Climbing / Hiking, Seattle
Whether you're a serious rock jock or have never climbed before you might consider trying out a popular northwest sport by tackling the REI climbing pinnacle. At 65 feet it's one of the tallest free-standing climbing structures in the world and is located in a six-story glass box attached to REI's flagship store. There are routes at all skill levels and it's a pretty fun outing when combined with a tour of the store.
It costs $5 for members, $15 for non-members for all the equipment and a staff member belay. You are limited to one route or 15 mintues. It's very crowded on weekends but midweek during the day you won't have to wait long. They have pagers so you can tour the store while you're waiting.
Equipment: comfortable clothing
Head up to Snoqualmie Pass in the summer, or in the winter if you have the gear and check out some of the hikes. There are tons, one I did this winter was to Snow Lake, which is a hike that starts at the Alpental Parking lot and is a beautiful hike back into the mountain, even in late August I ran into snow where the shade kept it cool but it was still gorgeous out and warm. Snow Lake is the first of 3 lakes its 6 miles round trip, or so the guides say but I think it's less. The snow slows you down but you can be in and out in 90 min or so. Its really not a difficult hike, and is a very well used trail with tons to see along the way including waterfalls, views across the valley and did I mention waterfalls.
Equipment: Boots, poles, and water...the usuals.
The mountain has been in ruins all winter and spring after the major wind storms we had hear late fall early winter of 2006. The roads are open now and although some of the campgrounds have been washed away completely it's time to get back to Mt. Rainier and discover it all over again. There are to many things to do here to count, hiking, biking, fishing, mountain climbing and skiing down the mountain once you've reached the top. We took a trip back in 2005 and stayed in a secluded campground right on the river and had the most amazing time ever! If you plan on visiting 3 or more times buy the seasons pass when you enter the park, it pays for itself and find out what it's all about!
Equipment: Be sure to bring warm clothes for the evenings, its cools down alot when your in the trees. Plan on plenty of bug spray, especially if your down by the water and any gear you'll need for your adventures.
The people at REI's flagship store says that the 65-foot rock climbing wall is one of the more popular sporting attractions in Seattle.
There's also the mountain bike and hiking trails to test out the equipment before you buy.
Equipment: The store provides rock climbing safety equipment and can place you at the proper wall based on your experience level.