Monday, January 29, 2018

High Point Climbing

Shortly after we moved to Chattanooga, a new climbing gym opened downtown. They have a climbing wall over the street with a view of the city and the Aquarium. It is a place that has been on our list of things we would like to do, but the timing to go never seemed quite right.

It turns out that one of the perks of homeschooling is that local places occasionally have "Homeschool Days" with reduced prices. When I saw that one of those days was going to occur in January, I made sure to put it on our family calendar.

As a homeschooler, the cost for climbing was half off with free gear rental. Jack has his own harness, but we were able to get shoes for free. Likewise we decided to pay for Isaac to climb and try the gear available at the gym.

We planned on getting to the gym as early as possible to take advantage of the day. We arrived a little after 10:30. Adults were regular price, but Daniel and I have our own harnesses so we saved part of the gear rental price.

It has been quite a while since we have climbed so we weren't sure how long we would feel like staying at the gym (climbing can be quite tiring, especially when you don't do it regularly).

Several of our friends that homeschool were also able to meet up with us, Jack was excited to climb with friends, but quite honestly he was in climbing heaven and would have been fine without friends there.

Jack is not particularly athletic when it comes to team sports. He loves participating as part of a team, mostly for the social aspect. But the individual sports like running, hiking, paddling, and climbing seem to be his jam. Since those are the things that Daniel and I love too, this isn't too much of a surprise!

It took me awhile to get used to climbing with an Auto Belay. I had never done that before and it was really awkward at first to let go of the wall to come down because of the lack of tension. Thankfully I figured out it was easiest just to push off the wall and jump without overthinking it. Once I got used to it, I really enjoyed trying to race Jack up the walls.

We climbed with our friends all morning before taking a break at 1:30 to walk next door to Mellow Mushroom to fill up on pizza. On our walk there, we were serenaded by a man playing music outside the doors. He was really sweet to our boys and chatted them up and sang some kid-specific songs.

After lunch we headed back to climb.

Jack wanted to show me his climbing skills in the pit (the tallest climbs in this gym), and then we headed outside to climb on the wall over the street.

Daniel climbed all the way to the top of the outdoor wall and the boys both gave it a try. I skipped this wall because I was busy trying to keep up with Isaac who wanted to just run circles around me.

When it started to get crowded, we went back inside and I tried one of the walls in the pit. I made it about three quarters of the way up before coming down. After two attempts, my arms were pretty much jello and done with climbing for the day.

That was for the best because Isaac was starting to fall apart byt this time. He wasn't a huge fan of being clipped into the ropes and he needed a lot of supervision with bouldering. He loves to climb everything at home, so we were a bit surprised that he didn't like it more.

Initially we could tell that Jack was nervous trying the various climbs, but after several attempts, he found his groove and climbed and climbed and climbed. He got to where he was comfortable running up the building columns (see video below) and Daniel even clipped him in on his back so that he could jump off the tallest column face first!

Jack really amazed us with his strength and skill. I left with Isaac around 3pm and Daniel and Jack stayed on until 7pm. Jack wanted to stay until closing at 10pm, but Daniel was running out of steam and persuaded him that 8 hours of climbing was plenty. Jack is officially hooked and ready for us to buy a membership. We wish it wasn't so expensive. We will definitely be back, it's just not an every week kind of thing for us.

High Point in downtown Chattanooga offers a great Kid Zone with lots of fun climbs, as well as bigger climbs in the front part of the gym, and great bouldering walls. In addition there is the outdoor walls and pit with longer climbs.

Here is a link to pricing and a waiver form, if this is something you are interested. If you are local, keep an eye out for specials and coupons and take advantage of those!

If you've been following along, here are our previous Friend Friday adventures this school year:
August: Coolidge Park
September: Creative Discovery MuseumGreenway Farms PicnicChattanooga ZooBig Soddy Gulf
October: Reflection Riding Center (Monday Friend Day) ⎮ Charlotte's Web
November: Creative Discovery MuseumPioneer Days at Audobon Acres
December: Christmas Cookie Party ⎮ Christmas Cookie and Bird Ornament Party
January: Creative Discovery Museum

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