"I want to climb!"
"We'll see," I told her, but I thought it was very unlikely for her to climb at her age.
So we watched some other kids climb, explored the store, tried on the bike helmets, and then made our way back over to the wall.
"Now, can I climb?"
Her persistence up to this point led me to at least ask the guy about the minimum age- which there was none.
"OK, Lily, are you sure you want to do this?"
We went and found Josh, who had just spent a small fortune in travel necessities, filled out the waiver, and got in line. Lily, still excited, was watching a four year old girl who had gotten a few feet off the ground. We struck up conversation with her dad who said that she'd climbed several times before- her first one being at Lily's age (almost 3). This gave me a little more hope for Lily, but honestly, I thought for sure she'd get up there, get bashful and shy away. Well, Lily's time came to prove me wrong. She stepped into that harness without the slightest hint of timidity. Luke and I found a rock to sit on, while Josh helped Lily get started.
I was thinking, "OK, she'll hang there for a few moments, try to grab a few rocks, and come back down." But up she went! Josh coached her as to which rocks to grab, and she followed his instruction making it over half way up the wall! I was shocked! She was a natural! Not the least bit intimidated. Twice she lost her footing and dangled for a moment but was able to swing her self around and continue upward. The guide who was belaying her (is that how you say it?) said he had never seen someone her age so comfortable climbing- especially able to get back on the wall after losing their footing.
By this point, lots of fellow shoppers were gathering around to see this little half pint in action. Josh and I were so proud! She came down like a champ and would have done it again if we'd let her! Josh's parents have told us that he was quite a climber as a toddler so maybe it's in her genes. Good thing we got the REI membership and can climb free, cause I'm sure she'll be asking to go back again!