Training for Climbing

Are you looking for a way to improve your climbing? Do you want to be an elite climber? Justin Alarcon is having a training clinic at Great Western Power Company.

Justin Alarcon has been climbing for nearly 13 years. During that time he ranks his continual growth and development as a climber as his greatest achievement. Justin has climbed many of the grand walls of Yosemite and sport climbed 5.13, but these days you’ll most likely find him amongst the boulders. Justin, a NASM certified personal trainer, has begun to apply the training philosophies of traditional sports to climbing and has reaped the rewards. Now, he wants to share this knowledge with you!

Read more: Training for Climbing

Zero Gravity at Regionals

On Sunday, May 13th, the Zero Gravity team headed to the USA Climbing's SCS Regional Championships at City Beach in Fremont.  The team met the best young climbers from Northern California and Northern Nevada to compete for a bid at the Division 1 Championships in Portland, Oregon on the weekend of June 9/10.  The team climbed well.

0 Gravity 4

Read more: Zero Gravity at Regionals

Summer Membership at Touchstone

Looking for a great way to spend your summer vacation? Why not spend it getting jacked and tan?!

The Summer of Fitness is upon us once again, and we're making it easier for those of you who are seasonally in town. Whether you are back from college or just need a place to get your yoga on, we are excited to roll out our 3 Month Summer Membership! 


The 3 Month Summer Membership will be offered at every gym for the killer price of only $199 at Bay Area gyms, and $175 at Metalmark in Fresno. This 3 month membership is like an unlimited use pass to Touchstone Gyms, and can be started any time in May or June. It will expire exactly three months later, when you are buff and crushing your projects! But remember  - this is only available during the summer. If you have questions check in with your local gym! 

El Capitan Season

The forecast in Yosemite calls for perfect, clear weather for the next week.  It's a perfect time for big wall season.  For some climbers that means El Capitan, for some that means climbing a little and than doing El Rapitan, for a lot of climbers it means heading to the meadow for El Napitan.  For elite Yosemite climbers, it eans time to race up the Nose again.  This is a great video of Sean "Stanley" Leary and Dean Potter racing up the Nose in an unbelievably fast time.  Diablo Rock Gym Manager, Hans Florine, who's owned the record a number of times, is training already. Get excited for El Cap Season.  


Cinco De Mayo TRS 6 at MetalMark

On Cinco De Mayo, a solid turn out of Fresno area climbers headed over to MetalMark for another of Touchstone's great rope series comp.  The comp was a ton of fun.  The new routes, the DJ, and the tons of climbers, all added a lot to exciting atmosphere.

Metalmark 4

Mark Haymond, a local photographer, was on hand snapping some great pictures of people climbing hard and well.

Read more: Cinco De Mayo TRS 6 at MetalMark

Saint Helena Face Lift

Mount Saint Helena has some of the best rock in the Bay Area.  From the summit of many of the routes, there are beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, Mount Diablo, Mount Tam, and San Francisco.  The hike through the pine trees to the base of the crag is incredible and Robert Louis Stevenson is one of California's best state parks.  To keep the area as pristine and gorgeous as it is requires lots of time and effort. 

On Saturday, May 12th, the Access Fund is organizing an adopt-a-crag event.  This will be a great event to help the park get cleaned up.  There will be some trail work, some area restoration, lots of climbing, and a ton of fun.  Harrison Hood will be there at 10 am to facilitate the event.  For more information This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

439683-largest Near-5-8 web

Being a good climber also means being a steward of the great places we get to climb.  Head out to Saint Helena and help out!

Freschl's Bosavi Headlamp

Two years ago, Dan Freschl, a 30 year old Berkeley Ironworks climber, was camping in the desert with his friends.  Everyone had headlamps but no one had any decent batteries.  “We ended up huddling together, pooling our light just to get our camp set up.  Our car was right there and I didn't understand why we couldn't recharge our headlamps from the cigarette lighters.”  Freschl realized that there were no rechargeable headlamps on the market. 

Since that trip to the desert, Freschl has been working on the Bosavi headlamp.  Freschl designed and produced this perfect climber headlamp.  The Bosavi is light, small, and has a boost mode that will produce 110 lumens in case you need to do some route finding or rappelling in the dark. The headlamp also doesn’t use AAA batteries, saving you tons of money on batteries.  The Bosavi can be recharged 500 times and lasts up to 70 hours.

The Ironworks climber has put together a Kickstarter page and some information about the headlamp. Check it out!

Jorge Knott Memorial

This Friday at 6pm, Sacramento Pipeworks will be holding a memorial for long time climber and well known climber, George "Jorge" Knott.   Knott worked as a professor at the Consumnes River College but spent a significant amount of his time climbing at Lover's Leap, hiking up Shasta, and exploring the wilderness around him.  Knott was caught in a riptide while swimming near Miami Beach.  He was unable to escape.  Friends and family remember him well.


“I met George at 11,500 ft. on Mt. Shasta. I was lucky enough to summit with him. Had a great time, he became such a good friend. He will be missed.” –Kathy Laskey

“George was one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. Full of energy and life and always helpful to others. We will always miss you.” –Tomaz Stefancic

“You were my friend of irony, George - ROTC/Berkley, Naval Officer/Deadhead, Physics Professor/Rock climber. Your kidneys were failing but you managed to leave us doing something you loved ... I will miss you George Knott, but I'm really glad you were here ...” –Debbie Gaiser

Stop by Pipeworks and take a moment to remember Jorge.

Pringle in Joes

Touchstone athlete, Ethan Pringle continued his tour of the west's best bouldering with a short trip to Joe's valley in Utah.  The hard sandstone is renown for its amazing crimpy and sloping boulder problems.  Ethan managed to grab some great video footage of his climbing.  Check it out!

John Horn Award: Sport Climbing Grant

The American Alpine Club recently announced that they are offering an award of $2500 to a young man and young woman who live in the Sierra Nevada section and are between the ages of 18 and 25.  The award is targeted for young people who share John Horn's passion for sport climbing, and who, as awardees, are willing to serve as lifelong sport climbing ambassadors to the larger community.

John Horn was a prolific bay area rock climber with ascents of the Nose of El Capitan and a strong sport climbing history at Jailhouse in Sonora, the Red in Kentucky, and other famous sport crags across the United States.

The award requires reciepents to share their adventure with AAC Sierra Nevada Section members through a slideshow or video presentation narrated by the awardee.  The reciepents must also show in this presentation how their AAC-funded sport climbing adventure has helped them to achieve other valuable goals or aspirations.  The reciepent will also serve on the award committe on the year following reciept of the award in order to perpetuate and expand the award's objectives.

This is a great opportunity for a young climber to explore the world beyond the US, to discover some of the best rock in the world, and to have an amazing time.  For more information see the award page.

Past blog entries can be found at



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