Benjamin Allen believes outdoor pursuits can positively influence those in need. This belief has led him all over the continent, building a ropes course for an orphanage in Mexico and setting up two courses for troubled youth at Provo Canyon School, a bit closer to home. Wanting to share his knowledge of nature with the public, he set up a course, CLAS Ropes Course, near Utah Lake nearly 20 years ago. Benjamin and his crew have since erected more than 50 ropes courses around the country, continuing to inspect ropes and train others how to run them.
CLAS Ropes Course continues to grow each year, creating obstacles such as a giant swing that releases passengers 40 feet in the air, a 400-foot zipline that whizzes through forest canopy, and a "leap of faith," where adventure seekers jump from a treetop platform to a trapeze. A log balance beam hung 30 feet above the ground and a 24-foot-tall rock-climbing tower test agility and endurance, and a fleet of 20 canoes lets paddlers navigate a mile and a half of river. Many of these structures play host to team-building activities focused on developing a group's creativity and tolerance for hearing one another sing. Staff members tailor their instruction to families, dating groups, or athletic teams. They often apply their approach to athletes, such as a professional golfer who traveled all the way from Texas hoping to conquer her fear of not qualifying for tournaments. She defeated the log balance beam, departed victorious, and qualified during her next tryout two weeks later.
Here are the sounds you'll hear at a typical marathon: huff, puff, wheeze, snort, repeat. Here are the sounds you'll hear at the Hit and Run 5K: sploosh, boing, splat, whoopee, and other onomatopoeias that haven't yet been invented. Less like a race and more like running through a living cartoon, the Hit and Run 5K's obstacle course of inflatable onslaughts has been known to "make ninjas cry."
Dodging, ducking, leaping, and balancing across a wet-and-rubbery battlefield, contestants face formidable foes such as the giant spinning balls of the Duck or Dive, the unreliable puffy poles of the Wobble Walk, the flying wet menaces at the Whacking Wall, and the Bouncy Bridge, which is kind of like London's Tower Bridge if it were any fun. All contestants receive their own spiffy T-shirts and matching headbands?a fetching ensemble that instantly deflates roving dodge balls?along with a hearty packet of deals from the race's sponsors.
The sixth-annual Newphoria New Year's Eve concert plots a massive gathering filled with dancing revelers eager to welcome Baby New Year. 101.9 The End’s Jimmy Chunga and Los Angeles mixmaster Dub Dee take turns spinning nonstop jams and commemorative calendar plates atop their turntables, and performances from surprise guests keep partiers guessing and gamboling from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. A fashion show draws eyes to marching models at center stage, as revelers match upcoming fashion choices with their appropriate New Year’s resolution. As the strains of “Auld Lang Syne” begin to stir, a ball-drop countdown ticks off the moments until 2012, aided by a light show and vertical balloon stampede. Free nonalcoholic piña coladas & strawberry daiquiris from the juice bar fuel dance-floor hijinks, while their tiny umbrellas allow carousers to shield themselves from sudden confetti downpours.
Max Zipline's tours and expeditions illuminate the beauty of Provo Canyon from riverbed to treetop. Zip lines send airborne tourists careening over tree and field, with mid- and high-speed courses all ending at wooden platforms manned by professional guides. In the valley, the Heber Valley Railroad winds through the glacier-carved canyon as riders snap pictures of Mt. Timpanogos.
The Lehi location of Momentum Indoor Climbing, the newest gym in the group, focuses entirely on bouldering and boasts nearly 10,000 square feet of climbing terrain. And its 13-foot-tall top out boulder replicates the feeling of scrambling up real boulders found outside in nature. Because bouldering is performed without ropes, harnesses, or duct tape, the structures at Momentum are surrounded by a thick pad to cushion any falls.
Momentum's staff offers instruction for complete novices, and a kids' bouldering wall ensures youths tackle age-appropriate challenges.
At Funtopia, kids' imaginations operate on a whole different level. No, really. With 26 individual climbing elements and activities including miniature skyscrapers, climbable spider webs, and a 19-foot dinosaur, this interactive climbing center lets kids live out their most fanciful mid-air fantasies. When they're not scaling a castle?s walls, kids can also return to the ground with a trip down the parabolic slide or a (controlled) leap from sky-high tower. In addition to hour-long open play sessions, Funtopia also hosts lengthier celebrations in one of the two themed birthday rooms.