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Rock Climbing With Children

Rock Climbing With a Toddler on Your Back: Kid Friendly or Are You Kidding Me?

For Menna Pritchard, rock climbing, hiking, and surfing are a way of life —and she isn't going to let a lil thing like a baby get in her way of a great adventure. The single mama is at the center of a storm of controversy since turning to Facebook to post a photo of herself rock-climbing with her daughter Ffion, 2, strapped to her back. In the image, mama Menna is wearing a helmet for protection, but lil Ffion is not. When fellow moms questioned her decision, she told the BBC:

The route I was climbing with Ffion [at Three Cliffs], there was no risk of any rock fall. I knew 100 percent it was safe. The person below me was very competent, I had a mountain climbing instructor there too and I'm pretty confident of my own competence. I was top-roping (which prevents a climber from falling down the cliff surface), which is very safe.

The babywearing advocate spends a significant amount of time blogging on her personal blog, Per Ardua Ad Alta, about her adventures, many of which include having her daughter riding on her back.

What do you think?

Source: Per Ardua Ad Alta

Gingo Gingo 5 years
As an experienced climber of 12+ yrs, an instructor for the past 8, and a father of 3,  I can say that none of you have a clue of what you are talking about. You are worried about a helmet (in the situation described and in the photo, the helmet is overkill) or falling (the belayer is keeping her tight and would fall inches, not feet). The number of things I have to worry about for my kids in climbing situations is astronomically less than what I have to worry about when I get on the road with them in the car. Just think about the number of variables that are out of your control each and every time you drive your kids somewhere. You cant even keep the environment in your car in your control.   You all may want to check out this woman's blog. Read her explanation for yourself. It answers some of your questions. Though for some of you, it wont matter, in that case, I hope you keep your kids in a bubble, never exposing them from anything. In this situation, the risk was low (in the grand scheme of things) but the reward for her and her daughter were very high.
kmckay kmckay 5 years
hmmm no risk, huh? there's no risk but you feel as though you need a helmet. you need a helmet and your defenseless daughter does not . makes 100% sense.
amber512 amber512 5 years
@gigimama Exactly what I was thinking!
gigimama gigimama 5 years
Why does she get a helmet and her baby doesn't?
miss-leanne miss-leanne 5 years
No freaking way!! I've been rock climbing 100xs before and have seen the most experienced people slip up and fall a few feet. It's a huge possibility that she could lose control and slam her back (the toddler) and all of her body weight into the rock wall. This seems terribly irresponsible.
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