I am always up to meeting a fellow adventurer but feel doubly excited when those adventurers are also parents! I recently had the fortunate opportunity to sit down with Tanya Koob from @mountainmomyyc to have her share with me about her experiences in parenting and outdoor adventure.
Tanya and her husband enjoyed scrambling, skiing, climbing and mountaineering before having their son. Becoming parents did not stop them from pursuing their passion for exploring the Rockies. Most parents know it isn’t a cake walk to simply get through the grocery store with young children in tow, let alone taking them camping or hiking and teaching them to love the outdoors.
Tanya began looking for like minded parents when her son was young by starting an outdoor playgroup. When most parents think about a playgroup, there are four walls, play centres and carpets for story time. Tanya’s group started with a few families looking for community to take their children on outdoor adventures together. Today the Calgary Outdoor Playgroup Community page on Facebook shows over 4000 members. Given so many studies these days about people showing signs of Nature Deficit Disorder, I think we can all say Tanya is a leader. This kind of work is valuable for the next generation.
Tanya has been able to build outdoor skills in her son since he was a preschooler allowing the family to take on bigger challenges than most families could even think about. Learning to navigate mountain scrambles and ridges is not an activity that one usually jumps right into, and it can often take years to develop the skills needed to accomplish these objectives. It also takes a team approach for a safe, successful finish, along with friends to make it more enjoyable. Tanya is fortunate to have a spouse who brings the experience and skill of leading groups in the mountains. When they do take on these big adventures, safety plays a huge factor and they always mitigate the risks involved. They also often carry safety equipment like ropes, harnesses and helmets.
This summer their family set a goal to scramble 8 summits together, and so far, they have completed 9. They have just one more mountain to climb to reach their 10th summit for the season and plan to hike up to the platform on Lady Macdonald for this last summit. This will allow them to complete the Triple Crown Challenge in Canmore for the second time as a family (hiking up Ha Ling Peak, the East End of Mount Rundle, and Lady Macdonald all in the same season.)
You can follow Tanya’s family adventures on Instagram. In her time away from the mountains, Tanya keeps busy writing on her blog, Rockies Family Adventures and doing freelance work for a variety of publications across North America.
Through all these adventures, her work writing, and day to day parenting, Tanya still finds time to work as an administrative assistant part time. She also attends group fitness classes and participates in weekly Zumba classes, her favourite way of maintaining her cardio to keep up with her son while mountain biking and summiting mountains.