Earlier this month, four intrepid bay area climbers took the journey to the deep south in search of some of the best sandstone boulders in the United States.
Al Liu, a 32 year old Mountain Hardwear employee from Oakland, and Abel Eisentraut, a 41 year old cabinet maker from Oakland, flew from the bay area to Denver, where they promptly missed their connecting flight.
Phillipp Green, a 27 year old front desk staffer at Fresno’s Metal Mark, competed in the HomeGrown CycloCross race series this year.
The races take place from September to January and consist of numerous laps around a short, a 1.5 – 2 mile course with mixed terrain of wooded trails, grass, steep hills, and pavement. Often, cyclists have to navigate obstacles by dismounting their bikes and jumping over the barrier. Though the courses are short, the race is usually consists of over 20 miles of this type of terrain.
There's days when I sit behind my computer and neurotically check the weather. Yosemite, Castle Rock, Mortar, Smith, Bishop, Mickeys, Pinnacles. Where should I go? Where's the weather going to be best?
Well into his late 80s, life time dirtbag climber, Fred Beckey shows no signs of slowing down his passion for climbing.
Beckey has authored a number of books since the late 1940s, notably the Cadcade Alpine Guide, which is in it’s third edition. In 2003, his 563-page book on the history of the region, Range of Glaciers, was published by the Oregon Historical Society Press.
Huecos Rancheros, a new movie filmed by Owen Bissel and edited by Byron Wolter, is coming out in a month. The 30 minute film features classic problems from Hueco, everything from v0 fun fests to v13 horror shows.
The movie features Mark Heal, Touchstone athlete Ethan Pringle and a number of other climbers.
Pringle and Heal headed out to Hueco for two weeks at the end of January last year. “It's some of the best and most diverse bouldering in the states!” said Pringle about the rock in Texas. “There is a little bit of every style of climbing there- roof, slab, even a few cracks. Every angle of wall, every type of grip. And for the most part the weather is splitter in late fall-early spring. Even though it's a pretty small area, there are so many corridors and boulders and roofs the there's still a load of potential! I know about a few lines that I'd really like to go back and have a crack on.”
On November 12th, the Access Fund hosted a workday at Jailhouse near Sonora, CA. Over 200 tons of gravel was laid for a new parking area and road, new fences and gates were made and the access trail was improved.
As climbing becomes more and more popular, commercials and advertisements are starting to depict climbers. Often the footage can be pretty wild.
Sacramento climber Alex Honnold and former Ironworks staff member Katie Brown made this Citibank commercial, filming over a few days in Moab Utah. The spot used a paid voice over actor. Citibank has been airing this commercial during prime time hours on a number of channels.
On December 9, the Touchstone Bouldering Series will be hitting Mission Cliffs. The friday night San Francisco comp promises to be one of the best one yet. TBS7 comp shirts will be given to competitors, there will be delicious pizza, tons of free beer, and a host of new boulder problems.
Vertical Velocity, the girls's climbing team at Berkeley Ironworks, is having a bake sale on Monday evening. The team will be having its one year anniversary this month and is raising money for team sweatshirts.
One of the most important strengths a climber can have is a strong core. Reaching for locks during a crack climb, staying tight to the wall during a long sport climb, and lifting your feet high on a steep boulder problem, all require the muscles between your shoulder and your pelvis to be strong.
There are a number of different ways to train the abdominal muscles. From basic sit-ups to front levers, core exercises are never easy. It’s a good idea to supplement core conditioning with other forms of core specific exercises like yoga and Pilates.
With the ever increasing popularity of rock climbing and the expansion of digital services, the internet world has become a larger presence on the mountain. Where once, Yosemite was a vast wilderness, now it is possible to update your Facebook status from the side of El Capitan.
Alex Lowther, a climber living in New York City, recently wrote an article about the phenomenon of increasing media presence in climbing. The New York Times piece sites Tommy Caldwell’s recent attempts at freeing the Dawn Wall on El Capitan. Caldwell spent 19 days on the side of El Cap almost but not quite alone. Caldwell kept a constant stream of how he was climbing, what the next difficult pitch was, and what the weather was like on the side of the face. The route, when finished, will be one of the most difficult lines on El Capitan with 3,000 feet of climbing, seven pitches of 5.14, seven of 5.13, and 14 more difficult leads.