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May 6, 2011 > City Beach presents indoor ropes course

City Beach presents indoor ropes course

By Kevin Yin

Photos courtesy of City Beach

City Beach in Fremont has recently opened for public availability its Indoor Challenge Course, an arrangement of ropes and wooden platforms placed 25 feet in the air on which the adventurous can test their coordination and courage.

The course shares some similarities with rock climbing, with course challengers secured by a harness with ropes operated by teammates on the ground. Challengers then proceed through a series of eight elements which include traversing cables, planks and platforms.

"The element of danger here will be mostly perceived, but of course it's very powerful," said City Beach Director of Operations Gregg Dean. "Fear is a powerful thing, and the whole point is to harness that. If you go up in a rope course and you don't have any level of fear, there's probably something wrong with you."

Dean has logged over 750 hours on the ropes course over the past five years, and he said he still has a palpable measure of fear each time he goes up. However, despite the sense of danger associated with the course, Dean stressed the high degree of safety under which the course operates.

"Honestly, it's the most controlled environment at City Beach," Dean noted. "You're actually more apt to get injured on a sports court underneath a basketball hoop than you are on the ropes course just because of the level of safety and the checks and balances involved with the way we manage the course."

According to Dean, the facility at City Beach is the only indoor ropes course on the West Coast. When City Beach opened its doors in December 2001, the course was reserved for private functions such as corporate events, but the course is now available to anyone who wishes to try their mettle.

"We'll work with private individuals, families, friends, wedding parties," Dean said. "We work with sports teams on every level, from Pop Warner football teams all the way to professional sports organizations."

More than a test of any particular physical attribute, the ropes course is a challenge to a person's resolve and boundaries. Dean said that the powerful effect the course has on people who try it together should not be underestimated.

"You look at somebody different after you come down from an experience on a ropes course," he said. "You really think 'we took care of each other up there.' "

In addition to the ropes course, City Beach -- which also has a location in Santa Clara -- offers much more, including an indoor rock climbing gym, with 16,000 square feet of climbing routes; a garden patio featuring four bocce ball courses; a multi-purpose gym offering visitors the chance to play basketball, volleyball or badminton; a restaurant serving an eclectic variety of dishes; and entertainment hub for a chance to play on one of eight billiards tables, two air hockey tables, two shuffleboard tables and five ping-pong tables, all while watching sporting events on HD TVs; and a private conference room.

Located at 4020 Technology Place in Fremont, you can reach City Beach at 510-651-2500. And for more information, log onto the City Beach website, www.citybeach.com.

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