Sacramento Pipeworks Featured in Sacramento Bee

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Climbing Gym in Sacramento

Sacramento Pipeworks is the largest indoor climbing gym in Sacramento, and a great place to learn how to rock climb for the first time. If you have never climbed before and you’d like to rope up, we offer an Intro to Climbing Class where you’ll learn how to use the climbing harness and gear, belay for your partner, and lower them back down to the ground. And of course – how to climb! The Sacramento Bee visited Sacramento Pipeworks in January to see what climbing is all about.

Clamber up the walls like a mountain cat. Swing like a monkey from a two-hand hold. Dangle like a spider from an anchor 40 feet above the ground.

Whatever your inner adventurer wants, you’re likely to find it amidst the rock wall jungles at one of the region’s popular climbing establishments. Though it might seem daunting, the hands-on hobby is a great workout accessible to all ages.

Whether attached to a rope or moving free-form on the bouldering wall, visitors will get a full-body workout on each visit, said Ryan Kowalski, a Pipeworks staff member.

As climbers choose holds along their routes, they need to manipulate their body in creative ways to get from one step to the next. They make careful choices about how to distribute weight and conserve energy throughout the climb.

“A lot of people think they can’t climb because they can’t do a pull-up, but rock climbing is not pull-ups,” Kowalski said. “Certain bodies move differently than other bodies, and they can use those skill sets rather than strength to get up to the climb. We get super strong people who can’t do the climb because they haven’t figured out how to get their body to allow them to do it.”

Rather than training one area of the body at a time, climbers use all of their muscle groups when reaching for difficult holds, keeping their core tight and maneuvering in a “ballet-like sequence” up the wall, Kowalski said.

Sacramento Rock Climbing

It’s also a problem-solving game. Climbers need to find patterns in the routes to plan their way to the top.

There is no prior fitness level required to climb. Because there’s never too much weight put on any one part of the body, climbers aren’t likely to injure a knee or an ankle, staff said.

Sarah Murphy, 27, and Garret Arney-Johnson, 30, said they took the introductory belay class in the fall because they wanted to change up their exercise routine. They go to Pipeworks a few times each week, they said, to get both their cardio and strength training in.

“We just came to work out,” Murphy said. “We can only last about 10 minutes on the treadmill, so this is a lot more fun.”

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