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 this Groupon.
$59 for One Fight Gravity Class with Private Instruction and Month-Long Gym Membership ($189 Value)
During the Fight Gravity One class (a $45 value), instructors teach pupils the basics of rock climbing and belaying. This introductory course includes all climbing gear, such as harnesses and shoes. The two-hour private instruction (a $70 value) allows students to gain in-depth training on the area of their choice. During the month-long membership (a $74 value), guests strap into free rental equipment to scale 9,000 square feet of climbing terrain, including a top-rope wall, a boulder area, and an overhanging arch with pathways that demand upside-down trekking for up to 65 feet. Beginners must take a belay class before climbing. Click here for a class calendar.
Blaine Eastcott's love of the outdoors is rooted in fond childhood memories of family camping trips. On one such trip, Blaine's teenage self impulsively climbed a 100-foot rock only to soon find himself struck by panic high up on the rock face. He was paralyzed by fear, until a surge of adrenaline gave him the courage needed to scramble the final 10 feet up. This ordeal spurred him to take rock-climbing classes—and eventually led to his current position as the president of Rockreation. His three adrenaline-inducing arenas challenge climbers of all skill levels with more than 28,500 total square feet of climbing terrain, composed of jagged cliffs, bouldering nooks, and craggy archways. The faux-mountain range mimics the conditions of real rocks with indentions, overhangs, and eagle's nests.
The gyms devote one-third of their space to a bouldering area, which blends into a top-rope course fraught with varying angles, and a large lead area with an overhanging arch. Across these angles, passionate instructors with extensive outdoors experience—and a background in conversational mountain goat—guide students through the Fight Gravity program. The three-class series focuses on belaying basics, and progresses through technique instruction and bouldering. They also lead seasonal kids' camps where tiny humans can explore the routes, or plunge on a big swing and zipline. The gyms also have a separate area with machines, traditional weights, and cardio equipment for members who want to not only climb rocks, but also lift heavy ones above their heads.