The Gimp Monkeys on El Cap

Earlier this year, three men climbed the Zodiac on El Capitan. This striking aid line climbs through one of the steepest parts of Yosemite's quintessential granite monolith. While this aid climb sees a number of ascents through out the season, the Gimp Monkey's ascent is a little different as all three of the men are amputees. They made an inspiring video about their ascent.

Oakdale Climber's Festival

This weekend, from October 26th to the 28th, Oakdale is having its first climber's festival.  The festivites, which will be held at the Oakdale Community Center at 110 South 2nd Ave in Oakdale, promise to be a great opportunity to learn about some of the vibrant California climbing history.

On Friday night, beginning at 7:30 p.m., there will be a discussion of John Salathe.  Allen Steck will be talking about his first ascent experience on the Sentinel with Salathe, Ken Yaeger will talk about Salathe's experience in Camp 4,  and Doug Robinson will address Salathe's commitment to boldness and style. 

 

Royal Robbins_by_Tom_Frost

Read more: Oakdale Climber's Festival

Tick Marks

Climbing outside is a ton of fun. The wind, the fresh air, the entire atmosphere is part of what makes climbing enjoyable. It's important to protect the environment that climbing is in. Part of being a good steward at our crags is not using excessive tick marks, lines to show where holds are. If you do decide to use a tick mark on a route or boulder problem be responsible and brush them off after you are done for the day. The Access Fund made a great little video of a climber getting a little too zealous with his ticks.

 

DRG's First Member: Mycol Holton

This weekend Diablo Rock Gym celebrated their 10th anniversary by having an ultimate fitness morning, a BBQ, and hosting the Reel Rock Tour.  With a crowd of over 150 people, the gym helped raise $1500 for the Access Fund and the ASCA. As part of the festivities, the Touchstone blog sat down with DRG's first member.

reelrockdrg

During the construction of DRG, MycolHolton signed up at the very first member of DRG.  "I have loved this gym from day it opened. My favorite part of the gym are the people. I have meet so many great people that have become very good friends of mine."

Read more: DRG's First Member: Mycol Holton

24HHH with Caitlin Davies

Climbing all day can be difficult.  Climbing for 24 hours is really hard.  In the last few days of September, Touchstone members Caitlin Davies and Lauren Reising headed to 24 Hours of Horshoe Hell in Arkansas.  The premise for 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell is leading a route clean for points, and doing that in succession for 24 hours straight.  

For Caitlin, a climber of two years, the 24HHH was a good opportunity to expand her climbing skills.  "I wanted to do 24HHH because I'm kind of a pansy leader, honestly... lol. An event that focuses so much on mental control really targeted my weak spot... so I wanted to face it and kind of embrace that fear, I guess? I'll tell you what, by the end of the 24 hours I didn't even care when I was above a bolt. It was a satisfying feeling."

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Caitlin on left and Lauren on right

Read more: 24HHH with Caitlin Davies

Fixed Gear at Crags

Heading to sport crags where many of the draws are fixed or out to Yosemite where there are many old anchors means knowing a bit about the dangers of insitu gear, especially of worn fixed biners.

On September 22, Mario Luginbühl and a friend went climbing at Magletsch, in the St.Gallen canton, Switzerland. Luginbühl was trying to work out a sequence and took a controlled fall. This proved fatal as the fixed quickdraw had been worn sharp through extensive use and cut the rope. Luginbühl fell 85 feet to his death. A similar instance happened a few years ago in the Red River Gorge when a climber cut their rope on the second bolt of a popular climb.

CRW 6017

Read more: Fixed Gear at Crags

More Yosemite Bouldering

Yosemite season is in full swing. The fall temps are here. The conditions are getting perfect for the bouldering on some of the world's best granite boulders. Kyle O'Meara, a Washington transplant who has been crushing California climbing, made this cool video of a couple of Yosemite classics that he climbed this spring.


Get amped for Yosemite climbing this fall!

 

Prenatal Yoga at GWPC

Prenatal yoga is a supportive way to practice yoga postures (asana) as well as breath work (pranayama) and relaxation safely while pregnant. This yoga is done at a slower pace to ensure safety and stability of your body and to build strength, all while creating more space for your baby to grow and preparing you for the birth process. Postures will be practiced in both a flowing style (Vinyasa) and individually.

prenatal-yoga

Read more: Prenatal Yoga at GWPC

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

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

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