Our family vacation took us to Rumney for three great climbing days. We arrived on Wednesday and set up camp at Baker River Campground. The campground alone was worth the trip, as we walked out of the back of our site and into a beach area and the river, a child’s paradise! Between the buckets and shovels, the tubes we had purchased for $4 at Pawtuckaway, and the random stick found by our kids, the beach and river were a wonderful playground.
After a brief break to set up camp and play at the beach, we decided to take a drive to the climbing area and come up with a plan for the next day. We’ve found that “getting there” (to a kid-friendly climbing area with the kids in tow) can be an all day affair. To avoid hiking around aimlessly with the kids (and wasting valuable climbing time), we try to do a lot of preliminary research and some scouting of areas ahead of time, so as to cut back on the energy and time spent exploring rather than climbing. In this case, it worked out perfectly, as we found that the hike up to the Parking Lot Wall area and the Meadows was do able (and close enough to the truck and the bathrooms for going back for food and/or adult bathroom breaks sans kids). Once we checked out the Parking Lot Wall (not flat enough for the kids to hang out), we moved to the Meadows. Jackpot! This had a great flat area away from the climbing (so as not to bother others) and some routes that we were excited to get on.
The best part of the Meadows is the slab that faces the main wall. It is perfect for sitting atop and body belaying young kids. They climbed more than ever before, due to this great feature!
Note to parents: When picking an area in which to climb, many parents try to pick an area based on what they want to climb. For us (and with our small kids), we try to pick an area that is safe for the kids, and then find something to climb in that area. When asking others for advice on where to climb with kids, be sure to clarify your priorities.
- Do you need someplace for the kids to climb?
- Do you want someplace safe for them to play?
- Do you want to find an easy approach?
- What ratings/routes you prefer?
In this case, the Meadows fit the bill for someplace safe with an easy approach. Bonus, there was fun stuff for the kids to do/climb, too!
Check back for more on the Meadows and the rest of our Rumney adventure!