Touchstone Blog Archive
Monday, June 30, 2008
  UCLIMB visits Donner Summit
Donner Summit, Calif. – UClimb, an organization designed to bring people closer to the outdoors by teaching rock climbing in comfortable small-group settings, will host a two-day rock climbing event in Donner Summit, Calif. on Saturday and Sunday, July 19-20.

Sponsored by Mountain Gear and Marmot, the UClimb event will include professional climbing instruction from Alpine Skills International guides. Instructors will take small groups of amateur climbers to get hands-on experience while learning climbing techniques, how to use climbing gear, voice commands, knot tying, belaying and etiquette.

“UClimb is dedicated to not only getting new rock climbers involved in the sport, but also getting people enthusiastic about outdoor activity,” said Phil Bridgers, UClimb event coordinator. “UClimb events are beginning to be known as the places to go to learn the sport in a fun and comfortable environment. Because of this, more people are venturing to the outdoors and enjoying their natural surroundings.”

Registration for the weekend event begins at $159 for youth ages 10-17 and $199 for adults. Registration includes professional climbing instruction, camping for Friday and Saturday nights, a barbeque on Saturday and a pancake breakfast on Sunday. Registration is available at

UClimb will also offer packages with basic climbing gear needed for the weekend including shoes, harness, belay device, helmet, locking carabineer and a chalk bag. Gear packages are $289 for youth ages 10-17 and $329 for adults. Individuals can also register for event festivities without the climbing instruction for $49. Children under 10 are not eligible for the professional climbing instruction but can attend for festivities at no cost.

For more information and to register, call 800.829.2009 or visit


Friday, June 27, 2008
  Dragons at Pipeworks
When stepping in the door of Sacramento Pipeworks, if you are alarmed by the sight of full sized dragons or giant spiders and bugs- don't be. They are simply larger than life sculptures from the imagination of Sacramento artist Bill Mang. Mang, who began his art career in 1990 and holds a degree in business administration, forms his singular creatures from stainless steel along with brass or copper, ending up with figures of unique attitude and personality. Sculptures in this exhibit can be rented, purchased or used to inspire your own piece of commissioned art. Everyone who sees Bill's work is sure to become a fan of this incredible craftsman. Go to for a portfolio of his other work along with more information about the artist.


Thursday, June 26, 2008
  DRG gets AC

If your like most you already knew that Diablo Rock Gym was cool. Now it's even cooler thanks to the three new air conditioning units that were recently installed. Next time your in take a look up and you will notice the new duct work above the front desk and weight room. Thank you to those who were patient during the construction.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
  Robotic Beings Rule the World
Ok...not quite yet. But as seen in the video below, they are learning to Rock Climbing.


Monday, June 23, 2008
  Partying at Touchstone

Do you have a rambunctious youngster at home with an upcoming birthday? Then you should sign up to host your next festive event at a Touchstone Gym. Kids love nothing more than to climb over every and anything making the safe environment of our gyms a great place to let kids be kids. Call your local gym for details or to check the schedule. You can find the contact information here.


Thursday, June 19, 2008
  Grade School

It’s very easy for a climber to get sucked into the grade game. Climbers expect steady improvement through the grades as the months and years go by. At the very least they expect to be able to climb at the same grade difficulty for every workout. And once they can do some 5.10s, they expect to be able to do all of the 5.10s.

That’s not the way the human body works. Even when you are getting better over the long haul, it’s normal for your grade level to fluctuate. And even strong climbers won’t climb at the same high level all the time. In sports training they have embraced these variables and they incorporate it into training: Plan for slumps and rest cycles.

How can you keep the right frame of mind when training and climbing? A lot of people will mentally rehearse routes or moves before they climb. That can help set a good mental tone.

Gravitate towards positive, optimistic, encouraging climbing partners. Avoid negative, grade-driven, aggressive, or unpleasant people who can easily throw off your performance. It helps to work out when the gym is less crowded. If someone nearby is distracting you, that’ll take the edge off your performance.

Try moves that are difficult for you, but don’t do them because you or someone around you is pushing too hard. Do them because you know they will be a useful part of your training and learning experience.

Having good partners who know when to shut up is important too. Nothing’s worse than trying to focus and do hard moves while some back seat climber who’s belaying you can’t stand to let you work it out.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, June 18, 2008
  Climbers Coalition Meeting in Sacramento

Following on the heels of last months very successful exploratory meeting, a second gathering of Northern California climbers will get together at Sacramento Pipeworks on Friday June 27th at 7pm to discuss the formation of a regional climber’s coalition. Though this group will be an independent entity, the Access Fund’s grassroots coordinator Charlie Boas has been working to develop the group’s status as a non-profit 501c organization and will be utilizing Access Fund resources to aid in all their efforts. The group aims to address access issues as well as crag clean-ups, along with other concerns facing climbers in Northern California. Pizza will be served while talk will center on naming the group and developing a mission statement. The first meeting had a total of 30 people. With a goal established of matching that number, Pipeworks members as well as non-members are welcome. An open bouldering session (free for non-member participants) will follow the meeting. Please contact Charlie Boas with questions.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
  TRS 2008 gets 2 Thumbs Up

The Touchstone Rope Series visited Diablo Rock Gym last Friday with just under one hundred competitors joining in the fun. Not all 18 routes were sent but the tricky beta of the night goes to the 11.D with a finger crack that thwarted most. Climbing movies and guitar hero entertained spectators and those who turned in their scorecards early. The usual pizza and beer ended the night well and according to most people the night received two thumbs up.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, June 12, 2008
  TRS3 Charges into the East Bay

Friday may be the 13th but yours won't be unlucky if you come by the Diablo Rock Gym for a fun filled night of friendly competition. There is no need to cower at home in fear of black cats or broken mirrors when you think of all the great things you'll be missing. When you combine great climbing, free pizza, beer, & T-shirts any superstitious thought should be a fleeting memory. There will be 18 stellar new routes ready to be sent. This will be the second of five rope climbing competitions in the third season of the TRS. To learn more click here. Registration opens at 5:30pm. Climbing starts at 6:00pm and ends at 10:00pm. This is a FREE event for members and $10 for non-members.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, June 11, 2008
  Ape Index
Ever wondered what your Ape Index is? Well this month at Berkeley Ironworks you can find out what it is and see how you compare to other climbers.

The Ape Index is an informal measure of one's armspan relative to height. Among rock climbers it is seen as desirable to have an arm span that exceeds one's height. Your ape index can be calculated by the subtracting your height from your armspan. The greater the number, the higher your ape index. So come on down and measure yours today - While you still can!

Labels: ,

Monday, June 9, 2008
  New GRIGRI Technique
The GRIGRI has been mistakenly called an "Auto Belay Device", which it is not, and those who have used this mind set as a crutch have either suffered the consequences or put their climbing partner at risk. Petzl, the company that manufactures this, and many other stellar climbing products, recently released a new technique to help those newbies and veterans get up and down the wall a little safer. Petzl is distributing this technique in a three fold attack to rid the community of its unsafe habits through:

1. Posters displaying technical notes and colorful diagrams at your local gym.
2. An online video which can be viewed here.
3. A technical notice in the box of new GRIGRI's

Egos aside please ask a staff member any questions you may have regarding belaying or any safety issue for that matter, it could save your friends life!

Labels: ,

Friday, June 6, 2008
  Free Yoga Workshop at Mission Cliffs
Yoga Workshop for Members at Mission Cliffs Saturday, June 7th @ 1pm

Join us at Mission Cliffs for a Pranayama workshop with Ian on Saturday, June 7th at 1pm. Out of breath? Feeling like you really need to relax? Many of us run around during the day taking shallow breaths. Let the ancient techniques of yogic breathing (pranayama) inform your daily breath. Increase the oxygen in the body & relax the mind. Often focus on the breath naturally leads to concentration & meditation.


Labels: , ,

Thursday, June 5, 2008
  Hang Man

Have you seen the big, brightly colored hang boards hanging in the gear shop at the gym? The coolest thing about Stone Age hang boards is that the sweeping, organic shapes and wild colors make them a work of art, but a work of art that will give you killer strength.

Pick up the Manta, the Vario, or the Hammer (check them out at the Stone Age Climbing website) screw it to the wall above a door or in the garage—make sure you get the screws solidly into the wall studs, and tell your landlord that it’s just a sculpture (fill the holes with a bit of plaster when you leave). Then when you can’t get into the gym, when you’re laying around watching TV, or just hanging out, get cranking.

Lots of drills can be worked out on the various sized holds to improve your sloper and pocket strength, target your back muscles, and improve your contact strength. You can also get to work on your abs with leg raises at the same time. It’ll create a great opportunity for creative and stupid party tricks the next time you have friends over and the spray starts to fly.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008
  New Logo Shirts at GWPC

The new GWPC logo shirts are flying off the rack and as you can see from the photo, the guys look as good in the new styles as the ladies. The variety includes tanks, tees, hoodies and zip track jacket styles. Come in soon for the best selection!

Labels: , ,

Monday, June 2, 2008
  No Initiation Fee for June

If you want to do someone a favor, let them in on the secret: climbing is ridiculously fun and keeps you in great shape to boot. And June is the month to sign up if your pals want to get a great deal - $0 initiation. This is a savings of at least $100!!

Spread the word so you can see that desk jockey morph into a fit and graceful climbing monkey.


This is the old Touchstone Blog. This is no longer active. Please visit our new blog at

March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 / September 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / May 2011 / June 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 / September 2011 / October 2011 / November 2011 / December 2011 / January 2012 /

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]