When the climbers of Planet Granite say that community anchors everything they do, they have a history of outreach to back it up. After Castle Rock State Park appeared on California?s closure list, Planet Granite?s team quickly organized a fundraiser to save the sanctuary. They pledged $10,000 in matching funds, threw an auction, scheduled guest speakers, and obtained support from companies such as REI. In one night, they raised $20,725.
This kind of response has typified Planet Granite?s team since opening its first facility in 1994. One of the first climbing gyms in the country, Planet Granite has expanded to three gyms in Belmont, San Francisco, and Sunnyvale. The diverse array of climbing resources at each location led Popsugar to name the gym conglomerate one of the top five in San Francisco in 2011. At the Sunnyvale location, members scale 25,000 square feet of climbable surfaces that ascend from low bouldering terrains to 60-foot walls.
In keeping with their commitment to community, the staff tailors instruction and climbing routes to every ability level and affinity for hand sweatiness. They also supervise each gyms? fully equipped fitness centers, ranging from CrossFit to yoga, which provides a peaceful counterbalance to the full-body workout of rock climbing.
After her first visit to Mission Cliffs, Donna Dunlap tore the fake fingernails off her hands. It wasn’t out of frustration, however, but from sheer excitement. Excitement to return to the climbing emporium and once again experience the rush of scurrying up 14,000 square feet of climbing walls, boulders, arches, and slabs. It’s not clear whether Donna ever replaced those nail tips, but it’s unlikely; she’s now the manager of the entire facility, and oversees a staff of equally enthusiastic guides that make the daunting heights attainable for visitors of all ages and abilities.
Mission Cliffs’ centerpiece is its towering five-story-high lead wall, a veritable maze of routes, slants, and crags. The gym’s arches have coaxed forehead sweat from even the most accomplished climbers, while its moderate terrain along the cylinder and mezzanine walls takes it easy on first-timers. Upstairs, a family of hulking boulders awaits the feet and hands of climbers turning in their ropes for some freestyle bouldering. The gym also outfits guests with gear rentals and introductory lessons, and raises heart rates with a range of fitness classes.
The Trans-Sierra Club's experienced guides lead groups on challenging backpacking treks across Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park and through Grand Canyon National Park. In small groups, participants conquer miles of some of the most rugged and beautiful terrain in California and Arizona, all while unplugged from their phones, tablets, and cotton-candy machines. The multiday treks are intense, but no prior backpacking experience is necessary and all ages are welcome.
On the Trans-Sierra Xtreme Challenge, participants backpack for 75 miles across Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The inspirational journey includes a trek across some of the most remote regions of the Sierra Nevada.
On the 35-mile Grand Canyon Xtreme Challenge, groups climb down the Grand Canyon, explore its hidden gorges, and camp out by the Colorado River before ascending again.
Extreme athletes banded together to design Spartan Races' intense courses orchestrated over standardized distances, each strewn with natural and man-made obstacles to test mind-body fitness, resilience, stamina, and strength, designed to leave participants exhausted and exhilarated. In waves of 200, runners collect smudges and stains as they perform box jumps, haul heavy sandbags, and juke feral linebackers. Depending on where in the world they're participating, the course may be as short as 3 miles or, for extremely practiced athletes, as long as a full marathon.
Web 2.0 shines light into cyberspace with a multitrack educational convention of ideas, concepts, and configurations. A host of workshops and conversational-learning sessions unveil new innovations and design strategies, and networking events allow convention-goers to rub elbows and positively charged balloons with industry superstars. The Web 2.0 Lite pass grants access to the event Tuesday–Thursday. The Lite pass presents a slim spread of activities such as a choice of one track session, a choice of one conversation, personal audio for all keynote speakers, access to evening events, and access to the Expo Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Richard Bothwell has hiked Mount Kilimanjaro, scaled Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, and surfed the waves of four continents. But perhaps his greatest feat was establishing the Outdoor Adventure Club in 1996, where he leads others in conquering nature's challenges. He and a staff of seasoned outdoors enthusiasts escort visitors of all fitness and experience levels in local excursions and international vacations, all centered on exploring the great outdoors. On the local level, the guides lead rock-climbing classes at Castle Rock State Park in addition to hiking, backpacking, whitewater-rafting, kayaking, and skydiving excursions. International adventure vacations expose folks to surfing in Costa Rica, rafting in Patagonia, and mountaineering in Peru. The expeditions marry the camaraderie of a social club with the expertise of professional guides, who are each trained in emergency wilderness care in case of squirrel attacks.