Designed as one of the tallest, steepest man-made climbing destinations in the Rocky Mountain region, ROCK'n & JAM'n challenges climbers new and old with a medley of nook- and cranny-laden walls. During the two-hour introductory lesson, ROCK'n & JAM'n's full-time, web-slinging instructors teach aspiring mountain goats the basics of belaying (a term used to describe rope management between climbing partners), safety, and how to avoid rookie climbing errors such as ignoring gravity and walking vertically up the wall. After two hours of training, you'll be free to spend the rest of the day taking on challenges such as Boulder or the neck-craning Front Canyon.
You might be inclined to find the smallest pumpkin available at The Great Pumpkin Haul's patch. That's because you won't just be taking this pumpkin home to carve it into a ghoulish mascot; you'll also be lugging it through a 2-mile obstacle course. Racers balance their chosen gourd on their shoulders as they trundle through corn fields, orange- and red-hued woody trails, and open pasture, all while scrambling over hay bales and other autumnal obstacles. While the race is only 2 miles long, it can be challenging when balancing a 10–20 pound pumpkin. That's why the staff awards such perseverance with prizes for those carrying the heaviest pumpkin, those daring to carry two pumpkins, and those who complete the race fastest.
After competitors cross the finish line, they're rewarded with mugs of warm apple cider and glasses of pumpkin beer. They're also welcome to hang out for a few hours to tackle the corn maze, revel in the brisk autumn weather, and groove to local music. All of the day's proceeds go to The Children's Hospital Colorado.
When the festivities wind down, guests can take their once burdensome pumpkin home to carve it into a jack-o-lantern while feeling the sweet, sweet release of revenge.
Amid the crisp, thinning mountain air steeped in the aroma of pine trees, a single-track trail winds through a dense evergreen forest past sweeping views of the valley below. In 2005, wilderness enthusiast Stefan Van der Steen founded Denver Adventures as a means of introducing others to scenes such as this by immersing them in the great outdoors through adventures such as ziplines, hiking treks, and rafting excursions. Stefan and his team of knowledgeable guides lead groups to an elevation of 8,000 feet for zipline tours on an Association for Challenge Course Technology–certified course, where riders reach speeds up to 55 miles per hour past Colorado’s naturally blurry trees.
Denver Adventures also leads hiking, snowshoeing, and mountain-biking treks through the uneven terrain, gauging participants' skill throughout to determine whether they can traverse a steep uphill climb or do a Superman seat grab over a row of sleeping bears. Making use of all the wilderness has to offer, guides also take explorers on rafting trips through canyons and past gold mines, or train them to navigate vertical routes using top-rope techniques during five-hour rock-climbing excursions.
A seemingly insurmountable fin of sandstone protrudes 300 feet in the air, challenging all humans to dare conquer its peak. As groups look on in awe of this natural wonder, a Denver Mountain Guiding guide suits up and begins the ascent, leading students of all levels on a thrilling and challenging climb.
Denver Mountain Guiding’s coterie of guides is a motley mix, encompassing passionate climbers with decades of experience, expert weekend warriors, wilderness first responders, and first-aid- and CPR-certified guides. They lead beginners through elite-level climbers on recreational trips around local rock-climbing hot spots such as Clear Creek Canyon. Outings include full-day and half-day climbs of varying levels of difficulty, as well as lessons and camps that teach basics such as rope safety, knots, belaying, rappelling, and anchors.
Outer Edge Performance's herd of vertically inclined guides combines more than 50 years experience and multiple safety accreditations that ensure safe climbs at venues such as Boulder Canyon and Garden of the Gods. Student climbers slip on provided footwear, helmets, and harnesses before instructors spend four hours teaching small groups of five or fewer how to safely smear a slab and tame wild sediment. In addition to mastering rock faces, students build teamwork by ensuring peers' safety and double-checking their equipment. For an added challenge, ice climbers prepare to summit more slippery surfaces during the ice-climbing trip. Four hours of deft arctic instruction teach pupils to scale ice-covered terrain using specialized equipment including sharp ice axes, spiked crampons, and a pocket dictionary of yeti-speak.
Denver Bouldering Club supports and enhances the climbing community via instructional opportunities, top-notch facilities, and community support. Learn to scale mountains and properly high-five colored stones in an Introduction to Climbing workshop ($30) that teaches different styles of climbing. In two hours, rock mounters will learn the history and basics of climbing as they ascend to a new plateau of understanding and embrace the yeti of knowledge. Like the seating capacity of most clown cars, workshops are capped at 15 people. Students can use their guest passes during open-house hours Tuesday nights or at other prearranged times to practice what they learn on the club's more than 1,500 square feet of climbing space, featuring 15-foot bouldering and easy-, medium-, and hard-route settings designed with more than 100 problems.