Touchstone Blog Archive
Sunday, February 28, 2010
  AscenDance Project: Beyond Gravity
Ryan Gaunt, Isabel von Rittberg, Susan Owen, and Elena Cochran are a few members of Berkeley Ironworks with strong backgrounds in dance. They are in a local dance group called AscnDance and will be having a performance beginning March 5.

AscenDance Project is a new company founded in January of 2006 by German born performance artist and rock climber Isabel von Rittberg to create work that explores the aesthetics of climbing. Movement on a vertical stage, without the use of ropes, has a beauty and grace enhanced by the effects of gravity on the dancer and his/her ability to overcome.

AscenDance Project presents their first home season at the Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Avenue in Berkeley this spring in a series of performances beginning on March 5, 2010. Andy Schmeder, Lara Mercurio, Elena Cochran, Martha Hazel, Susan Owen, Ryan Gaunt and Isabel von Rittberg will be performing Beyond Gravity March 5, 6, 12 & 13 at 8 PM and March 14 at 3 PM.

General Admission: $25 ($20 Sunday only), Students and Seniors: $20, Kids under 12: $10. Tickets on sale at For information contact: or call 510-225-8844

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010
  Climbing in the Olympics
The events of the winter Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia, are extraordinarily close to the climbing town of Squamish. This has prompted many climbers to wonder why rock climbing is not currently an Olympic sport.

Well on February 12, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognised the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) during its Pleanary Session in Vancouver, Canada. After a first provisional IOC recognition in 2007, the IFSC has passed the two-year "observation period", meaning that the road to the Olympics is now open.

The IFSC President Marco Scolaris explains in an interview from Vancouver, much depends on the choices and objectives which sport climbing will take and reach. Beginning with the next great global event, the World Championship scheduled to take place in Arco in 2011. website. Planet Mountain offers a more extensive rdiscussion as well as an interview with IFSC President Marco Scolaris on their website.

Adam Onrada, a sport climber with a future in the 2020 Olympics

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  Interview With An Athlete: Alex Honnold on Climbing with No Fear
Alex Honnold, a 24 year old from Sacramento California, has become a big name in rock climbing in the past three years with numerous free ascents of El Capitan, and ropeless climbs on the Regular Northwest Face of Halfdome (5.12) as well as Zion's Moonlight Buttress (5.12d). He began climbing at the gyms in Sacramento and Sacramento Pipeworks was one of his first sponsors. He still "loves" Pipeworks and gets in the gym from time to time, especially now that his mother has started climbing there as well. Honnold took some time out of his latest adventure- bouldering in Bishop's Buttermilks, to answer a few question about training for El Cap free climbing and how to keep a solid head through dangerous situations.

Alex Honnold Ropeless on The Rostrum (5.11c)

What's your training like? How do you train for El Capitan free routes?

My training is a little bit haphazard, I'm not really sure what the best way to train is. But I try different things.

I used to climb in the gym a lot more, when I was actually living in Sacramento. I would do 4x4s or multiple routes back to back, just random endurance training like that. I trained for Freerider [my first El Cap route] by doing 20 routes a night at the gym. Mostly 12s with a few 13s, and maybe a few 11s as I got totally worked. I guess it worked out well enough.

But honestly, I don't really know what I'm doing. I just like to climb a whole lot.

What are you doing these days?

Bishop has been fun this winter. I'm trying to build some power, in the hope that I won't always fall off of the hard moves on routes. I think I'm naturally more of an endurance climber, so I guess I'm just trying to train my weakness.

But after about 6 weeks of bouldering I'm starting to get kind of into it. It's so fun and chill. Super mellow. I see why so many people love to boulder. But I'm still fantasizing about walls. . .

You've soloed Yosemite's Regular Northwest Face of Halfdome (VI 5.12), Zion's Moonlight Buttress (V 5.12+) and climbed some serious highballs like the Buttermilks' Ambrosia and the Full Evilotioun. How do you manage your fear?

I don't think it's so much about managing my fear, as not getting fearful to begin with. With routes like Ambrosia and long solos you deal with all the uncertainty and fear before you start. You manage all that stuff on the ground. Then when you climb the route it's already taken care of. So while you're climbing, you don't get scared.

But sometimes when I'm onsight soloing or even just doing stuff on gear I'll get gripped for whatever reason. Then I just do what everybody else does, take some deep breaths and try to keep it together.

Alex topping out Ambrosia, a v10 highball or 5.14 freesolo

What can people do to climb better through heady situations?

I think the book The Rock Warriors way gives a lot of good advice on keeping your head together. One of the really useful things I think was to approach things mindfully. As in to be fully aware of what you're doing and why. So if something is dangerous, you evaluate it and decide whether or not you actually want to proceed. And if it seems to dangerous, you retreat with no doubts.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010
  Royal Robbins: To Be Brave
Legendary Yosemite climbing pioneer, Royal Robbins will be coming to the Bay area March 3, 4, 29 and April 27. Robbins will be discussing the first in his autobiographical series: To Be Brave.

Below is a description of the event, which will be an exciting opportunity to hear one of the world's greatest climbers to speak:


At 75, Robbins Recounts His Life of Daring Adventure

San Francisco, CA – February 19, 2010 – At age 75, Royal Robbins, one of America’s most leading climbing figures of the Golden Age of Yosemite Climbing, still inspires with his bold vision of what makes for truly great climbing. On March 3, 4, 29 and April 27, Robbins will regale outdoor enthusiasts with tales from his adventurous life during “An Evening With Climbing Legend Royal Robbins” at four REI stores in the Bay Area.

Robbins will share stories and images from his many daring exploits including the world’s first ascent of Yosemite’s famous Half Dome Face in 1957, and his historic climbs on El Capitan and the Leaning Tower. It was on these magnificent granite towers that Robbins invented his own form of rock climbing. His technique was environmentally friendly, personally challenging and today would be described as an ‘extreme sport’. The rock faces he climbed were preserved and not scarred by pitons and bolts that were typically used by climbers. Robbins forever changed the ethic of climbing worldwide.

Less known but equally remarkable, Robbins transferred his skills from climber to adventure kayaker, making first descents of the headwaters of major California rivers, such as the San Joaquin, the Kern, and the Kings. Following the program, Royal will sign copies of his new autobiography, To Be Brave, My Life: Volume One, published by Pink Moment Press, September 2009. This is a rare chance to meet and be inspired by one of America’s most extraordinary adventurers.

Dates and venues:
7 pm–8:30 pm, Wednesday, March 3 at REI San Carlos
7 pm–8:30 pm, Thursday, March 4 at REI Brentwood
7 pm–8:30 pm, Monday, March 29 at REI Saratoga
7 pm–8:30 pm, Tuesday, April 27 at REI Berkeley
REI Berkeley: 1338 San Pablo Avenue 94702; (510) 527-4140

REI Brentwood: The Streets of Brentwood Shopping Center, 2475 Sand Creek Road,
Suite 100, 94513; (925) 516-3540

REI San Carlos: 1119 Industrial Road, Suite A, 94070; (650) 508-2330

REI Saratoga: 400 El Paseo de Saratoga, San Jose 95130; (408) 871-8765

Please note: Registration is optional for REI’s free in-store presentations. If you register, you will receive an email reminder and any program updates. Seating is limited and is first-come, first-served.


If you would like more information, or to schedule an interview with Royal Robbins, call

Susie Bennitt at 626-226-6392 or email Susie at

"Royal Robbins writes with the same unflinching courage that made him a climbing legend." - Malcolm Maroglin Founder and Publisher of HeyDey Books

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Monday, February 22, 2010
  Tights Tuesday: Take 2

Prana Manpris, sleeveless t-shirts, and other trends in climbing fashion come and go. But one fashion fad will stay forever- LYCRA. This trend has been with the sport since its introduction in the late 80s- tights. Spandex, lycra, long underwear, and incredibly tight hipster jeans have become a staple of climbing fashion. In honor of tights, Todd "The Bod" Bartlow, Sebastien, Vitaly and other members of Berkeley Ironworks will be rocking their best tights on Tuesday night from 6pm til close. If you need help, this is a great site find tights. Come join this "tight" crew in a fun filled evening of bouldering and sport climbing.

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Friday, February 19, 2010
  Supertopo Video Reviews
Marin County Rock climber, and Touchstone member, Chris McNamara began Supertopo a number of years ago. He wanted to make better topos for Yosemite rock climbs. His guide books have expanded to including a number of Yosemite Wall books, boulders, and free climbs. Recently, he began to review climbing gear and posting the videos on Youtube. He includes reviews of everything from buying a harness to belay devices.

To see a full list of his reviews checkout his Youtube site-Supertopo Video Review and his other products reviews

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Thursday, February 18, 2010
  Diablo Rock Gym- TRS 4

This Friday, February 19, from 5-10 pm. The second of the Touchstone Rope Series 4th Competition will be held at Diablo Rock Gym. There will be free pizza, beer, and t-shirts for competitors. The events are always a great time to hang out, climb hard, and enjoy a friendly competitive atmosphere.

It is once again time to get out your rope, tie in and climb. After a year off, Touchstone Climbing is thrilled to bring back the Touchstone Roped Series for its fourth year. This will be a series of five Roped Climbing comps that will be held on Friday evenings, one at each of the five Touchstone locations. All events will include a red point roped comp as well as refreshments, games and prizes. Points will be awarded for each comp with overall winners being announced at the end of the final comp. Climbers are responsible for bring their own belayers.

You can see pictures from last season's TRS now in our online photo gallery.

This will be a self-scoring competition with points being standardized for each comp. This means that a 5.11a route at Mission Cliffs will be given the same points as a 5.11a route at Pipeworks. Scoring will follow the format below:

Each route will be broken down into three scores. The highest score is given for completing a route with no falls. However, points will also be awarded for reaching either of the two way-points on the route. A competitor's final score for a given comp is the total of their three best routes. You will not receive points for the same route twice.

At the end of the series, your final score will be calculated from your 3 highest scoring comps. Once the season starts you will be able to see your current standings online.

For more information about the comp check out the comp page.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010
  Dominating the Boulders: Paul Barraza Sends Yosemite Testpiece
Berkeley Ironworks manager, Paul Barraza has worked with Touchstone Climbing gyms since 2001. Despite long hours making sure one the busiest Bay Area climbing gyms runs smoothly, the 36 year old has managed to crush many difficult boulder problems in the Sierras. Every weekend with an incredible degree of consistency, Paul drives to Yosemite, where he sends projects and develops new boulder problems. His impressive tick list includes Yabo Roof (V12), Shadow Warrior (V12), the immense Diesel Power (v10), and countless other problems. In's 35+ ranking, Paul is number 1 in the United States. In the first few weeks of February, Paul managed to put down a long time project- Dominated a V13 in Yosemite's Camp 4 Boulders. He took a moment out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for the Touchstone Blog about his life and his climbing.

How long have you been climbing for? How did you get into climbing?

I loved to scramble around in the mountains as a kid, but I didn't start climbing until I discovered the climb wall at Oregon State University 17 years ago. After my first trip to that tiny gym, I was hooked. Every weekend my friends and I would go out to Smith Rock and scare ourselves silly on the technical routes there. It was a good place to learn because there were tons of great routes of every grade and you learned to use your feet.

How do you balance a full time job, a family life, and still manage to climb hard?
It's not hard when you like all three! As long as you can climb consistently and train in a semi-scientific way, you can always make progress. Saying that, I have had long stretches where I haven't improved, but you just have to ride those out as well. The nice thing about climbing is that while you might not be improving - you're still having fun!

Can you describe your training a little. How does your periodization schedule work?

Basically I boulder/train two nights during the week and try to boulder 2 days outside on the weekends. During the year I will do an training cycle (where I do intense weight training) in the late summer to get ready for the fall season and a second cycle around this time of year to get ready for the spring season. Since it is too hot to boulder in the summer, I take it easy to rest up the muscles and tendons a bit, but I still climb and hit the gym consistently so I don't lose that base level of fitness.

Dominated [v13] from Paul B on Vimeo.

Here's Paul's ascent of Dominated captured on his iPhone.

How long have you been trying Dominator? What was your process of sending such a difficult project? What's next?

I spent about 5 years working the Dominator when the conditions were good. I joked with friends that I was going to write a book called, "101 ways to fail on the Dominator" because I had tried every conceivable method and nothing ever worked out. There wasn't much to the process besides being psyched and flogging the heck out of it with a delusional level of devotion. I think I just wore down the boulder problem to the point where it felt sorry for me, if that is possible. It did help to watch Tim Doyle and Randy Puro (both of whom have done the Dominator) get on it one day to actually see the subtleties in their beta so I could see what I had to do with my body. What's next? More bouldering of course!

Paul is a member of the highly active Beta Base crew, who have established a slew of Yosemite boulders. Paul has also done some excellent work developing a solid training program, which can be read about at his blog. Training 4 Climbing.

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  The Game- Clip of Daniel Woods New V16
Daniel Woods, a Colorado boulderer, just completed what may be the hardest boulder problem in the world. after years of work on a small roadside boulder in Boulder Colorado, Woods put the moves together and established The Game, rating the problem V16.

Daniel had this to say, "I called this problem The Game, because for me the climb was a game I had to play, I had to click into game mode, and really train myself for these moves. I had to grow mentally strong and also physically strong to be able to put it together. I call it the game, because I played the game and I ended up winning the game so game over."

Cedar Wright
in conjunction with the North Face made a little preview of Daniel climbing the problem.

The Game, World's Hardest Boulder Problem? from Cedar Wright on Vimeo.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010
  Yosemite Slab Climbing
The boulders in Yosemite have some classic slab problems. Included in the footwork circuit are Initial Friction (V1), Elegant Gypsy (V7), Blue Suede Shoes (V5), and Red Suede Shoes (v5) at the Camp 4 boulders, Full Sail (V7) at the Cathedral Boulders, Avocado (V9/10) at the Curry Boulders. One of the harder and more classic lines is Kumba (V8) in the boulders above King Cobra. Most of the crowds are at the Buttermilks and Tablelands of Bishop this weekend. The boulders behind Camp 4 are dry and sticky as ever. Blue Suede Shoes "feels like 5.10" according to an El Portal Local. For those that can hike the "easy" slab of Blue Suede Shoes- they can work on the harder slab of Kumba. Below is a video of Bay Area Hardman boulderer and avid first ascentionist Scott Chandler hiking the difficult moves while casually commenting on the weather.

Kumba from scott chandler on Vimeo.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010
  Three Cups of Tea: Dan Mazur

Dan Mazur is known for leading Greg Mortenson’s “Three Cups of Tea” expedition, featured in the bestselling book. Mazur is also known for the Mount Everest rescue of Lincoln Hall, an Australian climber. Hall had been left for dead and Mazur with fellow climbers abandoned the summit to save Hall’s life. The story was featured in the Chronicle, on NBC Today Show and NBC Dateline with Matt Lauer.

Dan will give an exciting interactive photo-film presentation in San Francisco at 7 pm Feb. 18th at The Downtown North Face Store, 180 Post St, San Francisco, CA, 94105.

The event is free & open to the public. Donations are optional but encouraged with all proceeds benefiting the

There will be a chance to “meet and greet” Dan at 6:30 at the North Face Store plus extra time to ask questions, meet Dan and other community members during and after the presentation, including a “Nepal-Tibet Happy Hour” after the show. So please come on out for a fun and intriguing evening and bring a friend.

This talk supports the Mount Everest Foundation to help local low-incomefamilies living near Everest help themselves with education, health, environment, and culture preservation. Current project: construction of a high school serving 300 girls and boys.

For more information see the flyer at

Join Dan Mazur and support this fun event and be ready for an engaging and exciting evening.

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Monday, February 8, 2010
  Ironworks Climbers on Red Rocks Trip: Beluah's Book
In early January, Ironworks climbers Sarah Newman and Maria Schriver headed out to Red Rocks for a beautiful three day weekend. They split their time between the sport climbs of the Gallery and the long trad climbs of the canyons.

Sarah and Maria getting ready to send some Gallery sport climbs

Maria wrote about their trip saying, "We spent Friday and Sunday sport climbing at The Gallery, a south-facing sport crag where routes range from 5.8 to 5.13. It was a little cool when it was cloudy, but quite warm in the sun. The crag attracts a lot of people, but with such a variety of routes and climbers, we didn’t spend much time waiting. Sarah pushed her sport leading, redpointing 5.10’s and topping out A Day in the Life, 5.11b. I spent some time working Yaak Crack, 5.11d, which is mostly not crack climbing, but big moves on big, overhanging holds. It’s a high quality route, and someone was on it most of both days. I got close to a redpoint, so it’s definitely a good reason to go back!"

Maria on Yaak Crack 5.11c/d

Sarah climbing across the sandstone of Red Rocks

On Saturday, Lukasz Fidkowski joined the two trad climbers for an ascent of Beluah's Book, a three pitch 5.9 route in Oak Creek Canyon on the Solar Slab Wall.

Sarah belaying Lukasz up on Beluah's Book

Maria wrote about their ascent, "The crux is the second pitch, a few chimney moves followed by a corner with a thin hands-sized crack. The corner was classic, the chimney was physical and really fun, and we got enough sun not to be cold at the belay."

Lukasz all racked up and fired up on Beluah's Book

Maria and Lukasz took all the photos.

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  Chocolate Milk- The Best Recovery Drink
After periods of intense workouts- like a Crossfit session at GWPC, a few hours of bouldering in the wave at Ironworks, or an intense yoga work out at Mission Cliffs, the body needs nutrients to replenish spent glycogen stores and build muscle.

While there are many options out there for post-workout nutrition, one of the best, and simplest, is Chocolate Milk. Many people were unaware of the benefits of the drink until Michael Phelps drew attention to the beverage at the 2004 Olympics, when he was seen drinking chocolate drinks after swims. Several different medical studies have been conducted on the benefits of chocolate milk including the Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism back in February 2008.

Chocolate milk has been discovered to work just as well as regular sports drinks, most notably, like Gatorade when consumed after exercise. It works best for re-hydrating the body and helping to rebuild muscle that was depleted of energy during a workout.
Many magazines such as Runner’s World and Fitness have done articles employing the benefits of chocolate milk after exercise. Based on studies done by Dr. Joel Stager that conducted research on bicyclists who drank Gatorade and chocolate milk after exhausting their muscles, shows that those who drank chocolate milk were able to recover quickly and last just as long while bicycling to those who had Gatorade.

Chocolate milk is packed with carbohydrates and protein, something that depleted muscles need to recover. When you exercise you contract your muscles to an extent and many endurance athletes may exhaust their muscles and this is why restoring and hydrating your body is extremely important. Water is simply not enough when it comes to refueling and that is where chocolate milk takes a step over sports drinks. Though sports drinks contain an amount of water, they lack natural protein and carbohydrates that are naturally occurring in milk. And with Vitamins A and D plus calcium provided through milk, it helps in bone strengthening and building muscle.

A 2007 British study found that regular milk also helped restore fluid levels in the body post-exercise in the heat. Milk has the right amount of carbohydrates and protein that the body needs in order to recover tired muscles and for quicker results. Water is not substantial enough to provide these essential nutrients and that is why many sports doctors and nutritionists are now recommending chocolate milk as a recovery drink over regular sports drink or water.

The high amount of water contained in chocolate milk is one of the main reasons why it’s chosen over regular water because of the extra vitamins and protein contained in it that replenishes the body’s water content quicker that was lost as sweat during exercise. Chocolate milk also contains small amounts of sugar and sodium allowing the body to stabilize quicker as it allows them to retain water and gain energy which is an essential process during recovery.

When comparing water and sports drinks it becomes clear which is best for you. Of course water does the ultimate process of replenishing fluids after sweat loss, but unfortunately that’s all it does. Water does not include any added vitamins or minerals unless it’s specially fortified with these substances. Energy drinks on the other hand provide a way to replenish and balance electrolytes in the body.

As an affordable option to expensive replenishment drinks, chocolate milk has also been made a staple in the diet of many Yosemite diets. On a severe budget one summer, Ironworks climber and road warrior, James Lucas spent three months drinking only chocolate milk. He crushed that season.

Read more about chocoloate milk at Chocolate Milk.Com and Chocolate Milk as a recovery drink.

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Friday, February 5, 2010
  Cuz Crushes: Touchstone Routesetter Hikes Bishop Testpieces
Hailing from Charlotte NC, Cuz, Brian Hedrick, moved to the bay area with the intentions of working for three weeks on a boat. Instead of becoming a mariner, Cuz joined the Touchstone Route setting team, taking his experience as a setter at Charlotte's Inner Peaks to a larger arena. All the time climbing and training in the gym has paid off for Cuz who has had a banner Bishop season this year, completing Buttermilker Stand (V12), The Mystery (V12), Haroun and the Sea of Stories(V11/12), Michael Caine SDS (V12), flashing Acid Wash (v10), and crushing a number of other double digit problems. The 23 year old strong man took some time off from his hectic schedule of destroying the boulders to answer a few questions.

Cuz crushing Haroun and the Sea of Stories (v12)

How did you start climbing?

I've been climbing for going on 11 years. I started out at a small climbing gym in NC called Inner Peaks. My first trip into the gym was an end of the year Team Party for my baseball team. After the first day of climbing, My dad got my little brother and I a membership.

Where did you get the nickname Cuz?

It's a terrible story....

As with any job, especially with one with as much ego associated it as route setter, there is a significant harassment period for newcomers. A bit of innocent heckling is to be expected. I was no exception. For the first month, the rest of the crew was trying to come up with a good insignia for me instead of just my initials, BH.

One day while setting the Yosemite Wall at Mission Cliffs, a fellow route setter Dave Wallach decided to get stuck on the idea that EVERYONE from the South calls each other Cuz. He was persistent while using a terrible interpretation of the vernaculars of the South. The rest of the crew got into it, naturally. It stuck and the rest is history. Now it's rare for anyone to even know my real name!

How did you get so strong?

The right application of motivation is the key to climbing harder in my opinion. I've never worked on finger strength and have only trained my core. Progressing through climbing is more about the experience you obtain from many ascents of all grades. You will never lose experience from climbing a problem or a route just because it's not the grade you think you can climb. Be motivated for the number but more importantly, inspired by the line.

What are you climbing goals?

My climbing goals for the year are to climb consistent V13 and to climb at least one V14. I want to rope climb 5.14b or harder and I want to up my trad climbing abilities and get a few ascents of both El Cap and Half Dome. I want to try and free Half Dome's Regular Route as well.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010
  Options For Youth Success at Pipeworks
After a years worth of regular monthly visits to Sacramento Pipeworks, Options For Youth, a program for at-risk youth saw some amazing results. Says Brad Astin, Outdoor Experience Supervisor: "After crunching some numbers following our Winter Graduation, we found that the Outdoor Experience Program had a 95% retention rate among students and graduated 5 of its participants already. The retention rate means that of the 20 "at-risk" students who participated in the program, only 1 had dropped out of school as of 12/18/09. That number is far superior to our overall population and speaks volumes to the value of the experiences our students had in the program. We are very excited to get it going again!"
Congratulations, Brad. We at Pipeworks are looking forward to again playing a small part in the success of all the students in the Outdoor Experience program!

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010
  Youth Climbing- Zero Gravity
For the fifth consecutive year, the Touchstone Zero Gravity Team were the Northern CA Regional champions at the USAC Northern CA ABS11 Regional Championships at City Beach, Fremont, CA on January 16, 2010. Facing 85 other competitors from ages 8-19, Eric Sanchez, Joshua Levin, Sera Busse and Nicholas Bradley managed to rise above the heavy competition to become regional champions.

A week later at the USAC SCS Adult National Championshipsin Salt Lake City, Team Zero Gravity had another outstanding performance. Eric Sanchez was the

More information about USA Climbing can be found at their website.

Next up are the ABS 11 National Championships in Alexandria, Virginia,
February 12-14, 2010.

For those between the ages of 11-18, who want to take their climbing to the next level, and improve their strength, technique, and mental focus, there will be an informational meeting Tuesday February 23 at 7:30 pm at Diablo Rock Gym. Scot Jenerik, coach of Zero Gravity and 5 IFSC World Youth Championships competitors, and North Face sponsored athlete and 5.14 rock climber, Scott Cory will be holding a meeting for another youth team in the bay area.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010
  Alison's Abs & Core Class
Mission Cliffs has just added another Abs + Core class on Wednesday mornings beginning Feb. 3rd from 7:30am - 8:30am.

Alison is a lifelong athlete and avid climber who first discovered Pilates in 2006 when a series of back injuries left her in pain and unable to participate fully in the activities she loved. Lo and behold, the practice of Pilates helped her to strengthen and stabilize her core, which led to a happier life and, as an added benefit, a much improved climbing ability. Desiring to spread this discovery to her peers, Alison completed her teacher training in 2008 at the EHS Pilates Institute where she trained with several outstanding instructors, including Ellie Herman. Alison believes strongly in the benefits of Pilates and loves to challenge students of all levels to increase their overall strength and level of fitness. Her classes draw on Pilates concepts, and emphasize core strength, balance and flexibility.

Core the Pilates Way is a challenging and fast-paced core conditioning class. This hour of exercise draws inspiration from the Pilates Method and will not only strengthen the core muscle groups of your body, but will also improve your balance and flexibility on the climbing wall and in your other athletic pursuits. The class combines high numbers of reps with very little rest between exercises to ensure that you will sweat and work every minute! Many exercises include modifications for those who are struggling, or those who want an increased challenge, so everyone is welcome, no matter what your level of fitness. You will notice a positive difference in your core strength if you attend consistently for a couple of months!

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  Touchstone Rope Series GWPC Video
Becky Trafecanty along with John Vallejo and other members of the Touchstone staff made a great video of the Touchstone Rope Series Comp in Oakland's Great Western Power Company. Check out Her awesome video.

TRS GWPC 2010 from Becky Trafecanty on Vimeo.

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