Beginner's ice-climbing excursions, set amid Vermont's picturesque framework of frozen peaks and glacial waterfalls, equip students of all levels with the basic know-how for treading arctic landscapes. During each private, seven-hour session, one of Petra Cliffs' certified guides outfits scaling protégés with all necessary gear and equipment before leading troops out to the course. Easy to moderate terrain enables a fruitful learning environment, where groups work on fundamental techniques including belaying, rappelling, and primal screaming. Since lessons are private, students have the opportunity to dictate the day's instruction and focus on specific skills, ranging from elementary top-roped climbing to mimicking the mating call of feral zambonis.
Framed by the tree-spotted foothills of Vermont, Rocky Ridge Golf Club’s 18-hole course unfurls across a verdant expanse of rolling farmland. Throughout the course, elevated fairways and greens offer breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding mountains, as well as a safe lookout from which golfers can detect rival armies of croquet players. Flower beds and rocky outcrops along short-grass corridors further accent the layout’s bucolic environs. Clubbers looking for lessons can seek out golf pro Ed Coleman, who roams the grounds in a zen state attained through 20 years of coaching experience and aromatherapy that uses the odor of freshly mowed fairways. Cozy, green-side seating and tables nestled in shaded porches await golfers for post-round relaxing at the clubhouse restaurant.
Most sports require specialized gear, and rock climbing is no exception. In addition to climbing shoes, rock climbers wear a harness attached to a rope. At Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center, belay classes show first-timers that this rope is a safety feature and not meant for playing double dutch with a giant. Once climbers have these skills under their belts, they may challenge themselves by ascending walls up to 40 feet tall or venturing inside a bouldering cave, though not before making sure it's free of hermit trolls.
A year-round hotspot at the Jay Peak Resort, Jay Peak Pump House Indoor Waterpark beckons families to slip into its colorful slides and lounge in its 100-plus-degree hot tubs. La Chute, a quick-descending slide 65’ above the water, launches visitors through a 360-degree turn before depositing them in the pool below only six seconds later. In the Mill Pond kids’ play area, children man water cannons, adjusting their trajectory to blast unsuspecting friends or hydrate parched marathon runners.
An arcade replete with 3-D games and immersive ride simulators provides a break from underwater exploits, and the snack shack quells cravings for pizza, burgers, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Adults can lounge at the poolside bar, where bartenders serve up frozen cocktails, draft beers, and firsthand advice on shark wrangling.
You can’t talk about Eastman Golf Links without mentioning the scenery. Situated amidst 3,700 acres of environmentally protected woodlands, the 18-hole course tunnels through thick groves of trees and around six ponds. Its hilly terrain offers both elevated views of the unspoiled landscape as well as a safe place to look out for charging tribes of territorial sand trap rakes. The picturesque par-71 plays to 6,731 yards from the farthest tees—presenting a formidable challenge for experienced golfers—but shrinks to 5,499 yards when played from the shortest of four tee options.
Though the course is Eastman Golf Links centerpiece, guests can consider it a one-stop resource for all their golfing needs. A trio of experienced instructors lends their fairway-splitting savvy during private lessons, and also offers club-fitting services using FlightScope Launch Monitors. A driving range with both grass and turf hitting bays fosters practice sessions as does a practice green and a 9-hole short course. Guests can sample a collection of 150 demo clubs to find the one that best suits their game or scratches the parts of their back that are hardest to reach.
Course at a Glance:
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