Monica Aranda: BIW Staffer

For some, climbing is a hobby. For people like Monica Aranda, climbing is a passion.

Monica, a 26 year old Berkeley Ironworks desk staffer, instructorer, graphic designer, and woman of all trades has worked for Touchstone for the past 7 years. She began climbing over 8 years ago when she joined a summer rock climbing camp and went top roping at Castle Rock in Saratoga. After high school, Monica signed up at Diablo Rock Gym and began a solid and prolific bouldering passion.

Monica’s passion for climbing comes from three distinct aspects of the sport.

Monica 2

Read more: Monica Aranda: BIW Staffer

Night Climbing

Climbing at night can be unbelievably fun. The temps for climbing get better in the dark hours. Utilizing a headlamp means there is no exposure beyond the distance of the light. Also, climbers tend to keep it a little more light hearted when climbing at night.  It's just fun!

Night Climb 3 (1)
 

To share in this nocturnal fun, once a month, MetalMarks holds a Black Out Night.  All of the lights in the gym turn off.  The boulders and routes light with headlamps and members have a great time.   The desk staff sells headlamps for 10% off.  The big open windows let in some natural lighting but the gym itself is dark. Next month MetalMark will show a movie in the cycling room during Black Out Night- another reason to join the fun. 

Read more: Night Climbing

Mission Cliffs Food Drive

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.  

SFfood bank

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

Training Drills for Climbing

Climbing requires a number of skills. One of the most important and an often overlooked facet skill set is balance. When climbing aretes, slabs, or vertical faces, having a good center of gravity and weight over your feet is crucial for success. In this video, a few British climbers demonstrate a great way to improve balance by attaching a pendulum point to your harness. They also suggest placing coins on footholds to improve precise footwork. Using these methods will turn you into a delicate climber capable of ascending anything.

Head out to your nearest Touchstone gym and work those climbing skills.

Extreme Slab Climbing

One of the best parts about rock climbing is that it is really fun. A few years ago, a pair of Quebecois climbers headed to the slabs in Squamish with plans to take their passion for climbing and skate boarding to the next level. Check out their exciting take on descending slabs.

 

Yosemite Slab Bouldering

One of the most important skills in rock climbing is learning to stand on your feet. Solid footwork and balance will help you climb the most difficult climbs around. Yosemite Valley, with its long low angle pieces of granite, provides a perfect place to practice slab climbing and working on your footwork. The Camp 4 boulders contain a number of great difficult slab problems including Initial Friction, Blue Suede Shoes, Kumba, and more.

Located right behind the Wine Boulder, just a few minutes from the Camp 4 campground, Blue Suede Shoes is an area classic. Just to the left is the more difficult Red Suede Shoes. Check out Andy Liu's smooth footwork.


Read more: Yosemite Slab Bouldering

TBS 8 Friday at Ironworks

The Touchstone Bouldering Series Comps kick off this Friday evening at Berkeley Ironworks.  In their 8th year, the TBS comps are some of the best climbing competitions in the United States. With free food, free beer sponsored by local breweries, and tons of awesome climbing, these comps offer an amazing chance to have fun with the climbing community in your area.


TouchstoneAd CaliforniaMag_TBS8


Never been to a Touchstone Bouldering Competition? Check out this hilarious video where GWPC staffer Andrew Jackson walks us through a day in the life of a Bouldering Competition. We dare you to watch this without cracking up. 



The climbing comps will roll through each of the Touchstone gyms. Below is a schedule of the upcoming comps.  For further information check out our comp page.  

Friday, November 9th, 2012 • Ironworks in Berkeley • 5pm-10pm

Friday, December 7th, 2012 • The Studio in San Jose • 5pm-10pm

Saturday, January 26th, 2013 • Metalmark in Fresno • 12pm-5pm

Friday, February 22nd, 2013 • Sacramento Pipeworks • 5pm-10pm

Friday, March 15th, 2013 • Concord Diablo Rock Gym • 5pm-10pm

Friday, April 19th, 2013 • Oakland Great Western Power Co • 5pm-10pm

Saturday, May 4th, 2013 • FINALE at Dogpatch Boulders! 12pm-5pm

 

Dogpatch Logo

Recently, Touchstone released the logo for their newest climbing gym designed by Mark Fox. Dogpatch is Fox's fourth identity he has created for Touchstone.  Fox designed the logos for the Studio, Metal Mark and the former Class 5.  Fox took some time to talk about the designs he has done with Touchstone.

Dogpatch2

 

Read more: Dogpatch Logo

Share Touchstone

From October 21st until November 4th, Touchstone is offering a 0 Initiation Fee- just use your social networking. Share Us. Tag Us. Tweet Us. Pin Us. Check In to the best gyms in California.

 

533758 10151358299057023_1854931560_n

 

Lynn Hill: This Is Your Land - Vote November 6

The state of our public lands, our national parks, and the places we climb concern many people including legendary climber Lynn Hill. In this video, Lynn addresses the issues of the environment we live and climbing in as the election approaches.

 

Litter at the Crag

The fall weather arrived. Perfect cool days with beautiful leaves on the ground make for great climbing days and amazing experiences. An important part of being a climber is being a steward of places we get to climb. The gorgeous crags can be overrun with litter and debris if we neglect to take care of them. The Access Fund made a funny little video about litter. Next time you head to Indian Rock, Yosemite, or Castle Rock make sure to pick up after yourself. Grab those little pieces of tape, the bar wrappers, and any extra trash. Keep climbing areas beautiful.

The World Climbing Championship with Jaime Quintana

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.

644543 10151145833224926_245229777_n

 

Quintana talked to the Touchstone blog a bit about his experience.

Read more: The World Climbing Championship with Jaime Quintana

Past blog entries can be found at  http://touchstoneclimbing.blogspot.com/

Facebook

comps

Latest News

  • Indian Rock Spring Clean-Up MORE >>
  • Spring Break ’09 - Cabo San Smith Rockas MORE >>
  • The Lost Coast Trail with Eric Nakano MORE >>

Latest Routes

  • MC 20 Problems V0-V7
  • MM 13 Problems, V0-V4
  • MM 11 Problems, V0-V8

Touchstone's Instagram

Tag your instagram photos with: #touchstoneclimbing