Best of the 'Burgh 2010: Sports

Our editors pick the best of the best in Pittsburgh sports and recreation.

Best Indoor Rock Climbing: These days, there are plenty of synthetic rocks to climb—they’ve become of staple of gyms, schools and playgrounds. But for serious climbers, nothing beats The Climbing Wall in Point Breeze. Installed in a former factory space, The Climbing Wall is 14,000 square feet of simulated slabs, verticals and overhangs. Visitors can practice their top-rope skills and even leading (the toughest task in mountaineering). For folks who don’t like to meddle with ropes, there’s also an expansive “bouldering” section, where climbers can puzzle out routes without getting too high off the ground. Never ascended before? The Climbing Wall offers classes in everything high-altitude. Even intermediate climbers will reach new heights. 7501 Penn Ave., Point Breeze; 412/247-7334, theclimbingwall.net. — Robert Isenberg

Readers’ Poll: Best Bowling Alley: Arsenal Lanes, 212 44th St., Lawrenceville; 412/683-5992, arsenalbowl.com
Readers’ Poll: Best Fitness Club: Keystone Health Club & Café, 655 Braddock Ave., East Pittsburgh; 412/349-0777, keystonehealthclub.com
Readers’ Poll: Best Yoga Studio: Yoga Flow, yogaflowpittsburgh.com

Best Strange Games: There’s Silverball, Motion, Black Stag and Yoink! If you want to play Human Curling, you’d better find an office chair and a good broom. Obscure Games is the brainchild of Adam Nelson, an economic analyst and Bloomfield resident who decided that Pittsburghers should play more. Nelson and his cohorts have created a dozen original, low-commitment sports. This is athletics for people who prefer fun over serious sweat, and it’s a great way to spend a dull Sunday. The first Steel City Games Fest was held in August, which was made possible by a Sprout Fund Seed award that Nelson received. Got an idea for an Obscure Game? These players are always looking for new concepts. obscuregamespgh.com, steelcitygamesfest.com. — R.I.

Readers’ Poll: Best Golf Course: Oakmont Country Club, 1233 Hulton Road, Oakmont; 412/828-3330, oakmont-countryclub.org
Readers’ Poll: Best Stadium: PNC Park, 115 Federal St., North Shore; 412/321-2827
Readers’ Poll: Best Team: Pittsburgh Penguins

nemacolin

Photo courtesy of Nemacolin   
Woodlands Resort   

Best Way to Add Some Zip to a Weekend Trip: Sure, a leisurely nature hike with the family sounds like a nice, tranquil way to spend a Saturday, but why walk through the pines when you can soar above them instead? Nemacolin Woodland Resort’s new FatBird Flyer Zip Line offers thrill-seekers a 1,060-foot flight through the forest that can reach up to 60 miles per hour. Not only is the ride smooth, safe and fun, it also offers a birds-eye view of the rolling green countryside. The zip line is part of the resort’s elevated ropes course, which challenges groups to overcome aerial obstacles with teamwork, trust and communication. Family bonding time is always more fun 40 feet above ground, so bring the kids: If they’re scaredy cats, there is a 20-foot course and a Little Tykes course for the vertically challenged. 1001 LaFayette Drive, Farmington; 724/329-8555, nemacolin.com. — Sean Patrick Conboy

Readers’ Poll: Best Athlete: Sidney Crosby
Readers’ Poll: Best Play of the Year: Max Talbot’s game-winning goal in the Stanley Cup Finals
Readers’ Poll: Best Coach: Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

Categories: Best of the ‘Burgh