Kids Groups at Mission Cliffs

One of Touchstone's founding principles is supporting local communities. All our gyms regularly open their doors to local schools and organizations to give kids a chance to climb. In December a group of children from Guadalupe Elementary School visited Mission Cliffs in the city and had a great time climbing with their teacher. Donna, the manager of Mission Cliffs, was trilled to receive the following Thank You letters in the mail. 


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Here are some of our favorite excerpts from the thank you letters we received. 

"After a few climbs I got enough confidence to climb those walls 40 feet high!" -Alex

"I had a great time rock climbing at Mission Cliffs today. And thank you for belaying for me too. This is so far my favorite field trip of all time." -Raul 

"Thank you for being our volunteer. You gave us some really hard walls to climb. Nothing that I couldn't handle. I want to make rock climbing a hobby of mine. I really loved those two hours of my life." -Kevin

"Thank for for being my belayer. Thank you for not letting me fall. Well I did fall because I was tired, and then you told me to stand up. Thank you because you did not let me give up." -Ruby

"Before we got to Mission Cliffs I was really shaky and scared. The first 2 walls were really scary and I coudn't climb to the top. Then I got confident and on the last 2 walls I got to to top! Thank you for belaying me." -Ingrid

"Thank you for beleying for us. Without a belayer I would have been dead." -Jonas

"Thank you for letting us rock climb at the gym. If you wouldn't have let us climb I wouldn't have had my first experience. Now my life is rock climbing." -Carol

"When I went climbing indoors I felt scared going down but determined going up." -Raymond

Photo3 Teaching kids to climb for the first time is such an amazing experience and we're so glad to be a part of the community in the Misson. If you've brought a group to one of our gyms, please share your photos or stories with us! 

Mission Cliffs Food Drive

The Holidays mean a time for visitng friends and family, spending time together.  For some, the holidays spell hardship with the cold winter weather.  To help those less fortunate, Mission Cliffs colloborates with the San Francisco Food Bank for an annual Food Drive. Donate at Mission Cliffs food box between now and November 19th and receive an awesome incentive.  

SFfood bank

Donate one bag of food and name a route.  Donate five bags of food and name a section of routes.  Donate eight bags of food and set a boulder problem.  

Read more: Mission Cliffs Food Drive

The World Climbing Championship with Jaime Quintana

On September 12th through the 16th the World Climbing Championships took place in Paris, France. Over 500 athletes representing 60 countries entered the competition. Jaime Quintana, a Mission Cliffs climber for the past 3 years, headed out to France to represent his home country of Peru in the comp. Quintana works as an IFMGA (International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations) and AMGA (American Mountain Guides Associations) guide leading climbing expeditions in the Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Huayhuash in Peru during the summer.

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Quintana talked to the Touchstone blog a bit about his experience.

Read more: The World Climbing Championship with Jaime Quintana

TRS Finale and Onsight Finals

This weekend, the Touchstone Rope Series will be holding its final competition at Mission Cliffs.  

On Saturday, September 15th from noon until 6 p.m., climbers will be tackling the fifty foot lead walls at the gym on amazing new routes set by Touchstone's best route setters.

Mission Cliffs climbing comp

At every TRS comp, there has been great food, beer, an awesome raffle, and a ton of fun.  The TRS Finale will also have an onsight final, where the best climbers in the comp series will compete for cash prizes.  

Read more: TRS Finale and Onsight Finals

Mission Cliffs Superheroes

On Tuesday, August 28th a group of the world's fastest, strongest, and funniest superheros stopped by Mission Cliffs for the gym's fun night.  Dozens of local climbers headed to the gym dressed as their favorite superhero to participate in a night of raffle prizes and caped climbing.  Around 40 super heroes got a chance to win free guest passes to the gym, camping chairs, and a $50 gift card to Sports Basement.

Superhero2
 

Read more: Mission Cliffs Superheroes

SF Carnaval

On Sunday, May27th, the San Francisco Cultural Arts Traditions (SFCAT) will be hosting California's largest annual multi-cultural celebration over Memorial Day Weekend in San Francisco's Mission District.  This year's the SFCAT Carnaval Grand Parade will follow the theme "Spanning Boderers; Bridging Cultures."  The parade, which brings brilliant floats, lavishly dressed performers and musicians, and a vast variety of culture, will be heading down through the streets of the Mission District.

Carnaval

Mission Cliffs, which is located in the heart of the activities, will be closed during the festivities on Sunday.

 The gym will be open regular hours from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and will be opem 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, during which holiday prices and schedule will apply

Interview with Mission Cliffs Climber Karl Aguilar

 

Karl Aguilar, a 37 year old hardware store manager in San Francisco, has been climbing for 13 years at Mission Cliffs. Aguilar has traveled across the world climbing, sport climbing in Austria, making an ascent of El Capitan’s Zodiac, and clipping bolts on the sandstone of the south east with his wife, Audrey Bodisco. Aguilar took some time off his busy days at the Papenhausen Hardware to talk with the Touchstone blog about how to be a better rock climber and about his trips.

How has Mission Cliffs changed?

When I joined, there we so few active members that it was rare to see people that you didn't see regularly. Now, I am often shocked when I look around a very full gym and realize that I don't recognize most of the people there. Back then, most people climbed routes and bouldered to improve their route climbing. Now, it seems like most members primarily boulder. Mission Cliffs used to be a place to climb and possibly lift a weight or two, but it is slowly growing into a full service gym.

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Karl stepping high in Austria

What's the best way to get better at climbing?

Don't get injured. But seriously, DON'T GET INJURED. You progress much faster when you are not nursing an injury. But, if you do get hurt, be smart about it. Take some time off, your body is probably begging for some rest. Take that time to do the things that you put off. Try to enjoy it. Then, do your rehab and take the time to work back up to full strength (it takes less time than you think). You have a lifetime of climbing to do, so treat your body right.

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Karl high on El Cap's Zodiac

Now that you are injury free, you can use the following tips to get better quicker:
• Climb with someone better than you (not stronger, but with better technique).
• Watch how other people climb the climbs/problems you are having trouble with.
• Work on climbs that work your weaknesses (basically ones that make you say, "I hate climbs with...").
• Rest.
• Lastly, remember to enjoy the process. Even when the numbers are not going up, you are building a base for your next big breakthrough.

What's your favorite place to climb? Why?

Europe. The limestone, the food, and the distance between the two.

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Karl pulling down on the sandstone of the Red River Gorge's Mother Lode

But, over here it is The Red River Gorge, because it is as good as everyone says! Wait... scratch that... it has really really terrible rock and they have copperhead snakes and everyone who climbed there smells really bad, so no one should ever go there.

What else are you passionate about?

My wife.

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Karl and Audrey at the Red River Gorge

Past blog entries can be found at  http://touchstoneclimbing.blogspot.com/

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