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5 Reasons Climbing is a Great Sport for Kids

5 Reasons Climbing is a Great Sport for Kids

Reading Time: 2 minutes

We all love climbing for different reasons. Some enjoy being outside, some the challenge and others prefer more solitary sports vs. team ones. Whatever the reason, it’s a particularly great sport for children. Why?

1. It promotes individual accomplishment vs. relative win

Team sports are quite popular, especially in the United States. However, they are not for everyone and many children who prefer smaller groups get the impression they are “not good at sports” when the reality is, they haven’t found something that suits their personality. It took me over 30 years to realize this!

Climbing is an excellent all-round sport for those who prefer small groups and individual activity.

2. It’s a full body workout

Unlike sports which focus on the same muscle groups or the same movement over and over, climbing is very dynamic. While certain groups are used more than others, it requires a wide range of movement, general strength and stamina.

3. Kids are just natural monkeys (climbers) anyway!

We all know this intuitively. Children are just drawn to climbing on things from furniture to trees and rocks. In many ways, it’s a far more natural sport than things like football or baseball and only a small “leap” in terms of new activity. Also far less rules to remember!

4. Climbing helps you overcome fear and improve yourself

Unless you’re lucky enough to be born without fear of heights, climbing is a great method to overcome many fears at once. This includes not just heights, but self-doubt and fear of taking risks. Best of all, your accomplishment is 100% your own. Nobody else gets you up a route but you.

5. Climbing teaches trust

Growing up, learning to trust others can be difficult. When climbing, you must learn to intuitively judge whether you can trust others with your life. You can get injured in soccer, but if you’re belayer messed up, that may be it for you. Learning to climb involves learning good judgement regarding very serious choices.

For another take on reasons to go climbing, check out The Adventure Lab or Backwood’s Mama’s guide to climbing with kids.

Another Climbing Meetup at Klettergarten Stetten

Another Climbing Meetup at Klettergarten Stetten

Reading Time: 1 minute

My meetup group headed outdoors again, this time to Klettergarten Stetten since it’s near and low commitment. The weather was uncertain until the end but luckily it stayed dry. We climbed for about three hours and mostly had the place to ourselves. The fall weather was fantastic with a bit of sun and decent temps allowing us to shed our morning jackets.

We climbed and/or tried:

  • Rampe (3-)
  • Die Kante (6-)
  • Z-Riss (7+)
  • Linke Kante (6+)
  • Rieselriss (6-)
Crag Info: Wiesfels in the Uracher Alb

Crag Info: Wiesfels in the Uracher Alb

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Wiesfels is the idea crag for those new to the Swabian Jura (Schwaebische Alb). It has an easy approach, nearly 50 routes of all grades and you can walk off making life easy. It’s family friendly and a great place to do some grilling afterwards or even sleep in the field (no tents allowed). Its popularity means it can be busy on weekends and in good weather but if you’re able to climb 6s and 7s, you’ll still have plenty of options.

Wiesfels Overvew:

  • Routes: 45
  • Grades: Easy: 18 | Moderate: 25 | Hard: 4
  • Rock: Limestone
  • Approach: 15 minutes, car to crag on an even well maintained path
  • Guidebook: Uracher Alb
  • Family friendly: Yes! It’s a great spot for families.

Getting there & Approach:

Wiesfels is a pretty easy drive from Stuttgart towards Bad Urach, about 40 minutes on average. Head towards St. Johann and at the horse farm (Gestuetshof), take the next left and head towards the little tower and parking lot. From there, head straight into the woods. Start by following the sign for “Gruener Fels” – it’ll be about a 12 to 15 minute walk on a well maintained path. Gets a bit bumpy at the end (if you’ve got a stroller or cart) and ends in a big meadow. Wiesfels is on the left.

Wiesfels Routes & Grades:

The crag sports about 45 bolted climbs though some can benefit from gear. It doesn’t hurt to bring some nuts or a few cams if you’re going to climb anything about the really easy stuff.  The rock is all your typical Schwaebische Alb limestone which can be slick and chossy at times. But overall it’s a good crag that’s easy to walk to and with the option to walk off.

It’s a great family crag with the big meadow and it also boasts a long line of really short climbs for kids to learn. Nevertheless, there’s something for everyone with as many moderates (UIAA 6 to 7) as easy (UIAA 1-5). If you’re in the region, this is a good crag to hit at least once.

Popular Climbs:

  • Verscheidung – (UIAA 3+) An easy warm up dihedral route
  • Tellriss – (UIAA 7) Super cool crack that (sadly) has new bolts
  • Regenbogen – (UIAA 6) A double crack system with a really fun finish