On July 28, 2011, the famous fire lookout at The Needles in Sequoia National Forest was destroyed by fire. Margee Kelly, the USFS Forestry Technician who has made the tower her residence for more than twenty summers, baking cookies for thousands of Needle's climbers, escaped safely, but the lookout is a total loss.
An ember from the wood stove landed on the shake roof of The Needles Fire Lookout sparking a fire that quickly spread along the roof and eventually into the attic. Grabbing the fire extinguisher Margee fought to put the fire out, even climbing up on a ladder placed on the catwalk in an attempt to get closer to the blaze.
Zero Gravity, the international known youth climbing team has been led by Scot Jenerik at the Touchstone climbing gyms for the past decade. Jenerik’s excellent coaching has been augmented by a number of great team members and assistant coaches. Currently, Zero Gravity had three assistant coaches.
Josh Levin, a climber for the past 13 years, helps coaching the Zero Gravity kids in the South Bay Area. Levin offered some great advice about climbing. “One of the biggest things I've learned that helps me with sending hard both indoors and out, but most of all with competitions, is being able to mentally prepare myself before I get on the wall. If I can block out all other distractions before I start climbing, close my eyes, focus on my breathing, and visualize getting to the top, I have a much better chance of succeeding than if I had just rushed straight to the wall.” Levin has climbed Espirit Rebeld 5.13d in Rodellar, Spain, bouldered Beefy Gecko in Bishop’s Sad Boulders, and been a national champion for multiple years in Sport, Speed and Bouldering.
Josh Levin at finals of the 2011 Open National Championships, Boulder, Colorado. Photo: Dane Cronin
Argentine Tango - the most sensual and passionate of dances.... This 6-week class will provide you with a solid foundation in the steps, movement, and the connection with your partner that make this beautiful dance possible. Warning - this dance can be very addictive!!
Last week, Jailhouse received a grant from the Conservation Alliance. Check out the details of the grant from the Access Fund.
April 6, 2011. Boulder, CO – The Access Fund, the national advocacy organization that keeps climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment, is excited to announce that it has been awarded a grant from the Conservation Alliance to secure permanent public access to and long-term conservation of Jailhouse Rock climbing area near Sonora, California.
The Access Fund and local climbers began working with the landowners in August of last year when they learned that future access to this popular climbing area was at risk by a quickly approaching subdivision. It became clear that the Access Fund needed to launch a fundraising campaign to secure permanent access and conservation of the cliff line – the Unlock Jailhouse campaign was launched in November of last year. The Conservation Alliance grant brings a successful end to this fundraising effort.
Denise Miller, a 36 year old school teacher in Forest Hill outside of Auburn, has been climbing for the past 9 years. A long time Sacramento Pipeworks climber, Miller’s tenacity is well known in the climbing community. With a strong work ethic, Miller has successfully climbed many difficult rock climbs in California.
“Friends of mine thought I’d be interested in climbing,” said Miller about her first time climbing at Sacramento Pipeworks. “I was hooked the first day I went. I thought of myself as pretty good at athletics. I got my butt kicked and got a membership.”
Denise on Electric Chair (5.12d) at Jailhouse Photo by Ben Ditto
Dezmond Oliver, an excited Fresno based climber, toured the construction of the new MetalMark gym in Fresno. Check out the footage he took of the gym and get a virtual tour!
Past blog entries can be found at http://touchstoneclimbing.blogspot.com/