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.
The fall weather arrived. Perfect cool days with beautiful leaves on the ground make for great climbing days and amazing experiences. An important part of being a climber is being a steward of places we get to climb. The gorgeous crags can be overrun with litter and debris if we neglect to take care of them. The Access Fund made a funny little video about litter. Next time you head to Indian Rock, Yosemite, or Castle Rock make sure to pick up after yourself. Grab those little pieces of tape, the bar wrappers, and any extra trash. Keep climbing areas beautiful.
Earlier this year, three men climbed the Zodiac on El Capitan. This striking aid line climbs through one of the steepest parts of Yosemite's quintessential granite monolith. While this aid climb sees a number of ascents through out the season, the Gimp Monkey's ascent is a little different as all three of the men are amputees. They made an inspiring video about their ascent.
This weekend, from October 26th to the 28th, Oakdale is having its first climber's festival. The festivites, which will be held at the Oakdale Community Center at 110 South 2nd Ave in Oakdale, promise to be a great opportunity to learn about some of the vibrant California climbing history.
On Friday night, beginning at 7:30 p.m., there will be a discussion of John Salathe. Allen Steck will be talking about his first ascent experience on the Sentinel with Salathe, Ken Yaeger will talk about Salathe's experience in Camp 4, and Doug Robinson will address Salathe's commitment to boldness and style.
Climbing outside is a ton of fun. The wind, the fresh air, the entire atmosphere is part of what makes climbing enjoyable. It's important to protect the environment that climbing is in. Part of being a good steward at our crags is not using excessive tick marks, lines to show where holds are. If you do decide to use a tick mark on a route or boulder problem be responsible and brush them off after you are done for the day. The Access Fund made a great little video of a climber getting a little too zealous with his ticks.
Climbing all day can be difficult. Climbing for 24 hours is really hard. In the last few days of September, Touchstone members Caitlin Davies and Lauren Reising headed to 24 Hours of Horshoe Hell in Arkansas. The premise for 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell is leading a route clean for points, and doing that in succession for 24 hours straight.
For Caitlin, a climber of two years, the 24HHH was a good opportunity to expand her climbing skills. "I wanted to do 24HHH because I'm kind of a pansy leader, honestly... lol. An event that focuses so much on mental control really targeted my weak spot... so I wanted to face it and kind of embrace that fear, I guess? I'll tell you what, by the end of the 24 hours I didn't even care when I was above a bolt. It was a satisfying feeling."
Heading to sport crags where many of the draws are fixed or out to Yosemite where there are many old anchors means knowing a bit about the dangers of insitu gear, especially of worn fixed biners.
On September 22, Mario Luginbühl and a friend went climbing at Magletsch, in the St.Gallen canton, Switzerland. Luginbühl was trying to work out a sequence and took a controlled fall. This proved fatal as the fixed quickdraw had been worn sharp through extensive use and cut the rope. Luginbühl fell 85 feet to his death. A similar instance happened a few years ago in the Red River Gorge when a climber cut their rope on the second bolt of a popular climb.
Yosemite season is in full swing. The fall temps are here. The conditions are getting perfect for the bouldering on some of the world's best granite boulders. Kyle O'Meara, a Washington transplant who has been crushing California climbing, made this cool video of a couple of Yosemite classics that he climbed this spring.