The Nose with Mark Melvin and Chris McNamara

Last week, on March 3rd, Touchstone owner Mark Melvin and long time Yosemite wall veteran Chris McNamara saw a chance to climb the Nose on El Capitan. With a forecast of 70 degree temps, the pair nabbed a "winter" ascent of one of the largest granite formations in America. Chris wrote about their ascent.

I'll share a secret just with you guys: you can find summer-like conditions on El Cap even in the middle of winter… as long as you are in the sun.

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Read more: The Nose with Mark Melvin and Chris McNamara

Touchstone CrossFit Invitational

This past Saturday, March 2nd, Touchstone held the a great CrossFit event at Great Western Power Company. A number of local CrossFitters headed to the competition. Instructor Maximus Lewin wrote about the event.

The First Annual Touchstone CrossFit Invitational is in the bag and it was awesome! Thanks to all of the athletes, volunteers and staff who came out to make this a fun, intense event. Thanks to all of the folks who participated, especially those for whom this was the first experience with CF competition.

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Read more: Touchstone CrossFit Invitational

Bouldering Ground Up

The cold weather, perfect conditions and slightly longer days means bouldering season has struck again. There's a ton of new problems to try and with the addition of Touchstone's latest gym, Climbing ground up, having to onsight sections of high boulder problems, provides one of the best challenges in places like Dogpatch, Yosemite and Bishop. Check out these videos of Berkeley climber Ingar Shu climbing high and well off the ground.

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The L.A.B is Coming

We at Touchstone have some exciting news to share with you. With Dogpatch Boulders just days away from opening, we have signed a lease for what will be our ninth gym. This time, we are coming to Southern California.  That's right, Touchstone is finally building a gym in Los Angeles.

This week we signed a lease on a building in the Arts District, which will be our first gym in Southern California. Many former Touchstone gym members who have since moved have been pushing us to make this step. The new gym will be in the heart of a community that is a perfect fit for Touchstone. Closely modeled after Dogpatch Boulders, we expect this gym to be fantastic.

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Partnering once again with Walltopia will allow us to pursue multiple projects at the same time while bringing our members what we believe are the most exciting walls in the industry.  The same design team that brought you features such as the Wave Wall, the Barrel, and the Grand Arch at Dogpatch Boulders will unleash their creative energy on this new gym. We could not be more excited to have a chance to build on everything we learned from Dogpatch Boulders, and we can't wait to become a part of the L.A. climbing community.

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We hope to open the L.A.B by the end of 2013 and we'll keep you informed of our progress over the coming months. While our first venture in L.A. will be a bouldering only gym, we are also looking at a taller building near downtown with hopes that we will soon have news of a roped gym as well. You've been asking for it for years and we are excited to finally have good news.  
TOUCHSTONE IS COMING TO L.A.! 

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Bay Area Climbers at ABS Nationals

This past weekend, September 23 and 24th, ABS Nationals were held in Colorado Springs. Ethan Pringle, Eric Sanchez and a number of Zero Gravity members headed to one of the biggest bouldering competitions in America. 

"This was by far the deepest field of amazing climbers at an ABS Open Nationals," said Zero Gravity coach Scot Jenerik. "When you have someone like Ethan Pringle not make the top 20 you know it's tough."

Read more: Bay Area Climbers at ABS Nationals

Walltopia at Mission Cliffs

We are pleased to announce our partnership with Walltopia for the expansion of Mission Cliffs. Why? Because they're rad. If you've checked out Dogpatch Boulders you know what we're talking about. The angles are killer. The look is clean. And gosh darn-it people like them.

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After being so impressed with the our experience designing and building Dogpatch Boulders with Walltopia, we're excited to see what they can do with 30 more feet of vertical space. The expansion will add over 5,000 sq ft of new climbing terrain to Mission Cliffs, making it the biggest indoor climbing facility in the Bay Area.

We pored over the feedback from our fall survey, and therefore decided to included an adjustable crack, arêtes, dihedrals, and much more in the design. We're especially excited to design a steep, cresting wave wall similar to the feature at Dogpatch Boulders... but 50ft ft high! Check out some of the initial visualizations.

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In the coming weeks we will be finalizing our designs and beginning construction! We'll be sure to keep you up to speed on the process. Thank you for your continued patience and support! 

 

Good Eggs at Ironworks

Picture an amazing local food market around the corner. Imagine a place where you can get great food, in a good atmosphere in your neighborhood.  

Berkeley Ironworks is hosting Good Eggs, a community hub for food and people, organized by the neighborhood and city.Come for a workout and on your way home, pick up fresh bread, Four Barrel coffee, pickles, jams, organic seasonal produce, muffins, specialty meats, and delicious ready-to-eat meals, all in one place.

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Touchstone CrossFit Invitational

Have you become hooked on CrossFit? Ready to test your skills?

On Saturday, March 2nd CrossFit East Bay will hold the first Touchstone CrossFit Invitational. Members from CrossFit East Bay of GWPC, CoCo CrossFit of Diablo Rock Gym, and CrossFit Pipeworks in Sacramento, plan to meet at Great Western Power Company to compete in CrossFit as 'The Sport of Fitness.'

“For those who are interested in getting their feet wet in competition, it provides a friendly atmosphere to try it in,” said CrossFit instructor Maximus Lewin. “CrossFit competitions can be pretty intense and intimidating to the uninitiated. For our members who are doing the 2013 CrossFit Open it is a peaking opportunity.”

 

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Pringle at Dogpatch

The grand opening of Dogpatch is fast approaching and local climbers are getting psyched. The gym has had a few open house events. During a few random weekdays, members grabbed the holds on the amazing new walls. Dogpatch also saw visits by some local professional climbers.

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Touchstone athlete and San Francisco native, Ethan Pringle stopped by Dogpatch already. Pringle set a new problem on the arch once and then returned to climb at the new gym. “There were a ton of brand new holds so I made the whole thing orange.” Setting in the gym remained a difficult task due to the overhanging nature. “I had to move the ladder at least 20 times so that I could reach different parts of the roof and use two different ladders of different heights.”

Read more: Pringle at Dogpatch

HIT Strip Training

Need a boost in your climbing? Want to be a little stronger? Great Western Power Company's system wall offers the perfect opportunity to train harder with HIT strips.

Over a decade ago, climbing training author Eric Horst developed a program to greatly increase grip strength. Hypergravity Isolation Training (HIT) utilizes high intensity exercise, identical finger holds, and climbing with weight.

In this video, accomplished boulderer Sam Schwartz demonstrates how to affectively use the HIT strips.

 



Read more: HIT Strip Training

Climbing is Honest: Joshua Tree Trip Report

Amanda BioBy Amanda Robinson 


I found myself on the car ride back from my post-Thanksgiving Joshua Tree trip with a little bit less skin, a lot less pride, a lot more dirt, and just the right amount of necessary introspection. 

Let me explain.

Climbing has always been a multifaceted sport for me, as I must assume it is for many of those that spend their holidays, weekends, and free evenings partaking in it. No other sport pushes me in so many aspects; after a good climbing session, I am mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted.Most of the time I just leave it at that – I like climbing because it requires more than brute strength. Climbing requires more than technique. I’ve always known that, but what I learned this past weekend is that I love climbing because it is honest.

Once again, let me explain.

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Read more: Climbing is Honest: Joshua Tree Trip Report

Past blog entries can be found at  http://touchstoneclimbing.blogspot.com/

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