With more than 50,000 square feet of collective climbing surfaces, Hangar 18 Indoor Climbing Gyms's four locations, including its newest in Long Beach, offer ample terrain for climbers of all skill levels. From first-timers just learning to belay to seasoned climbers seeking a vertical challenge, athletes of all stripes can find suitable terrain and helpful assistance from experienced staff members. At the Riverside location, top ropes and lead routes circle around a freestanding boulder that tops off at 20 feet. The Southbay location's large training section gives adventurers prep time before they embark on the facility's challenging crack climbs, and the Upland location's 40-foot roof climb lends a scenic vantage point for those honing their skills on the ceiling-spanning rope or trying to spot a lost contact lens. After traversing 70-foot routes through lead caves and descending towering boulders, climbers can decompress in a yoga class.
Shawn Crawford has been climbing for more than 40 years, working with wilderness search and rescue at age 13 and later serving as a park ranger. Today, he’s the owner and head instructor at Rock City Climbing, where he puts his American Mountaineering and Guiding Association certification to use as he teaches climbers of all experience levels techniques of top-rope climbing, belaying, rappelling, and bouldering.
Inside a gym equipped with more than 10,000 feet of climbing walls, as well as top-rope and bouldering areas, students learn basic and advanced climbing techniques in a range of classes. As they climb, instructors introduce techniques such as hand and foot placement and what to do if gravity starts working in reverse. Visitors can leave the main floor to explore a tunnel maze behind the climbing walls, filled with trap doors, narrow passageways, and drops of up to 11 feet.
When not overseeing his gym, Shawn leads outdoor climbing excursions to challenging locales such as Joshua Tree, Riverside Quarry, and the Statue of Liberty. He also oversees a nearby ropes course, where staffers help groups and individuals navigate two ziplines, as well as more than 20 aerial challenges at heights of up to 60 feet.
Gravity Paragliding was born from early history of the sport entering the USA. Back in 1995 the true passion and dedication to Paragliding and flying as free as a Bird. The selfishness was never present, and the wish to introduce the sport to everyone and its evolution.
Blaine Eastcott's love of the outdoors is rooted in fond childhood memories of family camping trips. On one such trip, Blaine's teenage self impulsively climbed a 100-foot rock only to soon find himself struck by panic high up on the rock face. He was paralyzed by fear, until a surge of adrenaline gave him the courage needed to scramble the final 10 feet up. This ordeal spurred him to take rock-climbing classes—and eventually led to his current position as the president of Rockreation. His three adrenaline-inducing arenas challenge climbers of all skill levels with more than 28,500 total square feet of climbing terrain, composed of jagged cliffs, bouldering nooks, and craggy archways. The faux-mountain range mimics the conditions of real rocks with indentions, overhangs, and eagle's nests.
The gyms devote one-third of their space to a bouldering area, which blends into a top-rope course fraught with varying angles, and a large lead area with an overhanging arch. Across these angles, passionate instructors with extensive outdoors experience—and a background in conversational mountain goat—guide students through the Fight Gravity program. The three-class series focuses on belaying basics, and progresses through technique instruction and bouldering. They also lead seasonal kids' camps where tiny humans can explore the routes, or plunge on a big swing and zipline. The gyms also have a separate area with machines, traditional weights, and cardio equipment for members who want to not only climb rocks, but also lift heavy ones above their heads.
The second annual LA Prostate Cancer 5K enlists pavement pounders to help raise money for new therapies and better screening tools in the attempt to show prostate cancer who’s boss. Hosted by the USC Institute of Urology, the 5K opens its campus-side route to all levels of runners, walkers and electric boogalooers, divvying up participants into age-specific categories. Dr. Inderbir Gill kicks off the spirited event with a welcoming speech, and recognition of survivors, pre-run warm-ups and the National Anthem dispense the daily recommended dose of motivation. Beginning at the Tommy Trojan statue–unmistakable for his bronze sword and noble stance—marathoners whiz through University Park and the grounds of Exposition Park. Following the race, an award ceremony recognizes top performers and invites every participant to bask in the synchronized huffs and puffs of accomplishment.
When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, Inc., he points to his childhood passion for bikes. "As far back as I can remember, I had a real love affair with bicycles," he recalls. During a trip to Italy in 1987, Brian's affinity for cycling blossomed into a full-fledged obsession when he spotted locals' transporter of choice, the surrey. Inspired, he began importing the Italian four-wheelers to a rental business in the U.S. that eventually expanded into Wheel Fun Rentals, now a nationwide web of shops that also loans out bikes, electric cars and mopeds, and man-powered watercraft. Adventuresome athletes can also compete in activities such as surrey scavenger hunts and blindfold obstacle courses navigated via shouted instructions from a seeing teammate or exceptionally long rounds of trial and error.