On Saturday June 16th and Sunday June 17th, Climbing Resources Advocates Greater Sacramento (CRAGS) will be hosting the 3rd annual clean-up of Lover's Leap. This is a perfect opportunity to help maintain one of Califorinia's best climbing areas.
A picture of Lover's Leap, the red line shows the classic Haystack (5.8)
Touchstone trainer, Justin Alarcon knows the value of a strong core. Solid abdominal muscles keep your body tight to the wall on overhanging terrain, they allow you to reach farther for jams on vertical crack routes, and they help you step your foot up higher on low angle rock. There are numerous exercises to help strengthen your core and it's easy to get confused by all of the options.. Alarcon offers some great insight into a perfect core exercise. "Floor bridges are a great introductory exercise for developing the body tension needed to climb on steep overhangs and tenuous vertical faces," says Alarcon. In this video, Alarcon deomnstrates the proper way to perform a floor bridge
Alarcon holds clinics and private training sessions. Email him with questions at
In a few short weeks, the summer solstice will be here soon. The days are longer than ever. It's a great time to head out and climb those long trad routes in the Sierra, in Yosemite, in the Needles, and across California. All of the aforementioned areas require a solid base of traditional climbing experience, that means being able to build solid anchors, place safe gear, and knowing how to navigate seas of granite. Learning the skills necessary to climb in this places takes a lot of instruction, experience, and dedication. To help you get started with some basic ideas about traditional climbing gear placements, there are some great instructional videos.
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Picture being high on the face of one of the world's largest granite cliffs. If something went wrong what would happen? On Wednesday, May 30, a 22 year old climber was leading the Pancake Flake pitch on the Nose of El Capitan. The climber was two-thirds of the way up the route, above the Great Roof, when he took a 30 foot lead fall.
His large fall resulted in a broen leg and possibly a broken pelvis. The National Park Service employees a number of rescue personell with strong climbing backgrounds to take care of such situations. The Yosemite Search and Rescue Team (YOSAR) assessed the situation.
Berkeley Ironworks just picked up two great new cams. One the small side, Aliens are now available at the gym. These flexible stem camming units fit perfectly into pin scars, horizontal placements, and difficult to protect granite. They are a mandatory requirement for any El Capitan arsenal and are loved by Yosemite climbers. Ironworks has a full array of sizes from tiny tips to big fingers. Get ready for your next finger splitter with these great cams.
Strong fingers are essential for climbing. Bearing down on small holds allows climbers to summit many difficult climbs. "Finger curls for climbers are like spinach for Popeye," says Justin Alarcon, a NASM certified personal trainer with the Touchstone gyms, "they make your forearms swole! But seriously, its a reasonably safe way to work on developing the finger strength needed to pull onto some really bad holds." In the video below, the 5.13 climbing trainer demonstrates a great way to increase your finger strength.
Justin holds clinics and private training sessions. Email him with questions at
Past blog entries can be found at http://touchstoneclimbing.blogspot.com/