Earth Treks

Are you tired of your kids climbing up the walls at home?  There’s a solution that will make everyone happy.  Earth Treks is a huge space dedicated just to climbing the walls, intentionally, and with plenty of footholds.

Rockville Earth TreksThere are seemingly endless climbing walls at Earth Treks, ranging from some that have climbers climbing nearly upside-down to vertical walls that are easier to navigate.  There are a couple of options to choose from when deciding where to climb based upon age and skill level.

Most first-timers will choose a weekend Open Climb, which is the option we chose on a recent visit.  For this type of climb, a staff member accompanies the climber to dedicated Open Climb walls.  These walls are considered “beginner friendly” as the foot and hand holds are relatively close together and the walls are the most vertical and easiest to climb.  The climber is placed in a secure harness and attached to the staff member by a rope.  Climbers then have three opportunities to climb the wall, with the choice of staying on the same wall for all three climbs (which can help build confidence) or changing walls (for variety).

The Open Climb is recommended for children six and up, but is available to anyone 33 pounds and over.  My 3.5 year old just made the right cut-off and had a great time.  She was able to reach the holds without a problem and on one attempt even made it higher than her 6 year old brother, who also climbed.  If you want to give your kids an idea of what to expect before, you may want to take a walk around the facility first so that your kids can watch others climbing and coming down.  There is also a shorter wall towards that back that kids can climb without a harness.   The staff will allow your child to climb a few feet in a harness and practice coming down before they attempt a full climb to get used to being in the harness, to get a feel for what it is like coming down, and to give a sense of security.  Keep in mind that only one staff person is assigned to each family/group so siblings/friends/parents will not be able to climb next to each other but will take consecutive turns.  Open climbs cost $25.00 per person and include all equipment.

A second option for more serious climbers is to attend a three-hour training class which qualifies you to climb unsupervised.  Anyone 13 and up can take these classes.  Parents who take the class can then spot their children while climbing.  There are also classes for children six and up to learn more about climbing.  For children who love to climb,  a variety of classes and camps are also available starting at age six and up.   If you opt to become qualified to climb on your own you will need to rent or purchase climbing equipment.  Day passes are $22.00 with a variety of packages available.

Enjoy your climb!

Photo by Jamie Davis Smith.

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OK Editorial Team

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