Kentucky Rock and Adventure Guides' team of certified scalesmen leads climbers of all skill levels skyward during five unique outdoor climbing adventures. Each peak-bound pilgrimage throughout the Red River Gorge and Lake Vesuvius focuses on teaching students safe climbing techniques. During the beginners? course, greenhorns learn basic fundamentals, such as knot tying, using equipment before applying new skills to an actual climb. The instructor squad also shares their passion for scaling via traditional and sport climbing sessions that cater to seasoned mountaineers. A preclimb email briefs students on what items to bring, and KRAG outfits each guest with the necessary trimmings for safe ascension, including a helmet, rock-climbing shoes, and ropes to lasso low-flying weather balloons.
Countless trees fly by under your feet as you soar hundreds of feet above the ground. Suddenly, the forest floor below opens up into a gorge. At Red River Gorge Zipline, riders witness this incredible sight on regular canopy tours set amid the picturesque wilderness of Daniel Boone National Forest. The system's ziplines span more than 4,000 feet above the forest canopy, with the longest reaching about 1,900 feet in length. At the end of the tour, dual racing ziplines send riders charging down from more than 200 feet above the ground, and reaching speeds exceeding 50 mph. All of Red River Gorge Zipline's guests are strapped into harnesses for the duration of their tours, while helmet cams document their adventure.
The exuberant energy of childhood led many youthful explorers to climb their first tree, but the staff of EarthJoy Tree Adventures turned it into a lifetime pursuit. During safety-conscious lessons, instructors combine the rope-assisted techniques of rock-climbing with a few tree-specific tricks honed over lots of practice. They scurry up the trunks of old, vibrant trees, swing, surf and hang amid the branches, and rappel down. They teach students how to bring gear up with them during a climb and string a hammock between branches. Such hammocks provide a restful retreat from the world below—even a place to pass the night as humanity’s ancient ape-like ancestors must have: nestled among the high bows of a tree, waiting for a flash of lightning so they could read a few more words in their book.
Strong Hold Climbing Gym at Hester's Family Fitness beckons to rock clingers of all skill levels with more than 4,000 square feet of top-rope routes, bouldering, and peerless climbing classes. With padded floors throughout, Strong Hold's crew of climbers can scale the multicolored routes with no fear of hard falls, and Strong Hold equips each climber with the harness, shoes, and cliff-badger bait necessary for topping its walls. Introductory classes, taught by master stone whisperers, cover the basics of rope work, proper knots, and the techniques required for pulling on slopers or crimps.
Rock Gem Climbing Center challenges any level of climber with varying ascents and curved bouldering faces. The staff helps climbers take full advantage of the facilities with lessons, belaying duties, and gear demos. Groups can head to Rock Gem to climb together during special events or birthday parties, and all visitors should wear comfortable, loose clothing that allows full range of motion.
Amid leafy branches and between gently swaying trees, Tarzan impersonators soar through the air. Dagaz Acres' eco-adventure zipline course lets children, adults, and adult-size children explore woodland canopies up to 70 feet high, and staff ensures that participants glide snugly in their half-body swing harnesses. Adventurers plunge through seven dual ziplines strung over 23 acres of ground and ravines, three canopy-level ziplines, and two bridges. One bridge is a Burma bridge built with varying types of rope, and the other is a plank construction pirate bridge that stretches 90 feet and swings over a ravine to discourage motorcycle-chase sequences.
Dagaz Acres' staff members spread their love of outdoors learning to team-building and leadership exercises held in single-day and overnight programs. They train athletic teams and office groups through ground exercises and on a low-challenge ropes course, which allows participants to engage in physical challenges without the added risk of a bird nesting in their hair. The company reflects this passion in its name, Dagaz, which is derived from a Nordic rune meaning "transformational breakthrough change." Staffers enable others to change through adventure as they design, build, and maintain zipline and ropes courses elsewhere through Dagaz Acres Management Inc. construction division.