Girls Climbing Trip Video

Recently six Touchstone climbers took a trip to Joe's Valley, a bouldering mecca located three hours south of Salt Lake City, Utah.
The climbed, they camped, they crushed. All normal for a week long trip.

But THIS trip was anything but normal.

This was a GIRLS TRIP.

The Touchstone Blog has been granted viewing rights to this video, along with exclusive commentary from the chix themselves. Watch the video, be amazed, and then read on to find out what happens when six girls are stuck in the desert on a rest day with nothing but a camera and a penchant for late 80's music and lip syncing. 

Chix B4 Dix: Girls from Becky Trafecanty on Vimeo.

Yeah. Go on. You can watch it again. We'll wait....

The 'Chix B4 Dix' trip idea was the brain child of Monica Aranda. "I had been feeling that my psych for climbing was waining, and I wanted to get it back. So I proposed a Girls Only trip to Joe's Valley, and it didn't take long until the team was assembled. During the trip psych was gained, along with hours of embarrassing footage that will now be immortalised on the Internet forever," said Aranda. 

Kim Groebner, who owns the 2006 Dodge Sprinter where some initial scenes were shot, has this to say about the video. "'Girls' - directed, filmed and edited by Becky Alarcón - is a collaborative work exposing women's struggle for identity within our society's patriarchal stronghold. Inspired by the satirical theme of our girls-only climbing trip, Chix B4 Dix, we have shown that we are not merely bad-ass rock climbers. Through dance, pantomime, and the art of lip-synching we have, and will continue to, challenge the status quo." The Touchstone Blog feels a duty to inform our readers that Ms. Groebner went to art school. 

Alarcón, who indeed directed, filmed and edited the video in under 12 hours, is no stranger to amature video production. An impressive catologue of her work can be found on her Vimeo Page. 

It was around the camp fire one night that the girls discovered her talents and demanded they they make a music video. Lindsey Tjian, international super model and Wills of Fire mega crusher, expressed her humility at being being involved in a project of such caliber. "I knew there were lots of stars out there in the universe," said Tjian. "But I never knew I would have the privilege of working with 5 of the best in the making of our music video." Tjian was also responsible for the unnervingly convincing pipe cleaner and felt facial hair, along with the dragon neck tattoos that can be seen throughout the video. 

The video embodied the sense of fun and camaraderie that was experienced on the trip. Lauryn Claassen, who never quite got the hang of a 'sexy face' reported that "This was the perfect way to spend the days when our tips were shot, our muscles ached, and Kim made an amazing batch of margaritas. Too many times climbing videos have too much... climbing. I'd like to see more rest day videos."

Camille Kerr, who left a good luck charm for dude climber Kyle O'Meara at the camp site, was humbled by the experience. "As a relative newcomer to this group of ultra-burly ladies with unparalleled sex-appeal, I was naturally intimated. I realized that my contribution would not come from being the funniest or prettiest, but instead being the most willing fall flat on my face with the camera rolling. [minute 1:58] Having achieved that, I now feel like part of the crew, and I look forward to our many adventures to come. The release of this video is a proud moment for me, my mother, and every woman who has helped me get where I am today" said Kerr. 

While the girls feigned flattery at the insinuation that they always travel to the desert with sparkly dressed stuffed into their duffels next to their antihydral and climbing shoes, such is not the case. The 'girly' attire, flannel robes, and bubbles were purchased while on a trip to the booming metropolis of Price, Utah on a rest day.

"What I loved about making this video is doing all of the silly things and acting like a complete clown," said Alarcon. "You really have to be willing to make a complete fool of yourself knowing that people will see you in ridiculous costumes and doing ridiculous things. I can't count how many times I was in stitches from laughter on those days when we were filming. Editing the video was very difficult for me because there were so many equally funny scenes that we had to cut since the song was so short." [Examples deleted in the interest of a sequel] "I'll look fondly on this video for the rest of my life and remember our awesome girls trip to Joe's Valley and Ibex."

All in all, the trips was a huge success. Meals were shared, projects were sent, and friendships were solidified. The girls would like to thank the following companies they wish they were sponsored by:

Organic Climbing 
Verve Climbing Apparel
Chicks Rock'n Roost 
The Food Ranch
Climbing Narc
La Sportiva
Five Ten 
Top Ramen 

The Touchstone Blog is always interested in hearing from our members. Remember to send videos, trip reports, and bribes to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Spring Shoe Demos

Each Touchstone Climbing gym is equipped year round with an impressive arsenal of climbing shoes to rent or purchase. But twice a year, we pull out all the stops. Our shoe demo's are always a huge attraction, and they're fast approaching! 

This year the reps from 5.10, Evolv, and La Sportiva will be making the rounds to four of our gyms. Whether you're blowing out your Teams or are still using rental shoes - this night is for YOU. Our reps from each company will bring with them their entire demo fleet - which means you get to test the shoes on the wall to make sure you fit your footsies just right. Ask all your pressing questions. Get all your answers.
PLUS - all shoes purchased or ordered on Demo Night will be 20% off!

Here is the line up! Click on your closest gym to be directed to the Facebook to RSVP. 

The Studio Climbing
April 29th

ShoeDemo Studio

Dogpatch Boulders
April 30th 

ShoeDemo Dogpatch

Sacramento Pipeworks
May 1st

ShoeDemo Pipeworks

Berkeley Ironworks
May 2nd

ShoeDemo BIW

Reasons to Date a Climber

For many climbers, the gyms are a meat market, a place to go pick up the latest bouldering stud or sport climbing babe. For others, the climbing gyms are more of a butcher shop, a place to get shut down.  Either way, there's often good comedy surrounding the dating scene and rock climbing.  Climber relationships may be difficult at times but it's a great idea to be able to share your passion with your partner.  Here's some of the best reasons to date a climber:


Read more: Reasons to Date a Climber

Think Outside the Bottle

There’s thousands of ways to help save the environment. One of the best ways, is to reuse water bottles and keep from using harmful plastic bottles.

Think Outside the Bottle, a coalition of environmentalists, businesses and nonprofit organizations, began a campaign to eliminate the sale of bottled water. Currently, the sale of bottled water is banned in 14 national parks. Think Outside the Bottle hopes to add the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Yosemite National Park as the next two parks to the growing list.

AWater bottle

Read more: Think Outside the Bottle

Yosemite Peregrine Falcon Closures

Yosemite National Park represents the highest peregrine falcon nesting area in the Sierra Nevada. The park has played a pivotal role in the birds recovery from an endangered species. There are numerous climbing closures to help protect the birds' nesting areas. When planning your next climbing trip to the national park, make sure to consider the peregrine nesting areas.

220px-Falco peregrinus_nest_USFWS

Read more: Yosemite Peregrine Falcon Closures

The Making of Stone Age

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

Aging but Still Raging: 50 Year Old Climber Sends 10 Year Project

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

Zero Gravity at ABS Youth Nationals

Last week, The Touchstone Zero Gravity team climbed at the USA Climbing ABS Youth National Championships.

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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

The Nose with Mark Melvin and Chris McNamara

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.

Nose 8

Read more: The Nose with Mark Melvin and Chris McNamara

Touchstone CrossFit Invitational

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

The L.A.B is Coming

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.  

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Bay Area Climbers at ABS Nationals

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

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