About Us
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 DRIVING DIRECTIONS Devil's Lake State Park
 HIKING TRAILS Devil's Lake State Park

Vertical Adventure has been offering the best in rock climbing since October 1997, continuing to grow as we provide guided climbing trips, caving, kayaking, and zip lining with adventures available to a variety of groups and individuals. We are dedicated to providing safe and enjoyable programs to all of our clients.

Try our climbing instruction from the very basics of the sport to the more advanced top rope anchoring and ice climbing. Whether you are a complete novice, looking to hone up and build on your previous climbing skills, or fall somewhere in between, Vertical Adventure looks forward to the opportunity to help guide you to that new height in your skill progression!

Vertical Adventure Guides also offers some of the best caving, and kayaking in The Midwest. Our adventures don't stop at the end of the summer but continue through the winter months with caving, ice climbing, and snowshoeing .

Our guides and instructors are skilled climbers and adventurers. Learn from those with a passion for the outdoors and the adventures they share with you! We provide a fun, safe and exciting environment for all levels of climbers, especially those new to the sport of rock climbing.

Do you have more questions about our Adventures? FAQ


Joel Taylor

Joel has been climbing for 30 years and earned his BS in Recreation and Outdoor Adventure from George Williams College. His trainings include PCGI Top Rope Guide, along with CPR and Wilderness First Aid. Joel is an avid cyclist and snow boarder and when he is not guiding groups in adventure he is flying around the skies in his Piper Cherokee Six as a 26 year long Private Pilot with almost 3,000 flight hours.

Diane Taylor

Diane has been climbing for over 25 years and earned her BS in Physical Education and Fitness from George Williams College. She is a certified American Red Cross CPR/basic First Aid instructor, Wilderness First Aid Instructor, and teaches Physical Education at the University of Chicago Lab School. Diane enjoys cycling, hiking, and reading many great books.

Mark Petnuch

Mark has been climbing for over 30 years and a climbing instructor since 1977. His Mountaineering experience includes the Colorado and Canadian Rockies, Yukon, the Wind Rivers and Tetons of Wyoming. He has been a group leader, instructor at Devils Lake and in Beartooths of Montana with Iowa Mountaineers and Cliff Hangers Mountaineering. Mark is basic EMT trained, SAR, and a mountain rescue volunteer in Rockies. Mark enjoys downhill skiing and kayaking.

Karen Taylor

Karen was climbing before she was born (inside mom) and is at home climbing/bouldering on just about any rock she can find. She has recently graduated from the University of Illinois with a major in Outdoor Adventure and Adventure Tourism.  Karen is CPR certified and is a head facilitator for the Irons Oak Adventure Center in Homewood, IL. She is also the head “snuggler” of her kitty.

Copyright 2014

 Forecast information

Vertical Adventure Guides
are PCGI trained.


Nick Edwards

Nick, the newest member of our team, has been climbing for the past three years now and got his introduction to climbing while serving in the United States Marines for 4 years.  He is currently attending Southern Illinois University for his BS in Business Management where he is the vice president of the schools Climbing Club. Nick also enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, and caving. Nick is CPR and Wilderness First Responder certified, as well as “Leave No Trace” certified. We welcome him and thank him for his service in the Marines to this Great country of ours!