Recently, former Pipeworks setter and Sacramento superstar, Joe Maier headed out to the Luminanace Boulder in the Buttermilks. This problem defines high ball. The enormous boulder problem borders on a free solo. A fall from the top would not be good. Many climbers prefer to climb problems like these top down, rappelling in and rehearsing the final moves. Maier took a ground up approach and fought through to the summit on unknown and terrifying ground. Check out this cool video of "V10 Joe" pulling down.
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April 6th and 7th, marked the 2012 Sport Climbing Series National Championships in Boulder, Colorado at Movement Climbing + Fitness. Zero Gravity Climbers Josh Levin, Alexa Nazarian, Charlie Andrews, Dylan Barks and Jacquelyn Wu traveled to Boulder to compete with some of the best climbers in the country. The National Championships are used to determine who can represent the US Team in this year's World Cups and World Climbing Championships.
After the chalk settled from the two climb qualifying round, Josh Levin, Dylan Barks and Jacquelyn Wu made the 8 climber finals. Had there been semifinals, Alexa Nazarian would have qualified with a respectable 16th. Charlie Andrews came in 24th.
The next morning, Josh, Charlie and Jacquelyn tried their hand at the speed wall. All three made it to speed finals held later in the evening. Josh and Jacquelyn had the 2nd fastest times and Charlie had the 3rd. Ranking was a combination of the qualifying round and the finals round. Charlie was faster than Josh in the final round, but not enough to swap places. Jacquelyn won her finals against Danielle Rogan, but not by enough to be National Champion.
At 6:45pm, Saturday evening, all the finalists came out to a packed house in order to be introduced to the crowd and the finals problems. Over 400 people were at the event and stands plus 3 floors were full of spectators. At 7pm, climbing began.
LT11 wrote "The finals round on Saturday was one for the history books. For the women, Sasha Diguiulian dominated the field for the 3rd straight year with no falls and a relatively easy looking flash of the finals route...For the men it was a different story. Daniel Woods was destined to win the 2012 SCS Nationals with an impressive flash of both qualifying routes. In finals, poor route reading led to a fall down low and bumped him into 3rd place. Newcomer, Dylan Barks hurtled into 2nd with an impressive read of the finals route but couldn’t hang in there for a send. Vasya Vorotnikov, fresh off a debilitating shoulder injury, rose from the ashes for a monumental attempt on the finals route, achieving high point and his name in the record books."
After the competition, Dylan said he was shocked at beating Daniel Woods. He just focused on climbing his best and was thrilled with the results. Jacquelyn couldn't believe that she tied with Tiffany Hensley in the last climb and beat Angie Payne. She was amazed when these seasoned climbers asked for her input in the final climb beta discussions.
With 3 climbers in sport finals and 3 climbers in speed finals, Coach Scot Jenerik must be doing something right with his climbers.
Finals results as follows:
Women's Sport Climbing Men's Sport Climbing1 - Sasha Digullian 1 – Vasaya Vorotnikov 2 - Delaney Miller 2 – Dylan Barks3 – Michaela Kiersch 3 – Daniel Woods 5 – Tiffany Hensley 5 – Matty Hong6 – Jacquelyn Wu 7 – Josh Levin 7 - Angela Payne 12 – Carlo Traversi Women's Speed Climbing Men's Speed Climbing1 – Danielle Rogan 1 – Alex Johnson 2- Jacquelyn Wu 2 – Josh Levin3 – Kyra Condie 3 – Charlie Andrews
Some people believe there's not much to do in the Central Valley but Socrates Lozano and Joey Ybarra started a YouTube channel to prove people wrong. Recently they headed over to MetalMark in Fresno to show some of the excitement going on in the Central Valley.
“We’re trying to show people what there is in the Valley and see if we can do it,” Ybarra said. “Our goal with this is to have a great time, make videos and show people that life in the Valley isn’t as bad as some people say it is.”
Rockfall is a serious hazard to rock climbing. On April 3rd and the 4th, a serious amount of rock fell at Yosemite's Churchbowl climbing area. The granite fell from an area above Bishop's Terrace and hit the second pitch of the climb, the short section that climbs to Bishop's Balcony. The rappel for the route was also hit. A large amount of debris fell to the west of the base of Bishop's Terrace.
Greg Stock, a Yosemite National Park geologist, commented about the hazard. "Although I'm not able to predict future behavior, I have seen cleaner source areas than this one. Future rockfalls are possible."
This winter Touchstone athlete, Ethan Pringle crushed the boulders of the Buttermilks. He made a fast ascent of the Swarm (v13) and a number of other amazing problems. Pringle captured some of his sends on tape and filmed other climbers sending classics like Stained Glass (v10), and Secrets of the Beehive (v5/5.12-). Check out his cool video.
Thousands of red, green, yellow, and blue holds cover the walls of the Touchstone gyms. But where do all the holds come from? The easy answer is from right next to Sacramento Pipeworks, in a white corrugated steel building next to Garlinger Steel. More specifically, Stone Age provides Touchstone with all of its holds. Wes Tite, a climber of 20 years, runs Stone Age and creates all the holds himself. Tite has worked as a climbing guide, a route setter, and a coal miner. For the past 20 years, he has traveled around the world climbing and looking for inspiration to create the best grips for the Touchstone climbing walls.
Evan Kristiansen snapped a couple of pictures of Wes at work.
Tite began working for Touchstone in 2009, beginning as a route setter. As the gyms grew, there became a need for a full time supplier of gym holds. Tite’s experience in an industrial work environment made him an ideal candidate for running Stone Age climbing holds. Tite makes around 1000 holds a month for the Touchstone gyms. This past year has been a busy year for him with the openings of MetalMark and the San Jose gyms as they both needed a ton of new holds.
Past blog entries can be found at http://touchstoneclimbing.blogspot.com/