The Schoolroom is a great destination for climbing with kids. Honestly, one of the best. There are climbs for kids, beginners and adults. The landing is perfect, and it is easy to get to. It can get busy here, but every time I have come to this area, there are always climbs available. If you have kids and want to get them on a wall, this area should be at the top of your list.
The Schoolroom has routes for kids, beginners, and intermediate climbers. Here is a beautiful graph showing what climbs are available:
We aren’t interested in duplicating effort, so you can find information about this area at…
Maple Canyon Guide book Pg. 146-149 (The link is to a site where you can purchase the book. Really, if you are going to Maple, you should have it.)
The Schoolroom has everything that you want for a good day of climbing with your kids. There are enough kid friendly routes to keep them entertained. If you are going to bring a few kids try to also bring an extra rope or two so you can quickly set up several ropes and let the kids go. My group and another large group that was there had basically a rope on every single route hanging fixed. We used the roots on the tree to anchor the belay devices and quickly hooked up kid after kid with an 8 knot on a biner. That way the switch between kids was faster and parents could switch belaying quickly as well. We were pumping the kids through climbs like a factory. The best one for them to start on is Bob’s Bolts (5.4) to get their confidence up and then let them hit all the others. Kids also don’t seem to mind doing the same route over and over again. I don’t know how many times I belayed that day but it was a lot. The kids had non stop fun climbing that day.
Areas for kids also sometimes need climbs to keep the adults entertained, which we were. The 5.10bs in this area are really fun. The Horny Thing (oh climbers and their weird route names…) 5.10b is long, sustained, and has a very tricky start. There is not anything harder than .10bs here, but for something to climb when your on an outing with your kids, it is well worth it.
The time to get here is next to nothing. It is very close to the main parking lot for Maple Canyon.
There is some mild difficulty getting here. Nothing your kids can’t handle. The hike is short, but it is uphill.
Only slight danger if you count the possibility of falling on a hill. Other than that, there are not cliffs or other worries that children tend to gravitate towards.
Honestly, you won’t find a better landing anywhere that you go climbing, ever. The landing is huge and flat. Everything you ever wanted. Feel free to set up your house and everything else that you brought with you. Here’s a picture in case you don’t believe me.
Because The Schoolroom is perfect for beginners, has a great landing, and is close to the main parking lot, it can get very busy. I’ve found it open whenever I have wanted to use it, but it has the potential of getting huge multiple family groups (like what you are probably bringing) and youth groups. However, because it has so many climbs and the landing is so big, everyone can usually find something to climb on, there will just likely be a crowd there.
Extra Kid Fun:
There is a small cave/hole in the wall here. You can see it in the picture above. I’ve seen kids hang out in there forever.
I should note that there is an easy to climb crevasse to the right among all the easy climbs. This could be good to climb for really little kids, but you would have to MacGyver a way to set up protection. If there is not protection set, it could potentially be enticing to the older kids to climb and get themselves into trouble. I haven’t seen them get into trouble but I have seen parents make it a rule that they couldn’t go up there once the kids started climbing.