The raw nature of Southern California is a painting turned into reality. Mountains kiss the sky, hills roll across the horizon, and canyons cut deep into the region's red, cherry-hued rock. SoCal Adventure Company's guides take groups to all of these destinations. With gear and healthy snacks in tow, they lead beginners and experienced adrenaline junkies alike on day trips ranging from rock climbing to canyoneering, a mode of adventure hiking that mixes in some thrilling rappels.
The guides lead groups on hikes through the mountains, help them climb top ropes, and rappel down cliffs through waterfalls. Occasionally, they even pause to swim through the pools at the canyon's bottom. Additionally, SoCal Adventure Company's guides always look for new ways to explore. To that end, they lead a trip of the week with an ever-changing itinerary.
The instructors at Universal Grappling Academy are all about "training ordinary people to be extraordinary athletes." Adults and children as young as four can develop a lifelong appreciation for fitness during mixed martial arts and conditioning programs designed to build muscle, confidence, and discipline. Universal Grappling Academy understands that not all people want to be or can be fighters, but their programs encourage participants to train like fighters in order to achieve maximum results. Programs incorporate a constantly-rotating circuit of runs, drills, functional training routines, and technique review. Instructors motivate students to challenge themselves physically and mentally on their path to achieving personal goals.
Even The Climbing Life Guides can't quite articulate the feeling of exhilaration when you finally hoist yourself onto a mountain's peak. They describe it as an "ah hah!" moment, one when it's impossible to fight off a grin. And their main goal as guides is to help climbers get there. That's why they take clients on private or group climbs in Joshua Tree National Park, promising breathtaking views of some of the nation's most impressive natural splendor. They'll bring all the equipment and knowledge?climbers just need to bring a thirst for adventure.
Nobody in Santa Monica has a snow-covered slope in their backyard to practice slalom runs. Some think they can just march up a mountain and dominate a black diamond on courage and instinct alone. Instead, they wind up face first in snow, wishing they’d practiced.
In order to prepare skiers and snowboarders for the real deal, and to spare them from slushy, frostbitten shame, two-time world ski champion Bob Salemo devised his innovative Virtual Snow training system. In a controlled indoor environment far away from menacing ski lifts and snowballs tossed by mountain goats, winter-sports enthusiasts perfect their maneuvers in fun training drills led by skilled instructors and the clever teachings of Salemo himself. The faux ski-course simulator, which resembles a large conveyor belt, mimics the smooth surface and wily turns of a downhill slope as its snowy surface rolls beneath the feet of students on skis or snowboards. Future Picabo Streets or Shawn Whites not only expand their abilities to new levels, but they can also practice tricks without bailing out and shake off any bad habits they learned from sleet gangs.
It took a while for Cedar Lake Camp to come into its identity, changing hands three times in 20 years before the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles bought it in 1955. Since then, the staff has worked hard to establish it as a sanctuary of reflection, renewal, and recreation. The manmade lake clearly plays a central role in the retreat’s activities, from canoeing to swimming and fishing. The camp has also extended its recreational purview to include thrills such as ziplining, rope courses, and team-building activities. It rents its lodges out year-round to guests and bears looking for a place to hibernate, and often hosts summer camps for kids and families.
From its outpost just off Big Bear Lake's south shore, Massive Snowboards supplies peak-destined skiers and snowboarders with the gear they need to get down the area's slopes. The shop has been a Big Bear mainstay since 1999, a long tenure in the competitive on-mountain ski- and snowboard-gear-rental game. It attributes its run of success to a combination of knowledgeable salespeople and a deep selection of boards for rent. Customers can stop in to purchase new gear from brands such as Dakine, Ride, Lib Tech, Gnu, Dragon, Grenade, Celsius, and more.