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Los Angeles - Kids Top-ropes?


Original Post
Eshed Bootel · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 25

I have my own 8 & 11 years old boys and a group of friend's children as well that I'm taking out.

I'm looking for and area with some easy (5.0-5.8) top-rope climbs.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

Don B · · Gardena (South Bay) · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 20

There’s another thread on here that’s a few weeks old that addresses this topic. Some people mentioned that Malibu State Creek has some that fit the bill but I’ve never climbed the routes. 

Point Dume is an option. 

Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 96

Stoney point has a big selection of top roping with easy access to the top outs. Be adept at building anchors. Bring extra webbing. 

Sam Cieply · · Venice, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 20

I agree that Stoney and Point Dume are your best bets. There are also some fun and easy routes at Saddle Peak, and you can walk up to bolts at the top to build anchors.

Eshed Bootel · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 25

Sam,

I was looking into Saddle Peak. Didn't see that you can walk to bolts. That's great! 

Thank you

Sam Cieply · · Venice, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 20

No prob, it is a fun spot for easy climbing! Route 4 1/2 and Richard's Rift are easy/juggy crack systems which would be good for kids, and R.I.P. Arete is a fun 5.6 (the anchors are set back a bit on this one so bring slings or cordalette - rest of the routes can be TR'd with draws I believe). Routes 7 and 8 are fun and easy as well.

Also FYI, it can get a little chilly at the belay, even on a nice day.

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 135

I have not been to Echo, but from what I understand, it helps a lot to know the hike before you head there.

For Malibu, the kids will have to do the traverse to get back to the easier top rope areas, and someone has to lead the routes.  You can walk up and top rope Planet of the Apes Wall before the traverse, but the routes there can be stiff for Newbies.  Also, there is plenty of choss even on the popular routes, so I would make all the kids have helmets if they are hanging near the base of the wall.

The Riverside Quarry has plenty of easier routes, but someone has to lead them.  Access is easy, but please make sure no valuables are visible in the cars, windows do get smashed there.

Josh is always good.  There are plenty of routes that can be top roped easily.  

If it warms up, you can try Keller Peak on the way to Big Bear.

Don B · · Gardena (South Bay) · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 20

Saddle Peak is good in that you can walk up to the bolted anchors but even though it’s easy climbing, I wouldn’t say it would be easy for a newbie kid. Mine are 13, 11, 8 and have climbed a few times in the gym but I think they’d be too scared. You’re kids maybe different. 

Echo Cliffs is the same for the easy routes but it’s about 2 miles of approach with some scrambling. If you’re kids are badasses (unfortunately mine are not) you’d probably be fine on Left Flank and Easy Street. 

Joe Garibay · · Ventura, Ca · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 96
Don B wrote:

Saddle Peak is good in that you can walk up to the bolted anchors but even though it’s easy climbing, I wouldn’t say it would be easy for a newbie kid. Mine are 13, 11, 8 and have climbed a few times in the gym but I think they’d be too scared. You’re kids maybe different. 

Echo Cliffs is the same for the easy routes but it’s about 2 miles of approach with some scrambling. If you’re kids are badasses (unfortunately mine are not) you’d probably be fine on Left Flank and Easy Street. 

Echo isn’t really for beginners. Sketchy rock at times. Steep long routes. No access to top for setting top rope anchors. Long day with long hike. 

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60

Good recommendations.  I'd say the far left side of the Apes Wall, some 5.8ish stuff there, would be pretty deal.  Flat mile walk along the oaks and easy TR set up.  Stoney would be good as well.  Mozart's Wall has several lines of 5.7 or so or throw a rope on Boulder 2. Even just getting back into the canyon at Malibu is fun to putter around if the kids can handle the traverse.  My kids are just a couple years older and they handled it fine.

Eshed Bootel · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 25

The Saddle Peak guide shows some 5.4-5.8 stuff. So if top-roping is as easy as Sam and Don say, sounds like a great option for kids!

Echo - I'm very familiar with and agree with Joe - Not for younger kids. Maybe when they're 16 or older.

Malibu - I took kids as a guide 15 years ago. Left side of the Ape wall is great (easy topropes). The traverse - My kids (and yours) can do it, but will need help at the end (the water crossing part).

Stoney - While I've been there with the boys many times and it does allow for plenty easy bouldering and rappelling practice points - I have all the broken glass and graffiti all over the place. Not the type of nature and "natural environment" I want to share with them. Also - Unless you're there first, Beethoven is almost always taken.

Riverside, Joshua, Big Bear, etc. - Too far for a day trip for kids top-roping. Maybe weekend camping/climbing when they get older & better...?

Don - Your kids ARE fine. It's all about us, not them. How we approach exposing them to climbing and how much we push makes all the difference in there final level of "bad-assness". The biggest fears are always heights and falling, so star easy and small. The shortest, easiest boulders you can find. And even on those, make sure you remind them all they have to do is try. Topping out is NOT required. When they are ready, they will top-out that V0/5 foot boulder. Gyms with comfy mats to fall on are great starters as well. As far as ropes - I've been taking the boys to Top-out gym in Santa Clarita. They have a bunch of easy (5.5-5.8) climbs all with Auto-belays. Auto-belays are great for a couple reasons: They can go as high as they feel comfortable with and come down (and not when WE decide for them if they can come down or not) / They feel like They are in control, which build their of confidence more. So once you get them going there, they will build up their height-comfort level at their own pace and all of the sudden you'll hear them screaming "DAD! Look at me!" from the top while you're on a V3 on the other side of the gym...

Eshed Bootel · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 25

Now, for all you out there with Kids that are climbing or want to get them started - NEW NAMELESS PARK (at least no name on Google maps...)

Go here: https://goo.gl/maps/FRy8XxwDjYC2 and park under the 118 freeway. As you walk (about 50 feet) into this mini-park there area several easy kid-friendly boulders to your right. Good for an hour or so of play.

Then proceed to the large rock (red marker on the map) - Easy access to the top brom both left and right sides. What is it good for you ask? Well:

1. Great rock to teach the kids rappelling. I took them there a few weeks ago and had them go down the North-east corner (easy slab rap), then the North-West corner (vertical wall) and finish on the West side where they were free-hanging most the way. All in a couple of hours! DO NOT!!! use them 2 old, home-made, rusty bolts for anchors. Bring long rope/webbing and surround the rock on top.

2. I since also planted 5 chemical bolts on top for top-ropes. However, we only climbed the North-East slab (rock wrap+1 bolt for anchors). 3 easy kid climbs (still need to clean them a bit). The 2 other bolt sets are for harder over-hanging climbs. I'll need another adult to try them one of these days...

Let me know if anyone have more questions about this place. Once There's a bit more info on it, I'll add it here.

I'll be happy top meet and show you and your kids around on a nice sunny weekend...


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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