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!
Metalmark’s climbing wall design is now complete. Mark Melvin, Touchstone's CEO says, "Our walls in Fresno are the best we’ve ever built -there’s not a bad line in the gym." In a unique collaborative effort, Mark worked on-site full time with a brilliant design team:
Mark Benkert- a 20 year veteran wall builder, artist, and sculptor, who thrives on model-less see-how-it-works building
Last week, Brian "Cuz" Hedrick, a 24 year old route setter at Touchstone Climbing, made the second ascent of the Impossible Wall Traverse at Berkeley's Mortar Rock. First established by Chris Sharma seven years ago, the V13 problem has bouted many of the strongest local climbers.
The hardest boulder problem within a 100 miles of the bay starts on an obvious jug in the middle of the face and traverses right into the Impossible Wall (v8). "It's big moves on bad holds," says Hedrick, who sent the line after working it seven days over two years.
If you've been to Ironworks, chanches are you've seen climbers busting out pull-ups. A lot of the tougher rock jocks will attempt one armed pull-ups with marginal degrees of success. Catch Cisco at the gym though and you'll see some impressive feats.
As a young kid in california, Cisco was no stranger to the monkey bars and rooftops, scrambling around buildings and dangling from the monkey bars. Since he was in pre-school, Cisco Gonzalez, a 32 year old gymnastic instructor from Berkeley, has been involved in gymnastics. In 6th grade he enrolled at Windmill Gymnastics in Richmond and later began coaching there. Cisco currently works at MEGA, Marin Elite Gymnastics Academy since early 2002 and has coached gymnastics for the past 17 years.
MetalMark, the new Touchstone Gym in Fresno, was named after a California butterfly with distinctive, metallic markings. The name was inspired by the simple idea of metamorphosis, by the physical and mental changes we experience as rock climbers. The form of the Touchstone butterfly is transformed as well; it is modeled on the engineering of aluminum cams used in outdoor climbing.
Past blog entries can be found at http://touchstoneclimbing.blogspot.com/