The raw nature of Southern California is a painting turned into reality. Mountains kiss the sky, hills roll across the horizon, and canyons cut deep into the region's red, cherry-hued rock. SoCal Adventure Company's guides take groups to all of these destinations. With gear and healthy snacks in tow, they lead beginners and experienced adrenaline junkies alike on day trips ranging from rock climbing to canyoneering, a mode of adventure hiking that mixes in some thrilling rappels.
The guides lead groups on hikes through the mountains, help them climb top ropes, and rappel down cliffs through waterfalls. Occasionally, they even pause to swim through the pools at the canyon's bottom. Additionally, SoCal Adventure Company's guides always look for new ways to explore. To that end, they lead a trip of the week with an ever-changing itinerary.
Even The Climbing Life Guides can't quite articulate the feeling of exhilaration when you finally hoist yourself onto a mountain's peak. They describe it as an "ah hah!" moment, one when it's impossible to fight off a grin. And their main goal as guides is to help climbers get there. That's why they take clients on private or group climbs in Joshua Tree National Park, promising breathtaking views of some of the nation's most impressive natural splendor. They'll bring all the equipment and knowledge?climbers just need to bring a thirst for adventure.
Climbing walls, ice baths, pools of mud, electric shocks?a Tough Mudder isn't your average footrace. Each 10- to 12-mile course contains 20 adrenaline-pumping obstacles designed to test participants' strength and endurance, just like most local DMV lines. Runners clamber on top of each other to scale the slick, sloping wall of Pyramid Scheme or squeal with shock as they plunge into the Arctic Enema, a plastic-lined dumpster filled with thousands of pounds of ice. They even endure shocks from a forest of live wires known as Electroshock Therapy.
But it's all worth it for the glass of beer at the end, plus the sense of camaraderie that develops among teammates. Many of those teammates go on to join the Mudder Legion, an organization for those who have completed the race two or more times. Tough Mudder also raises funds for the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps injured veterans transition to civilian life.
It took a while for Cedar Lake Camp to come into its identity, changing hands three times in 20 years before the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles bought it in 1955. Since then, the staff has worked hard to establish it as a sanctuary of reflection, renewal, and recreation. The manmade lake clearly plays a central role in the retreat’s activities, from canoeing to swimming and fishing. The camp has also extended its recreational purview to include thrills such as ziplining, rope courses, and team-building activities. It rents its lodges out year-round to guests and bears looking for a place to hibernate, and often hosts summer camps for kids and families.
See the trees from the canopy and experience nature a whole new way with Action Tree Rope Climbing. At a spot near Big Bear Lake, certified instructors help guests scale trees' massive trunks using harnesses, ropes, and a series of knots. This safe way of climbing allows guests aged 12 and older to live out their dreams of becoming climbing squirrels as they gaze back down on the forest floor from 45 feet in the air. During tours, guides explain a little about the area, including conservation information and the location of the nearest fairy circles.
With more than 55,000 square feet of climbing surfaces, Hangar 18 offers ample terrain for climbers of all skill levels. From first-timers just learning to belay to seasoned climbers seeking a vertical challenge, athletes of all stripes can find suitable terrain and helpful assistance from experienced staff members. At the various Hangar 18 outposts, climbers can find top ropes and lead routes circling freestanding boulders, challenging crack climbs, and 40-foot roof climbs. And, after traversing 70-foot routes through lead caves and descending towering boulders, climbers can decompress in a yoga class.