Touchstone Blog Archive
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
  New Year's Eve Is Here!

It's New Year's Eve, so I'm sure the vast majority of you are going to be spending time with friends, family, or heck, even strangers on this big night. The final hours are counting down and before you know it, 2008 will have come to pass. That's right, the year is over and as of 12:01 tonight, a new one will begin.

I mentioned it yesterday, but I'll mention it again today...what a perfect time to set some concrete, exciting, and important Resolutions aimed directly at your health and fitness. Use 2009 as THE year to get back into shape, Stay in the shape you are already in, or even better, advance yourself further than you ever have before. With the No Initiation Fee January, there is no reason why you can't make this 2009 your healthiest year ever. We want you here, we want you climbing, biking, running, doing Yoga and joining our community. Trust us, you won't find a happier, healthier and just all around more FUN group of people.

So, enjoy the rest of 2008, spend it with those that mean the most to you, and we'll see you again in 2009. Hopefully that means we'll see you in person, in our gyms, not just on this blog. You've got nothing to lose, join up today!

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008
  Membership Drive! No Initiation Fees!
It's almost January 1st and that means a few things: First, you better get cracking on your New Year's Resolutions because you officially only have a handful of hours left until they need to kick into full gear. Second, I'm sure on many of our Resolution Lists, there will be something concerning getting back into shape, staying in shape, starting a new fitness routine, etc. etc.

I have great news my friends, we're here to help you reach those fitness resolutions! That's right, all of us here at Touchstone Climbing want to be your very best friends this New Year, and to help you get back on the workout wagon, we're going to offer something that is pretty amazing. For all you non-members, listen up:

This January, we're going to be waiving the Initiation Fee for all new members. That's right NO INITIATION FEE...take that $100, stick it back in your wallet, or even better, start investing in some awesome, proper climbing gear, fitness apparel, or whatever else you need to give yourself the best start at being in great shape this 2009.

More information will be forthcoming, but just know that as of January 1st, show up, sign up and save $100. The No Initiation Fee January is in full have absolutely no reasons, no excuses and no believable alibi's to avoid us now! See you in January!

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Monday, December 29, 2008
  Diablo Rock Gym To Host AFAA Certifications

Here's a quick heads up for you this fine Monday Morning. First and foremost, here's hoping that you had a fantastic, perfect, amazing Holiday Season, and while New Year's Eve is right around the corner, hopefully your Christmas was enough to get you rested up for this new year.

That said, just got some info in from Andrew at Diablo Rock Gym that might interest quite a few of you. This coming January 17, from 9 am til 6 pm we're going to be hosting the Primary Group Workshop for AFAA Certifications. The cost of this bad boy will run $299 for the whole deal. On January 18th, the following day, we will be holding the Floor, Core & More Workshop that will also run from 9 am to 6 pm and will run $129. In case you're not exactly familiar with what I'm talking about, here is a bit more on AFAA Certifications and what will be going down:


A review of AFAA’s Basic Exercise Standards and Guidelines, anatomy, exercise science, exercise evaluation and exam criteria concludes with the practical and written exams. The format includes:

• Practical application of group exercise • Study guide overview • Questions and answer session


For group exercise instructors whose training and educational background has prepared them to take the AFAA Primary Group Exercise Certification exam. • Prerequisites: Early Registration, self–study before program and group program and group exercise teaching Experience. • Current CPR Certification required before certification is issued.


The workshop fee is $299* (less a 10% discount for current AFAA members). This fee includes:

• Full one-day Certification Workshop • Primary Group Exercise Certification Study Guide (shipping additional) • One-year AFAA membership ($68 value) or membership extension to current members and a subscription to American Fitness magazine (does not include postage to addresses outside the U.S.) • AFAA Certified Instructor certification and I.D. card (upon successful completion of both written and practical examinations) CPR certification required before certificate is issued.

If you're interested you can sign up online or by calling the AFAA. Check out their site for more information. See you there!

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Friday, December 26, 2008
  Christmas Jokes @ Sacramento Pipeworks

In lieu of a Climbing Clip of the Week this fine 'day after Christmas' we thought you'd like to see one of the awesome practical jokes that was recently pulled at Sacramento Pipeworks. You may not know, but at a climbing gym, practical jokes are plentiful, some better than others, and this one might just take the cake.

This creative joke was pulled on a route setter who just so happened to leave his poor bike unattended one night. Check out the awesome photos in the saddle! The bike was left hanging off the wall until it was discovered the next morning by it's unfortunate owner. Can you imagine walking in, looking for your bike, and finally finding it hanging free 25 feet above you? Yikes.

At any rate, good one guys, reminds me of something Jim would do to Dwight on "The Office." Kudos. Kudos indeed. Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, December 25, 2008
  Merry Christmas From Touchstone Climbing!

Today, we here at Touchstone Climbing just wanted to take a quick minute to wish ALL of you a very, very Merry & Happy Christmas!

I do not know how you celebrate these Holiday Seasons, and it does not matter; however you choose to spend Christmas, and this entire Holiday Season, enjoy it to the fullest, spend it with your friends, family and loved ones, and have a great time.

In short, from all of us at Touchstone Climbing, to all of you:


(image via wikipedia)

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008
  Touchstone Climbing is Hiring!
The economy is struggling, but that doesn't mean you have to be. Looking for a job? Need Part Time, or Full? There are few better things you could do than to check out Touchstone’s Employment Page. Right now Diablo Rock Gym is looking for full time staff to work at the front desk along with a teen climbing instructor and core/abs instructor.

If you are interested, or think you might have what it takes, head over and check out the Employment Page to get more details on what we're looking for. For all the other gyms, keep in mind that we are always looking for quality staff to fill a variety of positions at our different locations. There are always new positions opening up, so if you are looking for a job, be sure to check here often.

Bottom line, we'd love to have you as part of our staff, and if you've got what it takes you should get ahold of us. Right now, Diablo Rock Gym is needing three positions filled, here's what we need in more detail:

Front Desk Staff: Diablo Rock Gym is looking for a dependable, hard working and self-motivated individual to work full time at our front desk. We are looking for climbers with flexible schedules, who are able to work mornings, evenings and weekends. A friendly demeanor, great customer service, good judgment and basic climbing experience are a must. Experience lead and top-rope climbing, as well as bouldering are desired. Full Time is 32-40 hours per week. We provide heath insurance and dental insurance for full time employees after three months of full time work. Full time desk staff also get discounts on gear and clothing as well as a free membership to the gym.

Core/Abs Instructors: DRG is looking for energetic Instructor's to teach a Core/Abs class weekday evenings. Fitness instructors must be reliable, motivational, and supportive.

Teen Program Instructor: DRG is looking for a instructor to help teach teenagers basic and advanced climbing skills from 4:00-6:00pm Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Instructors must work well with teens and have climbing experience.

If you would like to apply drop by a resume with references to manager, Andrew Descalso desk staff applicants please fill out this application as well.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008
  Santa Climbs In California

Only in California does Santa Clause dig rock climbing. That's right, you heard me correctly, with only 2 days left until Christmas Morning, it looks like Santa took a brief vacation and decided to do some serious rock climbing before the big "Delivery Night."

I just stumbled across this article that shows Santa doing exactly that...climbing, and with the Holidays officially surrounding us, how appropriate. According to the photo, he's climbing at Cerro Cabrillo and while his form is a bit off, the spirit is there, but then again, Spirit is one thing Santa could never be accused of lacking.

Rumor has it, Californians have also seen Santa skateboarding, surfing and even mountain biking in the past few days. Maybe he's feeling the economic pinch too and his sleigh is a little less full this year; maybe his naughty list is so huge this 2008 he feels confident in his ability to take a few days off...whatever the case may be, Santa is living large. Lets see if we can get him to join Touchstone Climbing. I don't see how he has much of a choice!

(image via

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Monday, December 22, 2008
  Sacramento Pipeworks News!

Just got some awesome news in from Sacramento Pipeworks that I thought I should share with all of you. We're so proud of each and every one of our amazing gyms, so when we get in little tidbits and information that we can share with all of you, it makes me a very happy fella.

That said, thanks to Vaughn over at Sacramento Pipeworks, here's what has been going down in their neck of the woods as of late:

"For the 4th year in a row, members of the Sacramento Pipeworks bike club recently organized a relay team to run in The California International Marathon. Scott Clark, Tina Moore, Nicole Dolney and Pipeworks manager Vaughn Medford each ran a leg of 5.7 to 7.6 miles. The team covered the 26.2 mile marathon distance in 3 hours and 32 minutes, placing 27th out of 223 teams in the coed division, and 111th against all relay teams (over 700). Not bad for people who consider themselves cyclists! Also worth noting is bike club member Kent Gillis’ smoking 2nd place finish in the hand bike division, finally nailing his goal of a sub-2 hour marathon, coming in at a very speedy 1 hour and 56 minutes."

Congratulations guys! So impressive. Feel free to head over and check out Sacramento Pipeworks, if you're in the area, there are few better things you could do for your health, your life, and your mental well-being than joining up. Trust me, they are worth it. At any rate, keep up the amazing work, get your holiday shopping done on time, and have an amazing Holiday Season!

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Friday, December 19, 2008
  Reminder: Our Food Barrels Are Empty!

Just a quick Friday note to let you know that we're still in dire need of any and all food you can donate to our Food Drive! After they did a check, it seems like the food barrels at Diablo Rock Gym are almost completely empty! We're coming up on the tail end of the food drive for Contra Costa and Solano Food Bank and we'd love to completely restock our supplies and help get food into the hands and stomachs of those that need it the most.

Here are a couple of notes on what we need, when we need it, and how you can help!

Of course our most sincere thanks go out to you in advance. Let's fill these barrels and help feed those that need it the most! It's the Holiday Season, time to give back!

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  Climbing Clip of the Week: Ice Climbing The Ghost Wilderness
This week, I decided to do something a little different for the Climbing Clip of the Week. The first reason I chose this, was because of the Winter weather blast that has been blanketing the entire West Coast; the second reason, is because it IS Winter, and the scenery in this ice-climbing clip is breathtakingly gorgeous.

If you've ever ice-climbed you can account for just how tricky, how exciting and how rewarding it is. It feels totally different than traditional climbing and uses an entirely different skill set than traditional climbing, but anyone that loves one, almost always loves the other.

So, without further ado, enjoy this week's Climbing Clip of the Week. Stay warm, stay dry, get all your shopping done this weekend and most of all, have an amazing weekend filled with climbing, fitness and friends!

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Thursday, December 18, 2008
  New Holiday Edition of Spinner Blast Out
One of the things I've always loved the most about Touchstone Climbing might surprise you. Yes, we have amazing gyms packed with amazing walls, programs, classes and equipment, but that's not the thing I Love most. What I Love most, is simple: the communities that are developed. The communities are everything and Touchstone Climbing does an amazing job of bringing people together, and giving them great reasons to stay together.

One of the coolest things that goes on inside these aforementioned communities is the SpinnerBlast Newsletter that goes out. It's such an amazing way to not only stay up with all of the different members that are part of the clubs, but stay up with all of the events, future and past, that go on. Basically it's a one-stop-shop, and I love it. Check out this little snippet from this month's special holiday edition:

Hi everyone and Happy Holidays,

2008 has been a great year working with all the Touchstone endurance athletes. We tested nearly 60 people this year, with several of you returning for a second or third time to track your training progress. That progress, which we've seen and measured, has been inspiring: from coveted weight loss goals to personal bests in a variety of events. Oftentimes, we got to see both. What stands out most in my mind has been an increase in health and fitness from all of you who have made the commitment to improve, no matter where you started. It's been a pleasure to be part of it and I look forward to seeing both new and familiar faces in 2009.

On that note, have a safe holiday season and come see us next year as we identify and set new and greater goals for 2009.
If I've said it once, I've said it one hundred times: Subscribe to this, get involved and start making your membership at Touchstone Climbing worth so much more than it already is. Join these communities!

P.S. A Quick reminder that tonight is the rescheduled Evolv Shoe Demo at Great Western Power Co. If you're in the area, from 6-8 PM everyone is invited to come in and try out some awesome Evolv shoes! Remember, any shoe purchases during the Demo will be 15% off! That includes Special Orders as well as the shoes in stock. Don't miss it!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008
  Need A Christmas Gift for "Him?" Look No Further!

Christmas Eve, my friends, is one week away. One Week. That means the number of shopping days to finish up your Holiday Stocking Stuffing are extremely limited. Who has time to work, climb, work out AND shop? No one, that's who. Lucky for all of you, I have just the thing to help finalize your holiday shopping for that special guy in your life.

Whether it's your Dad, Husband, Brother, Boyfriend, Uncle, Best-Friend, it doesn't matter, I don't know a single person that wouldn't love this gift. The best news of all, however, is that all Touchstone Climbing Members get an additional 10% off the price. All the time. The gift is a Monkey Man Fleece Jacket by Mountain Hardware. It retails at $140 and at that price it's still an absolute steal. Check out some of the features:
So, for their next climb, why not outfit them in one of the best fleece jackets money can buy? Trust me, morning next to a solid slab of granite rock can be chilly, why suffer? One Week Left! Get on it!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
  A Bit About Touchstone Cycling!

Just got this awesome press release from those in the know with all the Touchstone Cycling awesomeness and I thought it'd be something I'd be smart to share with all of you. Bottom line, they do great, great things and if you're in the area and into cycling, they are something that is beyond worth your time to check into.

Without further ado, here is the Press Release I just got my hands on! Check it out, then check THEM should be a wildly exciting 2009, that is for sure!

Touchstone Cycling Press Release

Touchstone Climbing enters the 2009 season with an expanded roster and additional sponsorship. After an impressive 2008 season, Touchstone looks to increase their presence and podium appearances.

Kelly McDonald, 6th in the Mogollon RR at Tour of the Gila (or [with consistent top NRC placings]), returns to the team and looks to add to her impressive NRC results. 2008 Irish National TT Champion, Olivia Dillion, will also look to build on a successful 2008 season. Other returning riders include Holly Borowski, Jill McLaughlin, Maria Monica, Pat Ross, and Janeen Thorpe.

Touchstone picked up several highly talented new riders including Sarah Bamberger, who spent the last three years on Cheerwine and Beverley Harper, who spent the last two years on Webcor. Touchstone expects to benefit greatly from Beverley and Sarah’s racing experiences. Other new riders include Kristina Seley, Carol Irving, and fellow Canadians Cara Gillis and Megan Rathwell. This mix of talented, powerful, and intelligent riders will make for a successful 2009 season.

Touchstone Climbing and Fitness remains the title sponsor, and Wrench Science continues its support of the larger roster. Additional sponsors include Velo Vie, manufacturer and reseller of high quality and customized bicycle frames, Lezyne, a cycling accessories company, Voler, apparel providers, Williams Cycling, world class lightweight wheel systems, Clif, Fluid Recovery and Psoas Massage & Bodywork.

Touchstone is also proud to support the National Ataxia foundation and BORP (Bay Area Outreach Program).

Team Roster
: Sarah Bamberger, Holly Borowski, Olivia Dillon, Cara Gillis, Beverley Harper, Carol Irving, Megan Rathwell, Kelly McDonald, Jill McLaughlin, Maria Monica, Pat Ross, Kristina Seley, and Janeen Thorpe.

Sponsor Websites:;;;;;;;;;

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Monday, December 15, 2008
  Americans Climb Unclimbed Patagonia Peak

Hello and Happy Monday! The time between now and Christmas time is dwindling down and I couldn't be happier. You know what else makes me beyond happy? When I wake up and I find out that some American climbers bagged some awesome, previously unclimbed peak somewhere in the world. Turns out today was my lucky day as that is exactly what i woke up to.

According to some international news, two Americans, Dave Turner and Mark Matthews, did just that recently. The pair bagged what is being called the "first ascent of a small granite tower in the Paine region of Chilean Patagonia." The article I read said that "The two climbed Gemelo Alto in the French Valley, via a 10-pitch route called Adios Ayer (5.10-, 400m)."

Apparently, the whole reason for their expedition in the first place was to find a new solo route on the South Face of the South Tower of Paine. Looks like they bagged a first ascent too, how impressive can one trip get?! At any rate, to get a much more in-depth look at their climb and their expedition, head over here and check it out. We just wanted to throw out some serious Congratulations to both Dave Turner and Mark Matthews for their awesome first climb! Keep up the good work!

(Image from Dave Turner)

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Friday, December 12, 2008
  TBS tonight in San Francisco.

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  Climbing Clip of the Week: Berkeley Ironworks!
While prowling around the ol' WWW, I just so happened to find something extremely cool and extremely relevant for this weeks Climbing Clip of the Week! That's right, I found a video on YouTube that is none other than our very own Berkeley Ironworks!

The video shows a whole lot of climbing all over the gym, shows some of the routes you can take, and just generally makes me happy seeing ol' Berkeley Ironworks!

Check out the awesome climbing at the awesome gym, then head over there yourself if you're in the area! We'd love to have you!

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Thursday, December 11, 2008
  Cave Built With a Knife Saves Climber

Today, on this fine Thursday morning, I wanted to share with you an awesome news story that just goes to show how strong our survival instincts can be, and how MacGyver each one of us can be when our backs are against the wall!

I just read an article about a climber that literally saved his own life by digging a snow cave using nothing but a knife and a ball point pen. According to the article:
"He was unable to use his climbing axe which was buried under a metre of snow. With the tent buried under the snow, his friend had been unable to find his boots when he crawled out...Mr Hideaki said it took him hours to dig a small snow cave with a knife and ballpoint pen. After he managed to dig the cave he curled up in it. It was only big enough to partially protect both of them. His friend chose to remain outside two to three metres away in his sleeping bag where he could lie outstretched."
That decision would prove to be fatal for his climbing partner and guide. As they checked each other every few hours, finally they slept until sunrise at which point his partner did not wake. I can't imagine what he's going through right now, but the sheer fact that he literally saved himself using nothing more than his own pocket knife and a ball point pen shines so much light on the human spirit.

This accident took place in a location I am familiar with and have been to, Mt. Cook in New Zealand. We all wish you well Mr. Hideaki, and we applaud your spirit.

(Image via Pat Leahy on Flickr)

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008
  Great Western Power Co. To Host Yoga Demo!
Here's a quick note to let you know that Great Western Power Co. is going to be hosting a pretty awesome event this coming Tuesday, December 16th, from 6:15pm to 7:30pm. The event will be free to all members of Touchstone Climbing, and $12 for any and all non-members.

The Yoga Demo will be a Dynamic Vinyasa Yoga with Susan Owen. Vinyasa Yoga, is basically "a sequence of breath-synchronized movements used to transition between sustained poses." The Demo Class, according to Susan, will be Ashtanga-style yoga mixed with strengthening movements aimed at improving the basic yoga asanas. It's open to students of any and all levels and should provide you with instructions in both fundamental yoga positions, as well as more experienced yoga and advanced variations for those that can handle it.

Basically, you're guaranteed a good time, guaranteed a good workout, and guaranteed to leave sweatier than you started! Check out the flyer below! The new classes start in January...Hold onto your yoga pants!

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008
  Berkeley Ironworks Gets New Yoga Floor!

Bob Dylan said it best when he mentioned that the times, they are a changin'. For Berkeley Ironworks and the Yoga Room floor, that is a very, very good thing. Those at Berkeley Ironworks were quick to say that the old floor had a lot of character. They were also quick to say that that was a very, very nice way of saying that it was extremely old.

Old is out, new is in. That's right folks, if you're not already signed up for Yoga classes at Berkeley Ironworks, you should be, and SOON, if for no other reason than to see the brand new, amazingly beautiful bamboo floor!

The new floor should not only look amazing, but it should FEEL amazing, and bamboo is such a great product to use as it's a much more renewable resource than conventional wood. So, if you haven't already, at least come in and check out the gorgeous new flooring, and at the most, sign up for some Yoga classes! Your body will thank you!

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Monday, December 8, 2008
  Holidays Are Here: Stocking Stuffers On Sale!

The weather outside is delightful, but Holiday Shopping is so frightful! That's right, it's the time of year once again to start buying gifts for your loved ones, piling gifts under the tree and hopefully filling those stockings with amazing little stocking stuffers. Speaking of......

I'm here to help! Hopefully I can throw some pretty simple, pretty impressive and some very "best bang for your buck" gift ideas that you can very easily buy at your Touchstone Climbing gyms to fill the stockings of all your friends, family and climbing cohorts!

Without further ado, here are some very easy, very cool gifts that you can buy to stuff those stockings. The best part of all, everything listed below can be had for under $30. Perfect.

There you have it! Consider those stockings stuffed, all courtesy of Touchstone Climbing!

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Friday, December 5, 2008
  Climbing Clip of the Week: Manaslu Expedition
Just this Monday I mentioned how one of our very own members, Tom McMillan recently returned from an epic climb of Manaslu in Nepal. The pictures really got me excited, really got me jealous and really made me want to see more of not only Nepal, but of Manaslu itself.

My jealousy and excitement leads to this week's Climbing Clip of the Week! Not only do we get to see more of Manaslu, we get to see an entire expedition, from start to finish in 6 full parts. I'm only posting part 1 here, but if you are interested and want to check out the whole saga, feel free!

This is also a call to arms, as it were, for all you readers of this fine blog. We want to feature more of YOU on our Climbing Clip of the Week! Let's use it as a forum to show off, to brag, to learn, and to highlight just how awesome Touchstone Climbers are! If you have videos, slideshows, or anything else of you and yours getting out there and climbing, send them in! Send us links, emails, or whatever you need to do to get featured on here!

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Thursday, December 4, 2008
  Evolv Shoe Demo's Next Week!
There might be some hardcore purists that don't need any fancy shoes or equipment to climb quickly and efficiently, but I my friends, am not one of them. I love climbing shoes, I love the grip it gives, I love the comfort, and I love the confidence. That said, I have some pretty awesome news for you all!

This coming week, at each Touchstone Climbing Gym will host a Demo Day for Evolv Sports, makers of some of the finest climbing shoes in the biz. The demo's will go from 6-8PM each night, and each night they'll be at a different gym. This is a chance for anyone to try on shoes from Evolv to see which ones they like, which size they should get, or which style fits best. I'm not sure what all shoes they are bringing, but this is an event you should not miss. Keep in mind one important thing: ANY shoe you want, we can special order it for you, regardless if we carry it on a regular basis or not.

At any rate, here is the schedule, don't miss out at your local gym!

All Demo's are from 6-8PM

Monday, December 8 - Great Western Power Co.
Tuesday, December 9 - Sacramento Pipeworks
Wednesday, December 10 - Berkeley IronWorks
Thursday, December 11 - Diablo Rock Gym
Friday, December 12 - Mission Cliffs

Update: Evolv Sports decided to give us a great deal to offer our members! How does 15% off ANY Evolv Shoes purchased the night of the demo sound?! Yes, that includes special orders! Don't miss out on this great deal!

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008
  Top 10 Best U.S. Rock Climbs
It doesn't matter how often you climb, how many days a week you manage to make it into one of our gyms, how many indoor ascents you've completed...the fact is, Eventually you're going to want to challenge a real rock, outside, in the elements. That said, where do you go?!

I just found a pretty awesome article that goes over the 10 best rock climbs in the entire United States. It doesn't matter where you are, you're not too far from some amazing climbing. Without further ado, here, according to MSNBC, are 10 of the best rock climbs in the USA!

  1. The Nose - Yosemite National Park, CA.
  2. The Naked Edge - Eldorado Canyon, CO.
  3. Casual Route - Rocky Mountain National Park, CO.
  4. Royal Arches - Yosemite National Park, CA.
  5. East Face of Monkey Face - Smith Rock, OR.
  6. Skyline - City of Rocks, ID.
  7. Amazon Woman - Quartz Mountain, OK.
  8. East Face of Keeler Needle - CA.
  9. East Face Direct Route - First Flatiron, CO.
  10. Becky Route/Fine Line - Elephant's Perch, ID.
Climbed any of these? Have photos to prove it? Stories? Send them in! We'd love to hear about, talk about, and show off what our Touchstone Climbers have been up to! Get on it!

(Image via smif on Flickr)
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008
  A SpinnerBlast Reminder: 5 Days Left!

This little note goes out to any and all of you that are subscribers to the amazingly helpful and cool newsletter, SpinnerBlast. If you're not, you should be. At any rate, December 2008 officially started yesterday, and as such, all riders, cyclists, climbers and members that want to be highlighted in the Holiday Edition of SpinnerBlast this year, better get a move on!

As you know, around this time of year almost all major magazines and newsletters do a "year end" recap special edition before the final transformation into the next year begins. SpinnerBlast is no exception and this year, they want to do something pretty awesome: Draw attention to the 2008 accomplishments of people in the program and in and around the entire Berkeley Ironworks community. How cool is that? So, you officially have until December 7th, this coming Sunday, to get your information and photos into Wendy. Seriously, tell us what you did this year, running, cycling, climbing or any other area, and feel free to tell us your goals for 2009. Here's what they're looking for, from you guys:
"Please send Wendy the details of something you did this past year, of which you're especially proud, accompanied by a photo. It can be a race you trained for, on your bike or legs, in which you met or exceeded a goal. Or, a series of events that gave structure to your year. Or, a "first:" a first century or double century, first time on the Black Sheep Adventures trip, a PR (personal record), in a race or event. In 2008, we launched a running club in addition to our cycling club. And our TC racing teams witnessed their own growth and successes, both collective and individual. We have plenty to crow about! Don't be shy. Send in the info even if you're reticent to brag about yourself. Wendy will contact you if additional information is needed, then construct an end of the year issue that highlights what we've done in 2008."
There you have it! Get on it and see yourself in the Year End Issue!

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Monday, December 1, 2008
  Photos from Nepal - Climbing Mecca
If you have any interest whatsoever in climbing, there is a pretty good chance that for you, the absolute climbing mecca of this world is in and around Nepal. With the tallest mountains in the entire world, and the greatest challenges required to get on top of them, Nepal is packed with more climbing fantasy than just about anywhere else.

Turns out, one of Touchstone's very own members did more than just visit this climbing mecca, he actually climbed. Tom McMillan recently took a trip to Nepal to climb the famous Manaslu, in October. He, Ang Dawa (Nawang Sherpa's younger brother) and a man named Pete Lardy from Colorado Springs took the expedition on and came back with some stunning photographs to prove it.

So, no matter what you find yourself doing this dreaded Monday-after-the-Holidays, you can at least escape to the mountains of Nepal in your browser for awhile, can't you? Head over and check out their full gallery! To learn more about Nawang Sherpa, and I fully reccommend this as well, head over to Friendship Beyond Borders. At any rate, amazing trip guys, keep trekking and when you do, send the photos back our way!

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