Palisades Climb Adventure presented by WonderWorks lays claim to the title of the world's tallest indoor ropes course, and you might not feel like arguing with them when you're 85 feet above the ground. Guests traverse 75 different obstacles that test the climber's mettle, whether they're trying to balance while walking across tremor bridges, maintain their grip on the rope ladder, or fight back the urge to eat the alternating spaghetti handline. Once an adventurer is buckled into the safety harness, they can leap, totter, and dangle through the entire course with the option to leave at any time. The only requirements are a minimum height of 3'6" and a maximum weight of 300 pounds.
Helmed by a team of passionate climbing coaches, all three of The Gravity Vault's locations surround climbers with more than 13,500 square feet of climbable terrain. Walls tower past 40 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.
At The Cliffs at Valhalla, professional setters map out more than 200 new climbs every three months. It’s part of the gym’s mission to keep routes as challenging and engaging as those found outdoors.
Though ideal for skilled climbers, the gym caters to first-timers too. Certified instructors lead adult classes in climbing basics. Staff members guide customers to the proper gear and yodeling song books at the pro shop, and they even created a fitness area with climbing-specific cardio training equipment and yoga classes to complement the climbing terrain.
The Cliffs at Valhalla also readies kids for climbing. Climbing camp lets kids experience indoor and outdoor climbing, and award-winning birthday parties furnish groups with private climbing walls and a 1:5 instructor to student ratio.
As the mother of three children, Tara started taking Zumba classes as a way to get back in shape. Not only did she quickly see results, she also had fun moving her body to the Latin-inspired beats. Now a certified Zumba instructor, Tara introduces others to this upbeat fitness craze during one-hour classes.
The guides at Vertically Inclined maintain an intimate knowledge of the steep slopes, craggy rocks, burbling steams, and scenic wooded overlooks at each of their chosen hiking locations. They tailor their day hikes, overnight treks, and fall-foliage winery expeditions to fit the ability levels of their fellow hikers. Depending on their chosen route, treks may wind along trails through the Bear Mountain region and the Hudson Highlands, or to rugged landscapes including Fort Montgomery. During their many journeys, they keep their cameras handy to snap photos and document their hikers' victories over the terrain and in arm-wrestling matches with bald eagles. Though adventures technically begin at the trailhead, guides know that getting there is half the battle and provide round-trip transportation from the Bronx.
Home to the state's largest freestanding bouldering island, New Jersey Rock Gym houses 12,000 square feet of vertical terrain to climb as well as 41 top roping stations. Armed with either day passes or membership, guests scamper up the gym's synthetic summits, hoping to ask questions of the learned ceiling light sequestered at the top of the mountain. While gear is included with some membership options, guests can opt to bring their own materials or rent the individual shoes ($5), harnesses ($4), or chalk bags ($2) they need from the pro shop. New Jersey Rock Gym offers a collection of educational course work in the vertical arts, teaching belay technique to beginners or advanced skills to adults. Children can also take advantage of youth climbing programs, mini camps, and birthday parties before retiring to private refreshment chambers to absorb bottles of electrolyte-infused refreshment. The nearby pro shop outfits climbers with name-brand gear for purchase, while a WiFi lounge transmits terabytes of data into nearby electronic devices or unsecured cyborg brains.