Teen Climbing Joshua Tree

kids climbing classes teach skills and ethics

It’s been a year and a half since we started our kids climbing classes, and we are impressed with the tenacity of these local youths.  Many kids are coming back for class after class,  and now understand the fundamentals of outdoor climbing.   This season we introduced the Teen Climbing Club, which delved more deeply into the subject of rock climbing.  

We run the classes on Fridays from 1-4 pm.   We are vendors for Valiant and Inspire charter schools.  At $40 per class, many local families can now introduce climbing to their kids.  Hiring a climbing guide in the park typically costs $200-$300.

One of the themes we try to reinforce is the concept of Leave No Trace.  We pick up trash when we see it, and we are conscious of not stepping on plants.  

One afternoon the kids noticed a beaten down plant slumped over next to the climb we were on.  Other climbers had probably trampled it.  It was barely alive.  The kids gathered stones and made a circle to protect the little bush.  Then we found some extra water and the kids watered the thirsty plant. Way to go kids!

A proud moment for us and for the parents was when 7, 6, and even 5 year olds climbed 70-80 foot tall climbs on the last day of the fall session.  It was the culmination of a lot of work to learn unnatural techniques while battling fear and survival instincts.  The kids climbed with confidence and grace learned from practicing their skills over the course of many weeks. 

Todd Gordon, legendary local climber, was one of our guides that day.  He said afterward “I’ve never seen such little climbers so knowledgeable about climbing as these kids.  They tie their knots, do safety checks and use the verbal commands as well as a lot of adult climbers!  They really know their stuff!”

The Teen Climbing Club tackled challenges of their own on the last day.  First an 85′ tall 5.10b crack climb.  After succeeding on so many climbs in previous classes, they attacked the challenge.  It tested them all to their limits, and then they lowered off.  Only one climber made it to the top.  Then they rappelled off an 85′ sheer vertical wall.  It was a gut wrenching thrill none of them are likely to forget!

We are totally impressed with this group of youth climbers!  We are super excited to continue working with them and we welcome others to join us!   Kids Climbing Classes and Teen Climbing Club start up again on January 11th. 

If you are interested in reading more about plant restoration in Joshua Tree National Park, please check out this article:  Plant restoration.


Fall 2018 Newsletter

Fall 2018 Newsletter


Yoga and Climbing Clinic

Yoga and Climbing Come Into Balance!

We are very excited to offer our first Yoga and Climbing Clinic this fall!  The dates of the clinic are October 19th-21st.  There are only two spaces left, so act quickly if you want to join in!

Esteemed yoga instructor Brianna Allen will lead the yoga sessions.  Brianna teaches yoga and climbing at Modo Yoga, Cliffs of Id, and other climbing gyms and yoga studios in LA.  We have taken her class and we think she is an amazing yoga teacher! Plus she is a climbing instructor who has put a lot of time researching the connections between the two subjects.

Also instructing the clinic will be Szu-ting Yi, Theresa Walsh, and Erik Kramer-Webb.  Includes 2 nights camping, veggie/vegan/omni food, live music, campfire, and professional instruction.  All yoga and climbing equipment provided at no extra cost.

Student/instructor ratio: 12 students – 4 instructors

Here’s a snapshot of Brianna’s journey into yoga and climbing in her own words:

“It wasn’t until a decade after I began my yoga practice that I learned about rock climbing. During just a short period of time climbing and practicing yoga with climbers, I knew that I wanted to share yoga with them, so I became a teacher. Yoga parallels and compliments climbing. Flexibility, balance, strength, and a clear meditative mind are all shared aspects that draw me just as much to climbing as to yoga. I am so excited that I can combine these two disciplines in one of my favorite places in the world, Joshua Tree National Park, with the knowledgeable, experienced, and cool cats of California Climbing School!”

Kids Climbing is on the Rise!

private rock climbing instruction for youth

Our Kids Climbing Classes in Joshua Tree National Park are filling up!  Check out this link for class dates and times. We are also proud to offer a new Teen Climbing Class and Teen Climbing Club.   We are vendors for Valiant Prep and Inspire Charter Schools.

The Kids Climbing Class is open to kids 5-17 and is held on certain Fridays from 1:00 – 4:00 pm.  Class is $40 which includes rental of shoes, harness, and helmet.

Here’s what a couple kids said after attending a bunch of Kids Climbing Classes last year:

Abby (9): “I like rock climbing because it’s exciting and fun.  I think Mr Erik and Ms. Tee are the best teachers too.”

Izzie (6):  “…I like Ms Tee because she makes me feel safe when I’m climbing and Mr Erik helped me down when I was scared.”

Teen Climbing

Our Teen Climbing Class, on October 5th from 1:00-4:00 pm is a one-day preview of the Teen Climbing Club.  Teen Climbing Club is held once a week over 4 weeks. Teen Climbing Club members will learn climbing skills such as belaying, rappelling, knots, and commands. $160 for 4 classes, 1:00 – 4:00 pm in Indian Cove, Joshua Tree National Park.

Private climbing lessons for youth are available.  Inspire and Valiant voucher funds can be used for private lessons as well as for classes.

  • 3 hour private lesson: $150
  • $100 each for 2 kids
  • $75 each for 3 kids
  • $60 each for 4 kids
  • $55 each for 5 kids
  • $50 each for 6 kids

If more than 6 kids will be climbing, then another guide is required.

New Instructor Profile: Szu-ting Yi

California Climbing School is proud to have Szu-ting Yi, also known as “Ting-ting” as one of our instructors.  Szu-ting does it all when it comes to climbing: alpine, big wall, bouldering, trad, sport, ice, gym, etc. In between doing first ascents on remote big walls in Patagonia and linking nearly all the named summits along the Continental Divide of the Wind River Range in one expedition, she finds time to teach others how to climb and take care of the environments they explore.

A native of Taiwan, Szu-ting is fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese, and Taiwanese..  She and her husband, Dave Anderson, live out of their custom van and they spend a good portion of their time on climbing road trips.

Szu-Ting also runs her own guide service, called LittlePo Adventures, because of a desire to encourage cultural exchanges between the East and West. Based in the United States when she’s not traveling, Szu-Ting understands both cultures, and has organized and guided tours in Western China and the Tibetan Plateau for many years.

The Chalkstones are jamming in Joshua Tree

You may know them as superheroes who rescue climbers just before they take hideous falls.  And you may know them as the founders of the California Climbing School Rock Rescue Crew.

Many have heard tales of Ron the Ropeman rescuing climbers with his special rope, or of Paige the Princess of Pro flying at insane speeds to re-set a tipped-out Camalot before it ripped out of a flaring crack.  Or Zane Zipster speeding upwards of 900 miles an hour to save a tortoise from being run over by a wandering Winnebago.

But did you know that they also play bluegrass?

Continue reading “The Chalkstones are jamming in Joshua Tree”