You’ve seen them at the gym, those lean, muscular types intent on one thing and one thing only: the rock climbing wall. Is it the mental challenge of scaling those technically difficult, dangerous heights that keeps them so focused? Or is it the sheer physical endurance and strength that attracts men and women of all ages to the sport? Find out for yourself at a professionally run rock climbing camp located in some of the most spectacular scenery in North America: the Sierra Nevada mountains of California.
Camps sponsored by Mountain Adventure Seminars are available for newcomers to the sport as well as advanced rockheads who are looking for some new peaks to bag. Most last about 2 days, and are located at various places in the Sierra Nevadas. Some previous climbing experience—indoor or out—is expected, and depending on the location of the base camp, some backpacking experience and general outdoor skills may also be required (this ain’t the Ritz). And if you still have some energy after a day of climbing, there are ample bouldering opportunities in many of the camping areas.
In addition to climbing instruction, you may be able to take advantage of on-site “mini-clinics” on topics like climber self-rescue or anchoring techniques. Class sizes are strictly limited, so the guide/climber ratio is ideal (on more advanced camps, there are two students per guide). Not able to make it to one of their scheduled camps? Not to worry: The team of instructors at MAS also offers private instruction and guiding for individuals and groups, including overnight adventures. And if you’re looking for a great group activity for your family reunion, scout troop, office staff, or church group, look to MAS to put together a great event, whether it involves rock climbing, snow shoeing, backcountry skiing, or hiking. —ML
Mountain Adventure Seminars, 148 Bear Valley Rd., Bear Valley, CA ( 209/753-6556; www.mtadventure.com).
When to Go: Check website for schedule.
Sacramento, CA, or Reno, NV.