A technicolor wall flecked with holds rises to the heavens inside the Vertical Heaven Climbing facility?or at least it would if the ceiling didn't prevent it from doing so. The 3,800-square-foot indoor rock-climbing destination invites climbers of all ages and abilities to tackle the many routes and challenges braided over its geometric face, which at times force them into inverted angles and heroic stretches to challenge every muscle in the body. Though this may sound treacherous to the uninitiated, 18 inches of padded flooring mean few injuries ever arise. The facility also invites climbers to tackle the mind-twisting, muscle-burning sport of bouldering?a nearer-to-the-ground version that doesn't require ropes, a partner, or a good-luck kiss from a mountain goat.
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.
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 raw nature of Southern California is a painting turned into reality. Mountains kiss the sky, hills roll across the horizon, and canyons cut deep into the region's red, cherry-hued rock. SoCal Adventure Company's guides take groups to all of these destinations. With gear and healthy snacks in tow, they lead beginners and experienced adrenaline junkies alike on day trips ranging from rock climbing to canyoneering, a mode of adventure hiking that mixes in some thrilling rappels.
The guides lead groups on hikes through the mountains, help them climb top ropes, and rappel down cliffs through waterfalls. Occasionally, they even pause to swim through the pools at the canyon's bottom. Additionally, SoCal Adventure Company's guides always look for new ways to explore. To that end, they lead a trip of the week with an ever-changing itinerary.
Odd things are happening on the 3-mile stretch of woods outside of town. People venture off for a day of outdoorsy fun and never return. Thankfully, Escape The Nightmare is assembling able-bodied search parties, whose members scour the woods while avoiding the traps and obstacles that befell their predecessors. As they run through the paths, they must dodge grim creatures while also surmounting both man-made and natural obstacles.
As the heats of runners cross the starting line beginning in the early evening, they are equipped with headlamps to help them weave through the course and solve the the spooky backstory. Clues to the mysteries––including why people are "disappearing" and why is that man carrying around a stuffed rabbit––unfold as runners get closer to the finish line. But only by keeping your flags securely attached to your belt can you say you solved the mystery without becoming one of the lost.