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.
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.
Quintana talked to the Touchstone blog a bit about his experience.
Read more: The World Climbing Championship with Jaime Quintana
Recently, the Children's Hospital Adaptive Sports Program stopped by MetalMark. The climbing at the Fresno gym is an integral part of the program, which recreational and athletic experiences for those with disabilities. Based out of the Central Valley, the program takes disabled people of all ages and health impairments and encourages them to take part in athletic activities and exceed expectations.
During the last visit to MetalMark, 12 kids got to climb through their various handicaps. The kids climbed out of their wheelchairs, walkers, and leg braces and had a ton of fun. Approximately 15 volunteers, came in, took the belay class, and facilitated and encouraged the kids in their climbing.
Katie Walker, who wears a prosthetic leg and climbs regularly at MetalMark, volunteered to encourage the kids as well.
The program scheduled another visit for the middle of November. The kids are definitely excited as it is a great opportunity for them to get an incredible experience.
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.
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.
Read more: Oakdale Climber's Festival
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.
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.
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
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."
Caitlin on left and Lauren on right
Read more: 24HHH with Caitlin Davies
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.
Read more: Fixed Gear at Crags