Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Category Archives: Creating a Cragbaby

Tackling issues and obstacles that you might encounter when taking your young folk to the crag.

Creating a Cragbaby – The Toddler Years

Creating a Cragbaby – The Toddler Years

Somehow (overnight it seems) I became the mother of a toddler.  And with that, our crag “issues” have shifted a bit.  No longer am I trying to balance a soft carrier with a baby on the front and a pack full of gear on my back (sigh of relief…).  Instead I’ve got a big boy that’s not quite as big as he thinks he is, who often insists upon hiking in himself, only to discover halfway through that his little legs are, to quote my Maw Maw, “plum wore out.”  He never asks to nurse at the crag anymore, so…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Climbing Rules! …and Regulations

Climbing Rules! …and Regulations

  Recently I was asked about how our family handles Cragbaby’s enthusiastic climbing skills in and around the house – and more specifically, in areas that aren’t safe to practice heel-hooks and fist jams.  In non-climbing families, its probably easiest to implement a few hard and fast rules.  For example – NO CLIMBING.  For obvious reasons that mixed message would cause a lot of confusion in our house.  Though we are definitely learning as we go, here are a few concepts that have proved to be helpful for us – by all means they aren’t gospel, and I am very interested…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Favorite Cragtivities for the Under 2 Set

Favorite Cragtivities for the Under 2 Set

As I said in yesterday’s Sentimental Snapshots post, I’m not so sure that “Cragbaby” is such a good moniker anymore…but that for nostalgia purposes, we’re gonna let it stick as long as he’ll tolerate it.  But regardless of semantics,  our modus operandi at the crag has certainly evolved a good bit from those early weeks with an infant.  Since we’re celebrating moving from baby to big boy phase, I thought it would be fun to have a look back at C’s favorite “cragtivities” from the past 2 years.  Hopefully this stroll down memory lane will provide some good ideas to all the parents of very…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Cragbaby Crushes -”Up the Down”(V0-)

Cragbaby Crushes -”Up the Down”(V0-)

Just because I’m stuck in a boot and restricted to three-limbed toproping doesn’t mean Cragbaby is taking it easy.  In fact,  this past Saturday he’s taken his projecting to a whole new level!  C had been working on the down climb from the free-standing boulder at Inner Peaks off and on for a while now, but at best his motivation could be considered sporadic.  His usual modus operandi was to get a couple of feet off the ground and then announce that he was “All Done.”  He would then go back to his other favorite climbing gym activities – brushing off holds,…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

A Day in the Life – Cragbaby Style!

A Day in the Life – Cragbaby Style!

Probably the most common question I get from non-climbers is, “What does Cragbaby do all day while you guys climb?”  I realized that while I generally give a recap of all of the climbing-related mumbo jumbo the grown-ups do on the weekends, I don’t usually go into much detail about the kind of adventures that Cragbaby gets himself into!  Since we just recently got back from a 4 day trip to Kentucky where C’s personal photographer (not really, but she might as well be!) got some fantastic shots of him and his various “cragtivities,” it only seemed fitting to let…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Making your Cragbaby a good “Car-baby”

Making your Cragbaby a good “Car-baby”

Ah, the family road trip.  There’s nothing like an 8 hour car ride to get your family vacation started on the right foot!  If your climbing family is anything like ours (ie you don’t have an unlimited supply of cash, frequent flyer miles, or world-class climbing in your backyard) you are probably racking up more mileage on your bumper-sticker laden SUV than you’d like to admit.  And all that mileage adds up to a lot of hours in the car together…very close together, maybe even touching, since your tent, camp stove, and climbing pack are taking up the majority of…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Creating a Cragbaby: Camping with Infants Under One is Fun!

Creating a Cragbaby: Camping with Infants Under One is Fun!

Ever since I came up with the idea for the “Creating a Cragbaby” series, I knew I would need to do a post on camping how-to’s since its such a big part of climbing trips, but for some reason or another I never got around to it.  As Cragbaby is getting older, however, I’m realizing that we are fast approaching a different “phase” of camping – helpful tips that worked initially are no longer needed, while we’ve had to find solutions for new situations that never crossed our minds during the early months. So I figured I better go ahead…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Because a Cragbaby’s Gotta Eat…

Because a Cragbaby’s Gotta Eat…

For the first 6 months of his life Cragbaby was on a breastmilk only diet. Food at the crag was easy – as long as he was with Mommy he wouldn’t go hungry!  Even when it came time to introduce solids we were still relying on breastmilk for the bulk of his nutrition, so it wasn’t until around the 9 or 10 month mark that we had to start planning out C’s crag menu along with our own.  Now that Cragbaby is a big boy, we’ve had to devise our own plan for making sure our picky toddler is putting…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Unveiling The Cragbaby Project!

Cragmama

It’s here, its here!  Its finally here!  Those of you that have been reading for a while may remember “The Cragbaby Project.”  After learning about my then-new blog series “Creating a Cragbaby,” our professional photographer-turned-cinematographer friend Jan Balster had wanted to use our family as a lifestyle piece for his portfolio in hopes to attract more video gigs.   He wanted the documentary style film to capture the essence of an adventure-loving family outside doing what they love.  Jan shot footage of us on three different days – bouldering in Asheboro, roping up at Pilot Mountain, and an afternoon interview…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

On Choosing a Crag (Part 2)

On Choosing a Crag (Part 2)

“On Choosing a Crag (Part 1)” discussed some tips for choosing a great crag with a perfect approach.  This is the continuation of that post – applying those ideas to real life scenarios.  The following is a compilation of several baby and kid-friendly climbing areas that our family frequents throughout the Southeast. STARTER CRAGS -  From local jaunts to world-class rock, these areas are great first time crags suitable for the whole family, regardless of age. Pilot Mountain, NC – Certainly not a destination crag, but easy access and short approaches make it a great first-time spot. Sandrock, AL -…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

On Choosing a Crag (Part 1)

On Choosing a Crag (Part 1)

Everyone knows that not all crags are created equal – but the characteristics that make a climbing area perfect depend on what your climbing party is looking for. Who cares about the approach, you might say – don’t you just go where the climbing is good?!? It seems like a no-brainer for most folks…however since Cragbaby came along, we’ve realized that there is more to a great day than just great climbing. Here’s a list of the factors we consider when we are gearing up for a day out on the rocks. Distance – Remember that short little legs tire…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

A Perspective on Risk Assessment

A Perspective on Risk Assessment

“Do you take less risks in climbing now that you’re a mom?”  If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me this since Cragbaby entered on the scene…well let’s face it, I wouldn’t be rich, but I would definitely be able to buy more $4 frappucinnos at Starbucks!  The funny thing is, I never really feel like I have a good answer for this question.  I feel like the “correct” answer is, “Yes, the responsibility of raising a little person has made me less risky of a climber.”  But if I’m being honest, I don’t really think much…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Creating a Cragbaby: Always on “Doo-ty”

Creating a Cragbaby: Always on “Doo-ty”

Everyone knows its an unfortunate fact of life - ”doo” happens.  And it doesn’t stop happening just because you’re out at the crag and its inconvenient.  Spend any length of time outdoors as a family, and sooner or later you’re gonna end up with a diaper explosion that rivals Mt. St. Helens…so you’d better be ready for it!  Read on to learn  the lowdown about dirty dipes in the woods! DISCLAIMER: I should toss it out there that we use cloth diapers.  It’s better for the environment, its better on the wallet, and most importantly, its better for baby’s bottom health. …Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Gettin’ High (off the ground…) With a Little Help from my Friends

Gettin’ High (off the ground…) With a Little Help from my Friends

The old cliche is true – good friends are hard to find.  This is true in life as well as in climbing.  Sure its not hard to find folks that are psyched about getting out climbing – whether they’re the non-committal weather-stalking types waiting for the last minute to decide if conditions are perfect, the cool to hang out with but sketchy on the belay types, the newbie gym climbers trying to bum a free guide service types, or the “fad climbers,” phasing in and out of super gung-ho and wishy-washy.  Those folks are a dime a dozen.  But DEPENDABLE,…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Pilot-Palooza aka Cragbaby: Scene 2

Pilot-Palooza aka Cragbaby: Scene 2

Sunny, highs in the 50′s in February…thats enough to draw a crowd at just about any crag.  We’ve been doing a lot of bouldering recently, but this weekend we decided to rope up at Pilot Mountain.  Incredibly enough, it was the first we’d done any roped climbing since October when we spent several days at the Obed in Tennessee.  Today turned out to be a darn near perfect day - despite how much I enjoy bouldering, I’d forgotten that nothing beats tying into the sharp end of a rope!  We met up with Jan and his wife Crystal in the parking lot. …Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Creating a Cragbaby: In the Gym

Creating a Cragbaby:  In the Gym

In a perfect climber’s fantasy, every day would be sunny with winter highs in the 50′s and summer highs in the 70′s.  Long, pristine multi-pitch, aesthetic sport lines, and world-class bouldering all within a 30 minutes drive.  It would only rain on days that you had previous (indoor) committments and couldn’t climb, and the sun would never set before 9.  Oh yeah, and you’d never have to wait in line for your favorite 4-star lines, even if you overslept.   Sure, it all sounds great, but if your life is anything like mine, sometimes reality goes more like this - You’re an hour away from the nearest…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Lights, Camera…FRICTION!!!

Lights, Camera…FRICTION!!!

  My writing focus these days has been mostly on the Creating a Cragbaby series, so I’ve been a little slack on the trip reports…but a couple of  weekends ago we enjoyed yet another wonderful weather weekend bouldering (and I’m glad we were able to squeeze that in before all the cold and rain set in…)  It was the usual suspects – me, Steve, Canaan, Christie…but this time there was a twist.  Enter Jan Balster, a professional photographer / cinematographer.  We’d worked with Jan before a few years ago as guinea pigs for a promo-shoot at Pilot Mountain.  Well, about a month ago he contacted me…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Creating a Cragbaby: Weather or Not?

Creating a Cragbaby: Weather or Not?

Just picture it – You’ve been climbing hard all morning, and are one run away from sending your summer project.  You’ve got the crux dialed, the draws are already hung, and you’re totally psyched – all you need now is to refuel, hydrate, and depump for a little bit before tackling your redpoint burn.  But just as you sit down with your trail mix and nalgene, the heavens open up.  What?!?  There was only a 10% chance of rain today!  Or picture this – you’ve got Monday off so you made plans to head to the Obed River for a…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Creating a Cragbaby – Sleepytime Solutions

Creating a Cragbaby – Sleepytime Solutions

Taking your baby to the crag for any length of time means that there will be naps involved – for your baby most definitely, and for you…quite possibly after a long day of climbing and hanging out with your little one!  Everyone knows how cranky an overtired baby can be (and how annoying that can be to everyone within earshot…) so before you go off gallavanting around in the mountains, make sure you have a strategy for helping your baby to catch some Zzzz’s.  We found through trial (and error…) several tips for making on-the-go naps in strange places easier…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Creating a Cragbaby – Baby Bouldering Beta

Creating a Cragbaby – Baby Bouldering Beta

  In Rules for the Ropes, I gave some practical tips for how to keep your little cragbaby safe and happy while Mommy and Daddy rope up.  But for those of you that prefer a crashpad and a spotter to some quickdraws and a grigri, this post is for you!  Taking a baby to the boulderfield is much the same as taking him or her to the cliff in many ways, but there are some distinct differences – some pros, and some cons.  This post will discuss how bouldering compares with roped climbing when it comes to having a little…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Creating a Cragbaby – Rules for the Ropes!

Creating a Cragbaby – Rules for the Ropes!

So you’ve taken your family on some local mini-adventures, you’ve got all the right gear, and you’ve got the right perspective – you’re ready to hit the crag for real!  You’ve got a few different options – you could clip some bolts, plug some gear,or break out the crash pad.  And although a lot of the logistics are the same, we have discovered that within different types of climbing there are a few distinct differences with how a baby best fits into the picture.  In order to keep this post fairly concise, I’ve decided to split this section into two posts – this one…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Creating a Cragbaby – Training Days…

Creating a Cragbaby – Training Days…

A mountaineer doesn’t choose Everest for his first alpine climb.  A figure skater doesn’t begin with a triple-axel.  And you can’t expect your sweet bundle of joy to turn into a cragbaby overnight.  You’d better take a few runs on the bunny slope first before tackling the moguls. In the climbing world, the term “approach” is used to refer to the initial hike that one takes to get to the base of the route you are going to climb.  Depending on the climbing area, the approach could be anywhere from a few feet away from your car to a multi-day hike.  Before your…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Creating a Cragbaby…

Creating a Cragbaby…

With a new year upon us, I’ve been inspired to do a little more with my blog.  I’ve decided to start a new series of posts, entitled “Creating a Cragbaby.”  What exactly is a Cragbaby, you might ask?  Well, in the rock climbing world, the “crag” is simply another word for a climbing area.  (Examples:  “Which crag are you guys hitting up this weekend?”  “You’ll never guess who I ran into at the crag last week…”).  And hopefully the term “baby” is pretty self-explanatory…  But to me, a cragbaby can also be a moniker for any little guy (or girl) who doesn’t remember his first…Read the rest of this entry →

Share

Canaan’s Birth Story

Canaan’s Birth Story

This is the story of how Canaan Ray Lineberry entered the world.  On Friday, March 19th, I finished my last day at Chesterbrook Academy, and was ready to enjoy two full weeks off before my due date.  Folks kept asking me what I was going to do with all that time off, and I jokingly would say that there’s no way the little guy was gonna let me have two weeks all to myself.  Steve predicted that I would go into labor at 4:00 Friday afternoon, right when I got off of work.  I was a little more cynical, and…Read the rest of this entry →

Share