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Apart from Dancing Ledge, I haven't checked on any of the other crags mentioned, so apologies if they're not suitable.Top
Swanage and the Isle of Portland in general has some lovely scenery and superb climbing, but much of it is on sea cliffs, and as such have a high potential risk for young children. Beware!
A link to Ian West's excellent page showing lots of detail about the area and geology. Thanks Ian for such a great resource!Dancing Ledge
(Many thanks to Mike Swann for these excellent photo-topos)
Dancing Ledge novice climbs | Where is it?
Useful photo-topo of easier climbs on the delightful Dancing Ledge, Swanage, Dorset. All images ©Mike Swann 2003.
Parents/adults should spot children carefully - uneven landing area - can result in injuries.
I've seen an adult climber break his ankle here from a short fall - not pretty and needed a helicopter lift.
Burbage - Low grade gritstone
The following with thanks to Nige Mountney in the UKClimbing forums:For very young kids (2 - 4 yrs):
Burbage South boulders - especially the slabs with bullet marks, the best being the obvious one 30 m from the Cobra, the one immediately adjacent to the path just down slope from the Cobra and the slab on the Sheep (rope recommended for all these).Proper routes for kids of 4+ years:
Burbage North - between Remergence area and Ash Tree Wall area there is a very good large slabby triangular boulder 20 m from the path. This has 3-4 great routes for young kids (rope needed).
Cratcliffe top boulders.
Windgather - This is the best crag for young kids in the Peak. There are plenty of slabby Mods and Diffs and High Butress Arete is great once they start to get into it. Plenty of closely spaced holds for them to grab. The quarry at the north end is also good and quieter for practice and gaining confidence.
Harborough Rocks - Loads of positive, closley spaced holds, though a bit steep for small kids.
Stanage - routes just to the left of Twin Towers all about 7-8 m and slabby with fairly closely spaced breaks (P143-P144 in current BMC Stange guide, not in PGE).
Bamford - Gun Buttress area - loads of easy wrinked slabs with closely spaced holds.
Birchens - OK but many of the starts are undercut and too tricky for small kids.
Chee Dale - Embankment slabs (next to the Embankment)- long but easy gritstone slabs with bolts/stakes at the top to set up easy top ropes - make sure the kids are confident about lowering off before they get too high.
A couple of other good choices for easy children's climbs in the Peak are the 10 m chipped slab at Robin Hood's Stride (fairly obvious, near the problem Sweet Thing, about 30 m right of the popular problems in the cave) and a large slab at Burbage South that is covered in large, deep 5-10 cm diameter holes (lies immediately down the slope below Goliath and adjacent to the good path that runs between the quarries and the popular boulder circuit). The arete on this boulder would be good too, though is a bit harder.
Black Crag (Wrynose)
Thanks to Graham D on UK Climbing Forum for this:
"Can I offer you Black Crag in the lakes as a superb kids easy venue? As well as the guidebook routes (VDiff and up) there is a a brilliant clean easy angled slab to the right of the described routes; maybe 15m or so and very featured - ideal for first time on rock. Big boulders on top to attach ropes to and an easy walk off".
Andy Giles offers the following:
"I can only comment on South Lakes but starting in Eskdale next to the ratty railway.
Diamond Crag - behind O.B. Eskdale. Superb bouldering and also child friendly crag. Small only 25ft excellent rock, bolted at top but also nut placements. 4 or 5 routes Diff - H.Severe.
5 min further uphill Burnt crag also single slab but technical and rock boots advisable but some wonderful routes from 4a - 5a.
Brantrake - 10 min walk in - 3 crags grades V. Diff to E4 . Top crag best for kids, single pitch although does have a ledge half way. Good rock lovely views.
Wrynose Pass - Three Shires Stone
Black Crag & Long Scar - 30 mins walk in. Excellent rock but for the older child. Superb camping on top of black crag but need good weather due to exposure. South facing, Rhyolite rock, fast drying superb for single pitch but really good for adults and those wanting to lead."
Andy Giles - father of 4 kids 2 - 8 yrs (thanks Andy!)
Brimham Rocks crag (West Yorkshire)
Plenty of climbs in the lower grades. With thanks to Tony Little who says "Brimham should be in there! it's like an adventure playground, whether they get much climbing done or not my kids always enjoy exploring there."
The easiest, and best place by far to take babies/toddlers climbing must be Fontainebleau, France. Although we have only done it once, it truly is the perfect location.
Beautiful beaches, limestone climbing right by the beach, little to no crowds, perfect weather, cheap accommodations, and great food. This place was awesome!
Arco is beautiful, and perfect for anyone who loves climbing, biking, wind surfing, or simply seeing a beautiful part of Italy. And best of all, it is a great area to travel with kids.
Finding kid-friendly routes is easy using the super cool RockFax database:
Climbing with Kids site (thanks to Offwidth again!)
This web site offers information on suitable venues to climb with children in England and Wales.
With much thanks to all who offered their valuable contributions to this list.
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14 Oct 2015
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28 Dec 2013
9 year old boy climbs tallest peak in the Americas!
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