The road less traveled is often the more fulfilling one, especially when it bypasses Robert Frost’s tiger pits. Diverge from a rote route with today’s Groupon to climbers’ paradise Rockreation in Costa Mesa. Choose between the following options:
- For $19, you get a Fight One Gravity package (up to a $40 total value), which includes the following:
- One belay class
- One week of unlimited rock climbing<p>
- For $45, you get a one-month unlimited climbing membership (up to a $99 value).
Beginners must take a belay class before climbing.
The adrenaline-inducing arena at Rockreation challenges climbers of all skill levels with more than 12,000 square feet of climbing terrain, composed of jagged cliffs, bouldering nooks, and craggy archways. With the Fight Gravity One class, pupils learn the basics of cliff climbing and belaying under the gravity-defying tutelage of an expert instructor. After the class, students can practice their newfangled knowledge with one week of unlimited climbing in Rockreation’s faux mountain range, which mimics the conditions of real rocks with indentions, overhangs, and eagle’s nests. By the end of the program all participants should have acquired the necessary skills to pass the Rockreation top-rope safety test.
Alternatively, skyward scramblers can forego the belay course and choose one month of unlimited climbing, which thrills indoor alpinists with full access to the climbing gym and top-rope course fraught with varying angles and a large lead area with an arch. The gym also has a separate area with machines, traditional weights, and cardio equipment for members who want to not only climb rocks, but also lift heavy ones above their heads.
Blaine Eastcott's love of the outdoors is rooted in fond childhood memories of family camping trips. On one such trip, Blaine's teenage self impulsively climbed a 100-foot rock only to soon find himself struck by panic high up on the rock face. He was paralyzed by fear, until a surge of adrenaline gave him the courage needed to scramble the final 10 feet up. This ordeal spurred him to take rock-climbing classes—and eventually led to his current position as the president of Rockreation. His three adrenaline-inducing arenas challenge climbers of all skill levels with more than 28,500 total square feet of climbing terrain, composed of jagged cliffs, bouldering nooks, and craggy archways. The faux-mountain range mimics the conditions of real rocks with indentions, overhangs, and eagle's nests.
The gyms devote one-third of their space to a bouldering area, which blends into a top-rope course fraught with varying angles, and a large lead area with an overhanging arch. Across these angles, passionate instructors with extensive outdoors experience—and a background in conversational mountain goat—guide students through the Fight Gravity program. The three-class series focuses on belaying basics, and progresses through technique instruction and bouldering. They also lead seasonal kids' camps where tiny humans can explore the routes, or plunge on a big swing and zipline. The gyms also have a separate area with machines, traditional weights, and cardio equipment for members who want to not only climb rocks, but also lift heavy ones above their heads.