NORTHVALE, N.J. -- Stephanie Shultz found joy in climbing during an Outward Bound program more than 30 years ago. She discovered a way to share her passion and opened High Exposure in Northvale last year.
“I wanted to create a place that invited people of all ages to play, move and share experiences,’’ Shultz said. “As a mom of two children who never took to town sports, climbing teams offered my kids the ability to be a part of the team without the pressure of needing to perform for anyone other than themselves.”
“As a mom of two children who never took to town sports, climbing teams offered my kids the ability to be a part of the team without the pressure of needing to perform for anyone other than themselves.” -- Stephanie Shultz
High Exposure is much more than a climbing facility. It offers a Ninja Warrior obstacle courses, with warped walls, vaulting boxes, unstable bridge and a slack-line. There is a 2,000-square foot Parkour Room, where visitors move through, around, up, down and over objects in their environment by running, jumping, climbing, crawling, balancing, rolling, swinging, and vaulting. A total body fitness center includes training for Spartan runs and outdoor races, climbing classes, Family Fit training classes, Parkour classes and special needs classes for ADD, ADHD and low muscle tone.
There are also parties, group programs, school programming and social events such as bar mitzvahs and corporate team building. High Exposure also has its own competitive climbing team.
“My daughter made nationals this year and has made friends with kids all over the country,’’ Shultz said. “We also took four other kids to nationals from our High Exposure team this year. It is a sport that is very rewarding and can stay with you as a life practice.”
High Exposure's head climbing coach, Charlie Schreiber, was also accepted in July to compete on American Ninja Warrior, the popular NBC television show. Henry Ferrarin has also been on ANW, and helps train adults who aspire to compete. Joe Moravsky a legend from the ANW TV series frequently makes guest appearances for private training and leads kids camp programs, with other star athletes.
“Participants are challenged by our professional coaches and the variety of equipment, walls and obstacles we have to play on,’’ Schreiber said. “Our staff helps push individuals beyond their limits and comfort zones, which in turn builds tremendous confidence and enhances an individual’s self-esteem.”
Shultz owned a small toy manufacturing business before High Exposure. “I always wanted to climb on unique art objects,’’ she said. “I have also been climbing with my husband for 30 years.”
She considered opening a climbing facility for 15 years before finding the perfect spot in Northvale. The facility has over 14,000 square feet of climbing space, 42-foot climbing walls, a 42-foot climbing sculpture room called Action Adventure, fitness room and more There is also a snack bar.
Shultz designed the structure, and wanted a community center that offers fitness and health but also mental and physical challenges for people of all ages. Children as young as 3 1/2 years old can enroll in classes at High Exposure.
“This year, our first year in business, we have seen 35,000 participants aging from, preschoolers through adults,’’ Schreiber said. “Many schools, camps, scouts and church groups have experienced the joy and exhilaration of empowerment through challenge.”
“We have been very blessed by an incredibly enthusiastic public,’’ Shultz added. “It is so rewarding to see happy faces and in some cases changing lives. People can come in with fear and trepidation and walk out feeling they can conquer anything. It is amazing to witness.”