Good Eggs at Ironworks

Picture an amazing local food market around the corner. Imagine a place where you can get great food, in a good atmosphere in your neighborhood.  

Berkeley Ironworks is hosting Good Eggs, a community hub for food and people, organized by the neighborhood and city.Come for a workout and on your way home, pick up fresh bread, Four Barrel coffee, pickles, jams, organic seasonal produce, muffins, specialty meats, and delicious ready-to-eat meals, all in one place.

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Touchstone CrossFit Invitational

Have you become hooked on CrossFit? Ready to test your skills?

On Saturday, March 2nd CrossFit East Bay will hold the first Touchstone CrossFit Invitational. Members from CrossFit East Bay of GWPC, CoCo CrossFit of Diablo Rock Gym, and CrossFit Pipeworks in Sacramento, plan to meet at Great Western Power Company to compete in CrossFit as 'The Sport of Fitness.'

“For those who are interested in getting their feet wet in competition, it provides a friendly atmosphere to try it in,” said CrossFit instructor Maximus Lewin. “CrossFit competitions can be pretty intense and intimidating to the uninitiated. For our members who are doing the 2013 CrossFit Open it is a peaking opportunity.”

 

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Pringle at Dogpatch

The grand opening of Dogpatch is fast approaching and local climbers are getting psyched. The gym has had a few open house events. During a few random weekdays, members grabbed the holds on the amazing new walls. Dogpatch also saw visits by some local professional climbers.

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Touchstone athlete and San Francisco native, Ethan Pringle stopped by Dogpatch already. Pringle set a new problem on the arch once and then returned to climb at the new gym. “There were a ton of brand new holds so I made the whole thing orange.” Setting in the gym remained a difficult task due to the overhanging nature. “I had to move the ladder at least 20 times so that I could reach different parts of the roof and use two different ladders of different heights.”

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HIT Strip Training

Need a boost in your climbing? Want to be a little stronger? Great Western Power Company's system wall offers the perfect opportunity to train harder with HIT strips.

Over a decade ago, climbing training author Eric Horst developed a program to greatly increase grip strength. Hypergravity Isolation Training (HIT) utilizes high intensity exercise, identical finger holds, and climbing with weight.

In this video, accomplished boulderer Sam Schwartz demonstrates how to affectively use the HIT strips.

 



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Climbing is Honest: Joshua Tree Trip Report

Amanda BioBy Amanda Robinson 


I found myself on the car ride back from my post-Thanksgiving Joshua Tree trip with a little bit less skin, a lot less pride, a lot more dirt, and just the right amount of necessary introspection. 

Let me explain.

Climbing has always been a multifaceted sport for me, as I must assume it is for many of those that spend their holidays, weekends, and free evenings partaking in it. No other sport pushes me in so many aspects; after a good climbing session, I am mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted.Most of the time I just leave it at that – I like climbing because it requires more than brute strength. Climbing requires more than technique. I’ve always known that, but what I learned this past weekend is that I love climbing because it is honest.

Once again, let me explain.

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TBS8 at MetalMark

It's well known that the Touchstone Bouldering Competitions are a great chance to get some amazing climbing in, but they also act as the social event of the season. After TBS 8 hit Berkeley Ironworks and The Studio in San Jose, the fun continued at MetalMark Climbing and Fitness in Fresno.
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Bishop Petroglyphs Recovered

Climbing involves more than just rocks. The areas we climb in are important too. Climbers can make a significant impact to help preserve the areas we climb in.

On October 31st, the Bureau of Land Management reported that vandals removed four petroglyphs from a sacred Paiute site in the Tablelands area of Bishop, California. The vandals defaced a fifth with deep saw cuts, removed and broke a sixth petroglyph during the theft and scarred other ancient Indian art with hammer strikes and saw cuts.

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Campus Board Training

Bouldering season is in full effect. In between weekend trips to Sonora and Bishop, the gym provides a great place to train. The campus board provides an ideal training surface.

In this video, Touchstone's Sam Schwartz provides instruction on how to effectively use a campus board.

 

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Kids Groups at Mission Cliffs

One of Touchstone's founding principles is supporting local communities. All our gyms regularly open their doors to local schools and organizations to give kids a chance to climb. In December a group of children from Guadalupe Elementary School visited Mission Cliffs in the city and had a great time climbing with their teacher. Donna, the manager of Mission Cliffs, was trilled to receive the following Thank You letters in the mail. 


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Here are some of our favorite excerpts from the thank you letters we received. 

"After a few climbs I got enough confidence to climb those walls 40 feet high!" -Alex

"I had a great time rock climbing at Mission Cliffs today. And thank you for belaying for me too. This is so far my favorite field trip of all time." -Raul 

"Thank you for being our volunteer. You gave us some really hard walls to climb. Nothing that I couldn't handle. I want to make rock climbing a hobby of mine. I really loved those two hours of my life." -Kevin

"Thank for for being my belayer. Thank you for not letting me fall. Well I did fall because I was tired, and then you told me to stand up. Thank you because you did not let me give up." -Ruby

"Before we got to Mission Cliffs I was really shaky and scared. The first 2 walls were really scary and I coudn't climb to the top. Then I got confident and on the last 2 walls I got to to top! Thank you for belaying me." -Ingrid

"Thank you for beleying for us. Without a belayer I would have been dead." -Jonas

"Thank you for letting us rock climb at the gym. If you wouldn't have let us climb I wouldn't have had my first experience. Now my life is rock climbing." -Carol

"When I went climbing indoors I felt scared going down but determined going up." -Raymond

Photo3 Teaching kids to climb for the first time is such an amazing experience and we're so glad to be a part of the community in the Misson. If you've brought a group to one of our gyms, please share your photos or stories with us! 

Carpooling to the Crag

It’s midnight on the snow covered 395 and your turbo charged climbing partner hits repeat on the Justin Bieber song... again.

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Bishop, Joshua Tree, Las Vegas, even the local climbing areas like Yosemite, Sonora, and Tahoe reside a few hours from the Bay Area and the Touchstone climbing gyms. The climbing in California requires a serious amount of driving. To avoid co-pilot homicide when Bieber sings the same song for the hundredth time, here is a helpful survival guide. 

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Raptors at Pinnacles

Birds of prey are a common sight at Pinnacles National Park. From January to August, over 20 species of raptors reside within the park with 10 species nesting on a yearly basis. The raptor nesting means that climbers need an increase awareness to protect the endangered birds.

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Hasta La Vista with Ethan Pringle

Touchstone athlete Ethan Pringle travels across the world. Norway, China, South Africa, and his home in San Francisco provide great climbing escapes for him. This fall he traveled to one of his old climbing crags to try one of the United States' hardest routes.

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There's something special these days about having a crag to yourself. When you're alone at Mt Charleston's most famous crag, The Hood, just a 45 min drive from downtown Las Vegas, all you hear is the wind blowing through the pine trees, the birds chirping and the occasional tourist on the main hiking trail below - it’s quite refreshing. To be alone at any sport climbing cliff is a rarity now with climbing becoming as popular as it is, and especially so at a steep limestone cliff in prime conditions with hard routes. In the fall, when the temperatures in Vegas fall to the high 70s and the temps at The Hood get perfect, nobody goes. Besides the fact that all the locals are so thrilled that Red Rocks finally isn't an oven anymore and they can climb there without getting heat stroke, there is another reason Mt. Charleston is no longer a destination for traveling sport climbers: it carries the stigma of having chipped holds, and chipped holds are so 1990s. For me the routes are still fun: they are gymnastic, the moves work one of my biggest weaknesses - shallow pockets - and the scenery is beautiful.

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

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