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.
Read more: Climbers in The New York Times
The program began in May 2009, when 12 Pipeworks runners, and former Pipeworks bicycle club members, decided to run in the fund raising event The Relay. The 199 mile race from Calistoga to Santa Cruz helped raise awareness for organ donation. With each racer running 3 different 10k legs, the team finished the race in just under 30 hours.
Read more: Pipeworks Runners Club
Zero Gravity, the international known youth climbing team has been led by Scot Jenerik at the Touchstone climbing gyms for the past decade. Jenerik’s excellent coaching has been augmented by a number of great team members and assistant coaches. Currently, Zero Gravity had three assistant coaches.
Josh Levin, a climber for the past 13 years, helps coaching the Zero Gravity kids in the South Bay Area. Levin offered some great advice about climbing. “One of the biggest things I've learned that helps me with sending hard both indoors and out, but most of all with competitions, is being able to mentally prepare myself before I get on the wall. If I can block out all other distractions before I start climbing, close my eyes, focus on my breathing, and visualize getting to the top, I have a much better chance of succeeding than if I had just rushed straight to the wall.” Levin has climbed Espirit Rebeld 5.13d in Rodellar, Spain, bouldered Beefy Gecko in Bishop’s Sad Boulders, and been a national champion for multiple years in Sport, Speed and Bouldering.
Josh Levin at finals of the 2011 Open National Championships, Boulder, Colorado. Photo: Dane Cronin
Read more: Zero Gravity Assistant Coaches
Construction on Touchstone’s newest gym, The Studio in San Jose, has been moving along smoothly. The gym will be located on South First Street in an old theater. The building has significant character with a marquee, a ticket booth, and a setting like an old theater.
The building’s unique design allows for a significant amount of climbing. There will be over 75 lead and toprope anchors along the 44 foot high walls.
Read more: The Studio: Construction Update
The Studio, Touchstone’s newest gym in San Jose, just announced that Diane Ortega will be managing the facility.
The 30 year old Ortega is originally from Texas but transplanted to California when she attended Chico State, where she received a degree in Political Science. “Originally I wanted to be a lawyer but then reconsidered once I started working in a law office,” said Ortega.
Read more: The Studio's New Manager: Diane Ortega
Mission Cliffs just had an awesome turnout for the latest TBS 7 comp. 409 climbers stopped by to turn in scorecards. The comp series has been greatly successful this season with over 1300 different climbers stopping by to compete.
Read more: TBS 7 At Mission Cliffs
There are a lot of tall boulder problems out there. Problems on the Grandpa Peabody boulder at the Buttermilks, the problems at the Woodyard Arete in Yosemite, and other climbs in between all blur the line between bouldering and soloing.
John Sherman, the author of the second edition of Better Bouldering, put together a video with some useful tips on how to approach highballs.
Read more: Tips on Highballin
Gregor Peirce, a 19 year old Touchstone route setter for the past year, has had a very successful season in Bishop this year.
After making the 6 hour drive from the Bay to the Buttermilk boulders, Gregor hiked directly to the classic crimp fest The Swarm a V13/14 in fading light.
“I didn't warm up because I was running out of daylight and I had to make every try count because I was running back and forth between the camera and the base of the climb,” said Gregor. “A few tries in I found myself standing on the top. It was an amazing feeling to send it all by myself with no one around.”
On the drive back to his campsite, he stopped by the Grandma Peabody, and Direction, a V13. “I had no expectations, but I threw on my headlamp and a couple tries later I had sent the thing,” said Gregor.
The Swarm from Gregor Peirce on Vimeo
Read more: Gregor Peirce: On a Mission
If you’ve spent much time in the rock climbing gym, you’ve probably noticed how good looking most of the people are there. Fit, healthy, and energetic, climbers tend to live a healthy lifestyle and it’s reflected in how they look.
Not only that but it’s a well known fact that if you want to climb good you got to look good. That’s why so many sport climbing studs rip off their shirts before they start climbing. Primping and preening your hair is just as import as crimping and cleaning a hold. There is even evidence to support how attractive climbing is.
Read more: The Sexiest Sport: Climbing
It's almost Friday. The holidays are almost over but in between all the family obligations, the huge meals, and are some hopefully good laughs. These two videos have a solid mixture of the Berkeley lifestyle, the Yoga way, and plenty of laughs.
Do you ever feel like you're lost at the grocery store after going to the gym? This video about the Whole Foods Parking Lot is a great example of that.
The Yoga classes at Touchstone can be a little intimidating but all the stretches can really help. This video of Hank from King of the Hill is a classic example of a stranger entering a strange world.
Read more: A Little Video Humour