Every year young climbers from across North America, from Canada, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil and the USA gather together for the Pan American Championships. This fall, a number of talented bay area climbers traveled to South America for the competition.
On November 22nd until the 25th, Touchstone’s Zero Gravity youth team members, as part of the US National team, traveled to Santiago, Chile for the Youth Pan American Championships. The competition consisted of Sport, Bouldering and Speed for the 14-19 year old age group and Sport and Speed for the 12-13 year old age group.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, Lyn Barraza made the arduous hike to the Druid Boulders in Bishop, California. After warming up with a highly attentive spot from her husband Paul, Lyn fired Brother Law, an aethestic V3 arête near the Skye Stone. The technical problem required hours of effort from the other climbers at the boulders... and no one else was 7 months pregnant.
Over the years, I have seen a number of women climb hard during their pregnancies. In Squamish, Thomasina Pidgeon danced up 5.10+ slab routes while very pregnant with her daughter. In Rifle Colorado, Lauren Lee hiked my 5.12+ sport project on toprope while 7 months pregnant.
Picture one of California's best climbing areas. A place with nearly a hundred routes, that is climbable through rainy winter days, and features some of the most difficult climbing in the state. Now, imagine the access to that amazing crag was in trouble of being closed. For nearly 20 years, Jailhouse Rock has struggled with access issues. But recently, thanks to a few individuals and a large amount of support from the climbing community, access to Jailhouse has been unlocked.
The Access Fund made a great video about unlocking the crag.
Looking for holiday gift ideas for the climber in your life? All Touchstone gyms carry a wide array of items. From stocking stuffers to that amazing present, stop by your favorite gym and check out some of our goods!
For stocking stuffers, the gyms sell small items like chalk, Clif and Luna bars, and hand warmers. Headlamps also make a great small gift item. There are a number of amazing chalk bags available that can become stocking themselves!
Thanksgiving came fast this year. For those looking to sneak in to the gym before and after the holiday meals, the times of the gyms have changed slightly.
Diablo Rock Gym- Open November 22, Thanksgiving Day, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Berkeley Ironworks- Closed November 22, Thanksgiving Day Weekend hours on Friday, November 23
Great Western Power Company- Closed November 22, Thanksgiving Day- *CrossFit will be doing a special Thanksgiving trail run: 9AM @Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, Friday, November 23: NO CLASSES, gym hours 10AM to 6PM (*CrossFit will have 10am, Noon & 5pm Classes) Sacramento Pipeworks- Closed November 22, Thanksgiving Day, Open Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Studio- Closed November 22, Thanksgiving Day, Open Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. MetalMark- Closed November 22, Thanksgiving Day, Open Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Have you ever dreamed of bouldering above sand on a gorgeous beach? Do you think of jamming your hands in a long desert splitter? Are your day dreams filled with visions of snowy far off mountains? The American Alpine Club along with Touchstone Climbing wants to make your dreams a reality with the Live Your Dream Grant.
Climbing requires a number of skills. One of the most important and an often overlooked facet skill set is balance. When climbing aretes, slabs, or vertical faces, having a good center of gravity and weight over your feet is crucial for success. In this video, a few British climbers demonstrate a great way to improve balance by attaching a pendulum point to your harness. They also suggest placing coins on footholds to improve precise footwork. Using these methods will turn you into a delicate climber capable of ascending anything.
Head out to your nearest Touchstone gym and work those climbing skills.
One of the best parts about rock climbing is that it is really fun. A few years ago, a pair of Quebecois climbers headed to the slabs in Squamish with plans to take their passion for climbing and skate boarding to the next level. Check out their exciting take on descending slabs.
One of the most important skills in rock climbing is learning to stand on your feet. Solid footwork and balance will help you climb the most difficult climbs around. Yosemite Valley, with its long low angle pieces of granite, provides a perfect place to practice slab climbing and working on your footwork. The Camp 4 boulders contain a number of great difficult slab problems including Initial Friction, Blue Suede Shoes, Kumba, and more.
Located right behind the Wine Boulder, just a few minutes from the Camp 4 campground, Blue Suede Shoes is an area classic. Just to the left is the more difficult Red Suede Shoes. Check out Andy Liu's smooth footwork.
Recently, Touchstone released the logo for their newest climbing gym designed by Mark Fox. Dogpatch is Fox's fourth identity he has created for Touchstone. Fox designed the logos for the Studio, Metal Mark and the former Class 5. Fox took some time to talk about the designs he has done with Touchstone.
The state of our public lands, our national parks, and the places we climb concern many people including legendary climber Lynn Hill. In this video, Lynn addresses the issues of the environment we live and climbing in as the election approaches.