The Secret to Climbing 5.15

Chris Sharma, Adam Ondra, Sasha Diguilian, the world's elite climbers all manage to claw thier way up the hardest rock climbs in the world.  They spend thousands of hours training, skipping out on dessert, and living just to climb.  While it'd be amazing to be a world class climber, having the dedication and the work drive is much harder.  Thankfully, a group of level 10 engineers discovered a way that you too can climb 5.15d.  Imagine being in the upper echelon of climbing and being able to spend half your training time drinking beer from the couch.


Rings with Alarcon

Are you looking to maximize your training?  One of the best pieces of training equipment for climbing is a pair of gymnastic rings.

"Watch an Olympic gymnast's rings routine and you'll  see how much shoulder power and core stability can be developed training with rings," said Touchstone trainer Jusin Alarcon. "The good news is that you don't need to be an Olympic caliber athlete to utilize ring training to benefit your climbing."  Check out Alarcon's video to learn some great exercises.

Alarcon holds clinics and private training sessions.  Email him with questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New Nose Speed Record

This morning, Alex Honnold and Diablo Rock Gym Manager, Hans Florine set a new speed record for the Nose of El Capitan.  The 3,000 foot vertical granite cliff has been the home of the Grand Prix of Yosemite speed climbing.  The pair started at 6:30 a.m. and topped out just before 9 a.m., setting a new record of 2:23:51.  This is 8% faster than the previous record held by Dean Potter and Sean Leary. 

Florine has been a long time contender for the Nose speed record.  Florine has owned the fastest times on the route with Steve Schneider, Yuji Hirayami, and others. 

The Nose

Read more: New Nose Speed Record

Ironworks Yoga Teacher Alok Rocheleau

Berkeley Ironworks has a new yoga teacher for Friday evenings. Alok Rocheleau, will be joining the staff of amazing yoga instructors at the gym.

bio pic

 From a young age Alok Rocheleau has been interested in this  union, finding it in nature and the arts.  Alok started his journey with asanas 12 years ago with a background as a personal trainer and athlete. In 2004, he took the 200-hour yoga teacher training at Mount Madonna Center, which focuses on classical Ashtanga yoga through the teachings of Baba Hari Das. Hari Das is a master yogi whose silent example and emphasis on karma yoga inspired Alok to stay at the community and teach yoga for a year. Since then he has been back to MMC three times to assist the yoga teacher training.  In the last 5 years he traveled extensively, studying a variety of yoga styles including Ashtanga, Iyengar, Anusara, Shadow, Acroyoga, and Hatha. He likes to creatively blend all styles, emphasizing the union of breath, body and mind infused with a sense of play.   Alok has also taught regularpranayama (breathing practices) and meditation classes.

Read more: Ironworks Yoga Teacher Alok Rocheleau

Pipeworks Video

Recently, long-time member Collin Poseley shot a cool video of Sacramento Pipeworks.  When Posseley is not busy producing media content for the Sacramento area news, he has photographed and shot video for a number of the Pipeworks comps. 



Pullups with Alarcon

Knowing the correct way to perform an exercise is essential for getting stronger and also crucial to prevent injury.  In the latest installment of the Touchstone training videos, Justin Alarcon demonstrates how to properly perform a pull-up.

"A pull-up is the most basic and perhaps the oldest climbing exercise around," says Touchstone trainer Justin Alarcon. "While this exercise is often over-emphasized by many aspiring climbers, this exercise is a simple way of strengthening the pulling muscles we all use when our technique  is forgotten."

Alarcon holds clinics and private training sessions.  Email him with questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pringle Presentation

Touchstone athlete, Ethan Pringle has been getting after it. In the past year, he has traveled across the world climbing some of the best routes and boulder problems. In between his ninja assassin ascents, Pringle managed to get great footage of the climbing he's done.



On Saturay, June 16th, Pringle will hosting a dyno clinic at Ironworks.  Pringle will be showing 15 climbers the techniques necessary to make enormous moves.  Afterwards, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Pringle will be showing a number of climbing movies.  There will be footage from his trip to Red Rocks with former Touchstone setter Mark Heal, there will be a bit about the first ascent of a new 5.14d he completed at Mount Charleston, and footage from Huecos Rancheros, a video featuring some of the best bouldering in Hueco.

There is no maximum number for the presentation but folks need to pre-register as there will be beer and pizza.

Floor Bridges with Alarcon

Touchstone trainer, Justin Alarcon knows the value of a strong core. Solid abdominal muscles  keep your body tight to the wall on overhanging terrain, they allow you to reach farther for jams on vertical crack routes, and they help you step your foot up higher on low angle rock. There are numerous exercises to help strengthen your core and it's easy to get confused by all of the options.. Alarcon offers some great insight into a perfect core exercise. "Floor bridges are a great introductory exercise for developing the body tension needed to climb on steep overhangs and tenuous vertical faces," says Alarcon. In this video, Alarcon deomnstrates the proper way to perform a floor bridge

Alarcon holds clinics and private training sessions.  Email him with questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Trad Climbing Instruction

In a few short weeks, the summer solstice will be here soon. The days are longer than ever. It's a great time to head out and climb those long trad routes in the Sierra, in Yosemite, in the Needles, and across California. All of the aforementioned areas require a solid base of traditional climbing experience, that means being able to build solid anchors, place safe gear, and knowing how to navigate seas of granite. Learning the skills necessary to climb in this places takes a lot of instruction, experience, and dedication. To help you get started with some basic ideas about traditional climbing gear placements, there are some great instructional videos.

Read more: Trad Climbing Instruction

Rescue on El Capitan

Picture being high on the face of one of the world's largest granite cliffs.  If something went wrong what would happen?  On Wednesday, May 30, a 22 year old climber was leading the Pancake Flake pitch on the Nose of El Capitan.  The climber was two-thirds of the way up the route, above the Great Roof, when he took a 30 foot lead fall.

el cap rescue 3

His large fall resulted in a broen leg and possibly a broken pelvis. The National Park Service employees a number of rescue personell with strong climbing backgrounds to take care of such situations.  The Yosemite Search and Rescue Team (YOSAR) assessed the situation. 

Read more: Rescue on El Capitan

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

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  • The California Death Ride with Deborah Georges MORE >>
  • DRG Manager Sets Solo Speed Record on El Capitan MORE >>
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