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Which gym to go to in Sac?
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Jan 11, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: Fall Line, City of Rocks
I've read on a few posts here that Pipeworks is the better of the two (the other being Granite Arch in Rancho Cordova). I'm taking a class in Rancho Cordova at the end of January and would like to climb on a Sat. evening. Is it worth it to drive to Pipeworks when GA is 5 minutes from where we are staying? My wife and I aren't gym people, so we don't have much of an expectation to go by.

Any strong suggestions to go to Pipeworks?
Scott T
From Alpine Meadows, CA
Joined Jun 6, 2010
27 points
Jan 11, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing in the valley
Routes at pipeworks seem to be longer, but overall I'd say pipeworks is more of a social gym. Granite arch (especially mid-day weekdays) you can run laps on the shorter routes without pissing anybody off, but there seem to be more kids and around which can annoy you when training. Granite arch is also significantly less expensive. Ryan Kosh
From Los Angeles, CA
Joined Nov 30, 2008
160 points
Jan 12, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: Pony Express
Pipeworks has taller routes and a bit more variety. If you aren't going there every day either will have enough to keep you occupied. Pipeworks is also much more expensive. If you'll be in the Rancho area on Saturday nights anyway, I'd go to GA, they've got bouldering for 5 bucks and roped climbing for 6 (I think) after 6pm on Friday and Saturday evenings. jesselyb
From Sioux Falls, SD
Joined Mar 20, 2009
7 points
Jan 12, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: Bucky
GA and Pipeworks are not comparable. The regulars at Pipeworks come from as far as Auburn, Folsom, etc. to climb. There is good reason for this. Spend a day climbing at both gyms and you will see why. J. Albers
From Colorado
Joined Jul 11, 2008
2,240 points
Jan 20, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: Fall Line, City of Rocks
Thanks for the responses! The $6 night at GA is very tempting! If I get down there early enough Fri night I may hit up one each night. Thanks! Scott T
From Alpine Meadows, CA
Joined Jun 6, 2010
27 points
Feb 21, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: Leading P1, Bears Reach.
Pipeworks is pretty awesome as far as climbing gyms go, but it's quite expensive. That said, I'm a member of Pipeworks. If I lived very close to GA I'd probably go there instead, mostly because it's a lot cheaper and they have cracks. The big downsides to GA are the routes are short, lots of kids, and the rubber stuff on the ground gets in my shoes and drives me nuts. One great side to GA is crack climbing, which is non-existent at Pipeworks.

Another benefit of Pipeworks is it's an actual gym with good cardio equipment, yoga classes, spinning, full weights, and full locker room.

If you're only going to climb once a week, go with GA. If you are going to climb at least 2-3 times a week, or use the gym for cardio or weights a few other days a week, join Pipeworks.
Angie C
From Sacramento, Ca
Joined Oct 28, 2011
64 points
Feb 25, 2012
I go to both.

Granite Arch
If you're looking for Saturday evenings, Granite Arch is the only one of the two open, and for 1/2 price after 6pm.

I like the crack and natural systems at Granite Arch, and sometimes the bouldering is fun. They weight room is a joke in comparison to Pipeworks though, and they have chewed up rubber for padding by the walls, VERY annoying. You can't self belay here anymore too for some silly reason, and the sport climbing is terrifying, aside from deck potential from any clip, the draws are older than Rock Climbing itself! Very stiff, not even fun. Usually the people are pretty chill, you'll get a lot of gumby bro's on a busy night who get kind of irritating, it's whatever. The staff are all kids, most are nice.


is a bigger, taller, and busier generally. The bouldering will get you stronger, since it's all overhung pretty much. The top rope / lead walls are significantly larger, with a huge prow and roof to conquer. They only have one crack which is kind of a joke. It'd be my only gym if they had a gnarly crack system, but whatever. Massive weight room, nice big bathrooms, sauna, ect. Their route setting is hit or miss, like Granite Arch, but a lot less cruxy than Granite Arch. The staff at Pipeworks is nice, unless you're a moron and pose danger to everyone, then they'll generally treat you like you're a dumbass.
From Sacramento, CA
Joined May 20, 2010
135 points
Feb 26, 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: Colonel Mustard
In my gym experience (not vast by any means), Pipeworks has remained amongst the best. A rock gym that is also a regular gym, regular route setting done by competent setters, a variety of terrain, and an open, airy feeling that does not leave you feeling like you're breathing from inside of a dusty sock.

They were always jacking the price a bit, but if I were to move back to Sac there is no question where I would climb. As a warning, they were always a bit anal in their lead certification and belay checks, but you can't really blame them.
Colonel Mustard
From Sacramento, CA
Joined Sep 13, 2005
1,474 points

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