MetalMark Climbing and Fitness is under an hour from the Valley floor, and yet many Fresnopians have never made the drive, let alone climb there. Having a world class climbing gym in the Central Valley allows people who would never consider climbing to give it a try with our friendly and helpful staff.
On February 27th, the Madera Adult School came to MetalMark to climb. They have made several trips to the gym over the past year as part of a program to introduce their students to unique extracurricular activities.
Aurora Garcia is a teacher at MAS, and brought the group of students to MetalMark this month. "I work with the students ages 18-22, and our program is designed to assist special education adults in providing them with transitioning skills to adulthood. Two of the components of our program are community and fitness." Climbing is a great chance for the students to build confidence and challenge themselves in a safe and supportive environment.
Daniel, a staff member at MetalMark, worked with the teachers before hand to teach them to belay, so that when the students arrived they were able to climb with instructors that they knew and trusted. "It was super fun," said Daniel. "Especially to see everyone working together to cheer each other on."
Climbing for the first time can be both physically and mentally demanding, but the feedback from the students was positive. "I feel like I was on top of the mountain," said one student. "It was my first time climbing, it was awesome. I enjoyed climbing all the way to the top."
"I was very excited to see our group gain more confidence with each climb and challenge themselves to do something new. Students continue to set new goals to reach higher each time," Said Garcia. This has been a wonderful experience for our students and staff."
Each Touchstone Climbing and Fitness gym has a strong commitment to outreach and supporting their local community. If you have a group you would like to bring to the gym, please contact the gym manager for details!
Yosemite National Park represents the highest peregrine falcon nesting area in the Sierra Nevada. The park has played a pivotal role in the birds recovery from an endangered species. There are numerous climbing closures to help protect the birds' nesting areas. When planning your next climbing trip to the national park, make sure to consider the peregrine nesting areas.
On March 15, nearly 300 climbers headed to Concord to climb at the Touchstone Bouldering Series 8 comp at Diablo Rock Gym. "It was high energy," said manager Hans Florine. "Folks were stoked on the problems."
Want to break through a plateau? Want to improve your footwork or general technique? World class boulderers, Lisa Rands and Wills Young will be heading to Dogpatch to provide specific instruction on how to improve your climbing.
For over 20 years Lisa Rands has climbed across the world from Alpine spires in Argentina’s Patagonia to first ascents in the boulders of South Africa’s Rocklands. In 2002, Lisa was the first American to win a World Cup Bouldering Competition, and was ranked world number one in competitive bouldering the same year. She went on to break ground for women with ultra-bold ascents of “E8” gritstone test-pieces in England and super-highballs in Bishop, California.
One of the best technical climbers in the world, Wills Young has made an enormous impact on the US climbing scene. Wills wrote the book on bouldering in Bishop- literally. Beyond climbing thousands of problems in the Bishop area for his guidebook, Wills has climbed across the globe, spending significant time in Rocklands South Africa, in the south east US, and of course in Bishop.
In the video below, Wills shows his impeccable technigue as he casually hikes professional climbers Chris Sharma and Tony Lamiche's project.
The clinics will be held on Sunday April 28th from 6-7:30pm and Tuesday April 30th from 5-6:30pm. To ensure personal attention classes are limited to 14 climbers per class. The clinics are $40 for members and $50 for non-members. This is an amazing opportunity to learn from a pair of highly accomplished climbers and instructors.
This weekend, Saturday, March 23, 2013, The studio is hosting a USAC Northern California division Sport Climbing Series comp. This comp provides a great opportunity for young climbers in the South Bay to begin climbing competitions.
USA Climbing is the national governing body for competition climbing in the United States and is responsible for sanctioning the American Bouldering Series (ABS), the Sport Climbing Series (SCS) and the Collegiate Climbing Series (CCS).
The Studio comp marks the second of the six regional comps. The Regional Championships will be held in May at City Beach in Fremont. Divisionals will take place in June at Vertical World in Seattle and Nationals happen in early July at Stone Summit in Atlanta.
$30 for USAC members ($35 for non-members)
Youth-B and above will need to get a Touchstone Lead Certification. You can get this done at any Touchstone Gym prior to the comp. You can do it at The Studio before the comp, but there might be a line. f you plan to Lead, please bring your own rope.
One of the best parts about climbing is the community of characters. Recently, the folks over at MetalMark performed a Harlem Shake, an internet meme where a masked member dances to the song Harlem Shake before being other costumed dancers.
Stop by MetalMark and join this fun and wild community of climbers. Now do the Harlem Shake!
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.
Last week, Tom Addison, a long time climber in the Bay and Sacramento climbing community, pulled the red tag off his long time project at Jailhouse Rock in Sonora. Addison bolted the route in the winter of 2002. "Trying to do the moves on it a decade ago, it was pretty clear that it was out of my league. It still is, but a strong gravitational anomaly on Friday let me clip the chains."
Last week, The Touchstone Zero Gravity team climbed at the USA Climbing ABS Youth National Championships.
Zero Gravity brought home the Silver medal as a team, missing the Gold by only 34 points! In the individual categories, they had six podiums and USA National Team bids! On top of that, Zero Gravity had four National Champions!
In the middle of February, the Studio's Cheyenne Sulaski headed out to one of the world's best bouldering destinations, Hueco Tanks, for a brief trip. She sent the Touchstone Blog a report about her trip.
My go-to bouldering trip tends to be Bishop, and I hadn't made it far past there. I've road-tripped across the country multiple times, but never with the intent to climb. So when Brian Hedrick, (who can be found on Instagram under the name bcuzhedrick) invited me to go to Hueco Tanks with him for 10 days, I was pretty excited. Part of what I love about climbing is that it opens up a whole new reason to travel. Previous to climbing if someone would have invited me to Texas, I would have looked at them very un-enthusiastically and probably made some sarcastic remark about how much I don't like Texas. Now that I climb, I look at places like El Paso, and think: there's world class climbing 20 minutes away, well of course I'll go! So with our psych high and my car filled with crash pads we headed out mid day of February 14th, making it all the way to Joshua tree that night. The next day we spent 12 hours driving the most exciting road in the USA (I-10) just in time to get to Hueco for the 20th annual Rock Rodeo Competition.
Last week, on March 3rd, Touchstone owner Mark Melvin and long time Yosemite wall veteran Chris McNamara saw a chance to climb the Nose on El Capitan. With a forecast of 70 degree temps, the pair nabbed a "winter" ascent of one of the largest granite formations in America. Chris wrote about their ascent.
I'll share a secret just with you guys: you can find summer-like conditions on El Cap even in the middle of winter… as long as you are in the sun.