Updated: May 18, 2020
by Liz Ndindi
This is a story about Bethany (not her real name), a little 8 year old girl and rock climbing.
Bethany had never rock climbed before. Standing quietly among her peers you would never
have thought that she would be the first one in her team to step up and give this climbing
thing a go. And yet there she was. Standing in front of Boulder Six; helmet and harness in
place, clipped in and ready to go.
With her step sure, she scales up the rock. Her team’s instructors urge her upwards,
constantly reassuring her that she was ok. And then as she reaches the middle of her climb.
She freezes. Unsure and uncertain. Pausing, as most climbers do, to call a meeting with
herself and consider what in the world possessed her to be up there. “What was I
thinking?!!!” “Why did I agree to this?!!”
In her thoughts, the instructors’ words become muffled. She only hears the birds chirping
away as the sweet breeze and Lukenya sun caress her skin.
And then out of nowhere, she moves.
Foot up. Reach. Push and pull.
Slowly. One step at a time.
At her own pace, she finishes the climb.
At the anchor she smiles.
Like one who has been let in on a secret.
Once on the ground, we crack a high five.
She pulls me close and whispers in my ear “I want to climb again”.
Beneath that tiny little frame a fire was ignited.
And on that day, Bethany clocked the most climbs.
On Saturday 05 October 2019, The Mountain Club of Kenya hosted 37 kids (8-14years)
from Canini Beehive Centre-School to a day of rock climbing at Lukenya. None of the kids
had climbed before. Here’s a bit of what they said about their climbing experience “Fun.”
“Fantastic.” “Nice.” “Amazing.” “Tamu.” “Tumejimbamba sana.” “We would like to come
The Climbing Life Kenya team (Kareithi, Liz, Matthew, Naituli, Nyambura, and Silvanous)
was glad to be a part of this amazing event that brought the wonder of climbing to the
Canini Beehive kids!