Touchstone Blog Archive
Monday, August 30, 2010
  Awesome Comp and Anniversary Party
On Saturday, August 28th, Touchstone celebrated its 15 year anniversary by throwing an enormous party at the first of the Touchstone Bouldering Series comps.

There was carrot cake for Touchstone's 15th anniversary. There was chocolate cake for Ironworks' 10th anniversary. There was chocolate raspberry cake for the comp. And the white cake was there because it was a party! I shuffled between the options when Ironworks manager, Lyn Verinsky saw me eying the delicious desserts. "Try them all!" she said.

With a plate full of cake, I headed into the comp along with 410 other registered competitors. At least 600 people total enjoyed the party. There was a ton of fun going on.

For a number of lucky people, the best part was definitely the raffle. Over $900 dollars was raised in a raffle to support the Access Fund with a large array of great prizes. There were free shoes, ropes, crash pads, Mountain Hardwear clothes, and more. Not only were there raffle prizes but free granola was given out, cookies, and every competitor got a stylish TBS6 shirt to wear to the next comp in Sacramento.

In appreciation of the people who have stuck with Ironworks since it's beginning, Jeffery Bowling was manning the back room, where he was giving out awesome light weight camping chairs to 10 year members.

During the initial comp, the crowd got pysched by bouldering to the sounds of the Nigerian Brothers. The African folk group played a rhythmic drum beat while the competitors climbed on over 70 new problems, won free stuff, and watched the finals.

One of the coolest parts of the comp was the onsight final for men and women. With $1200 given out in cash prizes, the local talent came out and shined. Justin Alacron, a future Berkeley Ironworks desk staff member, grabbed a place on the podium. Alacron rarely comp climbs but headed to Touchstone to check out the festivities. He noted "Initially I came to the event to get a workout on the new problems, eat some food, and enjoy the party but I totally got sucked into the comp atmosphere and ended up climbing all day."

With delicious catered Thai food, awesome Pyramid Brewery beer, and four different kinds of birthday cake, the food nearly derailed the competition. "I nearly stopped climbing entirely about half-way through just so I could pig out, it was that good," said Alacron.

With a hundred people watching, announcers throwing out a move by move commentary, and lots of cameras, the finals had an air of seriousness. Mike Abell, of Flame and Flash- the Bay Area's Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender- represented his club, donning their new sleek tank tops on the big stage. He commented on the onsight final, "It was cool how they got a big comp vibe from a local comp setting."

Cicada Jenerik, a member of Zero Gravity, enjoyed the finals. "It was really nice to just hang out with people and climb, everyone got along really well and just had a really good time."

In the men's finals Ethan Pringle won first, Mike Abell placed second, and Justin Alarcon brought in third. In women's finals Natasha Barnes nabbed first place, Cicada Jenerik got second, and Ngan Nguyen crushed her way to third place.

The next of the Touchstone Bouldering Series will be at Sacramento Pipeworks on September 17th. The comps are free for members and a great opportunity to eat free food, drink beer, and enjoy a positive competitive scene.

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