Throughout the year, the Charleston area hosts a line-up of outdoor fitness activities that run along the same lines: road and trail races, triathlons, surfing contests, obstacle course mud runs, stand-up paddleboard races and mass yoga events.

But for the past 16 years, the coming Saturday has belonged to an unlikely activity for our extremely horizontal landscape: climbing.

On Saturday, the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission will host the largest outdoor climbing competition in the Southeast, the 17th annual Palmetto Pump & USA Climbing Competition, at the 50-foot-tall, 4,500-square-foot climbing wall at James Island County Park.

The event, which typically draws dozens of the best climbers from the Carolinas and Georgia, will be 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.

Palmetto Pump highlights not only the year-round offerings of the climbing program through PRC, but also the growing community of climbers in Charleston, who hone their skills at Coastal Climbing and the indoor wall at Half-Moon Outfitters in West Ashley.

Held in conjunction with USA Climbing, Palmetto Pump is designed for climbers of all ages (starting at age 4) and abilities. No competition experience is necessary.

Registration is $45 and held 8-9 a.m. Saturday. Participants not registered with USA Climbing must pay a $5 day-membership fee to compete. Climbers ages 14 and under must be accompanied by an adult chaperone.

Among the participants will be about 30 local youths in PRC's Team Charleston competitive climbing team, according to commission publicity coordinator Sarah Reynolds.

"These kids range from 7-17 and train year-round, with many of them traveling for other competitions depending on their experience level. This is their big local climbing competition at their hometown wall," says Reynolds.

Not a climber but interested in watching a show of strength, balance, endurance and agility? The competition is free for spectators with the general $1 per person park admission fee.

Walk for Water

Sometimes there seems to be a charity walk for every cause on the planet, but one that's special to Charleston is the Water Missions International Walk for Water, with the eighth annual event held at 9 a.m. Saturday at Cannon Park.

The home-grown, nonprofit Christian mission provides sustainable safe water and sanitation solutions for people in developing countries and disaster areas. Using state-of-the-art technology and engineering expertise, the organization has provided access to safe water for more than 2.4 million people in 49 countries on five continents since 2001.

Another reason the Walk for Water is different from the usual charity slog is its creativity. Organizers encourage participants to carry buckets along a three-and-a-half mile route to simulate the daily trek millions of women and children make to collect water in developing countries.

Last year, more than 2,000 participants raised $200,000 in funds used to provide safe water access to tens of thousands of people around the world. This year's goal is 2,250 walkers and $225,000.

"Water Missions International was built from the ground up with the help, support and commitment of Charleston area residents. So whether you've walked every year, or never walked before, this is a great time to learn how you can make a difference around the world," says Kyle Whitcroft, special events coordinator for Water Missions International.

Beaufort Twilight 8K/5K

Also a tad different are "twilight runs" at Beaufort's village of Habersham on Saturday evening, followed by an oyster roast.

The runs, held far enough apart for the hearty to run both, include a 5K at 5 p.m. and an 8K at 6:15 p.m. The event raises money for Riverview Charter School in Beaufort.

Late fees are a tad steep, $55 for the 8K, $50 for the 5K, or $65 for both.

Ukuthemba 5K

The inaugural 5K Run/Walk for the Ukutemba Children's Home will be at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Cottonwood Shelter at Wannamaker County Park in North Charleston.

The event raises money for the construction of a home for orphans in East London, South Africa. The city is in the Eastern Cape Province, the poorest of South Africa's seven provinces. More than 700,000 orphans live in the province of a country with 3.7 million children having lost one or both parents to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

The fees for the run and walk are $25-$30 for adults, $15 for students and children ages 6 to 18, and free for children under age six.

Lowco Surf Jam

While it's not particularly active, Saturday's Lowco Surf Jam benefits a cause near and dear to the Charleston area's surfing community: the Surfer's Healing day camp for area children with autism.

Presented by Mex 1 Coastal Cantina and Dangermuffin, the Lowco Surf Jams will feature seven bands playing 2-11 p.m. Saturday outside of the restaurant, located at 817 St. Andrew's Blvd. in West Ashley.

The cost is a suggested $10 donation. Bands performing include Dangermuffin, Pick N Roll, Post Cobra, Fowler's Mustache, Dallas Baker and Friends, Dave Grunstra and Barrett Beeson, and members of The Dubplates.

Surfers Healing was founded by Israel and Danielle Paskowitz, parents of a child diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. The Surfers Healing team travels the coasts of the United States, Mexico, Hawaii and Puerto Rico bringing a safe and unforgettable experience to children with autism and their families.

The South Carolina event is tentatively set for Aug. 20 on Folly Beach.

Reach David Quick at 937-5516.