Touchstone Blog Archive
Friday, November 28, 2008
  Climbing Clip of the Week: One of Our Own!!
Hello and here's hoping that your belly is stuffed full with all of yesterday's goodies. Hopefully you had an amazing Thanksgiving, and that you don't have to go ANYWHERE to work this fine "Black Friday!" For your viewing pleasure and so you don't have to strain yourself with any reading in the haze of all that turkey, we have an awesome, and somewhat "personal" Climbing Clip of the Week this Friday!

That's right, this week we have a former Mission Cliffs climber, Kevin St. Laurent, doing a first ascent of a V2 Boulder problem in Tintamarre Point. This little video was shot while he was sailing the Caribbean last year. Wow, could we be any more jealous right now?!

Without further ado, enjoy this beauty:

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, November 27, 2008
  Happy Thanksgiving From Touchstone Climbing!

Just a quick note, since most of you are probably already preparing extra notches on your belt for loosening tonight, to let all of you know what we're thankful of this fine Thanksgiving. YOU. That's right, it's the season of giving thanks and we wanted to take a moment to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

So, from all of us at Touchstone Climbing, thank YOU for, well, You. Without you, without our members and our fans, our exercisers and our team racers, our climbers, bikers, yoga'ers, and fitness guru's, we wouldn't be what we are. So, sincerely, thank You.

Have an amazing and very Happy Thanksgiving! Go eat a little extra pie, a little extra turkey, spend time with your loved ones and give thanks to all that and all those you want to thank this year!

(Image via MumbleyJoe on Flickr)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 26, 2008
  Need a Rock Guide? Look No Further!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving my friends, and I don't know about you but I am more than ready to absolutely eat until I can not eat any more. It's the season and the Holiday to give thanks and to stuff ourselves silly after all, right? Speaking of giving, we just wanted to give everyone out there a quick heads up about something everyone should know about. Basically, if you want a rock guide, we have just the man for you.

That's right, here's a little blurb we got our hands on from one of our very own. Seriously, if you need a rock guide, look no further. Check it out:
If you are looking for a rock guide, look no further than Touchstone staffer, Steve Schneider. Steve just recently passed his rock guide exam, and is now a fully certified rock guide with the AMGA(American Mountain Guides Association). This is the highest level of certification that the AMGA offers on rock. His professionalism, experience, and certification are balanced by his witty, blonde humour. Steve also just completed his 100th ascent of El Capitan, just the third person to do so behind Steve Gerberding(108), and Hans Florine(130ish). Contact Steve via his website:

There you have it. If you're in need, we've got you covered. Check him out, hit the mountains and know you're in safe and very capable hands!

(Image via sanbeiji on Flickr)

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
  GWPC Story Night! December 3rd!

This event, my good climbing friends, is one you will NOT want to miss. December 3rd, only a little over a week away, is rapidly approaching and each and every one of you in the Great Western Power Company area should be marking it down on your calendar. Why, you ask? Simple, STORY NIGHT with Hans Florine.

Yep, you heard right. December 3rd at 8:00 pm the official storytelling and presentation begins, my advice, come early to get in some climbing so you're completely in the groove come story time. Here is some more information you need to know, to be in the know:

December 3rd come for a night of Stories about one thing: The Nose.

The first story telling of the new Nose record. (Yuji Hirayama and Hans climbed it in 2:37:05 on October 12th 2008) Hans Florine will share an evening with you at: The Great Western Power Company. With the aid of video clips and photos Hans will tell stories about Yuji Hirayama and Hans's preparations, history, planning, drama, training, and execution of climbing The Nose Route of El Capitan, the 3000ft granite cliff in Yosemite.

Touchstone Climbing is hosting the event at:

Touchstone had 150 limited edition photographic prints made to commemorate 50 years of climbing The Nose route. These prints are for sale at: We will try to reserve some to auction at the December 2/3rd event. If you want to guarantee there is one there for you, buy it online and put in the notes section of the checkout that you'll pick it up at the December 2/3rd event. (or say nothing and we'll ship it)

Light refreshments and drinks will be available. A $16 admission fee will be charged for non Touchstone climbing members. Funds raised during the event will go to benefit the Access Fund and the YCA - which created the Climbing museum in Yosemite.
There you have it, mark it down and we'll see you there!

On a separate, unrelated note, I just wanted to remind each and every one of you, members of all the different Touchstone Climbing Gyms, that all of our Touchstone Gyms will have special, Holiday Hours on Wednesday, and Friday before and after Thanksgiving. We will be closed Thanksgiving Day, but give your local gym a call to see their hours for the days before and after!

(Image via Brianz on Flickr)

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, November 24, 2008
  AFAA Workshops Coming January 2009!
Look out look out all you Diablo Rock Gym members, we've got some pretty cool news for you if you're going to be in and around the area come January! That's right, the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) are going to be having some of their workshops at the Diablo Rock Gym!

That's right, January 9-11, 2009 kicks off the workshops for Personal Fitness Trainer Certification. On the 9th we'll be going from 1-9:30pm, and on the 10th and 11th, we'll be rocking from 8am - 6pm. The price for this set will be $469. On January 17, they'll be having the Primary Group Exercise Workshop from 9am - 6pm and this workshop will be $299. Finally, on January 18th, from 9am - 6pm for $129 they'll be having the Floor, Core & More Workshop, and this one is only $129.

The AFAA is in full control here, DRG will just be the venue for all this craziness! Something to keep in mind, however, is that all Touchstone Members will receive a 25% discount off these sessions if you email by midnight next Monday! For more information on what to expect at these workshops, head over to the AFAA site and check it out. Hopefully we'll see you there!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, November 21, 2008
  Climbing Clip of the Week: Ethan Pringle
Here is a video of Touchstone Climbing sponsored climber, Ethan Pringle working a project in Clark Mountain, California late last year. Chris Sharma ended up sending this project in September and named the route Jumbo Love and rated it 5.15b!!

Enjoy and see everyone on Monday.

Monastary Project from Ethan Pringle on Vimeo.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, November 20, 2008
  Touchstone Cycling Finalizes 2009 Roster

Just a quick note to let all you fans of Touchstone Cycling know that they have officially finalized their roster for the 2009 season! After an extremely successful 2008 season, the combination of new riders to the squad and some returning members should make the 2009 team a pretty intense and lethal combination

According to their site, "New additions for 2009 include Sarah Bamberger, Cara Gillis, Beverley Harper, Carol Irving, Megan Rathwell and Kristina Seley. Returning riders are Holly Borowski, Olivia Dillon, Kelly McDonald, Jill McLaughlin, Maria Monica, Pat Ross, and Janeen Thorpe." Personally I can't wait to see what this new squad can do, and if it's anything like their previous teams, it should be quite a bit and it should always be impressive.

We'll keep you up to date on more relevant news and information concerning Touchstone Cycling as it comes up, but for now, welcome to the 2009 Touchstone Cycling Team all you new members, and welcome back all you seasoned veterans! Here's looking towards an awesome 2009 season!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
  Reminder: A Time To Live Event Is TONIGHT!!!
We talked about this amazing event almost a month ago, and I can't believe how fast time has flown from then until now! That's right, we're only a day away from the A Time To Live event!

As mentioned, Royal Robbins and Ed Drummond are going to be telling stories, reliving climbs, showing photos and putting you where he's been. From success to near death experiences, this is not something you're going to want to miss if you have any interest in climbing whatsoever. I'm guessing that the simple fact that you're ON this site means you do, so again, do NOT miss this!

Think of it this way, you can drop $25 - $40 going to a movie that probably won't be good, probably had way too much hype, and probably won't move or change you at all, OR you could spend $10 or $12 bucks and hear stories directly from the sources themselves! Trust me, your money is so much better spent here. So much. Head over to and buy yours today, or wait and buy your tickets at the door!

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
  Great Western Power Co. Bouldering Area Closed Wednesday

Hey all you Great Western Power Company fans and big time boulderers a word? At any rate, this one is for all of you to serve as a gentle reminder that a very big, very cool event is rapidly approaching and as such, is going to cause a few closures Wednesday.

That's right, the FOURTH, yes 4th Touchstone Bouldering Series is coming up this Friday! To prepare for the event the Bouldering Area of GWPC is going to be closed starting Wednesday and continuing until the competition ends. Here's what our good friend Lyn Verinsky, General Manager of Great Western Power Company, has to say about the forthcoming event:

"Can you believe it’s the FOURTH season of the Touchstone Bouldering Series?! GW is kicking things off in November with lots of climbing, food, and beverages. We’ll raffle off a few goodies and make sure everyone has a great night with all their climbing buddies."

So, prepare yourselves for Friday if you're in the area, and if not, at the very least we're giving you a nice little reminder that the bouldering area will be closed for a few days. Sorry for the inconvenience, but trust us, it's worth it!

(Image via UTomJording on Flickr)

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, November 17, 2008
  New Men's & Women's Shirts At DRG!
We are only a few days away from Thanksgiving my friends, and that means, we're also only a few days away from the biggest shopping day of the entire year! It's officially Holiday Season and as such, you might be thinking it's time to start finding some gifts for those loved ones of yours. Lucky for you, I have just the thing: New t-shirts are in at Diablo Rock Gym!

Word on my block is there are 5 different colors and 3 different designs in the new Men's shirts; that's 15 variations to help you shop for just about anyone! For the ladies we have 3 different colors and 2 awesome and unique styles. We've got T's, Long Sleeve, Zip Hoodie, Regular Hoodie, and we're sure that at the prices, you'll find them to be quite a steal.

T-shirts are only $12.50, Long Sleeve's only $15 and the hoodies are only $37.50. Man, talk about making your Christmas shopping easy! Head over, get a good climb in, and leave with a bag full of stuff for all those on your shopping lists!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, November 14, 2008
  Climbing Clip of the Week
Hello and Happy Friday! We made it, it's the weekend again and man have we earned it. To help you celebrate the end of another work week, I decided this week's Climbing Clip of the Week is somewhere I think each and every one of us wishes we could run away to...right now.

The clip is of some AMAZING "Deep Water Soloing" in Thailand. I don't know if it's the color of the water, the beautiful rock cliffs, or the quality of the climbing, but this is rapidly becoming one of my more favorite climbing clips. I want to be in Thailand, now.

This is also a call to arms...if you have any climbing videos or clips you want featured, please, please send them in, send us links, send is YouTube videos, whatever. We'd love nothing more than to feature YOU, our faithful climbers, on this very site.

At any rate, enjoy the video and we'll see you bright and early Monday morning! Get climbing!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, November 13, 2008
  Full Lung Capacity Benefit a HUGE Success!
A few weeks ago, October 23, to be exact, we mentioned an extremely important event that we wanted as many people as possible to know about. The Full Lung Capacity Benefit, for Rowan Jimenez was a chance for all of us to give back to one of our own. The event was November 1st and has come and gone. The news I want to share with all of you is this: It was a MASSIVE success! All of YOU made the Benefit far greater than we could have imagined, and for that, Thank You!

We got an email and we thought we had to share it, to help show you just how wild a success the Full Lung Capacity Benefit was. Try this on for size my friends, straight from Chris Bloch:

"The Full Lung Capacity Bouldering Benefit was a great success, bringing in over 300 supporters, 178 who climbed in the bouldering competition, and the rest participatied in the acro yoga workshop, or just came to support Rowan and party. We raised $15,600 for Rowan’s transplant fund, and came together as a community to help a friend in need. There was an amazing outpouring of positive energy all night long...I have organized, set routes, or competed in over 200 climbing events in the past 14 or so years, from the ESPN X-Games, to countless local bouldering events here in the Bay Area. This event was by far the most positive, least stressful (really), and most enjoyable event I have been involved with. I was hoping for a good turnout, and was a bit worried with the weather the way it was, but the event far exceeded my expectations. I heard positive things from everyone I talked to, and the energy in the gym was amazing. The whole night was a testament to how many lives Rowan has touched, how our community of climbers can come together to support a friend in need, and how teamwork, hard work, and dedication can make a difference."

I'm proud of everyone! For all of you that couldn't make it, fear not, there is a photo album up with every single photo you missed at this awesome event! Head over, check them out and be proud that we as a climbing community came together for such an awesome cause!

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008
  Beth Witrogen Photography @ Diablo Rock Gym
If you've been in Diablo Rock Gym lately you've probably noticed some extremely beautiful, extremely impressive photography gracing our walls. This art comes to us from Beth Witrogen and to say the very least, her stuff is extremely impressive. Lucky enough for all of us, she's also given us a little biography of herself so we can officially learn more about the talent behind those beautiful photos!

Here, is some more about the extremely talented Beth Witrogen:

I’ve been a Bay Area photographer for more than two decades, from ballet to birds — and Cal water polo. These images reflect my passion for the outdoors and cycles of nature. Learning to see light and appreciate that each moment is unique and fleeting infuses my work with a sense of joy, fragility, and strength. I love the painful fragility of light at dawn and dusk, and am always trying to capture what can’t be grasped. I call it “halflight” — where the mystery and passion for life merge.

I also love the personalities of birds as they go about their business just being birds. They teach me so much about freedom and focus — and patience ?.

I’ve had several shows over the years, including ballet images at the S.F. Opera House, and more recently exhibits of my birds and nature work at Shadelands and City Hall in Walnut Creek. I’ve also exhibited at Lynn House Gallery in Antioch, the Flyway Festival at Mare Island, and have been featured the Contra Costa County Watershed calendars since 2005. My images have been published in WildBird and Terrain magazines, The San Francisco Examiner, and Brentwood Press among other papers. I’ve also done commission work, including Bay Commercial Bank in Walnut Creek (black & white large-format posters).

I’m looking forward to traveling around to great climbing sites and not only climbing – but shooting nature and climbers. Stay tuned! My full portfolio, including portraits, sports, architecture and nature, is on my website at:

Thanks & enjoy the show! (Please ask at the front desk for the price list for these images.)

Mobile: 925.323.6065

Enjoy the amazing artwork and if you fall in love with any of the prints, talk to Beth or the Front Desk to see a full price list! Thanks again Beth, keep up the amazing work!!

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008
  Non-Stop Sweet Climbing Videos...For Free?!

I don't know about you, but when I can't be actually climbing, few things make me feel better than watching other people climb. Why there aren't more channels on Digital Cable or Direct TV that are dedicated to rock climbing, be it indoor or outdoor, is beyond me. Personally, I think we should rally together, and get ESPN to release something like ESPN 7 - Climbing. Ahh, one can dream.

Until that day, however, I do have some ridiculously good news. How about trying this on for size: Free Climbing Videos. Free AMAZING climbing videos. How amazing? How about the fact that they USED to cost money and the service Used to be a subscription service, but now, they are free. The site, MomentumVM used to charge people just to get in the doors and now, you can sign up, sign in and start watching as many videos as you want, at no charge. That, is awesome.

According to them, it was the support of advertisers that made it all possible. For us, it simply means their MASSIVE archives of climbing videos has just been opened for us to frolic in. Sweet. So, if you can't get to the climbing gyms today, at the very least head over and start watching some videos to tide you over. Can't think of many better ways to spend my day!

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, November 10, 2008
  Diablo Rock Gym Hits Facebook

Well well well, not only are they one of the coolest climbing gyms and fitness facilities, they're also jumping on board the technology bandwagon! Good news for all you hardcore Diablo Rock Gym fans out there, now you can be a fan in real life, and on the Internet as well! That's right, DRG has a Facebook Page and by the looks of things, it's buzzing.

We've already got 36 fans of the good ol' DRG and its constantly being updated with videos, photos, wall posts, event invites and a lot of other goodies to come in the future. Here's the jist, from DRG themselves:
"We made a facebook for the Diablo Rock Gym. Facebook users can sign up to be "Fans" of the gym and stay informed on events like competitions. We also posted an old competition video and some photos, but users can post pictures and videos as well. Can you give a shout out the the DRG members to check it out, become a fan, and post anything they like that is DRG related. "
I don't know what you're waiting for! Head over to Facebook, log in, and become a fan ASAP! We'll see you there!

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, November 7, 2008
  Climbing Clip of the Week: New Feature
Happy Friday! Hopefully you have a weekend packed full of climbing, fitness, and some outdoor activities all planned out! You made it through the work week and that is an accomplishment in and of it self!

I thought it'd be cool to start a new feature to the blog, every Friday offer up a new climbing video clip showing someone doing something we all love! I'm going to need your help on this, faithful readers, so if you have any videos or photos that you'd love to see featured on this new Friday feature, do not hesitate to send them into us! Maybe yours will be our Climbing Clip of the Week! Why not show off your exploits, brag to your friends, and let the Internets see how awesome you reallly are.

To kick things off, check out this clip of Chris Sharma at the 2008 Climbing Nationals. You'll get to see a lot of awesome climbing, and a huge surprise at the end. Check it out, submit your videos in to us, and have a great weekend!

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, November 6, 2008
  New Name, Same Amazing Class @ Berkeley Ironworks

Only one more day until Friday! We've made it this far my friends, we're almost to the much deserved weekend! That said, I just wanted to offer up a quick reminder to all of you that one of the best, and most popular classes at Berkeley Ironworks has undergone a bit of a makeover when it comes to its name.

What used to be called "Sports Conditioning" is now renamed, much more appropriately I might add, "Full Body." It's the same great class, just a new name. For all of you veterans to it, no worries, for all of you that have yet to join and get into the groove, now is the time. Just to prove to you how much you need to be a part of this great class, here's some of what you can expect:

The Full Body class with John Downey (formerly the Sports Conditioning Class)

Tuesdays @ Noon and Thursdays @ 1PM

All human movement must traverse the core. Having a strong set of abdominal and lower back muscles makes every movement stronger, more precise, more graceful and much, much safer. Teaching the brain and nervous system to coordinate all of our actions through a strong, stable core is the essence of fitness. Training our body to work as a single unit, using whatever combination of muscles and extremities and in whatever rotating, lifting, turning movement we find ourselves in, is the ultimate state of physical strength and power. To say nothing of staying injury free!

This is the philosophy that guides the design and development of each and every Full Body class given at Berkeley Ironworks.
  • Get ready for an endless supply of new, imaginative and innovative workout experiences each and every week!
  • New exercises are constantly being added and taught to everyone!
  • Looking for the most complete 1 hour workout available anywhere?
  • Want to learn scores of new exercises while a certified Personal Trainer makes sure your form is perfect?
  • Feel like getting stronger, gaining the endurance you always wanted, develop the speed, agility and balance to do what ever you want? And have some fun at the same time?
  • No muscle group left untouched!
o Biceps
o Triceps
o Shoulders
o Chest
o Back
o CORE!!!
o Glutes
o Quads
o Hamstrings
o Calves
o Heart & Lungs!!

  • Develop full range of motion, balance, strength, endurance, flexibility!

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, November 5, 2008
  Body Composition Testing – Monday, December 1st

Here's a quick one just to let you all know to clear your calendars for Monday, December 1. Only a month a way! The reason those calendars need to be clear is because BodyFatTest will be at Berkeley Ironworks for us again. For those who have been tested in the past, don’t miss out on the chance to see the changes to your fat and lean mass. For those who have missed out on testing before, take this opportunity to start tracking your fitness progress now using the most accurate body composition analysis available with BodyFatTest!

BodyFatTest is a mobile, hydrostatic, body composition testing clinic that will provide you with a four-page printout including your body fat percentage, lean mass percentage, resting metabolic rate, and caloric expenditure activity chart tailored specifically for you. Body composition testing is exciting and motivating because you will track your gains in muscle mass while decreasing your body fat – this is not recognized on a bathroom scale and can frustrate fitness enthusiasts and those trying to improve their health through diet and exercise. The test takes only a few moments during which you will totally submerge yourself in comfortably warm water, heated to between 89 and 94 degrees. The water is cycling through a pump and filtration system throughout the day. Mark your calendar now.

BodyFatTest will be here on Monday, December 1st from 3pm – 8pm. The test costs $49. Advanced registration at the front desk is strongly encouraged. Bring a check to reserve your time. Bring your bathing suit on the day of testing – changing rooms are available in the clinic. See you there!

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, November 4, 2008
  Shoe Demos At Our Gyms!

Yesterday we talked about the variety of climbing shoes we carry, endorse and love, today, I'm here to tell you that if you're not ready to buy just yet, we have Demo Days THIS week that will allow you to test them out, climb in them, and get the feel for them!

That's right, you shouldn't buy before you try, so we're having Shoe Demos at Touchstone Climbing Gyms! Here are the basics and the things You need to know for our demos, starting with the schedule.


Monday- Nov 3 @GWPC
Tuesday- Nov 4 @Mission Cliffs
Wed- Nov 5 @ Diablo Rock Gym
Thursday- Nov 6 @ Berkeley Ironworks
Friday- Nov 7 @ Sacramento Pipeworks

* Demo Time 6-8 pm
* Try out a variety of shoes including the prisms, jet7, 5x, Verde, V Mile, Ana Blanco and the Women’s Gambits
* We can special order any model
* Members receive 10% off

All these awesome discounts just for being a member. Don't you love it?! So again, try before you buy, get into the Demo Days

Labels: , , , ,

  Election Day!!!!
Go Vote!

You can find your polling place here:
Google Maps: Vote
Monday, November 3, 2008
  Climbing Shoes at Touchstone Climbing!

Happy Monday and here's hoping that your Halloween was amazing! Hopefully this post does not find you in complete diabetic shock from all the sugar, costumes and festivities. That said, it's time to get back on track and start climbing our healthy little butts off. I thought I'd start things this week with a brief reminder that we have a TON of awesome climbing shoes on sale at all of our climbing gyms.

A few things to keep in mind before I get into some of the different shoes we sell:
Without further ado, here are some of the shoes we carry, love, and fully endorse:
Five Ten

* Moccasym $99- extremely sensitive pull on shoe.
* Velco Anasazi $139- high end performance shoe for routes and bouldering.
* Anasazi Low Volume $135 – great for medium volume feet, technical climbs indoor and out.
* Spire $95 - entry level lace up shoe.


* Defy $85- comfortable sensitive all day shoe, indoor or out.
* Predator $109- turned down shoe great for aggressive climbing.
* Pontas $115- high performance shoe for technical steep climbing.

La Sportiva

* Mantis $80- all around entry level shoe great for gym climbing.
* Mythos $130- high performance lace up shoe, great for cracks.
* Solution $155 high performance down turned shoe, aggressive climbing.
Basically, we have something for everyone, and the time is now to get into this! Get some gear, get started, and let us help you along your way!

Labels: , , , ,

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]