Bouldering differs from other forms of rock climbing in a variety of ways, such as its heightened social element. When top roping, for example, climbers are more isolated, relying on a partner below to maintain rope tension. But because bouldering is done on lower courses that don't require a rope or harness, climbers are free to scale walls at will, often resulting in people sharing walls and striking up conversations in between surmounting terrain such as verticals, slabs, and roof climbs?overhangs that put climbers' bodies parallel to the floor.
That's how The Circuit Bouldering Gym got started. Some bouldering enthusiasts crossed paths at a local gym and found they all wanted to expand Portland's bouldering options. Today, they welcome guests to surmount courses?including a hanging boulder?ranging from 8- to 17-feet high and surrounded by crash-pad flooring. Boasting one of the largest bouldering-only gyms in the world, they also designed many of their simulated climbing stations as top-out boulders, letting guests experience what it's like to stand atop a boulder in the Rockies or on the moon. Additionally, they instruct guests with programs such as 90-minute intro courses, advanced clinics with professional climber athletes, and programs tailored for kids including birthday parties. Between climbs, a lounge area lets visitors relax and swap tales of defying gravity's relentless bullying. To further build the bouldering community, the gym's team organizes an annual fundraiser benefiting local charities, including the Pump-a-thon, which is scheduled for February 22nd.
Spotting a double-decker bus outside of London is a rare treat. It's a treat Double Decker PDX founders Brooks Thompson and Kent Metcalf wanted to share with their fellow Rose City residents, which is why they brought a cherry red double-decker bus over from London. Rather than keep it on stationary display, they renovated it and transformed it into a venue on wheels complete with refrigerators, an oak bar, and a stereo system. Now, the double-decker bus transports revelers on pub crawls, to weddings, or to tastings at local wineries, in addition to other special events.
At Stone Free Climbing, rock climbing isn't an indoor sport. The company's experienced guides lead day and weekend trips to natural rock formations, such as Smith National Park's volcanic tuft. Each trip accommodates new and seasoned climbers alike, and adventurers can leave their suction clogs at home since all necessary gear is provided. To prep ambitious scalers for solo jaunts, the Stone Free Climbing experts also lead mountain navigation courses, teaching students to use GPS equipment, find routes, and read topographical maps.
The lifetime anglers and sturgeon wranglers at Sky's Guide Service cast their nets over the fish-packed purses of Portland, steering rodman recruits and seasoned reelers toward the perfect catch. Check the species calendar and choose a salmon or sturgeon adventure. From March until May, up to six passengers can set sail on a sturdy custom Willie Raptor jet sled down the Columbia or Willamette River, where a school of coveted spring Chinook salmon recite their last rites. Known as the world's most prized eating salmon, these floppy fortresses of sweet meat pack enough omega-3 fatty acids to make the human heart grow a chamber orchestra in its left ventricle. Continuing into April, sturgeon kidnappers chart the waters to corral these gigantic, delicious aquamonsters into their unmarked vans. Sturgeon are excellent fighters with brave appetites, working in packs to chomp five rods at the same time when they're not busy driving buffets out of business.
Stoneworks Climbing Gym's climbers while away their days on the gym's vast top-rope, lead, and bouldering walls. The walls soar to the ceiling and bear holds with multicolored tape to delineate each climbing route, which start at 5.6 and vary in difficulty. The diverse set of routes and climbing difficulties have made Stoneworks an ideal gym for climbing the past 21 years and for competitions, such as the annual Boulder Joust.
Avid climbers themselves, the route setters and staff at Stoneworks are also guides, leading teams of beginner and skilled climbers into the mountains of Oregon for outdoor climbing. They also equip members with the skills needed to scale their routes in both group and private lessons that focus on technique, sport climbing, and vertical Twister. Kids are welcome to join the junior climbing team or summer camps.
The Inferno's designers don't consider mud much of a challenge, even if it's in a pit. So instead of wet dirt, they fill their 6- and 13.1-mile courses with obstacles, each designed to push the human body to its limits. Racers on their paths to victory might encounter monkey bars, crawls under barbed wire, or a quarter-mile swim. Perhaps even "hurdles" made of fire. A celebration kicks off as soon as each runner reaches the finish line. Live musicians score The Inferno's after party, where organizers hand out competitive awards and more playful accolades, such as biggest beard and best costume. They also hand each participant a cool beer, provided they're old enough.
The team's races require participants to be in shape and train in advance. Luckily, The Inferno's organizers supply a work-out plan to help participants prep, combining elements of Crossfit, Insanity, P90X, and other workouts.