Surrounded by craggy peaks, three men in bright-red helmets stand in the midst of wilderness, surveying the mountains around them as their group of hikers break for a snack on the rocky ground. This interface with the majesty of nature is all in a day's work for this trio of adventurers—Paul Mangasarian and Jakob and Daniel Laggner. Still, their passion for open-air exploration grows with each expedition they lead. Paul, Jakob, and Daniel cofounded Treks and Tracks with the dream of orchestrating excursions into nature that combine ancient means of travel—such as sailing, horseback riding, and hitchhiking on a centaur—with modern sports ranging from surfing to rock climbing. Though they focus on introducing novice outdoorsfolk to unspoiled wilderness around the world, Treks and Tracks' cofounders also strive to leave the awe-inspiring surroundings they visit as pristine as they found them by rigorously upholding practices of environmental stewardship on each expedition.
The ghastly costumes and decorations trimming The Best Halloween Store Ever’s shelves breathe afterlife into the live actors and haunting façades of Danny’s Dungeon. Spooky thespians lurk behind glowing brick-and-mortar walls and wait to tear down the brave fronts of all who pass. Danny's staff can turn on the house lights to show timid youngsters that monsters are merely men in costumes and gargoyles merely shaved kittens. Those who emerge from Danny’s Dungeon—without surrendering to one of many emergency exits—break free into The Best Halloween Store Ever, where they collect a free reward. Before and after romps through the ghostly crypt, guests can join the party outside, munching handheld delights from a food truck and busting moves to a live DJ’s beats, which pulsate like the heart of a nervous traffic light.
Extreme athletes banded together to design Spartan Races' intense courses orchestrated over standardized distances, each strewn with natural and man-made obstacles to test mind-body fitness, resilience, stamina, and strength, designed to leave participants exhausted and exhilarated. In waves of 200, runners collect smudges and stains as they perform box jumps, haul heavy sandbags, and juke feral linebackers. Depending on where in the world they're participating, the course may be as short as 3 miles or, for extremely practiced athletes, as long as a full marathon.
Featured on Dr. Phil and The Biggest Loser and with clients that include numerous Fortune 500 companies, Fulcrum Adventures designs team-building and leadership programs that aim to help organizations and individuals reach their full potential. Teams work together to complete high and low ropes courses, scale up climbing walls, and complete custom workshops, each highlighting the spectrum of valuable ways people can work and learn together. The outfit takes care to ensure that the client's physical and emotional safety is never in jeopardy, meaning no judgmental environments or trust falls over snake pits.
Inside Top Out Climbing Center's 11,500-square-foot facility, the walls are lined with both multicolored handholds and the climbers using them to scurry up. Those handholds are arranged in several configurations to challenge climbers of varying skill levels. Scalers can improve skill levels during 90-minute introduction-to-climbing classes that cover basic movements, safety, and proper gear usage. To entice bouldering enthusiasts, there's also a 100-foot steep wall, a 20-foot-high top-out wall, and a 15-foot-high freestanding boulder. All bouldering zones are outfitted with foam landing areas for safety.
Fitness classes that incorporate suspension-training gear allow patrons at A.R.E.A. 44 to tone muscles left slack by less-advanced gym equipment, and kickboxing or CrossFit classes burn through calories. Students can also opt for a specialty workout, such as pole dancing or Buti fitness, which combines the influences of Brazilian funk, hip-hop, urban Miami dance, and African tribal dance. Personal trainers, some of whom draw from fitness techniques they learned while serving in the Air Force or the US Coast Guard, help clients to get in shape with one-on-one attention.