Touchstone Setters at MetalMark

The Touchstone setting crew rallied down to Fresno this week to reset the entire gym.  A group of 8 setters descended on MetalMark to establish some amazing new problems and routes.  "We put up about 35 boulder problems yesterday ranging from V0-V7. They all turned out really good, I think we all get psyched to set on terrain that we don't know like the backs of our hands," said setter Jeremy Ho. 

Bay Area Routesetters

Jeremy talked a little about the local setters Travis and Cole. "The guys down here have been doing a killer job, the boulder problems of theirs that we climbed were excellent."  The Touchstone crew got feedback via Facebook about the types of climbs that MetalMark members were looking for- shorter, more powerful boulder problems.  

Jeremy setting lead wall
 

The Touchstone setters do an amazing job of keeping all the gyms fresh with new routes.  Stop by your nearest gym and check out the newest routes and boulder problems.

Geological Map of El Capitan

Yosemite National Park geologist, Greg Stock created an amazing view of El Capitan recently using a new type of mapping. "The movie was produced from terrestrial laser scanning (LiDAR) data collected from El Cap Meadow, with many millions of individually georeferenced points. The grayscale values relate to the reflectivity of the rock, which is why the North America diorite appears so dark relative to the surrounding granite.

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Read more: Geological Map of El Capitan

Return to Meru: North Face Speaker Series

On Wednesday night, October 10th at 7 p.m., alpinists Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk will be presenting the saga of their ascent of India's Mount Meru, an ice- coated granite fang in the Himalayas.In 2008, the team of three suffered a devastating defeat a mere few hundred feet from the summit.  Three years later, the men returned to Meru with more grit, determination, and the strength to fit back to the summit.   

 

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Jimmy Chin leading a pitch on Mount Meru.

Read more: Return to Meru: North Face Speaker Series

The Zebra Pants Girl

A few nights every week at Berkeley Ironworks, a young girl in zebra striped pants crushes the lead cave and in the Wave boulder at the Touchstone gym. "Zebra Girl", Touchstone desk staff's nickname for Kat Gentry, made a big impact recently when she won the Touchstone Rope Series comp.

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Read more: The Zebra Pants Girl

Climbing in The Olympics

Imagine competing with the best climbers on a world class climbing wall.   The Touchstone rope series comps, which are in their sixth year, are a demonstration of what climbing could be like in the upcoming Olympics.  The comps are also an important part in climbing's move towards global recognition. 

MissionCliffscomp

Read more: Climbing in The Olympics

How To Clip A Rope

One of the most important parts of lead climbing is clipping the rope correctly. While this seems simple and straight forward, it is easy to back clip, z-clip, and make mistakes that could jeopardize the climbers safety. In this video, Chris Linder shows the proper way to clip a rope. While Linder's video shows the details in a sport climbing aspect, the same rules apply when traditional climbing.

Yosemite Climber Christina Freschl

The Touchstone gyms have a lot of pysched members, climbers who climb non-stop. Christina Freschl, a 29 year old Berkeley resident, climbs non-stop. Freschl teaches at Hillcrest, an Oakland public school.  "This year I have 21 3rd graders who are excited to read stories and learn about thousands of places." Between her work weeks and after classes Freschl climbs often. Actually, Freschl doesn't climb often, she climbs a lot. Just a week after placing second in the Touchstone Rope Series, Freschl started heading up the Nose of El Capitan.  Freschl crushes in the gym and in all aspects of climbing outside. 

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Freschl attacking the wide bits of the Vendetta.

Read more: Yosemite Climber Christina Freschl

Bay Area Rock Guide

The California Bay Area has an immense amount of amazing climbing.  Finding all of it can prove difficult as the climbing, though great, is fairly spread out.  Thankfully there's a new guide to help with that.

Local climber, photographer, and guidebook author Jim Thornburg just released the 7th edition of  Bay Area Rock. The 328 page guide book features amazing photographs of the climbing from Mickey's Beach, Castle Rock, and Mount Diablo.  

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Beside having excellent pictures that make the crags look irresistible, Thornburg included a number of new areas including Kimball Canyon, Table Rock (St helena) Black Sand Beach, Columbia Boulders, Jailhouse, Mt Tam Boulders, Cliff House Boulders, Aquarian Valley and The Rocklin Quarry Boulders. 

The guide offers great directions in a user friendly format. Thornburg included solid information about all the types of climbing in the bay, the bouldering areas, trad zones, and sport routes.  The directions make it simple to find any of the routes.


Thornburg began climbing in the bay area in 1980 and has established first ascents at Mickey's Beach, Mount Diablo, Dry Creek, and the Nut Tree Boulders.  Beyond his significant route development, Thornburg also makes significant contributions to rebolting climbing areas.  This year he replaced many of the sea worn bolts at the coastal climbing areas with SS glue ins. 

Stop by your local Touchstone gym and grab a copy of the new Bay Area Rock from Potlicker Press.

Rest Days

Climbing. Climbing. Climbing.  One of the best things about rock climbing is to climb more.  Unfortunately, climbing too much can also make you tired and decrease your performance. Taking rest days is vital to improving.   Allowing your body to recover from the abuse you place on it will make your performance stronger.  In this video, pro-climber Chris Sharma talks a bit about rest days. 
 

 

Upgrade at GWPC

The Touchstone gyms are always looking to make improvements on their facilities.  As part of the company's dedication to making a better climbing environment, the walls over at Great Western Power Company are a new shade.  The formerly orange walls are now white. 

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Read more: Upgrade at GWPC

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

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