Wild Family Fun

Tales of living, working and enjoying life in the outdoors


Climbing At The Cardiff International White Water Centre.

Cardiff International White Water Centre have recently added a new outdoor climbing tower, to complement the multitude of various outdoor activities that take place at the centre. As I supply support services at the centre, I was lucky enough to be included onto the taster session that they were running, in order to try out the tower with adults and children from the public.

My daughter loves climbing, and has tried out a few different places in Cardiff. The idea of climbing outside on a sunny afternoon was really exciting for her, and she couldn’t wait to have try. We joined six other volunteers, suited-up in our harnesses, and were off to the tower we went to test our climbing skills and have some fun.

After going through the safety talk, we were partnered-up and tried a bit of bouldering, so that everybody could get used to the wall and become familiar with the different holds and techniques required. The partners were encouraged to be spotters, and made sure everyone was safe in case of a fall off the wall.

It was then time for climbing.

My daughter jumped at the chance of being first, and quickly got ready with the ropes to be the first one to climb the wall. It was good that her partners belayed while she climbed, which meant that everyone was involved in the activity, and no-one was standing around. The instructors and volunteers all gave encouragement and help by shouting positive messages of encouragement, and spotting routes and holds that my daughter could reach.

climbingtower

She soon got to the top.

There were a few tricky bits, but she was able to swap feet to get to better holds, and began to stretch to reach further with each climb. It was great that everyone got involved as, in some climbing sessions, the focus of attention can be only on the climber. By having the group involved with the belaying and applying the safety elements of climbing, it meant that everyone had a role and everyone supported each other in achieving their climbs to the top.

climbingtower1

Picking a route, and going for the top!

We all had four or five climbs each, which was enough for us, as arms and legs started getting a little tired. In total, the session lasted about an hour and a half, which is the usual duration of the session when it’s open to the public. I really think that’s plenty long enough, especially for children, as we all finished on a positive note without too much stress on our limbs, and the climbing becoming “top-hard” because we weren’t becoming too fatigued.

A climbing session of an hour and a half will cost £15 per person. I think it would be a great treat for a birthday party, as everyone is involved and the tower has climbs for all abilities. I find if my daughter really enjoys an outdoor activity, then a treat like this where she is outside, taking part in a physical activity and having fun can be worth the price once in a while.

With the added bonus of being outdoors in the fresh air, (and right next to the rushing water events), it’s a climbing activity that my daughter wants to do again soon. Now that Summer’s on the way, this is sure to get us outside and enjoying loads of family fun!

Further details on some amazing outdoor activities and adventures Cardiff International White Water Centre offer can be found: www.ciww.com

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Adventures when the winter weather sets in.

My daughter has had a few sessions at a local indoor climbing centre and every time she has always come away wanting to book in another session, so as the cold weather sets in, indoor climbing is a great way of getting children active and engaged with a really fun and adventurous activity.

Recently we met a few friends at Boulder to give the girls an active Sunday morning of climbing. The girls had a go at the practice wall, trying to move around the corner without falling off and then we played some good team games where they had to work together to balance on the wall and start thinking about hand holds and the shapes of their bodies.

climbing1

After the warm up and a quick drink, they were ready to hit the wall. The girls were great in waiting turns, helping and encouraging each other with where to go and always giving each other high fives and confidence boosts when someone would complete their climb. It was lovely to see and us Mums didn’t have to encourage this, we all agreed how naturally it came from the girls.

They tried different walls and challenges and never gave up, always trying to reach a bit higher each time. They also had challenges of tieing themselves into their harnesses and remembering their ‘figure of eight knot’, all useful skills for future climbing sessions.

climbing2

The best thing however wasn’t how high they climbed or the quickest climb but was how the girls acted with each other. It was a brilliant team activity and normally that doesn’t happen in a climbing session as climbing can be a bit of an individual activity or sport. The girls {and Mums} had a lovely time and we’re currently thinking of starting our own climbing club with hoodies and motivating mottos!

So when the weather makes it hard for our usual outdoor adventures indoor climbing is a great way to introduce elements of risk taking, exercise, team work, confidence building and best of all fun!

climbing3

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 



Learning for Life