New: Permanent Climbing Wall at Heavenly

The South Lake Tahoe resort offers guests a chance to go vertical in "a safe, controlled environment."

THE YEAR OF UP: While scaling walls have been around since there were people and walls to scale, for many people 2015 will go down -- or up -- as the year when rock climbing went big. Climbers Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell brought the incredibly demanding and ballet-like pursuit to screens across the world when they scaled Yosemite's previously unscalable Dawn Wall. The free-climb feat, which took place near the start of the year, seemed almost supernatural to many viewers, especially when photos came down off El Capitan showing the climbers reaching their fingers into scrubby holds barely as wide as a pinky. The climb inspired many people to search out climbing walls, those controlled environments where ropes and guides can help a first-timer gain a little ascension and confidence. The newest has just opened, in one of our state's most outdoors-minded destinations: South Lake Tahoe. It's at Heavenly, which revealed its latest addition to its range of alfresco activities on Thursday, Sept. 3. 

A REGION OF VERTICAL WONDERS: True, true -- Tahoe is plum full of upwards, look-at-the-sky places to go up, up, up. But the rock walls give an aspiring climber a chance to dip a toe in in a "safe and controlled environment." The permanent wall towers to 35 feet "with 15 defined climbing routes varying in difficulty," and an automatic belay system is also present on each route located up the wall, which can be found to the south of the property's Tamarack Lodge. If rock climbing isn't quite your jam, but skiing is, hang tight. Heavenly's...

WINTER 2015-2016 SKI PASS... is on sale through Sept. 7, and a Labor Day Weekend Blizzard Tent Sale is on the schedule, should you need to stock up on poles and such. As for an opening date? You're looking at just before Thanksgiving: Skiing at Heavenly is on the calendar to debut on Nov. 21, 2015.

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