In Namibia we are spoilt for choice when it comes to wilderness and unhindered access to natural playgrounds. Spitzkoppe, the Namibian version of the iconic Matterhorn, is but one such a place.
Nico and I have enjoyed Spitzkoppe and it’s various climbing and hiking routes for a long time before we had kids. And naturally, we were very excited to introduce the boys to climbing the first time.
But, alas, our first official climbing expedition in 2016 perhaps didn’t pan out exactly as we had anticipated. As a proud Dad eagerly presented the littles with the newly acquired state-of-the-art kiddies kit, climbing shoes, the works, he was granted the whole of about a 5-minute photo-op before the kit was cast away to the bin.
As it goes with kids, the boys had their own idea about how the climbing was going to go down. No harnesses, shoes or ropes were going to impede their free spirits in exploring the smorgasbord of pale-pinkish orange granite faces.
This time around, some three years later, their interests have evolved somewhat to spark a curiosity around the workings and use of the trad gear. Also, Mr. V has been eagerly seeking out the challenges and enjoyment of indoor climbing walls for some time, so rappelling in a harness wasn’t as alien a concept as it was when he was 3.
And as we have grown to expect from our boisterous and naturally competitive male chidlers, they soon realised the value of the rope and gear in their quest for those ever-higher elusive summits.
But still, the best part of being outdoors, and Spitzkoppe is no exception, is to watch them embrace the freedom to be and observe and explore and grow. Einstein said “Play is the highest form of research”, and we as their parents count ourselves extremely lucky to often be included or otherwise be allowed to catch a glimpse of the purest and highest form of this process in action.
Do we love this new chapter and are we excited to see how it unfolds? You know it!