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.
Adventure 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.
In olden days, people showed off their strength by jousting or flexing their mustaches. But at Maverik Man Games, both men and women prove their mettle with less violent feats of strength, such as launching a fellow teammate from a giant slingshot. Designed for individuals as well as teams, the competition encompasses up to 10 challenges, which range from showcasing your basketball-shooting skills to wrestling pigs into a barrel. Along with its land-bound activities, Maverik Man Games includes a variety of aqua-centric events, such as a giant rope swing and human slingshot.
Held over two days, the eccentric decathlon takes about two to three total hours to complete. Participants that place in the top three overall or for each challenge are rewarded with cash and prizes. And, all participants are likewise rewarded at the end of the circuit with tasty food, and live music.
At any given time, Momentum Indoor Climbing probably has more visitors clung to its walls than standing on its floor. With 20,000 square feet of climbable terrain, the indoor climbing gym challenges sportspeople of all ability levels. During lead climbs, routes up to 50 feet high guide climbers over verticals, slabs, overhangs, and arêtes. Visitors can also develop skills in a safe environment at top-roping stations, as well as a bouldering area outfitted with foam and vinyl padding for soft landings. Crack climbing challenges the most seasoned of mountaineers, recreating the fissures found in desert sandstone and the crows' feet on the faces of Mount Rushmore’s presidents.
Momentum's team members also lead skill-building classes and youth programs, and help clients stay in shape with fitness training that incorporates yoga and Pilates, cardio conditioning, and strength training. Additional amenities range from locker rooms to daycare to companion pet rocks.