The road less traveled is often the more fulfilling one, especially when it bypasses Robert Frost's tiger pits. Diverge from a rote route with today's Groupon: for $49, you get an all-day outdoor climbing outing from Rock-About in Dripping Springs (a $100 value). Choose from these Sunday class dates.
Rock-About's experienced instructors show novice wall-clingers the ropes with real outdoor climbs at Milton Reimers Ranch Park. Climbers begin their Climbing 101 sojourn by learning the ins and outs of climbing safety gear, with equipment such as helmets, harnesses, and rocket-powered grappling hooks, all provided by Rock-About. Throughout the day, the master climbers shed light on techniques that simplify scrambles up sheer slabs, vertical faces, and daring cracks. Novice climbers hone these skills safely with hands-on top-rope climbs, and, using preselected voice commands and rapid arm flapping, practice safe descents and on-the-rope techniques with their belayer.
When students sign on for a Rock About climbing class, they don't just learn to rope their way up mountainsides and trade banter with goats. The company's certified guides also educate clients about the cultural history and complex geology of the climbing sites. On climbing treks to Reimers Ranch Park, owner Adam Mitchell and his team teach top-roping and belaying techniques while exploring the notion that climbing allows humankind to commune safely with the earth's natural wonders. For those uneasy about vertical exploration, the guides offer non-climbing adventures such as interpretive hikes.