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Are you thinking about climbing Adam’s Peak with a baby or children? DO IT, DO IT, DO IT!
Why you should climb Adam’s Peak with a baby or small children
Sri Lanka is a popular family travel destination, with lots of things to do and see (you can read all about our family adventure in this post- ‘Sri Lanka with a Baby’). Most people travelling with children, however will shy away from the famous Sri Pada, otherwise known as Adam ‘s Peak. I can assure you, however, that if you enjoy a challenge and want to climb up the 2,243m mountain, you absolutely can do it with a baby or small children!
What is Adam’s Peak?
Adam’s Peak is a 2,243m tall conical mountain located in central Sri Lanka. It is well known for the Sri Pada, or “sacred footprint”, a 1.8 m rock formation near the summit, where it is believed that Buddha once stepped. It is also believed by the Christian community that this is the place where Adam first set foot on earth. The climb takes between 2 1/2 – 5 hours and has around 5500 (very steep!) stairs.
Climbing Adam’s Peak with a baby
Most people start the climb around 2am with the intentions of reaching the summit for sunrise. Whilst I’m sure this is beautiful, we decided against this. We had only just managed to get baby Isla (who was 9 months old at the time) to adjust to the new time zone after several disturbed night’s sleep so we didn’t ‘t want to disrupt her routine any more than we needed to. The locals will advise you to climb at night because it’s cooler, but we really didn’t feel that hot- the temperature drops quickly as you start to climb anyway!
You might also be interested in my post- ‘What to pack when travelling with a baby’.
When you climb Adam’s Peak you will come across a wide variety of people also undertaking the climb. Some of these people are tourists. Some of these people are Sri Lankan’s climbing as part of a pilgrimage to be closer to Buddha. We saw all sorts of Sri Lankan’s doing the climb- old people, young people, fit people, not so fit people. There was one lady being carried up in a stretcher because she was not fit enough to climb herself. There was also lots of babies and children. The most striking thing to me was that many of these people were undertaking them entire climb with no shoes!
Some people will take the entire day, or night, to climb Adam’s Peak. We were super impressed, however, to have reached the summit in under 3 hours! If you need to take a break, there are lots of places to stop and catch your breath on the way up. Many of these places sell food and drink and there are even some massage places too to help with sore legs!
At the top of Adam’s Peak there is a small temple that you can look around. You can also look out over the views of the Sri Lankan countryside. You are above the clouds though, so you might not see a lot, depending on the weather! It is very cold up here so you will want to make sure that you have some extra layers to put on. As Sri Lanka is a hot country, we hadn’t packed any winter hats for Isla so we ended up putting her Christmas hat on (it was late December)!
Recommendations for climbing Adam’s Peak with a baby or children
Whilst it is absolutely do-able, I would recommend a few things for the avid traveller who chooses to climb Adam’s Peak with a baby.
My first advice would be to plan timings to suit you. WE were so glad that we climbed during the day. We felt safer because we could see where we were going, we were not crammed in a small space at the top (which would not have helped my fear of heights!) waiting for sunrise. We could also take our time as there was no rush to get to the summit by a certain time. Babies and children can be hard work if their routines are disrupted, so my advice is not to listen to what gives you the ‘best views’, but instead to do what works for you and your family.
My second piece of advice is to have a good baby carrier. We choose to use our Baby Bjorn, which was perfect as it has good support for mum or dad and it is comfy for baby too. We also had our Kiddy Adventure Pack with us, but we decided against using it for the climb as it is 3 kg heavier than our Baby Bjorn and we didn’t want the extra weight! If the kids are a bit big for baby carriers then make sure you schedule in lots of time for rests as the stairs can be quite hard work on the legs!
Lastly, make sure that you pack appropriate clothing for you and your little ones. You will be climbing through the clouds so there is a chance you might get wet. I recommend a lightweight waterproof jacket. I also recommend at least one warm jumper for the top, especially if you do plan on staying around to wait for sunrise! Baby might also want a hat and gloves.
One final thing that I think is noteworthy is accommodation around Adam’s Peak. Unfortunately, there isn’t much choice in this regard and none of the accommodation options looked great to me. Our hotel (the Grand Adam’s Peak) was filthy and I was super glad that we only had one night there. I recommend that you read the hotel reviews carefully and don’t stay too long if none of the options look great. There’s nothing much else to do once you’ve climbed the mountain anyway!
You might also be interested in my post ‘Things to Consider When Booking a Hotel With a Baby’.
So, Adam’s Peak is absolutely possible with a baby or with small children. You do need to have a reasonable level of fitness, but I should think that most tourists could manage it. The only thing is that your legs might ache a bit the next day- those stairs are lethal!!
Are you thinking of climbing Adam’s Peak with a baby or small children? Have any questions? Drop them below and I’ll do my best to help!