Most athletically minded Sacramentans have probably been to a rock climbing gym at some point—unless you’re afraid of heights, that is. But let’s be honest; actually getting out of the gym and onto the crag is a daunting prospect. That’s why REI is holding introductory classes to bring your climbing game to the next level, no pun intended. Drive on up to the beautiful Auburn State Recreation Area (501 El Dorado St., Auburn), where you’ll learn basics like how to safely belay climbers and tie-in to a harness, as well as elementary crack and face-climbing techniques. There’s no climbing gear requirements, so if you don’t know your ATCs from your Grigris, never fear. Helmets, harnesses and shoes are all provided. That being said, REI is strict about the gear they do require, so make sure to bring water (2 liters!), a day pack and hiking boots, as the class involves a walk to the climbing area. Even if you never venture outside the gym again, outdoor climbing is great for improving skills (and stunting on friends). The classes run from 9 a.m.–2 p.m on Oct. 27, Nov. 4, Dec. 1 and Dec. 15. Spots are $80 for members, $90 for non-members. To get more info on how to improve your skills on the cliff, visit Rei.com.
**This write-up first appeared in print on page 9 of issue #277 (Oct. 24 – Nov. 7, 2018)**