14 for 2014 – #1 – Become a registered indoor climber

EICA Ratho, Edinburgh

I’ve got my ’14 for 2014′ up and running by ticking the first challenge off my list !

My 9 year old son and I took a ‘parent and child’ belay course at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena on Sunday which means that I’m now able to take him climbing any time without having to book an instructor.

He really enjoys climbing and would like to go more often if the opportunity was there.  While we’ve been several times now to our two local climbing walls it’s always been with an instructor, which entails advance planning and having to fit around the course timetable.  So it’s great to know we can now go at any time we want.

The course focused on safety and technique – attaching the climbing rope to the harness, using the belay and learning good techniques from the start.  We now need to go back fairly soon since I always forget exactly how to tie the knots correctly !

The Edinburgh International Climbing Arena is an awesome place.  Being Europe’s largest indoor climbing arena it’s just massive, and was built in a disused quarry and given a roof.  It caters for novices through to experts and regularly holds international climbing competitions.  Besides the climbing walls there’s a bouldering area and a separate indoor bouldering room.  This time of year it gets pretty chilly – even with a roof on – but they have a cafe and a climbing shop where you can warm up.  I’m always amazed how many kids and families there are, using the soft play area presumably, so it’s not just for die-hard rock climbers.  Pay a visit if you’re ever in the area.

EICA, Ratho