TRS Comps with Pettigrew

The Touchstone Rope Series comps are in full force. On Friday, August 10th from 5 until 10 pm,  TRS is coming to Diablo Rock Gym.   In anticipation of the comps, the Touchstone blog talked with Trevor Pettigrew, the 28 year old owner operator of Pettigrew Electric.  Pettigrew has climbed at all the comps to date and talked about the TRS Series. 

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Read more: TRS Comps with Pettigrew

Behind the Paddle: Scott Frye

Eying his opponent from across the nine foot long table, Scott crouched and spun his paddle. The small white ball volleyed towards him. Scott blasted sideways. His paddle smashed the ball. The hit gave the ball topspin and accelerated it towards his opponent in a finalizing blow.

Frye's Coach Xin, 9 year old national champion and Frye's sparring partner Kevin Lee, and Scott Frye

Scott Frye is no ordinary ping pong player. The 53 year old Berkeley native and Touchstone Climbing Gym stock boy is also a father in the era of modern sport climbing. With the same obsession that he now plays ping pong with, he once climbed with.

Read more: Behind the Paddle: Scott Frye

Setting Up As the Belayer

Setting up as the belayer is one of the most important aspects of the climbing partnership. Belaying well involves more than just holding the rope for your partner. Using an ATC or GriGri requires a significant amount of attention to the activity of the climber. It's important to pull in and feed out rope at the correct times. In this instructional video, Adam Barczack demonstrates the proper way to belay.


Learning To Offwidth

Ahab, The Steck Salathe, The Harding Slot, Generator Crack, there are hundreds of wide pitches in Yosemite.  From the single difficult pitch Twilight Zone to the sustained 5 inch cracks of long route Mental Block, climbing in the Valley requires a specific set of skills involving off widths. Learning these techniques is far from easy.  Arm bars, t-stacks, leavittation, and chicken winging sound less like climbing moves than a combination of magic and mechanics.


Read more: Learning To Offwidth

Good Eggs at Ironworks

Picture this an amazing local food market around the corner.  Berkeley Ironworks is hosting Good Eggs, a community food 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, specialty meats, and delicious ready-to-eat meals, all in one place.

Each week order the food you want from Good Eggs's great local farmers. The goods will be delivered to Ironworks on Thursdays for you to pick up and enjoy. Just order, eat and repeat!

This Thursday, Good Eggs and Ironworks will be hosting Nana Joes Granola, Sow Fresh Juice, I Love Blue Sea seafood, and Harley Richter Meats.  This is a great opportunity to order amazing granola, fresh orange juice, California King Salmon, and amazing bacon.  Come on by to taste samples and find out how you can get in on the deliciousness.


Dogpatch Boulders Walltopia Walls

Last week, Touchstone signed an agreement with Walltopia to have the new San Francisco bouldering gym, Dogpatch Boulders, built by the Bulgarian wall manufacturing company.   

With over 1.7 million square feet of climbing walls built since 1996, Walltopia has led the industry in climbing wall manufacturing.  Stone Gardens in Seattle, Momentum in Salt Lake City, Stone Summit in Atlanta, and numerous other facilities in the United States and Europe have employed Walltopia to create amazing climbing structures.

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Tests of Grip: Ripping a Phone Book

On Friday, August 17th, the Bay Area Grip Challenge will be heading to Diablo Rock Gym for another round of tests of grip strength.  One of the most active members in the Touchstone grip strength community, Daniel Reinard is known for his vast hand strength.  He recently put together a video about one of the most common feats of strength- ripping a phone book apart.  There are two methods used to pull so many pages apart at once, popping and grip and rip.  In this video, he shows you how to do both.  Check it out and get pysched for the upcoming event.

How To Tie In

In this video, Adam Barczack shows you the proper method to tie into a rope.  Being the climber means you must make sure to safely secure yourself to the rope.  Check out Adam's video for details.


Peregrine Falcon Openings

Yosemite National Park represents the highest peregrine falcon nesting area in the Sierra Nevada.  The park has played a pivotal role in the birds recovery from an endangered species. There are numerous climbing closures to help protect the birds' nesting areas.  

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Jake The Reaper's Touchstone Origins

Climbing is a great way to exercise after work and find much needed relief from the office grind.  “The escape, the physical and mental challenge, constantly finding new ways to tweak my body just-so, and doing it with friends who share my passion for it—all add up to a complete package for me,” said Kenneth Woodruff, a Bay Area designer, animator, and developer.  

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Read more: Jake The Reaper's Touchstone Origins

Ten Week Training Workshop

Looking to improve your climbing and gain a solid head start on the fall season? On Tuesdays from noon to 1 p.m., Justin Alarcon, a long time climber and trainer at the Touchstone gyms, is offering a ten week work shop designed to motivate and train climbers interested in climbing specific training.

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Read more: Ten Week Training Workshop

Rock Climbing Gear

Rock climbing requires a significant amount of gear. A harness, shoes, belay device, and more are all needed to get started. In this video, the basic climbing gear needed for getting started is described. Check it out. 

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