Touchstone Blog Archive
Friday, May 30, 2008
  Ironworks Mosaic

Berkeley Ironworks has a new mosaic sign custom made for us by local mosaic artist Lily Russo. This gigantic piece of art took months to complete and is and exact replica of our logo. If you are interested in seeing more of her work, she is having a mosaic exhibition from May 13th - May 23rd at the Bulldog Cafe in Oakland. The cafe is located at 1739 Broadway Ave in Oakland.

Looking for more information? Check out her website:

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Thursday, May 29, 2008
  Pipeworks Parking
We are happy to announce that paving of our parking lot will commence shortly! During construction, the far left hand lane on 16th street will be closed for an extended period, allowing our contractor to replace the sidewalk, curb and gutter. You will still be able to reach the gym by turning left at North A Street, but please use extreme caution. Parking will continue to be available in the current paved area as well as a limited amount in the dirt after normal construction hours. Thanks in advance for your patience while we work on the lot and for your patience over the years!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008
  Touchstone Running at the Lake
Berkeley Ironworks spinning instructor extraordinaire Wendy Georges, and Marc Trotz represented Touchstone Running at the Lake Merritt Half Day Run at Lake Merritt on Saturday May 10th. In the race each runner has either 6 or 12 hours to run as far as they can, doing laps around Lake Merritt. Each lap is 3.1 miles around the lake which just so happens to be the nation's largest urban saltwater lake (155 acres) and the nation's oldest wildlife preserve.

Both Wendy and Marc competed in the 6 hour version and did really well. Marc, in his first ultra race ever, covered 33.2 miles and placed 8th in a field of 25 runners. Wendy covered 37.3 miles, good enough for 1st place in the women's category but 3rd place overall!

If you are interested in the Touchstone Running club please email Marc:

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008
  Rock Climbing Summer Camps

Tired of your little monkey climbing all over the house? Then sign them up for a week of rock climbing. Summer camps are help at Berkeley Ironworks, San Francisco's Mission Cliffs, Oakland's Great Western Power Company, Concord's Diablo Rock Gym, or Sacramento's Pipeworks. Camps usually run M-F from 9am to noon beginning in June and running through August. Check with your local gym for times and specific details.

Campers will learn how to climb and belay in a supportive, fun, and safe environment. They will also try their hand at rappelling, ascending, slack-lining and playing many climbing games. Rock climbing emphasizes life skills such as confidence-building, self-esteem and goal-setting and is a great way to get kids to be active. Safety and having fun are our top priorities. Sign your kids up today!

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Friday, May 23, 2008
  Clinics at GWPC
If you've been wondering how you can up the ante on your climbing power, technique and skillz, look no farther than Siriji's climbing clinics. Offered on various Saturdays in May, there is a clinic for climbers of all abilities. Take your pick of Bouldering 101, Intro to Climbing for Women or Intermediate Technique and find yourself flying up your project with alacrity. Advanced registration required. Stop by the front desk to register, ask questions or just say "hi".

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Thursday, May 22, 2008
  TRS 2008 & SCS Wrap-Up
Even though (or because?) there were the fewest competitors in the history of the TRS, Friday night's kickoff was a blast. Competitors came from all the gyms, except Sacramento, and every gym had a winner in at least one category. Great Western climbers represented, with Tony Calvert taking first in Men's Advanced and Erin Goodling crushing the Women's Beginner field. For full results, check the competitions page on the Touchstone website and more photos are in the gallery.

The fun just kept going with the SCS Regional Competition on Saturday, where the best of Northern California junior competition climbers showed off their stuff. Touchstone members led in almost every category with familiar names like Scott Cory, Cicada Jenerik, Gabie Masse and Sera Busse in the first place slot for each of their categories. See photos of the competition on flickr as well as results here.

For those of you who missed the competition, come check out all the new routes at GWPC!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008
  Memorial Day Hours
This Monday May 26th, all Touchstone gyms will be open and operating on weekend hours. Standard weekend rates will apply for all gyms. Please contact your local gym to find out the exact hours of operation and pricing.

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  Touchstone Website & E-mail experienced a serious failure last night and this morning. (May 20-21) During this time, all e-mail send to a Touchstone address was bounced back. We believe the problems have been corrected at this time. If you sent us an e-mail during this time, please resend. Thanks.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008
  Road Really Closed This Time
Please be aware that during the week of May 19 to May 23, 20th Street in Oakland will be closed to all through traffic for road repaving. Sidewalks will remain open. The best way to get to the gym will be by BART, bike or foot as street parking will be impacted by the road closure.

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Friday, May 16, 2008
  TRS 2008 Kickoff

Don't you remember how fun the TRS2 was last year? Well, expect an even better time as the TRS3 kicks off at the Great Western Power Company TODAY at 6PM. Series T-shirts make a comeback, so don't miss out on getting one of the coveted "I Climbed" tees. Of course there's beer, soda and pizza as well as 18 NEW routes for climbers of all abilities. Come to climb, socialize and do stupid human tricks. Registration starts at 5:30PM and all climbing ceases at 10PM sharp. FREE to members, 10 well spent dollars for non-members. See you there!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008
  Dead Lucky

TITLE: Lincoln Hall: Dead Lucky
SPEAKER: Lincoln Hall, Mountain Climber; Author, Dead Lucky
DATE: Tuesday, May 20, 2008
TIME: 6 p.m., Check-In | 6:30 p.m., Program | 7:30 p.m. wine and hors d'oeuvres reception
PLACE: 595 Market, 2nd Floor, Outside Montgomery BART Station
PRICE: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (w/ valid ID)
Reservations (415) 597-6705 or register at

Dead Lucky is the amazing story of Australian mountain climber Lincoln Hall’s rescue near the summit of Mount Everest, where he had been left for dead by the other members of his expedition. Lincoln Hall likes to say that on the evening of May 25, 2006, he died on Everest. And Hall, in fact, was pronounced dead, after collapsing from altitude sickness. Early the next morning, however, an American guide, climbing with two clients and a Sherpa, was startled to find Hall, sitting cross-legged on the summit ridge just staring at them. As featured in the Emmy-nominated Dateline NBC documentary “Miracle on Mount Everest,” Dead Lucky is Lincoln Hall’s account of this miraculous night atop Everest and the days and nights that led up to and followed this fascinating expedition. Hall’s story is inspiring on many levels.

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Monday, May 12, 2008
  Correction: Road Open
Nothing to see here.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008
  Ironworks Earns its Stripes

Notice anything new in the photograph? Well, the front parking lot of Berkeley Ironworks now has stripes! It might not seem like a big deal but it will be nice to not have 5 half-sized parking spots when you drive up the next time.

Having trouble finding a spot in front? As you can see from the photo, we also have a plenty of bike parking as well. So now that the weather is getting nicer, spare the air on the way to work out.


Thursday, May 8, 2008
  Journey Through the Chakras
Sacramento Pipeworks newest instructor Daljit Bains invites you to join her in an 8 week chakra workshop series. The workshops are free and are held during her regular Thursday 7:45 yoga class. “Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel” says Daljit, who teaches in the Kundalini style of yoga. She adds: “Your chakras are spinning vortexes (like a wheel) of energy which start from the root chakra, at the base of the spine, all the way up to the crown of the head”. Each chakra has a specific talent and characteristic associated with it, from creativity to willpower to compassion. She invites people of all abilities and yoga experience to come learn what each chakra represents, and how to more easily access the talents associated with each chakra. Beginning date is May 15th, with each Thursday focusing on a new chakra.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008
On May 1st, former Mission Cliffs & Touchstone Concord employee Avery McClenahan gave birth to her first child. 'Berkeley Vector' was born at 2:30pm and both mother and child are doing well and home from the hospital. Avery is in her final weeks at UC Berkeley where she is double majoring in economics and art history.

For those who may not know Avery, she is the daughter of head route setter Craig McClenahan. This is Craig's first grandchild but don't try and call him 'grandfather.' When asked, Craig said he is not a granddad but rather 'Granddude.'

All of us at Touchstone wish Avery and Berkeley all the best, as well as a huge congratulations to Craig on becoming a 'Granddude.'

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Thursday, May 1, 2008
  Fundraiser for Laila! Saturday, May 10th!

As some of you may know, in mid-April, Laila (Berkeley Ironworks staffer Tommy Halvorson's dog) fell from the top of Main Rock at Mickey’s Beach. Apparently she is made of rubber, escaping the 50-60 foot fall with only a broken leg. However, repairing her leg came with a very large price tag-around $8,000.

Luckily, Laila is a part of the Touchstone community and on Saturday, May 10 from 6-10pm, BIW is putting on a Bouldering Comp to raise money for the vet bills! That’s right, Bouldering for Laila! There will be free beer and hot dogs, prizes for the winner of each division, a raffle with some amazing prizes for climbers and non-climbers alike, music, climbing, all the things you have come to love from Touchstone Climbing comps. all the proceeds/donations go to helping this little girl get back to playing frisbee. We hope to see you there!!!

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