Lover's Leap Clean-up
On June 5, CRAGS (Climbing Resources Advocates for Greater Sacramento) will be assisting the park services with preparing Lovers Leap for the new climbing season! CRAGS chairman Brian Poulsen said, “Adopt a Crag is the Access Fund’s signature stewardship program. It exists to unite local climbing communities in partnerships with land managers to conserve local climbing areas. Adopt-a-Crag events typically include activities such as litter clean-ups, trail construction and restoration, erosion control, and invasive weed removal.
These events epitomize climber conservation at the local level, showing landowners and land managers that climbers truly care about the places they recreate. This display of stewardship not only gives back to the land, but is paramount to keeping climbing areas open by showing decision makers the passion that climbers have for their climbing areas.
Adopt a Crag’s continued growth and success over the years is testament to the program’s ability to unite climbers around land conservation and stewardship of our climbing areas.” Join us by meeting at 8am at Pipeworks Climbing And Fitness (116 N. 16th St., Sacramento) to carpool. We look forward to seeing you!
Boxing At Diablo Rock Gym
Beginning in June, Diablo Rock Gym will be offering an adult boxing class on Wednesdays at 8:00 pm and Fridays at 7:30 pm. Additionally, there will be a Teen Program Mondays through Fridays from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Classes are taught by Mark Aranzamendez,who is licensed and registered with the USA Boxing Organization and has been coaching for over twelve years. Mark is the former light weight European Army Champion and is the Chief Official for Northern California with the USA Boxing Organization.
Mark described the classes saying, "The adult boxing class is a fun, fast tempo class that will give you an amazing cardio workout. Students will learn all of the fundamentals including stances, movement, and punching techniques. A heavy emphasis is placed on conditioning drills used to train professional, world class fighters. Our aim is to help you attain a Boxer's physique and stamina. "
"Teen boxing will emphasize the fundamentals in boxing, including stances, movement, punching techniques, defensive tactics and ring strategy, while incorporating more advanced training drills involving pad training, partner pairing drills, heavy bag work and conditioning skills. The skills taught in this class will allow students to build a solid foundation for competition. Competitions are not required."
We will also be offering a Youth Boxing Camp the last week of June.
Carnaval Returns to San Francisco: Mission Cliffs Closed for Festivites
It's that time of year again to enjoy SF Carnaval. Please note that Mission Cliffs is located in the heart of the festivities and we will be affected by the street closures for this Memorial Day weekend event.
Harrison Street and surrounding cross streets will be closed between 16th and 22nd commencing on Friday, May 28th at 10pm. Parking will be extremely limited.
Mission Cliffs will be closed on Sunday, May 30th and will reopen on Monday, May 31st at 9am - 7pm. Holiday rates and climbing class schedule will apply.
GWPC Crew Crushes in Sonora
Earlier this week, a car full of Great Western Power Company employees headed out to Sonora's Gold Wall. The overhanging basalt of the Sierra's Foothills makes a perfect place to clip bolts.
The group arrived at the crag and set up to hang. John checked out the wall of 5.10- 5.12 sport climbs.
The season for the Gold wall is usually spring and fall. The left side of the crag gets wet in the winter and the climbing can seep a little. At times, the nearby Grotto can stay dry. The sun started to come around soon, and Lyn put it well- "It was hot."
Lyn trying to beat the heat on Check Engine Light- 12a
The sun beats down on the cliff- part of the reason why Ryan pulled off his shirt, flexed, and had to grunt his way up the routes. Other climbers at the crag even mentioned it. "Yeah, the Oakland gym manager was there with some kid with blonde hair. He made the craziest noises" said sport climber Dan Foreng about the group. "They were getting after it."
Ryan Moon saving his sending power and doing a little belay duty.
Julie Marmor showed her dedication, destroying her tips but having a blast. Julie said a couple of things about the trip, "I thought the trip was great! I was really happy about being able to do such long climbs. I am a rope climber, so the best challenges for me are the really long ones. Plus! I finally got to do my first outdoor sport climb! It went great! Initially, I was worried that there wouldn't be a climb in my range/comfort zone to lead, but there was this perfect 10B. I managed my way up, with the support of my awesome coworkers, of course.
Lyn and Ryan conquered these crazy 11s and 12s while I sat back took a bunch of pictures. Oh! And while I was belaying John on a sport climb, a HUGE bug started climbing up my leg and trying to crawl under my pants. I yelled up to John that he was damn lucky that I am not one of those girls who freak out because of bugs. I mean, that thing was crazy big and all weird looking."
The group ticked off a few of the classic climbs at the cliff and then made the two hour drive back to Oakland. Leaving a few more routes for another trip to see the beautiful view of Table Mountain.
Special Olympics Fundraiser
SAN FRANCISCO, Thursday, May 20, 2010 — If you’re an adrenaline junkie and you’re looking for a rush, you have a chance to step off the roof of a 38-story building and live to tell about it.
The Grand Hyatt in San Francisco will host a fundraising rappelling event for Special Olympics Northern California on July 24. As many as 100 people will make their way down the east side of the building on two ropes. Those who climb down the hotel wall will be gathering pledges from donors leading up to the event. Special Olympics is hoping to raise as much as $150,000 from the event. Long-time supporter Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery is the presenting sponsor.
“We’re excited about offering a new experience while raising much-needed funds for our athletes,” said Rick Collett, CEO and President of Special Olympics Northern California. “Our athletes have a lot of courage and take risks everyday when they try to do something thought to be impossible by most. Likewise, this event will take a lot of courage for anyone who decides to rappel 400 feet in the middle of San Francisco.”
Tesoro’s Production Manager Marty Hawkins and Special Olympics Board member agreed. “Special Olympics athletes teach us about courage every day. I’m inspired by their accomplishments, and I’ll go over the edge to prove it.”
“I’m going to go over the top for a great cause,” added David Nadelman, General Manager of the Grand Hyatt. “I want to support all those athletes who try hard and prove there’s nothing they can’t do when they try. If they can do that everyday, certainly I can do this once and go over the edge for the athletes.”
Already 50 people have signed up, including two Special Olympics athletes. All participants must be in good health and weigh no less than 110 pounds and no more than 300 pounds. The rappelling will be supervised by Over the Edge, a Nova Scotia company that has organized dozens of rappelling events all over North America.
Over the Edge for Special Olympics is a day-long event, which runs from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt. Family, friends and spectators are invited to come down and support participants. All funds raised will go directly toward providing training opportunities, equipment, uniforms and practice venues for some 14,000 Special Olympics athletes across Northern California.
About Special Olympics Northern California Special Olympics Northern California is a free year-round sports training and competition program for children and adults with developmental disabilities. About 14,000 athletes compete in over 170 competitions throughout the region in 12 sports. This gives them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community Financial support comes almost exclusively from individuals, organizations, corporations, and foundations. Find out how you can be a fan and visit www.SONC.org.
The fundraiser is looking for fifty rope volunteers who want to participate in this event. Below is the contact information for the two coordinators in charge. CONTACTS: Kirsten Cherry, Special Olympics (925) 944-8801 ext. 220 Cell: (925) 818-0217 email@example.com
Ken Dami Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery (925) 260-0022 Kenneth.firstname.lastname@example.org
Indoor Rock Climbing Video
The Lowell Brother's BigUp Production produced a sweet video of some indoor rock climbing. Big UP had filmed segments on gym training and climbing competitions for their movies, and for years, Josh Lowsell had wanted to make “something really stylized and careful about indoor climbing.”
“There are a lot of people now who only climb indoors. To them, climbing is climbing in a gym,” he [Josh Lowell] says. “It’s surprising that no one’s put the effort in yet to make it look cool.”
After a couple of conversations with Hardy, Josh Lowell and Big UP were in. They got together a cast of four of the best young sport climbers on the competition circuit: besides Robinson and Vorotnikov, Big UP brought in national sport climbing champion Sasha DiGiulian, and 8-year-old competitive climber Ashima Shiraishi. Josh convinced Prana and several other climbing gear makers to sponsor the film, and Hardy offered up his gym for the shoot.
Zero Gravity Team Crushes
On May 15th, Touchstone Zero Gravity won the USA Climbing Northern California Regional Championship for the fifth straight year! The Youth team, coached by Scot Jenerik, managed to pull another outstanding performance. Using the Touchstone facilities as a training ground, the team had a number of great accomplishments at the competition.
Big congratulations to Touchstone Zero Gravity Regional Champions in Sport: Eric Sanchez, Joshua Levin, Cicada Jenerik, Sera Busse and Nick Bradley
Regional Champions in Speed: Eric Sanchez, Joshua Levin, Cicada Jenerik, Sam Stewart, and Gabii Strandberg.
And to our silver medalists: Jacquelyn Wu, Charlie Andrews, Ryan Riggins
And bronze medalists: Dylan Meyerhoffer, Michael Cohen, Will Roderick, Mel Roderick
And Rick Gentry, Andrew Dixon, Aidan Oneill, Mike Humphrey, Cameron Read and Marianna Florine in our Twenty Six Division 1 Championships bids.
The Division 1 Championships will be held in Portland, OR on June 12 and 13.
The Touchstone Climbing gyms have set up a new Twitter account. Read about the upcoming expansion at Mission Cliffs, recent accidents in Yosemite, and other important updates on the happenings at Touchstone.
Touchstone Staff and Members at Mortar Rock Thursday (tomorrow)
Come meet up with fellow members and some staff to climb in the Berkeley Hills. We'll start out at Indian Rock and move up to Mortar as the mood strikes. This Thursday (tomorrow) starting around 5:30PM. Bring a crashpad if you have it!
New Bishop Bouldering Guide
Just in time for Mule Days, the new Bishop Bouldering Guidebook by Bishop Hardman Wills Young hits the Touchstone Gyms this week. The expanded second edition of the book contains all the problems in the Buttermilks, Happy, Sads, and surrounding areas.
Check out Wolverine's Blurb about the book: The town of Bishop, in eastern California, is a boulderer's paradise, one of the few places in the world where a high concentration of world-class bouldering combines with magnificent scenery, convenient amenities, and near-perfect weather.
This revised and expanded second edition of Bishop Bouldering details almost 2000 problems at this internationally popular climbing destination, providing complete coverage of the Buttermilk Country (including outlying areas like Dales Camp and the Pollen Grains), The Happy and Sad Boulders, The Druid Stones, and Rock Creek and The Sherwin Plateau (north toward Mammoth).
Bishop Bouldering also showcases the region's bouldering with hundreds of color photographs, including stunning action shots from pro shooters like Dan Pattitucci, Jim Thornburg, Stephan Denys, Simon Carter, and Wills Young.
Stop by your local Touchstone Gym, get the new guidebook, and head out to the boulders to CRANK!
The evolution of the climbing guidebook is upon us. Wolverine Publishing, the company that has brought to you the brilliant Yosemite and Bishop guides has upped the ante. Coming out in May for all you Iphone geeks will be the interactive guide app to Red River Gorge in Kentucky. The app isn’t just an e-book but a fully interactive program that lets you search, filter and log your tick list. There are photos, maps and topos that will make find your way even easier, also it can use the GPS capabilities of the Iphone. There is a Lite version out now to tease you but expect more guides for other areas to be the future. Here is the link to the web page
Accidents in Yosemite
Rock climbing is inherently dangerous. The tags on all new gear, the inside of guide books, and any solid rock instructor will give you this advice. Despite the utmost care and attention to detail accidents do happen. In the past week, a woman lead climbing on middle cathedral took a forty foot fall and broke her back. A YOSAR (Yosemite Search and Rescue) team shot up the route, gave her first aid, and then helped her into a litter that was dropped from a helicopter. In more tragic news was the death on Serenity Crack above the Awhanee Hotel.
Brian Ellis, a LA Santa Monica area climber, began climbing on Serenity Crack to Sons of Yesterday around 7 am with his partner Japhy Dhungana. The pair finished the three pitch 5.10d Serenity Crack and headed up Sons of Yesterday 5.10a. After the last pitch, they began to descend. When they reached Sunset Ledge and the top of Serenity Crack, they had an unfortunate accident.
They were using Reepschnur method of rappelling in which a single fat line is tied to a skinnier pull cord. The climber descends the fat line, using the knot to keep it from sliding through the anchors. The skinnier line is then used as a pull cord. This system is ideal for rappelling with an autolocking belay device and for climbing in an alpine setting, where weight is criticial. A back-up knot along with a locking carabiner attached to the thin line is needed to ensure that the knot does not go through the anchors. Below is an illustration.
Japhy Dhungana gave an account of the accident. “Brian and I tested the knot atop Sunset Ledge and made sure that it wouldn't pass through the rings. When he started rappelling on the single line, he descended about 15 ft, locked off his (Trango) Cinch and started taking photos of the leader on the P3 crux of Serenity for about 10 minutes. While he was taking photos, he moved a bit to the left, and then to the right to check out the climber. Then, after having spent about 10 minutes taking photos, he went back to descending the single line. This is when I heard a pop and the sound of the rope whizzing. I tried to grab it with my bare hands and held on tightly as long as I could. My instinct even tried to wrap it around my waist for an emergency brake, but the rope just burned through my hand.”
The knot had passed through the rings causing Brian to fall three pitches to the ground. He was still concious when the first responder came to the scene. He died shortly after the fall. The first responder on the scene wrote a harrowing account of the accident which can be found on his blog site.
Yosemite Climbing Ranger Jesse McGahey spoke about the accident at the Climber’s Coffee in Camp 4 on Sunday morning. “The rap rings were the larger-opening-diameter aluminum ones, this explains how the knot was able to pull through the rings. The webbing and rap-rings were shock-loaded during the fall.” McGahey along with some Yosemite Search and Rescue Members replaced the anchor. “It is now a solid welded steel ring with an extra biner as a backup,” stated MacGahey
For further resources check out Black Diamonds’ tests on rappel knots in which they found that the Double Fisherman’s was the strongest knot for tying two ropes together. Also, using two ropes of different sizes is the weakest way to rappel. Black Diamond’s Rappel Knots Also see a full discussion on the accident on Supertopo.com as well as some comments by Japhy about passing parties ettique, which may have exacerbated the situation.
Accidents happen in rock climbing. There is no substitute for proper training and experience. If you have any questions, please seek knowledgeable instruction. The links above are only for further information and are not condoned by Touchstone. Touchstone Climbing gyms offer a number of courses on rope and lead techniques. For further information ask the front desk staff about the next lead climbing clinic. Be safe out on the rocks.
TRS4 Finale at Mission Cliffs
The TRS4 finale at Mission Cliffs will be this Friday, May 14th from 5-10pm. This event is free for members and only $10 for non-members. Not only will it be an amazing event with challenging & fun routes, food, and comp t-shirts, but there will be great beer from Barbary Coast Brewing of SF.
Castro Valley High School Climbing Club at GWPC
The Touchstone Gyms often have students and groups come to the climbing gyms for group climbing sessions. The Castro Valley High School Climbing Club has been climbing at Great Western Power Company for the last 2 years. The kids love the rock climbing. Erich, a student said, "Yo gym is hella tight. The bouldering routes were legit and they kicked my ass hella hard." Ben Eversole, another student, wrote, "I've had a great time this year at your gym with our climbing club. Climbing has been a fun and healthy way to spend time with friends. Your friendly staff and good music made it even better."
A number of the students have gone on to climb more at the gyms, buying 10-passes, becoming Touchstone members, and taking the lead class and passing the lead test. We hope that the CVHS students come back soon to crush more rocks!
Capturing the Ice
While the ice climbing season in Lee Vining and other parts of the Sierra is coming to a close, the time to be thinking about ways to improve for next year is not. One of the nicest parts about climbing outdoors in the winter is the beautiful scenery. There's a lot of opportunities for excellent snow and ice pictures. Below is an awesome video giving great tips on how to make the most of your camera work.
New Classes At Berkeley Ironworks
Starting May 11th, Berkeley Ironworks will be offering a new lunchtime Core Class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Adesoji "Soji" Odukogbe will bring his unique and effective method of training using core strength and functional exercises will have your body feeling great and looking better than ever before!
He will make sure that your core is being challenged by focusing on using stability, bosu, and medicine balls. His philosophy is to be your guide to help you achieve your personal health and fitness goals and to stick with it! But not only that, he will promote a mindset that includes strong determination, discipline, and motivation to achieve your goals.
Classes will be on Tuesdays from 12noon -1pm and Thursdays from 1-2pm. Come check it out!
Brothers on The Rise Come to GWPC
Each of the past two years, Brothers on the Rise has brought middle school boys to the Great Western Power Company's downtown Oakland gym.
The goal of Brothers on the rise is to "responsibly empower male youth to achieve individual success, develop healthy relationships and contribute to a more just and equitable society through gender-responsive programs that engage males personally and professionally in social service and social change."
Brothers on the Rise always has a good time climbing at Great Western Power Company because "gain a kinesthetic learning opportunity, a great team-building experience, and the opportunity to challenge themselves physically and mentally to reach new heights."
Thanks for coming out to GWPC!
The trips are always successful because the boys a We appreciate our partnership with the gym and the discount offered to nonprofits like ours. We look forward to our next trips there. Thanks so much.
Help Stop Lake Mead from Chopping 200 + Bolts
Lake Mead National Recreation Area has put together a plan to remove over 200 bolts from the Christmas Tree climbing area located in Southern Nevada. The NRA made these plans without informing the Access Fund or contacting any climbing affiliated advicates. A number of climbers are gathering together to send letters of objection as well as comments on the plan.
Their plan, means that "Rock climbing and scrambling is allowed without the placement of fixed anchors in designated wilderness areas in Lake Mead National Recreation Area and on the adjacent BLM lands. No new permanent means of support (i.e., bolting) can be left in place on routes. In general, fixed anchors discovered in wilderness areas will be removed and the holes patched if removal would not cause undue damage to the rock. Areas close to sensitive resources, such as bird nesting areas, will be closed to climbing or scrambling during nesting periods. Use of climbing equipment (including climbing chalk) within 50 feet of rock art will be prohibited. Climbing, scrambling, or walking upon rock art surfaces will be prohibited.
Supertopo.com has a well written letter that can be copied and pasted.
Below is the Supertopo Sample Objection Letter ----------------------------------------------------- Sample Text of Objection Letter
Lake Mead National Recreation Area – (702-293-8990) Park Superintendent – (702-293-8920) 601 Nevada Hwy Boulder City, NV 89005-2426 Via Fax to: 702-293-8936
SUBJECT: Objection to LAKE Draft Wilderness Management Plan/EA - April 2010 Demand for Extension of Comment Period to July 1, 2010
I strenuously object to the LAKE Draft Wilderness Management Plan/EA - April 2010 - as written because it discriminates against Rock Climbing, Rock Climbers and wilderness camping.
Because the Lake Mead NRA failed to inform the Rock Climbing community [including but not limited to the Access Fund - http://www.accessfund.org/] that it was planning to constructively prohibit rock climbing in thousands of square miles of the Lake Mead NRA:
I demand that the comment period for the LAKE Draft Wilderness Management Plan be extended to at least July 1, 2010.
• Grape Vine Canyon, where there are significant historical resources, is at least two miles away from the main Christmas Tree Pass rock climbing area. • The area of Christmas Tree Pass where Rock Climbing has been an established recreational activity for the last 35 years has zero sensitive historical resources. • Constructively prohibiting climbing by prohibiting climbing bolts in the Christmas Tree Pass established rock climbing area tramples on the right of rock climbers to use public lands for recreation. • Climbing bolts are virtually invisible to the naked eye from even a short distance away. In fact, finding the bolts while climbing is frequently very challenging. • In most other USA National Parks and Recreation Areas including Yosemite National Park, climbing bolts are permitted as long as they are at least 50 feet from any historical resource [i.e. Petroglyphs]. • There is no rational basis for prohibiting new climbing bolts and/or removing existing climbing bolts in Christmas Tree Pass, NV, or anywhere else in the Lake Mead NRA.
If the air space above and around Spirit Mountain is a sensitive historical resource, why did the National Park Service allow the placement of at least a dozen large Cellular Telephone Towers at the tops of the peaks immediately adjacent to Spirit Mountain? Clearly, these Transmission Towers are a much greater disturbance of the air space around Spirit Mountain than a bunch of virtually invisible climbing bolts more than two miles away.
If climbing bolts are prohibited in Christmas Tree Pass, more than 40 multi-pitch rock climbs and many shorter climbs established in Christmas Tree Pass over the last 35 years would be rendered unclimbable.
Prohibiting climbing bolts in Christmas Tree Pass while allowing climbing bolts in Yosemite National Park and hundreds of other National Parks and Recreation Areas throughout the United States is capricious and arbitrary and is a violation of rock climbers’ equal protection rights.
If the Lake Mead NRA finds that climbing bolts are disturbing the “sensitive historical resources” of Christmas Tree Pass, then the LMNRA must also apply the same logic to the Christmas Tree Pass Cell Phone Towers.
Without climbing bolts, there will be virtually zero climbing in Christmas Tree Pass, Nevada and throughout thousands of square miles of the Lake Mead NRA where there are smooth rocks that do not have natural cracks. ------------------------------------------------ To Submit your letter of objection send it to the National Park Service.
Diablo Rock Gym's New Pool
Diablo Rock Gym is pleased to announce that starting this summer, our members will have access to a pool. Accessed through the weight room, it will be available to our members for lap swim during our normal business hours.
DRG has partnered with one of the premier swim schools in the bay area, Aquatech. Aquatech provides a wide range of swim programs and we are excited to be sharing a pool with them. Head out to Diablo Rock Gym in Concord and get your morning laps in, train for a swimming competition, or just have a good time in the water at the new pool. Check out another great service provided by Touchstone Climbing gyms.
Win Free Evolve Shoes From Skimble
Avid Mission Cliffs Climber Jennie and recent TRS4 competitor Maria Ly, began Skimble, a mobile app (iPhone) and website. They provide an innovative and location based service for people to track and share their fitness and sporting activities.
Users can track over 40 different sports like rock climbing, yoga, weightlifting, and many others. Skimble will remember their personal bests and help them monitor their progress over time. They can also compete on the leaderboards to win real prizes just by tracking their activities.
After the January launch Skimble's iPhone app has had over 30,000 downloads already. Check out our latest iPhone app release, free for downloads. In addition, Skimble was recently ranked Top 3 as an Innovative Technology Finalist at the SXSW Accelerator Pitch Competition and were just featured in the New York Times.
What's more, Skimble has partnered up with the guys at Evolve for April's contest giveaway: the winner's choice of a pair of Evolve climbing shoes! All it takes to enter the contest is for users to track their activities on Skimble.
You can check out what's going on with Skimble members at Berkeley Ironworks by following this link.
To check out more information about Skimble see their press release.
Petzl and 5.10 Demos
Petzl, one of the largest climbing companies in the world, along with 5.10, the climbing shoe company with the stickiest rubber, will be demoing their products this coming week at Ironworks, Great Western Power Company, and Mission Cliffs. Petzl will be demoing the Sama/Adjama/Selena/Luna/Hirundos harnesses as well as the Meteor/Altios/Elios/Elia helmets.
5.10 will be demoing the Team 5.10, dragon, Jet 7, rogue, moccasym, anasazi velcros, anasazi lace-up, newton, and the grandstone.
The Five Ten Jet 7
Five Ten Moccasym Both vendors will be demoing at the same gym at the same time from 5-8 pm. · Ironworks- Wed May 5th · GWPC-Thu May 6th · Mission Cliffs- Fri May 7th
Come check out some awesome products, get a chance to speak with company experts, and test out new gear at the Touchstone Gyms.
Retired Ropes Put to Great Use By Lincoln High's Green Academy Mission Cliffs recently donated a number of retired ropes to Abraham Lincoln High School. The ropes were used by the Green Academy during a number of trust and community building activities, as well as, a knot tying demonstration.
Abraham Lincol High School's Green Academy is a small learning community that expands students’ ecoliteracy, prepares them to be empowered agents of change, and cultivates environmental stewardship through service learning, community involvement, professional mentorship, internships, and post secondary education.
The academy is a small learning community that 12 members of the academy participated in Camping at the Presidio’s program of spending the night in our local National Park. This overnight trip was an introduction to sleeping outside for most of the teenagers and will be the first of many camping trips, including multi-day backpacking excursions. The ropes will be used on a number of occasions in the future as our community continues to embark on adventures in nature.