Me and my wife are planning to do some climbing in the Arapiles (or maybe Grampians) but we have our 8 months baby with us so one of us needs to be on the ground at all time so we are limited to routes where there's an abseil anchor available, or at least a very quick and easy decent path, or strict sport routes (but since we don't climb more than 22-ish I guess those come sparse).
Is that something which is possible in the Arapiles, or should we just enjoy nature and save the climbing for Blue Mountains once we get there (we are from Sweden)?
Short answer is yes.
There are a reasonable number of good routes at Arapiles with lower-offs. There are also a lot of climbs where the first person could set up a lower-off anchor and the second person can scramble down easily or use a nearby abseil anchor. Also a few sport cliffs in The Grampians : The Gallery, The Ravine, Weirs Creek etc
You will need trad gear to set up most anchors - there are some accessible routes but for your purposes you'll be best served by Declaration Crag; Plaque Wall or some of the climbs at the Organ pipes at Arapiles; or Summer Day Valley in the Gramps. That way bub will be easy to watch on a blanket while you belay each other.
Of course the best option will be to make some friends in the Pines and join them where possible! I've been to Araps several times with my little ones and we had the most fun tag-teaming parenting duties. We met with a couple and their bub and it worked very well pairing off like that.
The blue mountains is far more challenging - depending on how mobile your baby is!
You should climb at Arapiles for sure. There's about 100 kid-friendly routes at Arapiles, easier than 22-ish, with lower-off anchors. There'd be at least 200 if you redirect the rope down routes a few metres either side of an anchor. Plus all the crags with easy top-access to trad anchors(dec/plaque/fang/bushranger/mitre/dog/charity/mari/etc). Here's the routes with lower-off anchors:
Wizard of Id 20 Comic Strip Wall
Popeye 21 Comic Strip Wall
Light Fingered 22 Light Fingered Gully
King Rat 18 King Rat
Little Asteroid 18 King Rat **
Little Dinosaur 19 King Rat **
Glory Rodent 22 King Rat
Cruel Consistency 21 Lizard Procrastination
Smile 21 Skydiver Wall
The Other Route 22 Skydiver Wall
Mesa 9 Pilot Error
Daily Planet 18 Pilot Error
I Dunno 21 Pilot Error
Cassandra 18 Flight Deck **
Plimsoll Line. 22 Flight Deck **
Collision Course 22 Atridae
Stentor. 16 Organ Pipes Gully
Frenzy 21 Organ Pipes Gully
Iron Void 22 Organ Pipes Gully
Private Detective 22 Organ Pipes Gully
Didgeridoo 11 Organ Pipes
Hornpiece 13 Organ Pipes
Tremulo 14 Organ Pipes
Dirge 17 Organ Pipes
Aardvark 18 Organ Pipes
Squeakeasy 22 Brick Wall
Dylan 16 Golden Fleece
Nightlinger 20 Golden Fleece
Cecilia 22 Cecilia Wall
Megalomaniac 14 Mari
Electric Warrior 20 Mari
Minstrel 8 Preludes Area
The Curse 17 Preludes Area
Scourge 20 Preludes Area
Dreadnought Variant 22 Dreadnought Gully
Bygone 11 Morfydd
Kinkaid 18 Morfydd
Morfydd 19 Morfydd
Firedance 20 Morfydd
Feral Chicken 22 Morfydd
Oh Bondage 18 Wind Wall **
Scorpion Corner 22 Flinders Lane **
Preservative Added 18 Bluff Major **
Missing Link 18 Bluff Major **
Unrequited 22 Bluff Major **
Falcon 18 Tiger Wall
No Future 21 Tiger Wall
Eat More Meat 22 Tiger Wall
Trapeze 11 Castle Crag
Swinging 17 Castle Crag
Siva 22 Castle Crag
Boomer 15 Grotto Wall
Llareggub 18 Grotto Wall
Toad in the Hole 20 Grotto Wall
Hot August Night 21 Grotto Wall
Factoids 21 Grotto Wall
Linear Transformation 22 New Image
Hidden Secrets 22 New Image
Celeste 16 Pan Grove
Tarantula 19 Rats Alley
Blythe St 21 Rats Alley
Osmond Terrace 21 Rats Alley
Happy Balance 21 Looking Glass
Voodoo p1&2 18 Voodoo Buttress
Wasp 20 Voodoo Buttress
Mothers Son 21 Voodoo Buttress
Chinese Algebra 21 Voodoo Buttress
Garden Gnome 18 Death Row Pinnacle
Virginia 18 Uncle Charlie
Purler 22 Uncle Charlie
West Coast Dogma 14 Opp. Pharos Back Wall
Agent Orange 15 Opp. Pharos Back Wall
Vanoise 20 Opp. Pharos Back Wall
Dazed & Confused 20 Opp. Pharos Back Wall
The British Beat 21 Opp. Pharos Back Wall
Kingdom Come p1 20 Pharos Back Wall
Second Coming p1 22 Pharos Back Wall
Mental Debris p1 21 Pharos SE Face
Spellbinder 17 Pharos Gully
Fly By Night 19 Pharos Gully
White Heat 22 Yesterday Gully Lower
Ephemeral DF 22 Yesterday Gully Lower
Ephemeral 22 Yesterday Gully Lower
In Lemon Butter 22 Yesterday Gully Lower
Blue Hawaii 21 Yesterday Gully Upper **
Yesterday's Chooks 22 Yesterday Gully Upper **
Siamese Crack 15 Kitten Wall
Hendrix 19 Kitten Wall
Footloose & Fancy Free 19 Kitten Wall
Hard Nipples 22 Kitten Wall
Strangers p1 20 Tjuringa Wall
Follow Your Nose 22 Henry Bolte Wall **
A Goats Song 17 Mysteries Gully **
Hurts 18 Kachoong Area
PB 22 PB Gully
Menagerie 8 Hum Terrace
Munchkin 9 Hum Terrace
Hum 16 Hum Terrace
Affinity 16 Hum Terrace
High Sigh 17 Hum Terrace
Down & Out 20 Intrepid Gully
The Viragoes 14 Vandal Area
Entertainer 18 Lower Curtain Wall
Sideshow 19 Lower Curtain Wall
Comic Relief 21 Lower Curtain Wall
Werewolf 19 Werewolf Area
Goodbye 22 Werewolf Area
Morgul Khan 18 North Mitre
Salem 18 North Mitre
** = you'd need a higher tolerance for scrambles with bub / admin.
Awesome. Thanks a lot! Araps it is and I'm bringing the trad kit.
Thanks. We were thinking of bringing a tent and staying at the Pines but I wouldn't want to bother people sleeping in the campsite if he decides to wake up at 3am so I think we'll try to find a place with some (sound proof)walls ;)
We camped over Easter (absolute peak capacity) with our girls when my littlest was 2months and the following year just over 1. My kids sleep great while camping and even if they did stir no one noticed.
If you really feel self-conscious, the gums campground down the hill is more secluded but you will meet less people. (It's all just a giant clearing with a few dirt roads forming borders between the camp grounds)
The Pines is a community atmosphere and everyone will be stoked to see your little one outdoors!
Nice list; but for taking a sub 5yo, you could easily rule out more than half of those routes. (Eg the Bluffs, Yesterday Gully Epper, etc). Was out at Mitre rock today (South, shady side), and quite a number of grade 17-23 routes had accessible lower-offs, super easy access, and plenty of space for young ones to play.
Just be wary of the kids reactions . we had 2 young kids in our group quite happily entertaining us and themselves ,climbing 1m high cliffs etc , half way up the climb I called out to my son he looked up at me , screamed and bolted , he was quickly caught but hurt the catchers feet as the had their boots off, . When he looked up the clouds were coming quickly from the west and he thought that the cliff was falling over and going to squash him so he bolted!!!!
On 26/01/2016 lacto wrote:
>Just be wary of the kids reactions . we had 2 young kids in our group quite
>happily entertaining us and themselves ,climbing 1m high cliffs etc , half
>way up the climb I called out to my son he looked up at me , screamed and
>bolted , he was quickly caught but hurt the catchers feet as the had their
>boots off, . When he looked up the clouds were coming quickly from the
>west and he thought that the cliff was falling over and going to squash
>him so he bolted!!!!
Ahhh kids are so much fun hey?
The OP has an 11month old- so they are going to have to contend with potential separation anxiety - watching mummy disappear up a cliff use to freak my daughter out no end. That and the sudden need to feed when you reach the crux!
Oh and eating dirt...
On 22/01/2016 deadbudgy wrote:
Agreed. I might make that my 2016 hit list
We have been climbing with him outside even since he was 1.5 months (moms last day climbing outside was actually 2 days before giving birth, so he's going to be a real rock baby) and we just came from 2 weeks of climbing at Gran Canaria without any incidents so hopefully he won't freak out now either. But thankfully his "bolting" capabilities are still very limited.