Climbing season is here. Yosemite, with it's long great traditional climbs and big walls, is perfect right now. Heading out to the great cliffs will undoubtedly be fun but it's crucial to stay safe while climbing. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to wear a helmet.
The forecast in Yosemite calls for perfect, clear weather for the next week. It's a perfect time for big wall season. For some climbers that means El Capitan, for some that means climbing a little and than doing El Rapitan, for a lot of climbers it means heading to the meadow for El Napitan. For elite Yosemite climbers, it eans time to race up the Nose again. This is a great video of Sean "Stanley" Leary and Dean Potter racing up the Nose in an unbelievably fast time. Diablo Rock Gym Manager, Hans Florine, who's owned the record a number of times, is training already. Get excited for El Cap Season.
On Cinco De Mayo, a solid turn out of Fresno area climbers headed over to MetalMark for another of Touchstone's great rope series comp. The comp was a ton of fun. The new routes, the DJ, and the tons of climbers, all added a lot to exciting atmosphere.
Mark Haymond, a local photographer, was on hand snapping some great pictures of people climbing hard and well.
Mount Saint Helena has some of the best rock in the Bay Area. From the summit of many of the routes, there are beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, Mount Diablo, Mount Tam, and San Francisco. The hike through the pine trees to the base of the crag is incredible and Robert Louis Stevenson is one of California's best state parks. To keep the area as pristine and gorgeous as it is requires lots of time and effort.
Being a good climber also means being a steward of the great places we get to climb. Head out to Saint Helena and help out!
Two years ago, Dan Freschl, a 30 year old Berkeley Ironworks climber, was camping in the desert with his friends. Everyone had headlamps but no one had any decent batteries. “We ended up huddling together, pooling our light just to get our camp set up. Our car was right there and I didn't understand why we couldn't recharge our headlamps from the cigarette lighters.” Freschl realized that there were no rechargeable headlamps on the market.
Since that trip to the desert, Freschl has been working on the Bosavi headlamp. Freschl designed and produced this perfect climber headlamp. The Bosavi is light, small, and has a boost mode that will produce 110 lumens in case you need to do some route finding or rappelling in the dark. The headlamp also doesn’t use AAA batteries, saving you tons of money on batteries. The Bosavi can be recharged 500 times and lasts up to 70 hours.
The Ironworks climber has put together a Kickstarter page and some information about the headlamp. Check it out!
This Friday at 6pm, Sacramento Pipeworks will be holding a memorial for long time climber and well known climber, George "Jorge" Knott. Knott worked as a professor at the Consumnes River College but spent a significant amount of his time climbing at Lover's Leap, hiking up Shasta, and exploring the wilderness around him. Knott was caught in a riptide while swimming near Miami Beach. He was unable to escape. Friends and family remember him well.
“I met George at 11,500 ft. on Mt. Shasta. I was lucky enough to summit with him. Had a great time, he became such a good friend. He will be missed.” –Kathy Laskey
“George was one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. Full of energy and life and always helpful to others. We will always miss you.” –Tomaz Stefancic
“You were my friend of irony, George - ROTC/Berkley, Naval Officer/Deadhead, Physics Professor/Rock climber. Your kidneys were failing but you managed to leave us doing something you loved ... I will miss you George Knott, but I'm really glad you were here ...” –Debbie Gaiser
Stop by Pipeworks and take a moment to remember Jorge.
Touchstone athlete, Ethan Pringle continued his tour of the west's best bouldering with a short trip to Joe's valley in Utah. The hard sandstone is renown for its amazing crimpy and sloping boulder problems. Ethan managed to grab some great video footage of his climbing. Check it out!
The American Alpine Club recently announced that they are offering an award of $2500 to a young man and young woman who live in the Sierra Nevada section and are between the ages of 18 and 25. The award is targeted for young people who share John Horn's passion for sport climbing, and who, as awardees, are willing to serve as lifelong sport climbing ambassadors to the larger community.
John Horn was a prolific bay area rock climber with ascents of the Nose of El Capitan and a strong sport climbing history at Jailhouse in Sonora, the Red in Kentucky, and other famous sport crags across the United States.
The award requires reciepents to share their adventure with AAC Sierra Nevada Section members through a slideshow or video presentation narrated by the awardee. The reciepents must also show in this presentation how their AAC-funded sport climbing adventure has helped them to achieve other valuable goals or aspirations. The reciepent will also serve on the award committe on the year following reciept of the award in order to perpetuate and expand the award's objectives.
This is a great opportunity for a young climber to explore the world beyond the US, to discover some of the best rock in the world, and to have an amazing time. For more information see the award page. http://johnlhornaward.org/
You may have noticed pictures of outdoor climbing, pulverized phone books, or declarations of unfathomable amounts of boulder problems completed in one day on the Diablo Rock Gym Facebook page. All referring to the 'Challenge.'
Feeling left out? Want a way to keep up and motivate yourself? Join the DRG 2012 fitness challenge at DRG! The challenge took off last year, and with over 170 competitors in 2012, it's been a big hit!
Check out the current leaders in this years challenge!
If you are thinking about getting involved... stop thinking! Do it! Grab a copy of the list and get started today!
The impending closure of Castle Rock, one of the Bay Area's best climbing destinations, has prompted a rallying cry from climbers across the world. Chris Sharma, a native of nearby Santa Cruz and world renown rock climber, has pledged to show three multimedia presentations to support the park. All proceeds from the show will go to the Portola and Castle Rock Foundation--the non-profit responsible for the park's self sustaining budget.
On Tuesday night from 4 to 8pm, The East Betas will be having a bake sale at Great Western Power Company. The youth climbing team, led by Sonora first ascentionist and Touchstone boulderer Ryan Moon, will be celebrating the team's 2 year anniversary. The bake sale will also be an opportunity for the kids to get their team logo featured on a chalk bag. Stop by the awesome Oakland gym, get some treats, and support a great team of climbing kids.
In the latest issue of Veritcal Times, the Access Fund's magazine, Laura Snider wrote a great article about The Good, the Bad,and the Beautiful parts of bringing kids to the crag. Check out Snider's great article from the Access Fund's blog.
Kids at the Crag: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful
~ By Laura Snider
I was slogging up a steep approach trail in Boulder Canyon last summer when I got passed by a guy with a pack and play attached to his already enormous crag pack. His wife wasn’t far behind. She carried less gear but shouldered the more precious cargo: their son, who couldn’t have been more than a year old.
By the time we got to the base of the crag, they were already setting up the portable playpen in the shade of a tree and a friend was flaking a rope at the base of a climb. The kid seemed psyched (or at least quiet) that afternoon and the parents were able to get in a few quality pitches with the help of a friend.
But climbing with kids doesn’t always go so smoothly. I’ve seen kids shivering in the cold—one blue-lipped little girl wrapped in a puffy pink uni-suit at Shelf Road comes to mind—obnoxious minefields of toys at the base of climbs, and worst, kids who are left to hang out helmetless in dangerous rockfall zones.
As the number of climbers continues to balloon, finding kids at the crags will be increasingly common, with mixed results. While poorly behaved kids (and more to the point, poorly behaved parents) are sure to inspire more Internet rants on climbing forums across the country, taking kids climbing may also create a powerful connection between children and the outdoors and help mold the next generation of land stewards.