Well into his late 80s, life time dirtbag climber, Fred Beckey shows no signs of slowing down his passion for climbing.
Beckey has authored a number of books since the late 1940s, notably the Cadcade Alpine Guide, which is in it’s third edition. In 2003, his 563-page book on the history of the region, Range of Glaciers, was published by the Oregon Historical Society Press.
Read more: Fred Beckey Slideshow
Huecos Rancheros, a new movie filmed by Owen Bissel and edited by Byron Wolter, is coming out in a month. The 30 minute film features classic problems from Hueco, everything from v0 fun fests to v13 horror shows.
The movie features Mark Heal, Touchstone athlete Ethan Pringle and a number of other climbers.
Pringle and Heal headed out to Hueco for two weeks at the end of January last year. “It's some of the best and most diverse bouldering in the states!” said Pringle about the rock in Texas. “There is a little bit of every style of climbing there- roof, slab, even a few cracks. Every angle of wall, every type of grip. And for the most part the weather is splitter in late fall-early spring. Even though it's a pretty small area, there are so many corridors and boulders and roofs the there's still a load of potential! I know about a few lines that I'd really like to go back and have a crack on.”
Read more: Huecos Rancheros: Pringle on Sol Adunamentum
On November 12th, the Access Fund hosted a workday at Jailhouse near Sonora, CA. Over 200 tons of gravel was laid for a new parking area and road, new fences and gates were made and the access trail was improved.
Read more: Jailhouse Project- Access Fund Video
As climbing becomes more and more popular, commercials and advertisements are starting to depict climbers. Often the footage can be pretty wild.
Sacramento climber Alex Honnold and former Ironworks staff member Katie Brown made this Citibank commercial, filming over a few days in Moab Utah. The spot used a paid voice over actor. Citibank has been airing this commercial during prime time hours on a number of channels.
Read more: Climbing on TV
On December 9, the Touchstone Bouldering Series will be hitting Mission Cliffs. The friday night San Francisco comp promises to be one of the best one yet. TBS7 comp shirts will be given to competitors, there will be delicious pizza, tons of free beer, and a host of new boulder problems.
Read more: Mission Cliffs Comp and Holiday Food Drive
Vertical Velocity, the girls's climbing team at Berkeley Ironworks, is having a bake sale on Monday evening. The team will be having its one year anniversary this month and is raising money for team sweatshirts.
The girls's climbing team had a great costume part in October.
Read more: Vertical Velocity- Girls's Climbing Team Bake Sale
One of the most important strengths a climber can have is a strong core. Reaching for locks during a crack climb, staying tight to the wall during a long sport climb, and lifting your feet high on a steep boulder problem, all require the muscles between your shoulder and your pelvis to be strong.
There are a number of different ways to train the abdominal muscles. From basic sit-ups to front levers, core exercises are never easy. It’s a good idea to supplement core conditioning with other forms of core specific exercises like yoga and Pilates.
Read more: Core Tips For Climbers
With the ever increasing popularity of rock climbing and the expansion of digital services, the internet world has become a larger presence on the mountain. Where once, Yosemite was a vast wilderness, now it is possible to update your Facebook status from the side of El Capitan.
Alex Lowther, a climber living in New York City, recently wrote an article about the phenomenon of increasing media presence in climbing. The New York Times piece sites Tommy Caldwell’s recent attempts at freeing the Dawn Wall on El Capitan. Caldwell spent 19 days on the side of El Cap almost but not quite alone. Caldwell kept a constant stream of how he was climbing, what the next difficult pitch was, and what the weather was like on the side of the face. The route, when finished, will be one of the most difficult lines on El Capitan with 3,000 feet of climbing, seven pitches of 5.14, seven of 5.13, and 14 more difficult leads.
Read more: Climbers in The New York Times
Zero Gravity, the international known youth climbing team has been led by Scot Jenerik at the Touchstone climbing gyms for the past decade. Jenerik’s excellent coaching has been augmented by a number of great team members and assistant coaches. Currently, Zero Gravity had three assistant coaches.
Josh Levin, a climber for the past 13 years, helps coaching the Zero Gravity kids in the South Bay Area. Levin offered some great advice about climbing. “One of the biggest things I've learned that helps me with sending hard both indoors and out, but most of all with competitions, is being able to mentally prepare myself before I get on the wall. If I can block out all other distractions before I start climbing, close my eyes, focus on my breathing, and visualize getting to the top, I have a much better chance of succeeding than if I had just rushed straight to the wall.” Levin has climbed Espirit Rebeld 5.13d in Rodellar, Spain, bouldered Beefy Gecko in Bishop’s Sad Boulders, and been a national champion for multiple years in Sport, Speed and Bouldering.
Josh Levin at finals of the 2011 Open National Championships, Boulder, Colorado. Photo: Dane Cronin
Read more: Zero Gravity Assistant Coaches
Construction on Touchstone’s newest gym, The Studio in San Jose, has been moving along smoothly. The gym will be located on South First Street in an old theater. The building has significant character with a marquee, a ticket booth, and a setting like an old theater.
The building’s unique design allows for a significant amount of climbing. There will be over 75 lead and toprope anchors along the 44 foot high walls.
Read more: The Studio: Construction Update