The Wide World of Offwidthing

Ever wonder about the wide world of offwidthing? In this video, wide climber super star Pamela Shanti Pack explains a bit about climbing the wide with pride. Check out her moves and get ready for some Yosemite wide climbing this fall!

Zero Gravity 2012

The Touchstone Zero Gravity Climbing Team wrapped up a phenomenal 2012 season, with a Silver Medal finish (for the second straight year) at the USA Climbing SCS Youth National Championships. Nationals were held in Atlanta GA July 5th-8th at Stone Summit.

Zero Gravity Team

In addition the team had 3 National Champions, Joshua Levin, Mirko Caballero and Natalia Grossman. Also making the US Team were Cicada Jenerik, Jacquelyn Wu, Katrina Louie, Nick Bradley and Dylan Meyerhoffer. Josh, Cicada, Jacquelyn and Katrina competed at the Youth World Championships in Singapore, August 29 to September 1. At the Youth World Championships, the vast majority of the US Team made semi finals but unfortunately only a few made finals. The Austrians, Japanese and other European countries were in excellent form.


Read more: Zero Gravity 2012

Diablo Rock Adventure Race

On Saturday, September 1st, over 50 people headed over to Diablo Rock Gym for a day filled with excitement.  The Labor Day weekend marked the first Adventure Race at the gym.  Coed and single sex teams ran through a series of obstacles.  From balancing across a slackline, to hiking, to climbing, to swimming, to a dozen other activities, the teams fought for up to thirty minutes before they completed the race.  


Read more: Diablo Rock Adventure Race

Rappelling Tips

Rappelling, when you descend a rope by sliding down it using a specialized device, is the most dangerous part of climbing.  Descending is one of the only times when your safety is based solely on your equipment.


Most of the accidents that come with rappelling are because of climber error.  Some key factors to watch out for:

Knots at the end of the rope: Every year climbers fall to their death because they rappel off the end of their rope.  This can be caused when the ends of the rope aren't even.  Having a middle marker helps as does knowing the length of the rappel prior to heading down.  Knots at the end of the rope will prevent the rope from going through your rappel device.  Be careful!

Rig your rappel device correctly: This is another easy mistake to avoid.  Double check and than triple check that all your carabiners are locked, that your harness is double backed, that the rope is threaded correctly.  

Climbing accidents often occur when climbers are tired and when plans deviate from the norm.  Use the buddy system and have your partner check your knots, your harness, and that the rigging is correct before descending.  Make sure to be fully aware of what you are doing before you attempt any climbing endeavor.  Proper instruction from a trained professional is a must.


Lead Climbing

In the latest Rock Climbing for Beginners Videos, Adam Barczack explains the methods behind lead climbing. Barczack demonstrates how to mock lead, how to clip properly, and how to make sure the rope runs correctly over your body.

Dogpatch Boulders Wall Designs


We know, we know. Dogpatch Boulders will have to be at LEAST three times bigger than this...

While it's hard to get a true sense of Dogpatch Boulders, coming to San Francisco in January 2013, we've begun to release computer models to give you an idea of the terrain you'll know and love. This past week we've given you a peek at the free standing center boudler. This feature will be a whoping 89 ft long and between 15 and 27ft wide. 

In this image, you can see the über steep and long ramp in the far right side of the feature, as well as the impressive front wall, constructed with Walltopia's 3-D curves. Each end of the boudler will top out at 15ft, with the hightest point of the center arch toping  out at 18ft! 

Dogpatch release2

This photo give us another view of the front side of the boudler. Imagine walking in to the gym and coming face to face with this impressive monolith! As you can see, the left and right side of the front side are smooth and steep, with a graceful angle. 


Here we see the opposite side of the stand alone center boulder. This side features flat planes, for example the slate grey pannel on the rigth hand side is 15ft wide! 


And last but certainly not least, we see the North side of the center feature. Smooth angles, slab walls for safe and streamlined down climbs, and massive roof under the arch. For all those 'rithmatic fans out there, we'll throw even more numbers at you. The room is just under 25 feet from floor to ceiling, and there will be about 14 inches of flooring. 

We're contunially impressed with Walltopia and happy to have collaborated with them to put together a Boudlering Gym worthy of the Bay Area! Stay tuned next week as we continue the virtual tour of Dogpatch Boudlers! 

Fall Training with Alarcon

The fall climbing season is fast approaching. One of the ways to get a jump start on the upcoming climbing season is to meet with a personal trainer. Last week, I got the chance to meet with NASM trainer and hardman boulderer Justin Alarcon at Berkeley Ironworks.

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One of my major climbing goals this fall is to send a long, hard free route in Yosemite. Alarcon ran me through a circuit of exercises which required technique as well as strength. Between rowing, planks, bridges, and a medicine ball throw, I performed jumping pull ups. As I fatigued, the pull ups became harder and I needed to focus more on using the power of my legs to get my chin above the bar.

Read more: Fall Training with Alarcon

Reel Rock 7: Bay Area

The Reel Rock Tour is heading through the Bay Area and hitting Yosemite, San Francisco, Berkeley, Concord, Sacramento, Fresno, and Concord.  The tour features amazing climbing footage of the world's best climbers.  This year there will be an amazing story of Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk climbing Meru, a bit about Alex Honnold's latest solo link-up in Yosemite, and than a really exciting short about the two strongest sport climbers in the world- Chris Sharma and Adam Ondra.  Get ready for the Reel Rock 7!

Yosemite Valley East Auditorium                   Tuesday 09/25 at 7 pm

San Francisco   TheVictoria Theatre               Wednesday 09/26 8 pm

Berkeley           The California Theatre           Thursday 09/27 7 pm

San Francisco   The Victoria Theatre              Thursday 09/27 8 pm

Sacramento      Sacramento Pipeworks          Saturday 10/13 7:30 pm

Concord            Diablo Rock Gym                   Saturday 10/20 7:30 pm

Fresno              Metal Mark                            Saturday 10/27 6:30 pm

San Jose           The Studio                            Saturday 11/10 7:30 pm

For more information check out the Reel Rock Tour page.

Mission Cliffs Superheroes

On Tuesday, August 28th a group of the world's fastest, strongest, and funniest superheros stopped by Mission Cliffs for the gym's fun night.  Dozens of local climbers headed to the gym dressed as their favorite superhero to participate in a night of raffle prizes and caped climbing.  Around 40 super heroes got a chance to win free guest passes to the gym, camping chairs, and a $50 gift card to Sports Basement.


Read more: Mission Cliffs Superheroes

Yosemite's Hanta Virus

Labor Day is fast approaching and Yosemite National Park will undoubtedly be busy.  With the influx of new visitors and climbers, park officials are making everyone aware of the latest threat in the park- Hantavirus

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a rare but serious respiratory illness that has caused two deaths in the park this year and affected two other visitors.  The disease is fatal in a third of all cases.


Read more: Yosemite's Hanta Virus

Bouldering for Beginners

In the latest Rock Climbing for Beginners Videos, Adam Barczack explains the fundamentals of bouldering, an aspect of the sport where the climber ascends a small portion of rock or wall using more gymnastic movement.  Bouldering is well known for building strength and technigue in climbers.  In the current video, Barczack explains how to fall correctly, how to spot and protect a falling climber, and climbing grades for bouldering.


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