Opening of a new Ripon CA climbing hall with a large facility

Learning the ropes takes on a whole new meaning when you’re 55 feet in the air and strapped in.

Yet the staff at Ripon’s new Alpine Climbing Adventure Fitness are determined to make everyone who walks through their doors a rock climber. The new installation from top to bottom on Garrison Road is hard to miss as it cuts an impressive profile when viewed from Highway 99.

The indoor climbing gym and fitness center combination opened to the general public this week after a few months of being open to members only. The ambitious project has been in the works for more than five years for Jonathan Meek, a resident of Ripon and co-owner of Alpine, who works with a team of business partners on the development.

He is now ready to show off and attract professional climbers, avid amateurs and beginners alike.

“It was part of the vision from the start. To create a place where families could all come together, ”Meek said. “Come as you are and come back stronger than you came.”

As you enter the center, the climbing hall – which has three separate sections – appears large and colorful in the background. The larger and taller section is the most difficult with its belay and rope walls. This section also has the center’s Olympic-sized speed wall, with its dueling lanes for the race.

Gym has ropes, bouldering, children’s climbing walls

The central section of the gymnasium is the bouldering area with a large structure for free climbing. And then there’s the kid-friendly adventure center with its beginner walls and play structures.

Across all sections, colorful (and ever-changing) holds create a rainbow of color across the gym. It is the second largest indoor climbing center in the region, but by far the largest gym in the region. Meek said he found a facility of the same size and scope that climbers typically travel to Sacramento or the Bay Area.

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Modesto’s Jon Tillay, left, climbs a rock climbing route while route setter William Swartz, right, creates a new clibimg route at Alpine Climbing Adventure Fitness in Ripon, Calif. On Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Andy Alfaro [email protected]

But given the center’s proximity to the internationally renowned climbing destination Yosemite National Park and the sport’s debut at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, Meek and his business partners have bet on the growing interest in the Central Valley. for climbing as a family hobby.

The center caters to all skill levels, with lessons and equipment rentals for beginners and those looking to improve. But rock climbing is definitely not the only thing you can do in Alpine. The gym also has a full health center with weights and cardio machines on a mezzanine that overlooks the climbing walls. There is also a yoga studio which offers almost 20 classes per week, all included in the membership.

But if you’re going to a rock climbing gym, you should probably at least give rock climbing a try. For a non-athletic person with coordination issues with a visceral fear of heights like me, the prospect of climbing a wall for fun seemed daunting at best. But Meek and Alpine GM Tony Levy assured me that, yes, even I can climb to the top. All you need are comfortable clothes and closed-toe shoes to get started.

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Alpine Climbing Adventure Fitness in Ripon, CA on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Andy Alfaro [email protected]

So myself and Bee photographer Andy Alfaro strapped in climbing harnesses and tried it out. We used the easier, shorter (although still 25ft) walls of the adventure center, while the 10-year-olds took to ping-pong at nearby structures.

After a few brief instructions on using the auto belay (a safety device clipped into a waist harness that catches you in the event of a fall and then pulls you down), it was time to climb.

And, you know what, we both made it to the top. Twice. Even though it was difficult – especially halfway up when my fear of heights kicked in – it was doable even for someone like me whose pandemic fitness level can best be described as a sentient sack of potatoes. who can type. After you reach the top, you can see how addicting the tangible accomplishment of reaching the top with nothing but your hands and feet can become.

Indoor climbing center open to all ages, skill levels

Alpine has been open for members since April, and now that the state’s COVID-19 restrictions have largely been lifted, it’s also open to day pass users who just want to try it out. So far, Meek said people have come from all over the valley and the bay area to check out the facility. They have seen people as young as 4 and up to 70 come and climb.

Memberships cost $ 89 per month or $ 979 per year, and there are discounts for students, teachers, seniors, first responders, serving and former military personnel, and medical personnel. Day passes cost $ 25 per person for ages 13 and over. Day passes for the Adventure Center cost $ 21 for all ages. And a day pass and a higher class of rope costs $ 45 (which includes equipment rental and a one-week membership) for ages 13 and up.

Meek opened the center with a staff of more than 20, which includes climbers from states as far away as Florida and Colorado. And he hasn’t finished yet. The second phase of the Ripon Center will expand its footprint on the site by over 2 acres and add exterior features and structures. And then there are the future plans to open two additional alpine sites in the region. Meek said both projects are expected to be announced by the end of this year.

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Tytus Born, 11, right, prepares to climb the 55ft. wall with the help of his father Tyler Born at Alpine Climbing Adventure Fitness in Ripon, CA on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. Andy Alfaro [email protected]

For Tyler Born, a Manteca resident who works as a firefighter in Ceres, climbing in Alpine is a family affair. His wife and three children, ages 9, 11 and 13, are all members and come five, six times a week.

“I like the family atmosphere,” he says. “We can climb together, be in good shape and take on challenges together. We came back twice in one day.

Alpine Climbing Adventure Fitness, at 1450 Garrison Way in Ripon, is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 209-509-4077 or visit

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Marijke Rowland writes about new business, restaurant and retail developments. She has worked with The Modesto Bee since 1997 and covers a variety of topics including the arts and entertainment. His Business Beat column is broadcast several times a week. And it’s pronounced Mar-eye-ke.
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