No school can top the seven-sided, five-story climbing tower at Maryland known as the Beast (left). With 9,000 square feet of surface area, the year-and-a-half-old structure offers students thousands of climbing routes. A growing number of other schools are also big on adventure sports. Here are five.
? NORTH CAROLINA has the nation's longest zipline (right), a 1,200-foot cable down which students ride at 25 mph while dangling as high as 50 feet off the ground.
? WISCONSIN offers sports ranging from hang gliding to scuba diving through its 71-year-old Hoofers outdoors club, which has about 4,000 members.
? COLORADO has a world-class outdoors program that includes rock climbing and skiing in the Rockies.
? MINNESOTA has an extensive ice-climbing program. Students sometimes travel south to Iowa to scale old silos that have been iced over for climbers.
? MIAMI ( OHIO) sends study groups to the South Pacific and around the U.S. to combine environmental classes with activities like sea kayaking and ice climbing.