Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011


And not just on skis!
@ Solitude Mountain Resort, yesterday.

Please join us at our new site: kidproject.org! We launch tomorrow! You won't want to miss it!
-the Ericksons

Friday, November 11, 2011

We are a movin'!

Well...times are a changing. We decided to purchase our own site and it is nearing completion!  Let the countdown begin, as we launch our new site in 4 more days.  Please join us on our transition!  We are celebrating the move with articles, guest bloggers and giveaways, everyday for two weeks! Keep posted for more details.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Are kids climbing shoes really worth it?

We told our daughter that if she made it to the top of the wall, we'd get her climbing shoes. And so, we very quickly found ourselves trying on shoes. "Are they comfortable?" "Oh Mom, these ones are really great, they look so cute on me," she responds. She is such a girl...

To say we were sceptical on the true usefulness of climbing shoes for young kids might be an understatement. That is why we bought only one pair (with a coupon) and expected the kids to share. Our two, now three year old, has changed our minds though.

Resolute to a fault, our boy refused to climb in anything but his tennis shoes or barefeet. He also isn't so great at finding good foot placements- smearing is his preferred method. So he'd get frustrated, angry that he slipped, and would want to be done with climbing. We saw this over and over. One day we talked him into trying the climbing shoes.  And guess what? They really made a HUGE difference. He could get his toes in small pockets. He could smear to his hearts desire. And mostly, he was having fun again.

So are climbing shoes worth it? Yes.  I'll say it again, YES!

The shoes we bought are $40 at REI- called Mad Rock Mad Monkey Rock Shoes for Kids. They have suede uppers, hook and loop enclosure and can be resoled. (Something this momma is excited about since they will be passed down to the younger sister.) My favorite feature is the Velcro heel strap that can be tightened or loosened for better fit- or in our case, for siblings with different size feet (up to a point).  And don't worry about fitting them too tightly at these young ages. Remember, fun is the name of the game.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Challenge Buttress, Big Cottonwood Canyon, UT

Location: 15 Minutes up Big Cottonwood Canyon, across the road from Storm Mountain Picnic Area.  Park on the side of the road.  Follow trail up the steep washout just east of the glacier gully.

Cost: free

What to expect: 5-10 minute approach, steep at first, then levels out.  The base of most the climbs are safe for kids, giving them room to play, but the thick bushes keep them from wandering very far.  Cool in the mornings, sun on the east side mid-morning, sun on west side in the afternoon.  This area can get very crowded so go in the morning to avoid the crowd.

Routes are mixed, with 5.6s right next to 5.9s and 5.10s.  Our kids did awesome on the easier routes, they were very attainable for them, and we had a great time on the harder routes.  This is definitely a family favorite.

Caution: In the spring keep the kids in hand as high run off leads to raging rivers.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The deal with kids climbing harnesses...

We've gotten a lot of questions regarding kids climbing harnesses. There are two harnesses I would suggest- though I am certain there are many others that are great. Please leave your comments if you've found other great ones. These are the ones we have experience with:

1. Petzl Simba Full Body Harness

 We love this harness.  It comes up over the shoulders for greater support and is useful for younger kids that do not have defined hips for a waist to grab on to.  Leg loops and shoulder straps are fully adjustable- according to Petzl, can be used up to 88 lbs.  We adjust this harness down for our 18 month old and back up for our 3 and 5 yr. old with plenty of room to spare.

2. Petzl Alpine Harness
We do not yet own one of these, but our 5 yr. old has climbed in one a few times at the gym, and it is on our list to buy next.  Alpine harnesses are light weight, usually less comfortable for adults, but fully adjustable.  Meaning we could adjust all the loops down for our kids while a small adult would be able to wear it as well.  This is a great harness if you want it to fit for a long time or a variety of people.