would he nap or scream? Would we climb at all?
We timed the outing to correspond with G’s afternoon nap. Mark carried all of our climbing gear in his big backpack. I carried G up to the crag in his hiking backpack, with all of his diaper bag paraphernalia in the storage compartment and a Pea Pod clipped to the back. The approach was relatively short, but our time off showed, and both Mark and I were gasping for air on the march up the hill. The short 3rd/4th class downclimb to the base of the rocks was a little scary with the baby in the backpack, but Mark spotted us well, and everybody made it down safely.
Once we were down, Mark went up to set up the ropes, and I bounced G around for about 5 minutes until he fell asleep. We popped him in the Pea Pod, and he slept happily, outside, in the breeze, with climbers all around for about an hour. Happy baby!
Doug and Liz showed up a bit later, and we all had a chance to climb two easy and fun routes: Corner Climb (5.7) and Conglomerate Face (5.8). I know that I’ve climbed both of these, probably several times, before. But on this trip, the rock felt new and harsh on my weak, pink hands. The crack seemed steep, and the face seemed a bit tricky. Still, I loved every second of both climbs. It felt sooooo good to be outside with my boys and my friends!
In the late afternoon, we hung around the rock and enjoyed the sun. Mark gave G a bottle to calm him, then we packed up and hiked home. It was a wonderful, VERY successful day that absolutely sets the tone for future outings!