Thousands of red, green, yellow, and blue holds cover the walls of the Touchstone gyms. But where do all the holds come from? The easy answer is from right next to Sacramento Pipeworks, in a white corrugated steel building next to Garlinger Steel. More specifically, Stone Age provides Touchstone with all of its holds. Wes Tite, a climber of 20 years, runs Stone Age and creates all the holds himself. Tite has worked as a climbing guide, a route setter, and a coal miner. For the past 20 years, he has traveled around the world climbing and looking for inspiration to create the best grips for the Touchstone climbing walls.
Read more: The Making of Stone Age
Last week, Tom Addison, a long time climber in the Bay and Sacramento climbing community, pulled the red tag off his long time project at Jailhouse Rock in Sonora. Addison bolted the route in the winter of 2002. "Trying to do the moves on it a decade ago, it was pretty clear that it was out of my league. It still is, but a strong gravitational anomaly on Friday let me clip the chains."
Read more: Aging but Still Raging: 50 Year Old Climber Sends 10 Year Project
Last week, The Touchstone Zero Gravity team climbed at the USA Climbing ABS Youth National Championships.
Zero Gravity brought home the Silver medal as a team, missing the Gold by only 34 points! In the individual categories, they had six podiums and USA National Team bids! On top of that, Zero Gravity had four National Champions!
Read more: Zero Gravity at ABS Youth Nationals
Last week, on March 3rd, Touchstone owner Mark Melvin and long time Yosemite wall veteran Chris McNamara saw a chance to climb the Nose on El Capitan. With a forecast of 70 degree temps, the pair nabbed a "winter" ascent of one of the largest granite formations in America. Chris wrote about their ascent.
I'll share a secret just with you guys: you can find summer-like conditions on El Cap even in the middle of winter… as long as you are in the sun.
Read more: The Nose with Mark Melvin and Chris McNamara
This past Saturday, March 2nd, Touchstone held the a great CrossFit event at Great Western Power Company. A number of local CrossFitters headed to the competition. Instructor Maximus Lewin wrote about the event.
The First Annual Touchstone CrossFit Invitational is in the bag and it was awesome! Thanks to all of the athletes, volunteers and staff who came out to make this a fun, intense event. Thanks to all of the folks who participated, especially those for whom this was the first experience with CF competition.
Read more: Touchstone CrossFit Invitational
We at Touchstone have some exciting news to share with you. With Dogpatch Boulders just days away from opening, we have signed a lease for what will be our ninth gym. This time, we are coming to Southern California. That's right, Touchstone is finally building a gym in Los Angeles.
This week we signed a lease on a building in the Arts District, which will be our first gym in Southern California. Many former Touchstone gym members who have since moved have been pushing us to make this step. The new gym will be in the heart of a community that is a perfect fit for Touchstone. Closely modeled after Dogpatch Boulders, we expect this gym to be fantastic.
Partnering once again with Walltopia will allow us to pursue multiple projects at the same time while bringing our members what we believe are the most exciting walls in the industry. The same design team that brought you features such as the Wave Wall, the Barrel, and the Grand Arch at Dogpatch Boulders will unleash their creative energy on this new gym. We could not be more excited to have a chance to build on everything we learned from Dogpatch Boulders, and we can't wait to become a part of the L.A. climbing community.
We hope to open the L.A.B by the end of 2013 and we'll keep you informed of our progress over the coming months. While our first venture in L.A. will be a bouldering only gym, we are also looking at a taller building near downtown with hopes that we will soon have news of a roped gym as well. You've been asking for it for years and we are excited to finally have good news.
TOUCHSTONE IS COMING TO L.A.!
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This past weekend, September 23 and 24th, ABS Nationals were held in Colorado Springs. Ethan Pringle, Eric Sanchez and a number of Zero Gravity members headed to one of the biggest bouldering competitions in America.
"This was by far the deepest field of amazing climbers at an ABS Open Nationals," said Zero Gravity coach Scot Jenerik. "When you have someone like Ethan Pringle not make the top 20 you know it's tough."
Read more: Bay Area Climbers at ABS Nationals
Have you become hooked on CrossFit? Ready to test your skills?
On Saturday, March 2nd CrossFit East Bay will hold the first Touchstone CrossFit Invitational. Members from CrossFit East Bay of GWPC, CoCo CrossFit of Diablo Rock Gym, and CrossFit Pipeworks in Sacramento, plan to meet at Great Western Power Company to compete in CrossFit as 'The Sport of Fitness.'
“For those who are interested in getting their feet wet in competition, it provides a friendly atmosphere to try it in,” said CrossFit instructor Maximus Lewin. “CrossFit competitions can be pretty intense and intimidating to the uninitiated. For our members who are doing the 2013 CrossFit Open it is a peaking opportunity.”
Read more: Touchstone CrossFit Invitational
Climbing involves more than just rocks. The areas we climb in are important too. Climbers can make a significant impact to help preserve the areas we climb in.
On October 31st, the Bureau of Land Management reported that vandals removed four petroglyphs from a sacred Paiute site in the Tablelands area of Bishop, California. The vandals defaced a fifth with deep saw cuts, removed and broke a sixth petroglyph during the theft and scarred other ancient Indian art with hammer strikes and saw cuts.
Read more: Bishop Petroglyphs Recovered
It’s midnight on the snow covered 395 and your turbo charged climbing partner hits repeat on the Justin Bieber song... again.
Bishop, Joshua Tree, Las Vegas, even the local climbing areas like Yosemite, Sonora, and Tahoe reside a few hours from the Bay Area and the Touchstone climbing gyms. The climbing in California requires a serious amount of driving. To avoid co-pilot homicide when Bieber sings the same song for the hundredth time, here is a helpful survival guide.
Read more: Carpooling to the Crag