Austin Zimmerman, who has been a smiling face behind the front desk at Great Western Power Company and Berkeley Ironworks for a little over a year now, recently took a trip to Lost Rocks and shot this short bouldering flick. Lost Rocks is located in Northern California, near Arcata. "The original plan was to spend a week driving down the coast and climbing at a new spot every other day," said Austin. "However, keeping true to our road-trip track record, we found it too hard to leave the Lost Rocks and decided to spend the entire week in just the one area instead."
The footage was taken with a rebel T2i. "We shared one camera and focused on climbs that we could do quickly and repeat several times for extra angles," said Austin. 95% of the footage is hand held except for the intro scene which was filmed using a Joby tripod with Cineskate wheel attachments. Austin said they made the film for mostly for fun and to get a little practice filming and editing climbing movies. "My girlfriend, Emily, and I got a camera about two years ago for a road trip that we took across the country. About a year ago I started getting more interested in photography and videography and since then I have devoted most of my free time to making movies."
Check out their flick and get psyched on California coastal climbing!
Lost Rocks from Austin Z on Vimeo.
This week marks the tenth annual Yosemite Facelift. For the past decade, the Yosemite Climbing Association has organized climbers to help with a park wide clean-up. Trash, old ropes, debris, and litter are all collected by volunteers, who receive a raffle ticket at the end of the day for helping out. A number of climbing companies support the event as well as New Belgium Brewery. The prizes are awesome and the beer at the nightly events rocks. Plus, the Facelift brings together the community of climbers and helps gather thousands of pounds of trash every year.
Here at Touchstone Climbing, we're lucky to be surrounded by crushers of all kinds. Today Berkeley Ironworks staffer Ryan E. Moon sits down with a fellow co-worker Steven Roth to find out more about developing a new route at Mickey's Beach, what it's like to be from Florida, and his legal troubles with Nickelodeon. RM: How long have you been climbing? SR: I started climbing competitively about nine years ago, but had to take off a few years due to pesky injuries and bad luck. RM: How long have you lived in the Bay Area? SR: I moved out to the Bay about a year ago from Florida to go to Cal. RM: What’s your favorite thing about Berkeley living? Bike boulevards? Berkeley Bowl? Hippies? Indian food? Passive aggression? SR: Well, there’s nothing like the average hipster looking Joe being able to hike your projects. The food’s tasty, but not really for me. RM: Tell us about climbing in Florida, aka not climbing? SR: How do you compare the Bay Area scene with the Florida scene? The climbing in Florida is limited to plastic. Even so, the indoor scene there has produced some big names like Matt Segal and Megan Martin. People in the Bay Area actually assume that I’m a climber when I tell them I climb rocks rather than what I get from Floridians: “What do you climb, palm trees?” RM: How far back can you trace the Jimmy Neutron joke? Would you prefer that people call you that from now on? SR: After suing Nickelodeon and losing, I was forced to change my name from Jimmy to Steven. It’s sort of a sore subject, I try not to talk about it too much… RM: What’re some of your favorite routes/boulder problems in the area? SR: Climbing on Meldicott Dome in Tuolumne this past summer with Ben Polanco was outstanding. As for bouldering, I almost exclusively boulder at Mortar Rock in the Berkeley hills. Castle Rock is pretty stellar and my complete anti-style. I hope to get out more this fall for some bouldering in Yosemite and that awesome looking Columbia area. RM: How do you like working at BIW? Isn’t Ryan just the BEST?! SR: I love it! It allows me to maintain a flexible schedule for school and for climbing trips. And yes, Ryan is pretty great. RM: Do you do anything to train besides belaying children? SR: My training pretty much consists of of core workouts, ring exercises, bouldering at Mortar Rock, made up problems at the gym, and going rope climbing outside on the weekends. A non-rigid regime and rests keep me from getting burned out. RM: Belaying isn’t all you do for Touchstone though, right? Don’t you also coach? SR: I am one of the coaches for the East Betas at GWPC which is really exciting. I basically act as a climbing partner for the kids while giving tips and insight. RM: What do you like about coaching? SR: It allows me to pass on helpful advice that I learned when I was young(er). RM: Is it true you’re on the ‘Colorado Diet’? SR: Yup! My typical dinner is three pieces of air popped popcorn, salt for flavor, gauze pads for filling, and a stick of gum for dessert. RM: What originally drew you to ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’? SR: From Surf Safari and Endless Bummer, the Emperor Boulder sits down the hill near the water. It’s impressively tall (around 60ft) compared to the routes up the hill. The line itself became obvious to me because of the big jug ledge about 10 feet off of the ground. I figured the start would be a ‘Superman jump’ to the beginning hold which turned out to be true and AWESOME! The line hugs the obvious arete up the middle of the boulder. All in all, the beautiful scenery and the orange lichen speckling the rock make for an unforgettable experience. RM: How long did it take you to clean it? SR: I spent quite a while hanging in my harness. Prior to cleaning, I top roped the line and thought that it would go a certain way. About 12 hours later, after cleaning and sussing, the route was totally different. RM: How many redpoint burns until the FA? SR: I figured out all of the moves during the cleaning process and worked the sections quickly on self belay. By the time it was bolted, I was optimistic that I would get it on my first redpoint attempt, which I did. The process emphasized that really figuring out and remembering body positions and beta in little sections is the key to efficient climbing and huge gains in progress. RM: Any plans for new routes in the future? SR: On the Emperor Boulder there is a spectacular 5.10+/5.11- that be an instant classic once it’s bolted. That route alone would make a trip out to the coast well worth it. I’m also working on a climb that hasn’t been done on the Main Rock at Mickey’s Beach. Challenging large moves on small holds has kept it from being climbed so far. I hope that I can be the one to do it as it’s the first route I’ve been truly interested in projecting. RM: What’s the secret to getting big hands and long fingers? Over zealous high fives? Chinese finger traps perhaps? SR: Definitely the Chinese finger traps. Those things get the job done for sure!!!
Even with hundreds of crushers going in and out of Dogpatch Boulders, Nilo and Lars are easily noticed. “In a gym dominated by people in the 20-40 age range, everyone knows them as the kids who will climb with anyone, not just other kids," said Dogpatch manager Justin Alarcon. We took a moment to find out more about these young climbers who are already a huge part of the Dogpatch climbing community.
We are happy to announce that Remi Moehring, formerly of Mission Cliffs, will be managing the LA.B in Los Angeles, California. While those of us in the Bay Area are lucky enough to know her well, we wanted to give everyone a sneak peak at what an awesome gal we are sending south to manage our first LA gym.
Remi took a few moments out of her day to sit down with... herself... and give you the scoop on her hopes, dreams, and love of all things Touchstone.RM: How did you get into climbing? RM: Two years ago my trajectory was: art school, work at industrial design firm, get rich making fancy things. Then I took an Intro to Climbing class with my boyfriend who couldn't hold onto a jug to save his life and I was instantly hooked. I got a job at Mission Cliffs a month later and never looked back. At the boyfriend or at art school.
RM: What are you going to miss about MC? RM: ALL OF MY BUDDIES! The friends I've made there are amazing, so I plan on having a couch big enough to fit all of them. They might have to stack, but we'll make it work. The great thing about Touchstone is that wherever you are, you always feel like part of the family. I plan on being the maniacal aunt who calls you repeatedly in the middle of the night to have you remind her where she put her wig. RM: You guys sure have had some crazy times over at MC. Hey, remember that time you all took shots of hot sauce and then free soloed the-- RM: Nope. No. I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about RM: What are you looking forward to about LA? RM: In my fantasy world, LA.B would be frequented by RuPaul or Bill Murray and we would sit on the edge of the mats and clink champagne glasses and laugh wildly about times passed. I don't know much about LA, so mostly I'm excited about a new adventure into the unknown. There will be beaches, world-class climbing, a great comedy scene, and the Getty museum, which happens to be my favorite in the country, so I think I'll survive. RM: Is it difficult to have both a stinging wit and devilish good looks? RM: No. RM: Where do you think LA.B will fall on a scale from one to insanely epic? RM: I'm unfamiliar with the insanity-based scale, but I'd say, based on the 3D renderings, location, people involved, and Touchstone's track record, we're looking at a low-end projection of blowing-your-mind-all-over-your-face.To stay up to speed on the LA.B, be sure to follow us in Facebook and Instagram. We are only a few months out and can't wait to keep you informed on the play by play.
In early September, Ironworks employee Steven Roth, Bay Area photographer Jim Thornburg and Tom Ogasawara cleaned The Emperor’s New Clothes, a sport protected route on the coast near Stinson Beach.
Past blog entries can be found at http://touchstoneclimbing.blogspot.com/