Since the beginning of time, man has sought to conquer nature, whether by climbing its steepest, most daunting cliffs or by stomping on its most fiery ants. Scale the walls of destiny with today’s Groupon: for $44, you get a four-hour beginning rock-climbing trip from Treks and Tracks (an $89 value). Excursions depart from Castle Rock State Park in Los Gatos and Pinnacles National Monument in Paicines. All participants must be at least 14 years old to climb.
Furthering the company’s ongoing mission to connect to the natural world through ancient means of travel, Treks and Tracks’ beginning rock-climbing course sets fledgling climbers on a new vertical path to high adventure inside Castle Rock State Park and at Pinnacles National Monument. From 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., experienced guides arm students with the basics of climbing techniques, including tying the appropriate knots, issuing basic commands, and filling footholds with candy beans for future climbers to find. Classes run through belaying—the art of anchoring another climber from the ground—before running up the park’s natural rock faces and beginning to climb, applying newfound knowledge to spot holds and scale walls quickly and safely. To ensure safe, individual attention, each guide takes on a maximum of six students, providing each one with all necessary safety equipment, including climbing shoes, helmets, and an emergency supply of Acme-brand suction cups. As part of Treks and Tracks’ commitment to environmental stewardship, one percent of its sales go toward 1% for the Planet’s network of earth-friendly organizations.
Treks and Tracks
Surrounded by craggy peaks, three men in bright red helmets stand in the midst of wilderness, surveying the mountains around them as their group of hikers break for a snack on the rocky ground. This interface with the majesty of nature is all in a day's work for this trio of adventurers: Paul Mangasarian and Jakob and Daniel Laggner. Still, their passion for open-air exploration grows with each expedition they lead. Paul, Jakob, and Daniel cofounded Treks and Tracks with the dream of orchestrating excursions into nature that combine ancient means of travel—such as sailing, horseback riding, and hitchhiking on a centaur—with modern sports ranging from surfing to rock climbing. Though they focus on introducing novice outdoorsfolk to unspoiled wilderness around the world, Treks and Tracks' cofounders also strive to leave the awe-inspiring surroundings they visit as pristine as they found them by rigorously upholding practices of environmental stewardship on each expedition.