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
On November 12th, the Access Fund hosted a workday at Jailhouse near Sonora, CA. Over 200 tons of gravel was laid for a new parking area and road, new fences and gates were made and the access trail was improved.
Read more: Jailhouse Project- Access Fund Video
As climbing becomes more and more popular, commercials and advertisements are starting to depict climbers. Often the footage can be pretty wild.
Sacramento climber Alex Honnold and former Ironworks staff member Katie Brown made this Citibank commercial, filming over a few days in Moab Utah. The spot used a paid voice over actor. Citibank has been airing this commercial during prime time hours on a number of channels.
Read more: Climbing on TV
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
Gregor Peirce, a 19 year old Touchstone route setter for the past year, has had a very successful season in Bishop this year.
After making the 6 hour drive from the Bay to the Buttermilk boulders, Gregor hiked directly to the classic crimp fest The Swarm a V13/14 in fading light.
“I didn't warm up because I was running out of daylight and I had to make every try count because I was running back and forth between the camera and the base of the climb,” said Gregor. “A few tries in I found myself standing on the top. It was an amazing feeling to send it all by myself with no one around.”
On the drive back to his campsite, he stopped by the Grandma Peabody, and Direction, a V13. “I had no expectations, but I threw on my headlamp and a couple tries later I had sent the thing,” said Gregor.
The Swarm from Gregor Peirce on Vimeo
Read more: Gregor Peirce: On a Mission
If you’ve spent much time in the rock climbing gym, you’ve probably noticed how good looking most of the people are there. Fit, healthy, and energetic, climbers tend to live a healthy lifestyle and it’s reflected in how they look.
Not only that but it’s a well known fact that if you want to climb good you got to look good. That’s why so many sport climbing studs rip off their shirts before they start climbing. Primping and preening your hair is just as import as crimping and cleaning a hold. There is even evidence to support how attractive climbing is.
Read more: The Sexiest Sport: Climbing
It's almost Friday. The holidays are almost over but in between all the family obligations, the huge meals, and are some hopefully good laughs. These two videos have a solid mixture of the Berkeley lifestyle, the Yoga way, and plenty of laughs.
Do you ever feel like you're lost at the grocery store after going to the gym? This video about the Whole Foods Parking Lot is a great example of that.
The Yoga classes at Touchstone can be a little intimidating but all the stretches can really help. This video of Hank from King of the Hill is a classic example of a stranger entering a strange world.
Read more: A Little Video Humour