My little monster Maya is a big climber too. She started climbing at about 8 1/2 mths, before she was walking and walked at 10 mths. She climbs on everything - the couch, the coffee table, and now, she climbs out of her booster seat at the table and stands on the dinner table!
I understand your frustration, believe me! I panic when Maya climbs up on the coffee table and then body slams onto the couch, and I am also a single mum, so I know the feeling of not being able to watch constantly with housework, washing...... May ais now 16 mths and hasn't seriously injured herself with climbing. I just set boundaries for her - ie. she is not allowed to climb on the dinner table! and then let her explore inside those boundaries. If I think she is not safe I tell her "mummy doesn't like that, hop down" and then distract her with something else.
I also try to get her to the playground at least once a week so she can climb on the equipment there, and she goes to daycare 3 days a week so gets lots of climbing there too!
Mum to Maya Grace 02-03, Sienna & Mercedes 10-06