Rain. Rain. Rain. The winters in the San Francisco Bay can be really wet. While winter is nearly over, the last few weeks of the wet season can be hard to maintain. Yosemite is socked in. Mortar Rock can be hit or miss. The slopers at Castle might be drenched. The best way to beat the winter doldrums can be to head out to the crags anyway. Driving over to the east side of the Sierra, to the boulders of Bishop, can almost guarantee dry weather.
Often times, a hike through the redwoods of Castle can be a great way to get out and exercise. Even in a light rain, the Santa Cruz Mountains are beautiful.
Another awesome option is to head out to the nearest Touchstone gyms, where it never rains!
The forests around the French town of Fontainebleau are home to arguably some of the best boulders in Europe, if not the world. Thousands of sandstone blocks with mostly sandy landings litter the forest, making it a prime spot for traveling boulderers. The spring and fall season, read right now, are the best times to go and a few Berkeley locals headed out there to check out the blocks.
Monica Aranda, Justin Alarcon, and Scott Chandler flew out to France together to sample the wine, the chocolate, and most importantly the blocs. By staying in a gite, the small houses near the boulders, and sharing the expenses of a car, the three climbers were able to head out there for a month. They met up with other bay climbers- Ingar, Nora, Beth, Randy, and the ever popular Nevada boulderers Noah and Siemay. The crew is having a blast out there crushing the sloping holds. Check out some of the videos that Scott made of the climbing.
Randy Puro has got more hops than a brewery. Here he is jumping on L'Ange Naif, a classic Dyno at 95.2
L'Ange Naif from scott chandler on Vimeo.
Justin Alarcon, Ironworks desk staff hero, climbing the highball Big Jim at Petit Bois. Justin's been complaining of "wet skin"- whatever that means. Watching Alarcon on this highball made my palms sweat a little.
Big Jim from scott chandler on Vimeo.
Here's some more footage of wet tips Alarcon climbing Onde de choc at Apremont. It's hard not to be jealous.
Onde de choc from scott chandler on Vimeo.
A number of Touchstone youth climbers just headed to Nationals. Josh Levin, a member of Zero Gravity, wrote an awesome story on his blog about the team's trip out there. Red more about his story here: Josh Levin Blog.
The blog is always looking for great news articles, trip reports, and events going on in the Bay Area climbing community. If you have something to share, please send an email through the contact page : http://touchstoneclimbing.com/contact.html
Please share some of the great achievements going on around your local Touchstone gym!
The latest Touchstone Rope Series comp at Great Western Power Company went off well, with a ton of climbers testing out the new routes in the lead area and on the topropes around the gym.
221 competitiors showed up to fight their way to the top of GWPC's technical walls. Local photographer and writer, Jim Thornburg signed copies of his new book "Stone Mountains" and even donated a signed copy to be raffled off to the climbers in attendance.
Read more: Touchstone Rope Series In Full Swing at GWPC
The Access Fund just released news about the current state of affairs of the Unlock Jailhouse Fund-raising campaign. Not only has $49,000 been raised for Jailhouse, but Touchstone has worked with Craig McClenahan and Fixe hardware to replace all the old bolts, draws, and anchors for the crag.
Check out the press release from the Access Fund.
Read more: Jailhouse Unlocked
The USA Climbing American Bouldering Series (ABS) Youth National Championships 2011 were held in Boulder, Colorado, from February 18 - 20, 2011
The Zero Gravity Team
Read more: Zero Gravity at the ABS Nationals
Wendy Georges runs. Georges runs a lot. The 53 year old Berkeley resident took up running 24 years ago and began racing when she was 42. Since then she’s competed in dozens of road races including many marathons and ultra marathons.
“My favorite is 50 miles. It takes 8 hours. It feels like a solid day’s work- long enough that you’re really glad its over but you get such a feeling of accomplishment.” The female grandmaster of last year’s Oakland marathon aims for three ultra marathons a year with a number of shorter races as training. Georges races 9 to 10 months out of the year.
Georges with ultra running legend and BIW member Ann Trason
Read more: Wendy Georges: The Ultra Runner
Wellspring Academy Heads to MetalMark
Climbing is a great way to get into shape and have fun. With movement that requires strong muscles from fingers, back, to calves, rock climbing provides the exercise needed to lose weight and tone your body. Recently, MetalMark had a group of students from Wellspring Academies, a weight loss boarding schools for overweight teens and young adults. The school focuses on helping students change their lifestyles to maintain a healthy body and mind.
Read more: Wellspring Academy