Wellspring Academy

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.

Aug 25 Outting 106

Read more: Wellspring Academy

New Petzl Gri Gri's At Touchstone Gyms

 

Petzl, a leading company in manufacturing great climbing products, recently released an updated version of their immensely popular GriGri.

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The new GriGri 2 is compatible with ropes from 8.9 to 11mm, has a progressive descent control system designed to offer smooth, even lowering action - there's a larger 'sweet spot' when lowering a climber or rappelling, and is 25% lighter and 25% more compact than the old GriGri.

Read more: New Petzl Gri Gri's At Touchstone Gyms

TRS 5 At GWPC

 

This Friday night, February 18, the Touchstone Rope series comp will be hitting the Great Western Power Company.

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There will be pizza, beer, and a ton of new routes all over the gym. The Touchstone Rope series are some of the best comps on the West Coast. Tons of climbers come and meet up, hang out, and have a blast at the functions.

Read more: TRS 5 At GWPC

Metal Mark Construction Update

 

Work on Metal Mark, Touchstone's new gym in Fresno, has been moving along smoothly. The steel beams and supports for the building have been erected. The roof is up and insulated already and they finished with the lower roof where the locker rooms, fitness rooms, and office are.

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Last week, they started on the climbing walls and are progressing well with the rest of the construction. The gym will be an awesome addition to the the Touchstone circuit.

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The gym will be completed soon! Keep on track for construction updates on the Touchstone Blog.

The Sandbagger: Profile of IW's John Schmid

 

At 5’8” 145 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes, the 29 year old John Schmid appears like a mild mannered rock climber. After receiving a biology degree from Colorado College, where he began rock climbing ten years ago, Schmid moved to the bay area to take up a job that would support his climbing lifestyle. Schmid became a murse- a male nurse. During the graveyard shift, Schmid works in the neo-natal intensive care unit of Alta Bates in Berkeley where he saves the lives of sick little babies.

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Schmid on the Tuolumne classic On the Lamb (5.9) photo by Mikey Schaefer

Read more: The Sandbagger: Profile of IW's John Schmid

Columbia Bouldering: Sonora's Compact Marble

The Gold Rush of 1940 brought unearthed lots of gold in the Sierra Foothills. The hydraulic mining also uncovered a mother lode of bouldering near Columbia College in Sonora. The rock in Columbia is a highly compacted marble requiring body tension and an ability to hang open handed on many of the holds. "It's like walking through the Castle Gray Skull," said Kim Groebner who checked out the boulders with Ironworks desk staffer Ryan Moon.

Read more: Columbia Bouldering: Sonora's Compact Marble

Ironworks Desk Staffer Firing Off Tablelands Problems

The volcanic tablelands of Bishop California are a huge area of steep, juggy climbing. Off the radar from the normal Happy and Sads area are a dozen other locations that require a little bit of exploring to find. Becky Trafecanty made a recent video of gun toting hardman and Ironworks desk staffer, Justin Alarcon, firing off a couple more obscure classic tablelands problems. The weather is great in Bishop right now.

A recent storm dropped the temperatures. There's no snow and there's no crowds. Come out to Bishop!

Castle Rock Bouldering: How to Mantle

In the hills just south of San Jose are a cluster of sandstone boulders. When the winter days are cold, the friction on these rounded Font like blobs becomes amazing. For those looking to do some weekend bouldering near the bay area, Castle Rock is a great option. One of the most important skills required at Castle Rock is the mantle, or pressing out the top of a boulder. The rounded rocks don't have big jugs at the top, instead they have precarious mantles. Check out this instructional video on how to mantle.

A frequent member of the Berkeley Ironworks crew, Michele Lombardo Goodhew climbs at Castle Rock State Park-. Here's a video of her crushing The Lost Keys Traverse(V6). Check out the smooth moves she executes through the crux and through the hard mantle finish.

A single hueco followed by a series of bad slopers below the Magoo Boulders was a long term John "Yabo" Yabolonski problem until a few years ago when Santa Cruz local, Chris Sharma dispatched the first ascent of "Ecoterrorist" (V10/11). Here's some footage of Scott Chandler hiking the problem. Watch the way he tops out the difficult problem.

Ecoterrorist [v10] from scott chandler on Vimeo.

Below Indian Rock are a number of less developed and very good boulders. There's good information about them on a Supertopo Thread. There's some awesome new mantle problems down the hill. Get out there and check them out.

Thick Rope Climbing

 

In fifth grade, the gym teacher lined up the kids in my class to take turns climbing a thick rope hung down from the middle of the ceiling. The exercise encouraged forearm, abdominal, and bicep strength. I wasn't much good at it. When I joined Touchstone, I found a great asset to strengthen these weaknesses in my body through the thick rope at the climbing gym.

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The standard way to climb a rope is to use your legs, arms, and core to move upward. At the bottom of the rope is a knot, which helps people mount the rope by placing their feet on either side of it. Using your arms to keep your body steady, move your feet up the rope, cinch your feet tightly around the rope and move your hands up. Your body should be able to stay upright if you use the friction between the rope and your feet well. Repeat the process of clamping your legs and moving your hands until you reach a comfortable height. A belay is necessary for going more than a few feet off the ground.

Power climbing is the same idea as working on a campus board. The feet are positioned straight in front of you in an L shape while climbing the rope. This style further works the abdominal muscles and requires a fair bit of strength to perform. Simply grab the rope and climb it hand over hand.

If you can't perform the standard climb but want to work up to it, simply hang on the rope in a locked off or bent elbow position for as long as possible. Keep practicing until you're strong enough to do this easily. It also helps to visualize yourself climbing. When I was in fifth grade, I imagined myself as Batman when I climbed the rope. I have gotten much stronger at rope climbing since but every time I grab the rope I hear, "Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na,, na, na, na, na, Batman!"

Berkeley Ironworks has a rope in the middle of the gym- check it out!


Read more: Climbing Rope Exercise

This video demonstrates the offensive amount of strength involved in rope climbing. The climber hit the world record for power climbing the rope.

 

 

Crazy Sick World Record Check Out the One Arms! from Rock & Ice on Vimeo.

SpiderDan Takes on SF Courts

Local climber Dan "SpiderDan" Goodwin climbed the Millennium Tower in San Francisco on September 6th, 2010. Goodwin, 54, made an ascent of the 58 story residential building with suction cups, beginning his climb around 2:15 and reaching the summit around 5:30 pm. During his ascent, residents opened their windows and offered him water. At the top, he was taken into police custody and cited for trespassing and public nuisance before being released. On January 25th, Goodwin faced a San Francisco court for his actions. Goodwin testified that he climbed the 301 Mission St. high rise before a large Labor Day crowd to draw attention to what he sees as a national lack of preparedness to fight skyscraper fires. He also said that he wanted to make the point that if he, a cancer survivor, can beat the deadly disease and scale tall buildings, other survivors can do daunting things, too. Superior Court Judge Teri Jackson was not so receptive, asking the jurors to determine only if Goodwin trespassed, created a public nuisance and evade arresting police. was his stunt a nuisance to the public, and did he try to evade arresting officers. The SFGate will be reporting on the event. Closing arguments will be made on the 24th and the jury will decide Goodwin's fate soon. Goodwin has given slideshows at the local gyms promoting his book Skyscraper Man -Defender of Tall Buildings..

Past blog entries can be found at  http://touchstoneclimbing.blogspot.com/

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