Touchstone Blog Archive
Class 5 in San Francisco?
Class 5 walls will be featured in a photo shoot in SF Magazine
in either the July or August issue. Photographer Stan Musilek, Assistant Jeff McNeill and model Alysha were showing off the new fashion trend in highheeled boots. As climbing shoes they are a great fashion statement, keeping the Class 5 members captivated and amused during their morning climbs.
Labels: class 5
Closed: July 4th
All Touchstone gyms will be closed on Tuesday, July 4th. We will resume normal hours on July 5th. Have a great July 4th Holiday.
Labels: Berkeley Ironworks, class 5, concord, Diablo Rock Gym, mission cliffs, Sacramento Pipeworks, san jose, touchstone
San Francisco's Very Best
7 x 7 magazine
named Mission Cliffs “Best Urban Adventure” in their The Very Best of San Francisco 2006 issue. This ultra hip magazine covers everything from food, home & design to nightlife and service. Pick up a copy today and see your favorite gym pictured on page 113.
Labels: mission cliffs
Correction: La Sportiva Demo at Class 5
Have you been wanting to try a slipper, but didn’t want to spend the money? Curious about those crazy turned in toes? On Thursday June 29th from 6 – 8pm, Class 5 is hosting a La Sportiva
Shoe Demo. This is a great chance to talk to the pros about how your shoe should fit, what shoe you need and then TRY IT ON THE WALL!
Shoe demos are a unique opportunity to try out shoes in motion. Compare styles and fit for a wide range of shoes to see what is best for you this Thursday evening!
Labels: class 5, climbing
Indoor Climbing Finds Its Roots
This past Saturday 6/17, and previously on June 3rd, Touchstone San Jose hosted its two “Castle Rock Days” outings in June. The events were a complete success with more than 30 participants on both weekends. Even more exciting was that for the majority of climbers this was there first outdoor bouldering experience.
Both days began at eleven o’clock as the climbers rallied near Castle Rock proper, at the prominent Magoo boulder, know for the sandstone flake that resembles the famous cartoon character. A boulder with many moderate problems most of the climbers hung tight to this area as they warmed up, while some split off to their own projects. The local staff showed the San Jose members many challenging eliminates and hidden gems, that proved to be valuable and entertaining lessons in bouldering.
As Saturday wore on, the once large group split up as old and new friends grouped together and split off to work different areas. Most stayed around CR proper, climbing a myriad of problems of all abilities. Because of the large number beginners, the San Jose staff and members offered lots of advice; discussing pad placement, outdoor spotting, and Leave No Trace practices.
In the wake of the success, Touchstone San Jose looks forward to invite its members and friends out to Castle Rock next month. While the rising temperatures and bugs make for less than ideal conditions, all climbers, from beginners to the local hard men, are strongly encouraged nonetheless to come out and join one of Touchstone San Jose’s best activities.
Labels: climbing, san jose
Youth Sport Climbing Divisional Championships
Nearly 200 competitors from California, the Pacific Northwest, Montana and some from as far away as Alaska gathered in Sacramento over two days, June 10th and 11th for the Youth Sport Climbing Divisional Championships. The top finishers moved on to compete in the National Championship
to be held next month in Tigard Oregon. Competition was fierce on the first day as 200 climbers were slowly pared down to the strongest 100. The end of the second day featured a thrilling head to head tie breaking super-final route between Scott Cory
and Simon Benkert. Cory, who climbed first, came off the 5.13A route only three holds from the finish. Benkert, climbing second, managed to flash the difficult route to cheers from the very large crowd. Check our online gallery
for more photos from this contest.
Labels: climbing, comps, event, kids, Sacramento Pipeworks, Scott Cory
Lauren Campbell - Class 5 Clinic
For about the cost of a new pair of shoes, you can attend a four hour clinic with Lauren Campbell, a former national class triathlete and world class skydiver. Mental training is a huge part of success for athletes seeking to push their limits and hone their skills. Lauren has two decades of experience working with athletes, and he can help you to reach your athletic potential with ease and confidence.
With over 20 years of professional experience, Lauren has helped innumerable people turn stress into energy and productivity. He has worked with skydivers, concert pianists, triathletes, writers, martial artists, executives and individuals from all walks of life.
June 24th from 4 – 8pm
Labels: class 5, fitness
A morning at Split Rock, Tiburon! Here is your chance to take it outside for some easy Top Rope climbing.
Saturday, June 24th 9:30 - noon
$55 non-members / $45 members
Basic anchor setups, gear talk and lots of climbing
We will provide rental gear if needed - please let us know. You must know how to belay. Please remember to bring water, snacks, sun stuff, and your gear. This is great for beginning climbers interested in outdoor climbing and anchor setup.
Advanced signups only thru Mission Cliffs. 415-550-0515
Labels: climbing, hot spots, mission cliffs
TRS - Pipeworks
Over 60 competitors showed up in Sacramento on Friday June 9th for the second of our roped climbing competition series. Touchstone members from as far away as San Francisco braved the heavy traffic and 3+ hour driving time to compete in this low-key event. Many competitors remarked that the routes were exceptionally good, and everyone enjoyed the pizza, beer and soda that were served afterward. The prize table was especially heavy and everyone went home with a prize in hand. You can see the complete results here.
Check our photo gallery
for more photos from this contest. The next installment of the Touchstone Roped Series
will be at Class 5 on Friday July 14th.
Labels: climbing, comps, Sacramento Pipeworks, Touchstone Roped Series
Summer Camps Have Begun
Touchstone weekly summer camps are in full swing. In Concord, we have an energetic group of five novice climbers, who in their first 3 days of camp have learned to belay, rope climb, boulder, ascend and rappel as well as some hand and foot technique. Pretty impressive for never having rock climbed before Monday morning!
The Concord camp director, Tracy Tamura, has worked with kids for many years through her non-profit that teaches kids reading, math and life skills. She has brought her love of climbing and an emphasis on creating a safe, stimulating environment to the camp. The kids have learned to take risks, set goals and feel confident in their climbing abilities. Even though most of the kids didn't know each other before the first day of camp, you'd never be able to tell with all the cheering and encouragement this group gives each other.
All the Touchstone gyms offer camps throughout the summer. Most camps runs from 9am to noon, M-F, and are open to kids of all climbing abilities, ages 6 to 14+. Call your local gyms
for more details.
Labels: climbing, concord, Diablo Rock Gym, kids, touchstone
Here is info about the photographer we have on the walls at Concord for June.
Photography, outdoors and climbing dominate my life. I was born in Clearwater, FL but grew up in the east San Francisco Bay Area. My family spent most of their free time visiting the Sierras and Yosemite. I was into outdoor sports like bicycling, swimming and water polo.
When I got older, I moved to San Diego and progressed into more adrenaline pumping things like surfing and riding motorcycles. One day a friend introduced me to the climbing gym. After a few lunches spent bouldering there I knew I had found a sport I loved. It had everything I wanted, the adrenaline, outdoors and pure physical strength.
My photography represents my love for the beauty of nature and the struggles it takes to make great photos come alive in print and digital. I spend most of my time photographing in the Sierras and the Bay Area, but I do occasionally get to visit the south-east, where my family resides.
Labels: concord, Diablo Rock Gym, Yosemite
Touch the Top of the World
On Sunday, June 18 at 8 PM/7 Central, A&E Network
will broadcast the world premiere of TOUCH THE TOP OF THE WORLD
, a suspenseful, action-packed film based on the first blind person ever to climb Mount Everest. Peter Facinelli (Six Feet Under, Fastlane, The Scorpion King) plays Erik Weihenmayer
In 2001, Erik Weihenmayer began his ascent up the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. Erik’s journey began very early in life when he was diagnosed with a genetic disorder that ultimately led to total blindness by the time he was 13. With the support of an amazing family, Erik never allowed his handicap to hold him back. His mom defiantly fought to keep Erik in school with his fellow students. His father encouraged him to remain physically active, and he went on to become a champion wrestler in high school. In the wake of the sudden death of his mother, Erik and his family began taking climbing trips to keep their lives intact. Soon Erik was taking on greater challenges, including mountain climbing, while finishing college and starting his teaching career.
After conquering numerous major peaks, Erik decided to confront his biggest challenge -- Mount Everest. He was joined by several of his climbing buddies who risked their own lives in this pursuit. Along the journey, the team faced unbearably treacherous conditions, but Erik and his colleagues finally made it to the top of Mount Everest, quite literally the top of the world.
The A&E Original Movie TOUCH THE TOP OF THE WORLD is based on Erik Weihenmayer’s memoir of the same name. The screenplay is by Peter Silverman, multiple Emmy-nominee whose credits include Something The Lord Made, We Were The Mulvaneys, and Hill Street Blues. The director is Peter Winther, whose production credits include a number of major Hollywood blockbusters, from Independence Day to Godzilla to The Patriot.Photo by: Ken Woroner
Labels: climbing, Climbing Movie, event
Free Yoga Workshop
Yoga Basics Workshop
with Kate Schox
Saturday, June 17th
11:30am - 1:30pm
In this two hour workshop, we will explore some of the fundamental yoga postures, breathing & meditation techniques. Students will leave with a basic understanding of yoga styles, proper alignment & modifications, & will be prepared for most beginner and all level classes. Please wear comfortable stretchy clothing and refrain from eating two hours prior to the beginning of class. This is a free to members. Space is limited to the first 30 participants.
Labels: fitness, mission cliffs, Yoga
Profile: Jeffery Bowling
Senior manager Jeffery Bowling is the man who makes sure the word gets out about Touchstone. His official title is Director of IT & Director of Marketing and Promotions.
Jeffery is in a good position to tell Touchstone’s story. He’s been part of the team since 1996, having done everything from working kids birthday parties to course setting to managing Mission Cliffs.
He first came to the gym at age 23, while working with a group that was helping homeless kids on San Francisco’s Haight Street. “The group had a deal with Mission Cliffs that allowed them to bring kids in to the gym for free,” he recalls. “One day I asked the desk if they had any job openings. I was hired to do data entry work, entering all the waiver information into a spreadsheet.”
But right off the bat Mission Cliffs began tapping him for other duties. That same night he was called to ask if he could belay a kids’ party. The combination of data entry and kids belay was his routine for several months -- until he accidentally erased part of the database. “The decision to abandon the waiver database led me to a full-time belay staff position,” Jeffery says. He moved up to desk staff and in 1999 became the manager of Mission Cliffs. In 2002, he moved into his current job. “I am very excited that I have found a career that allows me to work in such a wonderful environment. It still amazes me at how much goes into running a climbing gym,” he says. “Or, in our case, six climbing gyms."
Outside the gym, Jeffery keeps active in both warm and cold climates through snowboarding and disc golf. He’s currently involved with the San Francisco Disc Golf Club
, getting a disc golf course installed in Golden Gate Park. It will be the first disc golf course in San Francisco, he notes.
One other interest had a major effect on Jeffery’s life. A big fan of the band Phish
, Jeffery was anxious to catch the 2003 tour -- the first by the band in a couple of years. “I was looking for a ride to do 10 Phish shows on the East Coast, and posted on an online Phish message board looking for a ride,” Jeffery recalls. As it worked out, four fans who had never met before ended up spending a couple weeks traveling together in the East. Jeffery made a real connection with one of them, Holly, and she ended up moving to the Bay Area a few months later.
Phish called it quits in 2004, but Jeffery and Holly kept going strong. They got married last year and now live on Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Another member of the household is Soren, the family dog named after Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard.
The dog’s name is a hint that life is not all fun and games for Jeffery. He’s working on his master’s degree in philosophy, and still needs to finish his thesis after “a few years” of procrastination.
Labels: Jeffery Bowling, mission cliffs, touchstone
USA Climbing Divisonal This Weekend
On June 10th and 11th, Sacramento Pipeworks will hold the Divison 1 Sport Climbing & Speed Divisonal Championship. This comp serves as a qualifier for Nationals in Oregon this July. This is a great chance to check out the future stars of climbing. To learn more about this comp or USA Climbing, check out the USAC website
Labels: climbing, event, kids, Sacramento Pipeworks
Mission Cliffs Congratulates...
Baby News -Congratulations to John Ford and his wife, Denise Gonzales on the birth of their son, Cade Ford who is now a month old.
In addition, we would like to welcome ‘Baby G’ as Thomas Gronbukt and Stephanie Arata had their baby girl at home on Monday, May 29th in the wee hours of the morning.
It’s official for Audrey Bodisco and Karl Aguilar the pair tied the knot at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park on June 3rd. We wish everyone the very best.
Labels: members, mission cliffs
Ironworks: Sports Conditioning
Finally it's here: a second Sports Conditioning class. Listening to members' requests, Ironworks will now offer the popular sports conditioning class on a second day & time: Thursdays @ 1pm. Personal Trainer John Downey provides a new & different full-body workout for every class. He also customizes each exercise for every participant as well as assisting everyone with their form. No matter what your exercise level is, this class will push your limits. A great way to get in shape.
Labels: Berkeley Ironworks, fitness
Congratulations to childcare manager, Barbara Liberali who completed her first Bay to Breakers this month and had a blast. Here is a report of the day in her own words:
"I did it! I made it thru and finished my first Bay to Breakers! I went with four other terrific ladies and we had our own cheering section built it, and trust me, by the time I hit the Hayes Hill I needed it. It was insane and taxing and I'm gonna be paying for it for the next few days, but crossing that finish line, having my team-mates cheer me on and know that "I" did it was worth every drop of sweat, every sore muscle.
We crossed the finish line at 2:49, but we didn't hit the start line till about ten minutes after eight. Not too bad considering it was most of our first B2B. So, I'm home and grateful to all the support I received from friends and family and ready to do it again. Yes, you read that right. As soon as I crossed the finish line I knew I'd be there again next year! Even after getting pelted with tortillas, (don't ask, I have NO idea!!!), bouncing beach balls, nekked men (some who should not be nekked outside of a shower), giant Smurf's with a toadstool keg, fish swimming "upstream" on the Hayes Hill, THE Hayes Hill, I'm ready to do it again."
Labels: concord, Diablo Rock Gym
San Jose to Offer Free Pi-Yoga in June!
Like Pilates and Yoga? Not sure which is best for you or just don't have time for both? Alejandro Rivas, a favorite amongst San Jose's Yoga students, is mixing things up. Alejandro is teaching a unique blend of Mat Pilates Monday evenings at 6:00pm, June 5th thought June 26th - FOR FREE!
Pilates is a body conditioning excercise that builds flexibility, strength, endurance, and coordination without adding muscle bulk. In addition, Pilates increases circulation and helps to sculpt the body and strengthen the body's "core" or "powerhouse" (torso). People who do Pilates regularly feel they have better posture, are less prone to injury, and experience better overall health. Join Alejandro's class for a refreshing mix of Pilates and Yoga today!
Labels: fitness, san jose, Yoga
MC: Bathroom Remodel
Renovations begin! The Men’s Shower will be closed for tiling work commencing this Saturday, June 3rd. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope you’ll enjoy the improvement.
Labels: mission cliffs
Castle Rock Days
Saturday, June 3rd & Saturday June 17th
Touchstone San Jose invites members and friends to neighboring Castle Rock State Park for a day of the finest sandstone bouldering around. A great way to meet other members, boulder outside for the first time, or get beta on your projects! Grab your crash pad if you have one, and meet at the parking lot on Skyline Blvd or the Magoo boulders around 11:00am on 6/3 and 6/17. Hope to see you there!
Labels: climbing, event, hot spots