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General Climbing Discussion

Good climbing suggestions for kids aged 4-10

7:32:52 PM
Hi all, I'm after some good climbing suggestions for young kids. We are located in Tumbarumba, north-east of Albury, so looking for weekend trips between bluies and cathedrals. We've been on a climbing hiatus since having kids, given they don't mix well with cliffs. Best case they just end up whinging about standing around for too long or walking too far. But lately the eldest (nearly 6) has been talking about wanting to go again. At this age, I find they can climb around what I would call a 3 or 4, but realistically the best walls for kids aren't in guide books, probably because kids grow up faster than you could put a guide together. Good kids crags/climbs would have the following features: Low angle slabs, good line of sight, limited foliage, safe access.

Please let me know if you have any ideas or experience.

8:12:23 AM
A lot of the climbing around your area is limited in scope and ‘trad’ based, but there’s plenty of variety amongst it and a pleasant day can be had if you’re prepared to invest the time at more obscure locations and set up top-ropes for the kids on harder (for them) climbs, or lead potentially scrappy short climbs.

Places worth a go include;
Corryong (an escarpment on the hill to west of the town).
The Rock (north end - plenty of kid friendly stuff plus some harder climbing for yourselves).
Mt Pilot (near Beechworth - some easy kid stuff, but generally a tad harder than the above locations due being smoother granite. Many climbs have lower-offs installed).
Stanley (south of Mt Stanley summit - short isolated climbs and nowhere near as compact as Mt Pilot).
Mt Buffalo (a magic place and quite spread out, but has quite a few kid / family friendly climbs, though some take some searching out if not attending with someone who has local knowledge).

The pick of those places is Mt Buffalo, Mt Pilot and The Rock.
There are other locations but they are much more obscure and less well documented.

7:57:05 AM
Thanks M9, they are some good suggestions in there, we've looked at most of them before. We have no problems with trad, and creativity. As you know, most of our "Local" crags require plenty of both.

I believe you are referring to Mt Mitta Mitta northwest of Corryong. We have been there a couple of times, but since the fires in 2020, the area had become overgrown and impassable, particularly with kids. The towers (north end of The Rock) is closed to climbing July to December for peregrine nesting season, I haven't climbed the other areas, would they be worth a visit with kids? Mt Pilot is on our list to visit again, I cant recall and easy (<10) slabbing, so we may have to hunt around a bit, unless you have any suggestions.

We are seasoned Mt buffalo climbers (we spent several years climbing with a bower bird). But the guide doesn't cover kid friendly climbs. We've spent a day on the slabs under the monolith, a day at Catani crags. and mucked about on the campsite boulders. do you have any specific suggestions at buffalo?

11:07:29 AM
I can't think of any part of Pilot that I would recommend for young kids, even with a top rope - similar to Buffalo, there just aren't enough holds. The only thing that I can think of aside from The Rock is the main summit of Mt Stanley. The cliff is only 6m or so but from memory (and it was a long time ago that I went there) there were plenty of holds. However it's also quite possible that my memory is flawed and you go all the way there and decide it's crap (although it is worth a visit anyway and there's plenty of non-climbing stuff to do in the area).
This part of the world is just really unfriendly for kids (climbing-wise).

11:56:34 AM
While I don't know the Albury area at all from a climbing perspective, I did climb with my kids when they were little, and I'd really encourage trying to find cliffs with lots of holds, even if that means something a little steeper. I dragged my kids up some granite slabs when they were little, and every blank section (even on super low angled stuff) tended to generate a lot of whining and fear, which made it harder to get them back out again. I quickly worked out I needed to make these outings fun first, and "real climbing" second (or third, or fourth, or ...), since that's what made them more willing to climb again in the future.

My kids also had a lot of fun just swinging around on the rope, which is easier / safer on steeper terrain. Sometimes I rigged a top rope over an unclimbable roof, specifically to make this kind of thing better (even though it was useless from a "real climbing" perspective).

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