Mankind’s feeble climbing skills and inability to digest delicious tin cans are two ways in which evolution left humans inferior to goats. Channel an inner mountain goat with today’s Groupon to Touchstone Climbing. Choose from four locations: Great Western Power Company in Oakland, Sacramento Pipeworks, Diablo Rock Gym in Concord, and MetalMark in Fresno. Choose between the following options:
- For $30, you get a three-day climbing pass (up to a $74 total value). This pass includes:
- One introductory lesson with day pass, if needed (a $28 value)
- Two additional day passes (up to an $18 value each)
- Equipment rental for each visit (a $5 value/day)<p>
- For $75, you get a one-month climbing package (a $168 total value), which includes:
- Introductory class (a $28 value)
- One-month unlimited pass (a $100 value)
- Equipment rental for each visit (a $5 value/day; a $40 average value)<p>
Both options include access to cardio and weight equipment and all fitness classes, which include yoga, indoor cycling, core classes, cardio boxing, and CrossFit at some locations.
Touchstone’s climbing gyms outperform mountains with regularly restructured courses, basic-education classes, and cross-training opportunities. During an introductory class, climbing duos age 14 and older spend an hour learning safe climbing practices from guides who took high-school gym class with Spiderman. Wall climbers learn the skills involved in knot tying, basic top-rope climbing, and proper use of belay equipment. Once sufficiently edified, explorers may equip themselves with included rental gear and spend three days conquering the walls at their venue of choice in preparation for a visit to a mountaintop Taco Bell.
A one-month package allows climbers unlimited access to one facility for 30 days in addition to their beginner’s course. Patrons of all skill levels can hone their climbing chops and attend athletic and social events such as competitive Sisyphean boulder pushing. Touchstone Climbing will waive the membership initiation fee of $100 for Groupon customers who buy the one-month climbing package and decide they want to join on for more regular climbing or an extra-exciting place to sleep.
The next time you're on the roof of a five-story building, look down at the ground, and you'll get a rough idea of just how high people climb at Touchstone Climbing. The gym's seven locations feature lead walls that rise as high as 50 feet off the ground, though height isn't the only dimension that makes the space feel immense. Each spot has at least 11,000 square feet of climbing terrain, not to mention as much as 3,000 square feet of bouldering.
To prevent newcomers from feeling intimidated by the magnitude of the environment, the gym holds introductory classes. During these sessions, participants learn the basic techniques they'll need if they want to conquer the gym's crack systems and boulder problems. The classes are also an opportunity for students to scope out the terrain features at each location, such as Diablo Rock Gym's steep prow, which juts out crookedly like a thumbs up from a dizzy ballerina. While they're at it, the visitors might notice something else: the social nature of the gym. As the San Francisco Chronicle recounts, the fact that lead climbs require two people means that climbers are constantly asking around for new partners and chatting back and forth as they ascend.
Each location also boasts a weight room, cardio machines, and a studio space for everything from yoga to spinning to core classes.