The 32 year old Oakland resident began climbing in 1999 after he stopped playing soccer competitively. “I wanted something fun to do to keep me in shape,” said Alarcon of his initial forays into climbing at a gym in Davis. Within a few months, Alarcon became addicted to climbing. He started setting for Rocknasium in early 2000 and stayed with it for 7 years. He continued dabbling in setting when he took a job at Berkeley Ironworks in the summer of 2010. When not setting or working behind the desk, Justin climbed obsessively indoors.
Justin’s solid indoor climbing resume can only be eclipsed by his outdoor efforts. Beyond establishing a number of first ascents of great boulder problems in Yosemite, Alarcon has climbed Pine Box, Yabo Roof, and a number of other double digit Yosemite test pieces. On his recent trip to Kalymnos, he broke through a mental barrier in his sport climbing, onsighting and redpointing harder than ever. “I would just go for it instead of planning on hanging the draws and figuring it out. I tried to be more decisive. Be more dynamic.”
In the past year, Alarcon’s focus shifted to personal training. After receiving an NASM certification, he led a series of Strength Training clinics as well as Training for Climbing workshops. Combined with a solid climbing resume, as well as his work at Touchstone, Alarcon made an ideal candidate for the bouldering gym.
Upon receiving the management position at Dogpatch Boulders, he was ecstatic. “I like the way that Touchstone treats their employees as a desk staffer, personal trainer, etc,” Alarcon said of working with Touchstone. “It feels like a family business.”
He talked a bit about his plans for the gym. “I want to create an environment where people are really getting after it,” Alarcon said of his plans for Dogpatch. One of his big inspirations working at Ironworks has been the Touchstone cycling community. “They train together. They have a good time doing it. They are getting stronger together.” Alarcon wants to consoldate the Bay Area boulderers and create a place where everyone can climb, train, and improve together. He is also hopeful about facilitating national climbing competitions.
“The walls,” Justin said of what excited him most about the new gym. “They're something that we've never had in the Touchstone system. They are the highest caliber in the country. I haven’t seen anything that will outshine our walls.” The climbing walls constructed with Walltopia, promise to be amazing.
Alarcon also highlighted the good neighborhood of Dogpatch. There are plenty of coffee shops and cafes nearby as well as the easy MUNI access and indoor bike parking. “I’m psyched to be able to cruise over to the Giants game after work!” With Justin’s luck, he’ll be able to spend a great day at Dogpatch and then bike over to watch the Giants win another World Series.