top of page
  • Writer's pictureMiriam Diaz-Gilbert

Climbing Fun At Any Age: Where Youth & Seniors Rock Together

Updated: Jan 18

My granddaughter and my son-in-law climbing to the top.


I first rock climbed in Acadia National Park in 2015. My husband Jon and I climbed South Bubble with our guide. It was a perfect rock face for beginners and an awesome experience. And I was hooked. When an indoor rock climbing gym opened in our town, I headed over, rented climbing shoes and a harness, and learned how to climb walls. I conquered a few. Jon and I became certified belayers.

Climbing to the top of South Bubble overlooking the magnificent view of Jordan Lake - Acadia National Park. Maine.

With new climbing shoes, a harness, and a chalk bag Jon gave me for Christmas, I climbed some more. I learned some basics from the instructors and YouTube videos, including the importance of clipping your fingernails. Along with mental and physical strength, you are going to need hand and finger tip strength to grip on to the rock and the climbing holds on the wall.

Indoor Climbing

Indoor climbing is the perfect cross training activity in the winter when I am training for my next ultramarathon in the spring. Climbing increases my core and upper body strength. I increase arm, shoulder, and neck strength. Climbing is a great tapering activity. It’s good to use and move my muscles, legs, feet, and body in other ways. Climbing helps improve agility, flexibility, balance, and physical strength.

Climbing at Gravity Vault indoor climbing gym.

Indoor climbing is also a good way to prepare for outdoor rock climbing. I was all set to rock climb in New River Gorge National Park. Climbing indoor and outdoor improves physical and mental health, develops core strength, reduces stress, burns a lot of calories, and is great cross training for athletes.

Rock climbing and rappelling in New River Gorge National Park. West Virginia.

Benefits All Ages

Indoor climbing also benefits all ages, My granddaughter celebrated her 7th birthday party with friends and family at an indoor rock climbing gym. She and her friends are fearless climbers.

My granddaughter climbing with her friend.

Indoor rock climbing is a growing sport for competitors and recreational climbers. Both novice and seasoned climbers can enjoy the experience. Indoor climbing is a great indoor exercise option for all no matter the skill level or age. I'm 63 years young. Outside Magazine notes that folks in their 60s and 70s are vibrant climbers. Children who climb develop confidence, improve their hand, foot, and eye coordination, body strength, have fun, and much more.

Climbing with my grandson and granddaughter.

Bouldering with our grandchildren.

If you don't want to climb, you have the option of bouldering which requires no rope or belayer but a lot of arm and upper body strength. Indoor climbing and bouldering is a sport for all generations to enjoy safely. To find an indoor rock climbing gym near you, check out the


Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

I am the author of Come What May, I Want to Run: A Memoir of the Saving Grace of Ultrarunning in Overwhelming Times. You can order the book here from from the publisher, Amazon, Bookshop, or Barnes & Noble.


bottom of page