Recently, long time Touchstone Member Lisa Feather Knee climbed her first 5.12a at the Berkeley Ironworks lead cave. Knee, who hails from Santa Fe, New Mexico, works as an artist painting large colorful oils and making serigraphs with acrylic paint. The Touchstone blog got a hold of the rock crushing artist shortly after he send.
Knee began climbing 12 years ago when a friend took her out to a local crag. “All was going well until the point when I realized I would have to let go and trust the rope to get me back on ground. That's when the screaming started. After that I was hooked.” Knee started a membership at Mission Cliffs shortly afterwards.
Winter finally arrived in the Bay area. The cold wet weather will be around for a few weeks. There are numerous people in the Bay who have a hard time staying warm through these periods of rain and sleet. Brittini Tanebaum, an AmeriCorps Program Coordinator and Ironworks member, is conducting a winter clothing drive to benefit the underprivileged youth of Berkeley.
The clothing drive is being run through an organization called Playworks (www.playworks.org) by a group of AmeriCorps members. AmeriCorps members dedicate a year to serving communities that are in need.
From Thursday January 19th until Friday, February 3rd, bins will be located inside Berkeley Ironworks for clothing donations. The drive has a number of different sites. When everything is collected, the clothing will be distributed to different elementary schools throughout the East Bay and anything that is left over will be donated to charity.
Take the time to donate some of your warm garments to kids who need them.
Vertical Velocity, the girls's climbing team at Berkeley Ironworks, is having a bake sale on Monday evening. The team will be having its one year anniversary this month and is raising money for team sweatshirts.
The volcanic tablelands of Bishop California are a huge area of steep, juggy climbing. Off the radar from the normal Happy and Sads area are a dozen other locations that require a little bit of exploring to find. Becky Trafecanty made a recent video of gun toting hardman and Ironworks desk staffer, Justin Alarcon, firing off a couple more obscure classic tablelands problems. The weather is great in Bishop right now.
A recent storm dropped the temperatures. There's no snow and there's no crowds. Come out to Bishop!
An exhibit of fourteen photos depicting landscape photography across the United States, "Wonder of Rock: Images of the West" will be displayed on the walls of Berkeley Ironworks for the month of January. The exhibit is Eric Ahnmark's second showing at the gym.
Born and raised in the Midwest, Ahnmark became obsessed with the western United States taking many spring and summer trips to the desert southwest. Ahnmark spent two years working for the National Park Service in Tuscon, where his passion for the desert mixed with a new found desire to photograph. Ahnmark worked to capture the silhouettes of Saguaro cacti, the colors of the rock, and the beauty of the Grand Canyon State.
Stop by Berkeley Ironworks to see Ahnmark's wonderful pictures.
To see more of his work, check out Ahnmark's website.
Getting to the crag can be a chore. Hiking down the North Dome Gully, descending the East Ledges, or even trying to stumble out of the boulders after a long day of pebble crushing can be a laborious task. It's important to treat your feet well as they care you to and from your next rad rock climb. One of the best things you can do for your feet is get some solid approach shoes. Stop stubbing your toes in flip flops, and don't be burdened with enormous boots.
Cal Prep Heads to Ironworks
On October 12th, fifteen students from Cal Prep headed to Berkeley Ironworks to check out the climbing gym. The students were completely new to rock climbing but the Ironworks staff helped the kids climb for the first time. “The instructors were incredibly conscientious, patient, enthusiastic and skilled, which made the whole experience all the more enjoyable,” said Rachel Niederman, a faculty member at Cal Prep. “The gear check-out/check-in was easy, and the gym was so impressive and exciting for our students to see.”
Last Week, Trooper Johnson, the Youth Sports Program Coordinator, and a half dozen kids from BORP, the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program, headed over to Berkeley Ironworks. BORP is the leading provider and promoter of accessible sports and recreation opportunities for children and adults with physical disabilities in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Using ascenders, strong upper bodies, and some technique, the kids had the opportunity to climb for the very first time.