The Studio Climbing gym in San Jose is shaping up to be one of the premier climbing facilities this side of the Mississippi. And while the holds have arrived, the yoga studio smells of rich mahogany and leather bound books, and the walls tower majestically over a floor plan built for plastic pullers.... we are still a little ways from opening.
Rather than cutting the ribbon and unveiling a partial construction site January 28th, (The intended day of the Grand Opening Comp and Touchstone Bouldering Series 7 Competition) we have decided to push it back in an effort to show off a finished product.
So let's all in unison pull out our iphones, flip open our calendars, or grab the sharpie we use to scribble important things on the back of our hands... and make a note:
THE STUDIO COMP HAS BEEN MOVED TO SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18TH.
Same fun: Free Beer. Free Food. On-sight finals with a cash prize. Music. T-Shirts. Fun. Friends. Community. Oh and oodles of never before climbed boulder problems on brand new terrain. It's gonna be the blast you were expecting, just on a different day.
For those of you who are looking forward to calling The Studio home; we're sorry to have to make you wait a little longer. We will keep you up to date on the play by play as we get closer to opening the gym itself. Depending on construction, we are still hoping to open late January/ Early February. The moment that we're able to do so, you'll be the first to know!
The guys over at Louder Than 11 just made a funny short about the classic things that climbers say all the time. Check it out and see how many of them you've heard in the gym in the last couple of days. TAKE! Shit Climbers Say from Louder Than 11 on Vimeo. Shit Climbers Say from Louder Than 11 on Vimeo.
Earlier this month, four intrepid bay area climbers took the journey to the deep south in search of some of the best sandstone boulders in the United States.
Al Liu, a 32 year old Mountain Hardwear employee from Oakland, and Abel Eisentraut, a 41 year old cabinet maker from Oakland, flew from the bay area to Denver, where they promptly missed their connecting flight.
Read more: South East Sandstone
There's days when I sit behind my computer and neurotically check the weather. Yosemite, Castle Rock, Mortar, Smith, Bishop, Mickeys, Pinnacles. Where should I go? Where's the weather going to be best?
Perfect weather in the Valley.
Read more: Climbing Weather App
Well into his late 80s, life time dirtbag climber, Fred Beckey shows no signs of slowing down his passion for climbing.
Beckey has authored a number of books since the late 1940s, notably the Cadcade Alpine Guide, which is in it’s third edition. In 2003, his 563-page book on the history of the region, Range of Glaciers, was published by the Oregon Historical Society Press.
Read more: Fred Beckey Slideshow
Huecos Rancheros, a new movie filmed by Owen Bissel and edited by Byron Wolter, is coming out in a month. The 30 minute film features classic problems from Hueco, everything from v0 fun fests to v13 horror shows.
The movie features Mark Heal, Touchstone athlete Ethan Pringle and a number of other climbers.
Pringle and Heal headed out to Hueco for two weeks at the end of January last year. “It's some of the best and most diverse bouldering in the states!” said Pringle about the rock in Texas. “There is a little bit of every style of climbing there- roof, slab, even a few cracks. Every angle of wall, every type of grip. And for the most part the weather is splitter in late fall-early spring. Even though it's a pretty small area, there are so many corridors and boulders and roofs the there's still a load of potential! I know about a few lines that I'd really like to go back and have a crack on.”
Read more: Huecos Rancheros: Pringle on Sol Adunamentum
One of the most important strengths a climber can have is a strong core. Reaching for locks during a crack climb, staying tight to the wall during a long sport climb, and lifting your feet high on a steep boulder problem, all require the muscles between your shoulder and your pelvis to be strong.
There are a number of different ways to train the abdominal muscles. From basic sit-ups to front levers, core exercises are never easy. It’s a good idea to supplement core conditioning with other forms of core specific exercises like yoga and Pilates.
Read more: Core Tips For Climbers
With the ever increasing popularity of rock climbing and the expansion of digital services, the internet world has become a larger presence on the mountain. Where once, Yosemite was a vast wilderness, now it is possible to update your Facebook status from the side of El Capitan.
Alex Lowther, a climber living in New York City, recently wrote an article about the phenomenon of increasing media presence in climbing. The New York Times piece sites Tommy Caldwell’s recent attempts at freeing the Dawn Wall on El Capitan. Caldwell spent 19 days on the side of El Cap almost but not quite alone. Caldwell kept a constant stream of how he was climbing, what the next difficult pitch was, and what the weather was like on the side of the face. The route, when finished, will be one of the most difficult lines on El Capitan with 3,000 feet of climbing, seven pitches of 5.14, seven of 5.13, and 14 more difficult leads.
Read more: Climbers in The New York Times
Zero Gravity, the international known youth climbing team has been led by Scot Jenerik at the Touchstone climbing gyms for the past decade. Jenerik’s excellent coaching has been augmented by a number of great team members and assistant coaches. Currently, Zero Gravity had three assistant coaches.
Josh Levin, a climber for the past 13 years, helps coaching the Zero Gravity kids in the South Bay Area. Levin offered some great advice about climbing. “One of the biggest things I've learned that helps me with sending hard both indoors and out, but most of all with competitions, is being able to mentally prepare myself before I get on the wall. If I can block out all other distractions before I start climbing, close my eyes, focus on my breathing, and visualize getting to the top, I have a much better chance of succeeding than if I had just rushed straight to the wall.” Levin has climbed Espirit Rebeld 5.13d in Rodellar, Spain, bouldered Beefy Gecko in Bishop’s Sad Boulders, and been a national champion for multiple years in Sport, Speed and Bouldering.
Josh Levin at finals of the 2011 Open National Championships, Boulder, Colorado. Photo: Dane Cronin
Read more: Zero Gravity Assistant Coaches
There are a lot of tall boulder problems out there. Problems on the Grandpa Peabody boulder at the Buttermilks, the problems at the Woodyard Arete in Yosemite, and other climbs in between all blur the line between bouldering and soloing.
John Sherman, the author of the second edition of Better Bouldering, put together a video with some useful tips on how to approach highballs.
Read more: Tips on Highballin