A climber slowly ascends a steep rockface, supporting all his weight on the smallest of footholds. Ignoring the heights, he searches for another place to grasp, finding purchase on an oval stone. His final step to the top rewards him with the thrilling satisfaction of beating the beastly incline and views of children running across the floor.
Carabiner's Indoor Climbing rock gym, one of the tallest in New England, brings the sport of rock scaling to urban residents. Walls that range from 15- to 65-feet tall grant visitors of all skill levels climbing routes that strengthen muscles, improve body awareness, and serve as a training ground for the NYPD?s Spider-Man division.
Certified climbers start visitors on their paths to climbing autonomy with personal belay classes that cover basics and safety tips. The gyms also offer a full-schedule of fitness classes, including yoga, Pilates, Zumba, pole dancing, martial arts, and family fitness classes.
Colorful knobs and grips jut out from City Climb's angular white walls, guiding climbers of all experience levels along routes designed by USAC-certified setters. These vertical treks are made safe by ropes, which are looped into climbers' harnesses and held below by belayers. No harness is necessary to clamber along the curves of a bouldering cave, however—or while army crawling the entire length of the floor. Students can bring their own equipment or rent climbing shoes, harnesses, and chalk bags at the gym.
The expert climbing instructors at CT Rock Gym guide cliff-scalers through the ins and outs of rock climbing and belaying during a 90-minute On Belay! class. Teachers introduce students to climbing equipment, movements and techniques, and the basics of belaying, which involves clambering up overhangs while tethered via rope to a partner. Two automatic belay machines help solo climbers achieve the heights of dynamic duos, and the staff ensures safety by checking each person prior to their belaying foray and leading everyone through typhoon disaster drills. A two-week membership allows patrons to develop their climbing prowess by exploring a bouldering area, which includes a cave, and shimmying up artfully designed rope paths that rotate every 2.5 months—the time it takes to hatch a rhinoceros.
At The Adventure Park at Long Island, small platforms hang at various levels among the branches and boughs, connected by bridges and ziplines. Guests navigate up into the canopy and then soar back down, experiencing fantastic speeds coupled with stunning aerial views. To ensure all visitors have ample time to enjoy their experience, course start times are staggered throughout the day. This keeps the treetop traffic at a minimum, ensuring minimal wait times and no outbursts from squirrels with road rage.
Cables, wood, and rope snake throughout 5 acres of woodlands behind the Discovery Museum, forming the bridges, ropes, and ziplines that carry visitors on roaming wilderness adventures over the forest floor. The Adventure Park at the Discovery Museum challenges visitors as young as 7 years old with color-coded trails through the treetops, each ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced. Adventurers discover their own routes between platforms, and each path presents a different challenge, which prompts climbers to balance on ropes or sneak past owls? nests without waking them. Visitors must scale these courses before soaring down ziplines through wispy branches and dappled sunlight. Though the courses are designed to challenge minds and bodies, guides keep adventurers safe with a double-connected system of locked harnesses. Course designers Outdoor Venture Group eschew motors and electricity to stay environmentally friendly, and designed their course around trees to give each enough space to grow its own treehouse.
Relaxing and working out don't usually go hand-in-hand, but things aren't usual at The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers. As soon as visitors set foot in the Mind Body Studio, they're set at ease by a modern lounge area, which boasts sleek bamboo floors, exposed brick walls, and sprigs of verdant plants. Inside the workout space, classes such as yoga and the barre method emphasize the mind-body connection. The Nalini Method classes also push students toward inner harmony with a combination of Pilates, aerobics, barre work, and yoga, helping students de-stress while toning limbs and burning calories without ever tossing any cheesecakes into open flames.