For the past two years, Touchstone has worked hard on expanding San Francisco’s Mission Cliff’s. After dealing with the hurdles of building permits and securing the location next to the current gym, the Mission Cliffs expansion is set to dramatically change the face to Touchstone's original gym. The expansion plans include an enormous roped climbing expansion, new flooring in the bouldering area, a new Yoga studio, additional weight and cardio space, a new cycling room and more.
The Mission Cliffs expansion includes 5,000 feet of space dedicated to more top roping and lead climbing. Walltopia, the company whom we worked with on the design and construction of Dogpatch Boulders, plans to include two adjustable crack systems and a 50 feet cresting wave wall.
Read more: Mission Cliffs Expansion
Ever wonder what happens to the ropes after the gyms use them? Touchstone repurposes retired ropes in various ways.
Recently, Mission Cliffs donated some ropes to a local Boy Scout Troop unit 29, based at the Buddhist Church of San Francisco. The troop has approximately 30 boys, ranging from 11-17 years old, and 5 adult leaders who help run the program.
"The core mission of the Boy Scouts is to teach character, citizenship, and fitness, and we often use the outdoors as our classroom," said Troop Leader Brian Chu. "As someone who knows the lessons that climbing can teach about courage and perseverance, I wanted to share that with the boys, None of them have been climbing before, so it'll be an exciting experience for all."
The boy scouts use the retired ropes to practice knots and belay technique before venturing to the climbing gym. "If it goes well, we'll plan an outdoor trip to Pinnacles or Castle Rock this summer," said Chu.
We are pleased to announce our partnership with Walltopia for the expansion of Mission Cliffs. Why? Because they're rad. If you've checked out Dogpatch Boulders you know what we're talking about. The angles are killer. The look is clean. And gosh darn-it people like them.
After being so impressed with the our experience designing and building Dogpatch Boulders with Walltopia, we're excited to see what they can do with 30 more feet of vertical space. The expansion will add over 5,000 sq ft of new climbing terrain to Mission Cliffs, making it the biggest indoor climbing facility in the Bay Area.
We pored over the feedback from our fall survey, and therefore decided to included an adjustable crack, arêtes, dihedrals, and much more in the design. We're especially excited to design a steep, cresting wave wall similar to the feature at Dogpatch Boulders... but 50ft ft high! Check out some of the initial visualizations.
In the coming weeks we will be finalizing our designs and beginning construction! We'll be sure to keep you up to speed on the process. Thank you for your continued patience and support!
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.
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
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!
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.
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
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.
Quintana talked to the Touchstone blog a bit about his experience.
Read more: The World Climbing Championship with Jaime Quintana
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.
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
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.
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