April 6th and 7th, marked the 2012 Sport Climbing Series National Championships in Boulder, Colorado at Movement Climbing + Fitness. Zero Gravity Climbers Josh Levin, Alexa Nazarian, Charlie Andrews, Dylan Barks and Jacquelyn Wu traveled to Boulder to compete with some of the best climbers in the country. The National Championships are used to determine who can represent the US Team in this year's World Cups and World Climbing Championships.
After the chalk settled from the two climb qualifying round, Josh Levin, Dylan Barks and Jacquelyn Wu made the 8 climber finals. Had there been semifinals, Alexa Nazarian would have qualified with a respectable 16th. Charlie Andrews came in 24th.
The next morning, Josh, Charlie and Jacquelyn tried their hand at the speed wall. All three made it to speed finals held later in the evening. Josh and Jacquelyn had the 2nd fastest times and Charlie had the 3rd. Ranking was a combination of the qualifying round and the finals round. Charlie was faster than Josh in the final round, but not enough to swap places. Jacquelyn won her finals against Danielle Rogan, but not by enough to be National Champion.
At 6:45pm, Saturday evening, all the finalists came out to a packed house in order to be introduced to the crowd and the finals problems. Over 400 people were at the event and stands plus 3 floors were full of spectators. At 7pm, climbing began.
LT11 wrote "The finals round on Saturday was one for the history books. For the women, Sasha Diguiulian dominated the field for the 3rd straight year with no falls and a relatively easy looking flash of the finals route...For the men it was a different story. Daniel Woods was destined to win the 2012 SCS Nationals with an impressive flash of both qualifying routes. In finals, poor route reading led to a fall down low and bumped him into 3rd place. Newcomer, Dylan Barks hurtled into 2nd with an impressive read of the finals route but couldn’t hang in there for a send. Vasya Vorotnikov, fresh off a debilitating shoulder injury, rose from the ashes for a monumental attempt on the finals route, achieving high point and his name in the record books."
After the competition, Dylan said he was shocked at beating Daniel Woods. He just focused on climbing his best and was thrilled with the results. Jacquelyn couldn't believe that she tied with Tiffany Hensley in the last climb and beat Angie Payne. She was amazed when these seasoned climbers asked for her input in the final climb beta discussions.
With 3 climbers in sport finals and 3 climbers in speed finals, Coach Scot Jenerik must be doing something right with his climbers.
Finals results as follows:
Women's Sport Climbing Men's Sport Climbing
1 - Sasha Digullian
2 - Delaney Miller
3 – Michaela Kiersch 3 – Daniel Woods
5 – Tiffany Hensley 5 – Matty Hong
6 – Jacquelyn Wu
7 - Angela Payne
Women's Speed Climbing Men's Speed Climbing
1 – Danielle Rogan
2- Jacquelyn Wu 2 – Josh Levin
3 – Kyra Condie 3 – Charlie Andrews
Some people believe there's not much to do in the Central Valley but Socrates Lozano and Joey Ybarra started a YouTube channel to prove people wrong. Recently they headed over to MetalMark in Fresno to show some of the excitement going on in the Central Valley.
“We’re trying to show people what there is in the Valley and see if we can do it,” Ybarra said. “Our goal with this is to have a great time, make videos and show people that life in the Valley isn’t as bad as some people say it is.”
Rockfall is a serious hazard to rock climbing. On April 3rd and the 4th, a serious amount of rock fell at Yosemite's Churchbowl climbing area. The granite fell from an area above Bishop's Terrace and hit the second pitch of the climb, the short section that climbs to Bishop's Balcony. The rappel for the route was also hit. A large amount of debris fell to the west of the base of Bishop's Terrace.
Greg Stock, a Yosemite National Park geologist, commented about the hazard. "Although I'm not able to predict future behavior, I have seen cleaner source areas than this one. Future rockfalls are possible."
This winter Touchstone athlete, Ethan Pringle crushed the boulders of the Buttermilks. He made a fast ascent of the Swarm (v13) and a number of other amazing problems. Pringle captured some of his sends on tape and filmed other climbers sending classics like Stained Glass (v10), and Secrets of the Beehive (v5/5.12-). Check out his cool video.
Thousands of red, green, yellow, and blue holds cover the walls of the Touchstone gyms. But where do all the holds come from? The easy answer is from right next to Sacramento Pipeworks, in a white corrugated steel building next to Garlinger Steel. More specifically, Stone Age provides Touchstone with all of its holds. Wes Tite, a climber of 20 years, runs Stone Age and creates all the holds himself. Tite has worked as a climbing guide, a route setter, and a coal miner. For the past 20 years, he has traveled around the world climbing and looking for inspiration to create the best grips for the Touchstone climbing walls.
Evan Kristiansen snapped a couple of pictures of Wes at work.
Tite began working for Touchstone in 2009, beginning as a route setter. As the gyms grew, there became a need for a full time supplier of gym holds. Tite’s experience in an industrial work environment made him an ideal candidate for running Stone Age climbing holds. Tite makes around 1000 holds a month for the Touchstone gyms. This past year has been a busy year for him with the openings of MetalMark and the San Jose gyms as they both needed a ton of new holds.
Recently, long time Touchstone Member Lisa Feather Knee climbed her first 5.12a at the Berkeley Ironworks lead cave. Knee, who hails from Santa Fe, New Mexico, works as an artist painting large colorful oils and making serigraphs with acrylic paint. The Touchstone blog got a hold of the rock crushing artist shortly after he send.
Knee began climbing 12 years ago when a friend took her out to a local crag. “All was going well until the point when I realized I would have to let go and trust the rope to get me back on ground. That's when the screaming started. After that I was hooked.” Knee started a membership at Mission Cliffs shortly afterwards.
There's an oft told climbing story that Tony Yaniro won a City of Rocks climbing competition in 1989 by not climbing the entire route. The rules stated that in order to win, the anchors needed to be clipped. Legend has it that Yaniro rodeo clipped the anchor from a stance below the crux. WIN!
What happens if you don't have a stick clip and don't feel safe doing the moves to the bolt? Well, if it ain't your first rodeo, you know how to lasso that clip. A great advanced sport climbing trick to learn is the rodeo clip. Rodeo clipping involves swinging a bight of rope into a prehung draw over head allowing for a toprope. The technique is simple in theory but much harder in practice. Head to the gym when it's quiet and try it.
If you've been in the gym lately, you've probably seen their yellow shirts. A number of Cal students have started a climbing team.
The California Climbing Team at Berkeley (CalClimb) was started at the beginning of Fall 2011. The team, which had 40 members last semester, has grown to over 100 members. The team was formed with the intent of forming a competitive climbing team to participate in the CCS (Collegiate Climbing Series) and introduce students to the sport.
The team meets Tuesdays and Thursday at Berkeley Ironworks with Casey Zak and than Tuesdays and Fridays with Tom Ogasawara. The team has a group meering on Wednesday nights from 6:30 - 7:30 at La Vals/La Burrita on the north side of Cal. The meetings involve trip planning, social events, and too discuss work shops through out the semester. Team officers hold clinics on technique, training, lead climbing, belaying and more.
The team has had numerous trips and has made it to the latest Touchstone Rope comp, Castle Rock, the Gold Wall, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, a ton of other great comps and a number of other classic outdoor climbing areas.
Any student, employee, staff, or alumni can join the team but only registered students can compete in the CCS puyt on by the USA Climbing. The team hopes to earn a National titile in the CCS in the next few years
Summer is just a few months away. Warm weather, good climbing, and no more raining will be here sooner than you think. One of the best places to climb during the summer months is in Canada's Squamish in British Columbia. The cool forest keeps the boulders nice and shady for all the sloping heel hooks.
Last August, Courtney Miyamato, Will Wollcott, Colin Trenter, Jennifer Szeto, Kim Groebner, James Lucas, and other bay area climbers headed to the amazing granite boulders to check out some of North America's best boulder problems. Miyamato put together a great video of all the climbers sending some rad problems. Check out the great footage. Get ready for the summer bouldering season and get pysched!