The altitude fiends at Climb Upstate entreat climbers of all skill levels to practice their vertical vernacular in the architect-designed indoor facility. Climbers clamber through a simulated cave while perfecting their mole-people dialect or emulate a bouldering adventure on more than 100 feet of continuous scaling space. Numerous routes designed for every ability take advantage of the facility’s ample lean-back walls, 35 feet of roof climbing, and top-rope stations, two of which stretch all the way to the ceiling. Between ascents, guests may relax in the party space and catch screenings of climbing movies on a 42-inch flat-screen or dust off their chalky hands for a round of table tennis on the facility's ping-pong table.
Unlike most places, at Climb at Blue Ridge, monkey-like maneuvers indicate superhuman skill. Colorful footholds and handholds speckle the climbing gym’s towering walls and the ceiling of a boxy alcove, with some jutting out at treacherous angles. Equipped with safety gear, climbers surmount the faux cliffs at their leisure, unlike someone trying to escape a vengeful mountain goat. Alternatively, they can join the climbing team to hone their scaling skills in both the gym and the wild.
Ax-prentices can visit the Greenville Guitar Academy—which is under the guidance of owner Stephen Williams and his experienced staff—to wail, shred, riff, and strum their way from atonal ignorance to the heights of music nirvana. Half-hour private lessons are available for any experience level. Secure from acoustic interruption in one of the academy’s practice spaces, novice players and road-hardened rockers alike can perfect their jazz, blues, metal, slide, and other string styles with guidance from seven personable and knowledgeable instructors.
The golfing gurus at Edwin Watts Golf Academy diagnose and correct their students' poor swing and putting habits in an effort to help them improve their shots and lower their scores. In one-on-one swing-analysis sessions, students learn a repeatable swing that eliminates tendencies they may have to slice, hook, push, or pull the ball. A special laser attaches to the end of the player's club and tracks the swing path while JC Video swing-analysis software records the session from two separate angles, lest analysis be thrown off by only looking at the golfer's good side. Putting analysis employs Tomi technology to measure eight separate parameters of the putting stroke, from clubhead orientation at address to swing path and tempo. After swing and putting lessons, students may access the recordings on a password-protected website, so they can forward videos to friends or sports-documentary filmmakers.
A former United States Navy fighter pilot with more than 30 years experience, chief flight instructor Cecil Tune personally selects each new member of Mint Air's staff. These handpicked educators parachute out of their offices and welcome pupils aboard a Flight Design CTLS, the company's primary training aircraft. The German-manufactured planes enclose pilots in a full-glass cockpit, allowing for unencumbered views while soaring above rolling foothills on discovery flights or certification programs. Combined with the school's ground instruction, the flight training can secure the sport, private, or commercial licenses required to finally patronize the world's floating drive-thrus. Mint Air's crew also manages and sells planes.
For its 50th annual celebration, the Southern Home and Garden Show is showcasing more than 250 exhibitors representing the latest in functional design for home and landscape needs. Visitors can grab a map and explore a 41,000-square-foot maze filled with home furnishings and appliances, including countertops by Star Granite Interiors, backyard grills by the Holland Grill Company, kitchen appliances by Jeff Lynch, garage doors by Carolina Windows and Doors, and a slew of interior-design furnishings and electronics.