The road less traveled is often the more fulfilling one, especially when it bypasses Robert Frost's tiger pits. Diverge from a rote route with today's Groupon to The Gravity Vault, valid at locations in Chatham or Upper Saddle River. Choose from the following options:
- For $15, you get a Rock Climbing and Belay Certification class for one (a $35 value).
- For $28, you get a Rock Climbing and Belay Certification class for two (a $70 value).
- For $39, you get a one-hour staff-assisted private climbing session for up to four people (up to a $90 value).
- For $89, you get any six-week session of kids' classes (up to a $199 value).
Instructors at The Gravity Vault help humans ascend from their ground-bound origins as they scale more than 13,000 square feet of climbing walls. The Rock Climbing and Belay Certification class is suitable for beginners, and readies students ages 14 and older for scrambling up scowling mountain faces and slumbering Shaquille O'Neals. After a brief overview of the sport, students learn how to don a climbing harness, tie figure-eight and double fisherman-backup knots, and safely belay (manage the ropes while a partner climbs). This course also covers climbing, rope, and harness safety and verbal and nonverbal commands to use when getting into turf wars with bald eagles.
Individuals or groups of up to four people ages 5 and older who want tailored instruction can opt for a one-hour staff-assisted private session, during which an instructor briefly schools students in the use of all proper equipment before taking them around the facility for vertical workouts. The instructor handles the running of the ropes while students shimmy up walls at heights of up to 35 feet and navigate challenges such as overhangs, arches, slabs, and thumb wars at new altitudes.
The Gravity Vault also offers classes for kids (ages 5+) seeking a leg up on reaching for the stars. Ideal for any experience levels, these classes invite kids to learn a new skill, build self-esteem, and learn problem-solving skills. Check out a list of Upper Saddle River classes here, and Chatham classes here
The Gravity Vault
Helmed by a team of passionate climbing coaches, both of The Gravity Vault's locations surround climbers with more than 13,000 square feet of climbing space. Walls tower past 35 feet, mimicking such natural rock formations as overhangs, keyhole arches, and slabs, and bouldering areas challenge climbers with a latticework of problems that—unlike most of life's—can't simply be solved with dynamite and a pair of roller skates. Visitors can choose from up to 60 top-rope stations, trusting either the trained staff or a certified fellow climber to man the ropes while they scramble to the summit. When not dangling from a hold or saving lost kittens from a rappel ledge, members can bulk up in the cardiovascular-training area.