On Sunday the kids were a little nuts – Leif had been away a couple of days, and he was coming home! But not until later. I needed to get them OUT, but where? We’d already gone swimming, and it was pouring rain outside. And then I said it. I’ve got to get you two out doing something before you start climbing the walls.
We dashed to the car in the pouring rain, and headed on an adventure. Somewhere I’d heard of but never been to.
The Hive Bouldering gym is in my mind the new climbing gym in Vancouver. Maybe it’s not that new. My climbing days were a long time ago, after all. Unlike the ones I used to go to, with ropes and belaying and such, this one is aimed at bouldering. That would be the lower-down stuff, but lower doesn’t mean easier. At all. No ropes needed. No belaying course. Just a quick intro to safety in the gym (like, be aware of where people are climbing, where they’ll land if they fall or jump, and where they might roll to), and how to fall safely. She introduced us to the coding system for the routes. Then we were turned loose to climb walls to our hearts’ content.
We all loved it! I didn’t get to do much climbing because I was a little occupied with supervising two excited kids, but I still got some in. Cameron and Kate had a blast. They’ve got two ‘top-out’ places, where you climb up and over the wall to a surprise hidden behind. There’s a slide down from one! Generally, except for those two places, Cameron didn’t climb very high. He’d climb to where his feet were around my shoulder height, then pop off and crash onto the mat below. Kate, however, soon learned that she could climb to the very top. She even got the hang, to some degree, of the routes. Both of them loved that they didn’t have to wait for the other to finish a climb – as long as I could see them both, and as long as one wasn’t below the other, they were fine. Cameron took a long time to get the hang of down-climbing, but then he overheard an adult talking himself into doing it, clearly spooked. Something clicked, and Cameron no longer had a problem with it.
There were very few safety issues. After all, the mats that carpet the place are so soft that by the end of our time there the kids could hop down from the top, whoop on the way down, roll and they’d be up again, ready to climb. Cameron did forget the no running rule frequently, and also that maybe he should wait his turn. This, I could chalk up to excitement.
We’ll certainly be going back sometime – I could see this becoming a regular activity for us on rainy Sundays. I sure wish they had drop-in kids classes on Sundays. Neither Cameron nor Kate is a fan of formal lessons for things, but Cameron at least learns so much more from total strangers than he does for me. I’m sure they’d have him scampering up in no time flat. Plus, I’d get more time climbing too!