Climbing in Salmon Creek

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Michael Lary and Guruhans Kroesen?cofounders of The Source Climbing Center?create a pleasurable indoor ambiance for their clientele of outdoorsy climbing enthusiasts. The building, developed specifically to be a climbing center, keeps members busy with top-rope and lead climbing walls, plus 1,200 feet of bouldering terrain. They designed their air-conditioned rock scaler's paradise with a wall of east-facing windows 32 feet tall, allowing early morning sun to wash over visitors enjoying daybreak climbs, just as they do when climbing a faraway mountain or helping the Mount Rushmore presidents floss.

A short online video presentation and a computer-generated animated tour provide a closer look at the building's design features.

1118 Main Street
Vancouver,
WA
US

An Xbox 360 console, a 40-inch high-definition television, and a surround-sound headset: all of this is yours alone at PLAYlive's individual gaming stations. But that doesn't mean each round of gaming has to be a solitary affair. The gaming center hosts parties and weekly tournaments, too, pitting players against each other in live contests with titles such as Call of Duty and NBA2K. For members, the lounge even hosts monthly mixers where gamers can participate in mini tournaments or debate which Mario brother made their mother prouder. Beyond its comfy lounge, PLAYlive can enrich your gaming experience with its shop that specializes in repairing Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii consoles.

8700 NE Vancouver Mall Dr., Ste. 278
Vancouver,
WA
US

Bouldering differs from other forms of rock climbing in a variety of ways, such as its heightened social element. When top roping, for example, climbers are more isolated, relying on a partner below to maintain rope tension. But because bouldering is done on lower courses that don't require a rope or harness, climbers are free to scale walls at will, often resulting in people sharing walls and striking up conversations in between surmounting terrain such as verticals, slabs, and roof climbs?overhangs that put climbers' bodies parallel to the floor.

That's how The Circuit Bouldering Gym got started. Some bouldering enthusiasts crossed paths at a local gym and found they all wanted to expand Portland's bouldering options. Today, they welcome guests to surmount courses?including a hanging boulder?ranging from 8- to 17-feet high and surrounded by crash-pad flooring. Boasting one of the largest bouldering-only gyms in the world, they also designed many of their simulated climbing stations as top-out boulders, letting guests experience what it's like to stand atop a boulder in the Rockies or on the moon. Additionally, they instruct guests with programs such as 90-minute intro courses, advanced clinics with professional climber athletes, and programs tailored for kids including birthday parties. Between climbs, a lounge area lets visitors relax and swap tales of defying gravity's relentless bullying. To further build the bouldering community, the gym's team organizes an annual fundraiser benefiting local charities, including the Pump-a-thon, which is scheduled for February 22nd.

410 NE 17th Ave
Portland,
OR
US

Spotting a double-decker bus outside of London is a rare treat. It's a treat Double Decker PDX founders Brooks Thompson and Kent Metcalf wanted to share with their fellow Rose City residents, which is why they brought a cherry red double-decker bus over from London. Rather than keep it on stationary display, they renovated it and transformed it into a venue on wheels complete with refrigerators, an oak bar, and a stereo system. Now, the double-decker bus transports revelers on pub crawls, to weddings, or to tastings at local wineries, in addition to other special events.

2332 SW Chelmsford Ave
Portland,
OR
US

Nestled alongside the Columbia River and the majestic stone cliffs carved through the millennia, Skamania Lodge's 175 acres are a breathtaking venue for golf. Cleaved through towering pines, the 18-hole, par-70 course immerses players in a wilderness inhabited by deer, turtles, geese, raccoons, osprey, and other species striving to steal humanity's golf-cart technology. But the course capitalizes on its native surroundings without undermining its function as a natural ecosystem, earning certification for its sustainable practices from Audubon International.

Still, on the course, the photogenic scenery sometimes seems to pale in comparison to the golf experience itself. Tree-lined fairways, sharp elevation changes, and Columbia gorge winds make accurate shotmaking a must, and water hazards complicate passage on multiple holes. The 14th, for instance, cuts the green off from the fairway with a creek, cradles it from behind with another water hazard, and shifts elevation so fast that it's named "The Waterfall." To help prepare for challenges such as these, golfers can warm up at a practice facility that includes a driving range, a practice bunker, and greens for chipping and putting.

1131 Skamania Lodge Dr
Stevenson,
WA
US

At Stone Free Climbing, rock climbing isn't an indoor sport. The company's experienced guides lead day and weekend trips to natural rock formations, such as Smith National Park's volcanic tuft. Each trip accommodates new and seasoned climbers alike, and adventurers can leave their suction clogs at home since all necessary gear is provided. To prep ambitious scalers for solo jaunts, the Stone Free Climbing experts also lead mountain navigation courses, teaching students to use GPS equipment, find routes, and read topographical maps.

1298 East Historic Columbia River Highway
Troutdale,
OR
US