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: for $44, you get a beginner rock-climbing excursion from Treks and Tracks (an $89 value). This Groupon is valid at locations at Castle Rock State Park in Los Gatos and Pinnacles National Monument in Paicines.
Helmed by seasoned instructors armed with years of outdoor-adventure-guide training, Treks and Tracks leads four-hour beginning climbing trips through the slopes and peaks of Castle Rock State Park and Pinnacles National Monument. During the excursion, students ascend beginner-level terrain as guides impart climbing theory and technical tips such as how to avoid paying tolls to mountain goats. As they safely grapple with gravity, climbers practice fundamental rock-scaling movement, climbing knots, and climbing commands, as well as basic belaying skills. Groups pick across the rock formations at one of two area climbing sites, digging hands and feet into pock- and hole-riddled Goat Rock at Castle Rock State Park and the knobby volcanic rock walls at Pinnacles National Monument.
Treks and Tracks' guides fit their protégés for all needed gear including climbing shoes, helmets, harnesses, and belay devices. Small class sizes of up to six students per instructor allow for personalized climbing training, as well as four-part yodeling harmonies.
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.