When left in their natural habitats, boulders may prank climbers with slippery mosses and “kick me” signs. Study expert climbing techniques on a safe, shenanigans-free indoor mountain with today’s Groupon: for $49, you get an introductory belay certification class and a one-month membership at New Jersey Rock Gym in Fairfield (up to a $107.41 value).
Home to the state’s largest freestanding bouldering island, New Jersey Rock Gym boasts more than 12,000 square feet of climbing terrain and 41 top-roping stations. Geared toward beginners, the belay certification course, with one instructor for every four students, conveys the fundamentals of harness use, belaying and lowering, and communication commands, preparing new climbers for the certification exam (a $40 value).
Guests can combine the free week included with the class with an additional month of membership (up to a $67.41 value, tax included) for a total of five weeks of access. The gym invites climbers to conquer sheer vertical walls and dangle from inverted ceiling slabs while staffers or certified friends belay the ropes and ransack their gym bags for energy bars and loose change.
Alpinists looking to trade ropes for cushioned crash pads can maneuver the bouldering island, complete with various levels of tactical climbing problems and up to 25 feet of ropeless vertical ascent. Equipment rentals are complimentary during the class and first week of membership. Thereafter, standard rental rates apply for shoes ($5), a harness ($4), and a chalk bag ($2), or a combined package ($9).
After thwarting fears of complex knot tying, climbers can retreat to the private refreshment chamber to sip electrolyte cocktails and loudly recall embellished versions of their accomplishments. A well-stocked pro shop outfits indoor mountaineers with gear rentals and purchases, and the WiFi-enabled lounge affords the opportunity to email loved ones and supervisors with climb-time-buying excuses.
New Jersey Rock Gym
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. 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.