At its core, the Adventure Park at Redhook is a "jungle gym built for adventurers." But more than that, it provides visitors with an escape from the everyday drudgery of stuffy offices, boring paperwork, and tedious leg-walking. For the park’s creators, the lush Pacific Northwest countryside that stretches out around the park is the office. They’re a band of adventurers themselves, and they designed Adventura as a way for others to experience the growth, laughter, and connections that seem to bloom naturally outdoors.
Of course, Adventura puts its own spin on spending time outdoors by filling Woodinville Wine Country with a series of sky-high exploits. With the park typically booked 45 days in advance, visitors can be found leaping from decks, balancing precariously on cables 50 feet off the ground, or scaling cargo nets throughout most of the year.
Though he once dreamed of becoming an astronaut, Christopher Hagedorn instead found his passion on the Earth; he's worked as a national forest hydrologist, oceanography-engineering consultant, and mountaineering-and-wilderness-leadership instructor. After roaming the country on more than 30 extended wilderness trips, he came to rest in the North Cascade Mountains where he leads adventure day trips and wilderness-skills classes. He and his team of experienced guides lead explorers of all ages on Family Adventure Backpacking trips to secluded and mostly unknown destinations, tackling rocky beaches, mountain hillsides, and coniferous forests.
On mountaineering trips, Get In The Wild shows groups how to traverse North Cascades National Park's rugged peaks, roaring waterfalls, and glaciers without having to arm-wrestle bears for passage. Canyoneering trips explore the Dirty Devil River and Capitol Reef National Park, navigating historic sandstone cliffs, rocky domes, and winding canyons; and give photographers the chance to focus their lenses on the wilderness of Southern Utah. Throughout their adventures, the guides keep their charges fueled with gourmet camp food, preparing vegetarian, vegan, and kosher options upon request.
They also lead classes in hiking, glacier climbing, snow camping, canyoneering, and wilderness navigation to help adventurers blaze their own trails.
In 1987, indoor climbing was as unpopular in the Seattle area as breeding labradoodles. But Vertical World––a pioneer indoor climbing gym––introduced the city to the up-and-coming sport of rock climbing in a controlled environment. Since its inception, the gym has expanded to three other locations in Everett, Tacoma, and Redmond, the latter hosting eastside climbers for more than 20 years.
A team of experienced route creators challenges climbers with more than 200 bouldering, lead, or top-rope routes in a wide variety of difficulty levels. The gym hosts competitive youth teams that have gone on to national or world tournaments. The gym's staff of climbers and guides also leads outdoor excursions that build confidence and teach novices how to identify a rock wall in the wild.
Things are always looking up at Seattle Bouldering Project, a south city climbing gym where both indoor and outdoor rock climbers enjoy the challenging ascents. The space offers typical bouldering (rock climbing without harnesses or ropes, using only special climbing shoes and techniques to ascend) courses on any of their multi-level artificial climbing walls, plus bouldering classes for all skill levels. Seattle Bouldering Project focuses on climbers aged four to adult, with special times and programs for the little ones, plus all of the necessary safety precautions. Occasional climbers can buy a day pass for use of the entire sprawling facility, while avid climbers have a choice of membership levels. There are climbing shoes and crash pads for rent at the gym, and instructors also teach the occasional yoga and fitness class.
Parkour Visions teaches aspiring traceurs_—the French word for parkour practitioners—how to overcome physical obstacles. Though the sport's origins are a bit fuzzy, it has achieved a wider audience thanks to the many parkour videos uploaded to Youtube as well as the popularity of the television show _American Ninja Warrior. These all highlight the purpose of parkour: to improve speed, strength, and coordination while learning how to move efficiently through your environment. At Parkour Visions's three locations, seasoned traceurs teach students of all skill levels and ages how to safely execute basic movements and landings, and, as a non-profit organization, they pay it forward by working with parks to help maintain their grounds and encourage safe outdoor training.
Redmond Athletic Club stands as a ziggurat built in honor of fitness. The 7,500-square-foot space resonates with music, vibrant colors, and natural light as personal trainers walk the spacious floors helping exercisers zero in on fitness goals. The open layout inspires exercisers as they gaze over rows of Precor ellipticals and exercise balls, stretch in the warmup area, or jog on treadmills. A strength-training room teems with equipment such as plate-loaded machines and free weights. Dry saunas and complimentary towel service soothe sore muscles after adventures in sweating and sculpting. From a childcare staff that watches over kids at the Kids Club while parents work out to the group of trainers, RAC's crack team of employees dehassles the gym experience.