For $45, today's side deal gets you an adult starter package and a two-week unlimited pass at Planet Rock in either Pontiac or Ann Arbor. The starter package includes a pass for your first day, during which you'll get basic instruction and rental equipment (shoes, harness, chalk bag, belay device), in addition to one free daily pass to use within 30 days. After you've been introduced to the challenging rocks, you'll have two weeks of unlimited climbs, giving this Groupon a total value of $112.
After one of Planet Rock's half-salamander, half-mountain-goat instructors teaches you the finer points of rock climbing safety and corrects common beginner mistakes (burrowing into the earth, getting trapped inside the rock), you'll be free to explore all the ways one can climb a rock on Planet Rock. Besides classic top-rope and belay climbing, you can also do a little bouldering close to the ground in one of Planet Rock's caves. To feel like you're training for Ninja Warrior, you'll want to try your rock-talons at the rock-tread wall, a treadmill climbing wall that rotates as you climb it according to the speed and angle you set. Planet Rock changes the routes on its 55-foot walls every week, as well as the ogres in the bouldering caves, keeping your mind as active as the rest of your body.
Planet Rock challenges novice and experienced climbers alike to discover the depth of their willpower reservoirs. Towering as high as five stories tall, the ever-changing climbing walls offer climbers a sense of adrenaline-pumping accomplishment and allow short folks to finally see what grows on top of the human head. And to help climbers reach these great heights, a team of experienced instructors lead free-climb programs, summer camps for kids ages 4 and older, and classes for those of all ages.
But it's not all rock climbing, lead climbing, and bouldering. At the Madison Heights location, the altitude addicts have debuted an aerial silks program, in which they teach students to scale up and slide down long, flowing silks—an activity that can improve the balance and strengthen the core of any participant. The instructors also work one-on-one with climbers who have special needs, assisting individuals with hearing, visual, or physical impairments, and the climbing gym has hosted the climbing portion of the Extremity Games for individuals with amputations.