Aliens and BD 6s: Great New Gear

Berkeley Ironworks just picked up two great new cams. One the small side, Aliens are now available at the gym.  These flexible stem camming units fit perfectly into pin scars, horizontal placements, and difficult to protect granite.  They are a mandatory requirement for any El Capitan arsenal and are loved by Yosemite climbers.    Ironworks has a full array of sizes from tiny tips to big fingers. Get ready for your next finger splitter with these great cams.

Alien-Group 340x226

Read more: Aliens and BD 6s: Great New Gear

Finger Curls with Alarcon

Strong fingers are essential for climbing. Bearing down on small holds allows climbers to summit many difficult climbs. "Finger curls for climbers are like spinach for Popeye," says Justin Alarcon, a NASM certified personal trainer with the Touchstone gyms, "they make your forearms swole! But seriously, its a reasonably safe way to work on developing the finger strength needed to pull onto some really bad holds." In the video below, the 5.13 climbing trainer demonstrates a great way to increase your finger strength.

Justin holds clinics and private training sessions.  Email him with questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pringle on Jumbo Love

Touchstone athlete, Ethan Pringle has been hard at work on his latest project, Jumbo Love, an unrepeated 5.15b sport route at Mount Clark in Nevada.  Pringle has invested considerable effort into the route, making the trek to the crag 9 times this year and 9 times previously.

“Optimally it should be like 75-85 in Vegas with a stiff breeze at the cliff, which usually makes it 50-65 up at Clark, “ said Pringle, who has been working the route in warm weather most recently. “It's definitely coming along.  When the conditions are good, I can make good links and the moves feel easy. When it's too hot, linking long sections is impossible for me and the moves feel difficult.

Pringle remains optimistic about his efforts to date. “The good news is that I have the route 99% sussed so most of the 'work' that goes into figuring out the absolute easiest way to do all the moves and how to link them together smoothly is done now. There are still a couple sections in which micro beta could be refined even further, but for the most part I'm ready to start giving it real burns from the ground and practicing making big links.”

 “It’s the limestone El Cap,” said Randy Leavitt, who originally bolted the mega endurance route.  

Read more: Pringle on Jumbo Love

Memorial Day Weekend Hours

The Memorial Day weekend means a couple of extra days to go climbing. Check out the hours at your nearest Touchstone gym.

El Cap

Mission Cliffs

Saturday, May 26th- 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday,  May 27th Closed for Carnaval

Monday, May 28th- 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Holiday prices and class schedule will apply

Tuesday, May 29th- Regular hours


Saturday, May 26th- 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.No classes

Sunday,  May 27th- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. No classes

Monday, May 28th- 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. no classes

Tuesday, May 29th- Regular hours, no Tuesday morning classes

Great Western Power Company

Saturday, May 26th- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday,  May 27th- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m

Monday, May 28th- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday, May 29th- Regular Hours

Diablo Rock Gym

Saturday, May 26th- 9 6 p.m.

Sunday,  May 27th- 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday, May 28th- 5:30 a.m to 10 p.m.  No fitness classes

Tuesday, May 29th-  Regular hours

Berkeley Ironworks

Saturday, May 26th- 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sunday,  May 27th- 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Monday, May 28th- 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. No classes

Tuesday, May 29th- Regular Hours

Sacramento Pipeworks

Saturday, May 26th- 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday,  May 27th- 9 a.m. to 6 p.m,

Monday, May 28th- 6 a.m to 10 p.m.

Tuesday, May 29th- Regular Hours

The Studio

Saturday, May 26th- 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Sunday,  May 27th- 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday, May 28th- 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. No classes

Tuesday, May 29th- Regular Hours

SF Carnaval

On Sunday, May27th, the San Francisco Cultural Arts Traditions (SFCAT) will be hosting California's largest annual multi-cultural celebration over Memorial Day Weekend in San Francisco's Mission District.  This year's the SFCAT Carnaval Grand Parade will follow the theme "Spanning Boderers; Bridging Cultures."  The parade, which brings brilliant floats, lavishly dressed performers and musicians, and a vast variety of culture, will be heading down through the streets of the Mission District.


Mission Cliffs, which is located in the heart of the activities, will be closed during the festivities on Sunday.

 The gym will be open regular hours from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and will be opem 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, during which holiday prices and schedule will apply

Training for Climbing

Are you looking for a way to improve your climbing? Do you want to be an elite climber? Justin Alarcon is having a training clinic at Great Western Power Company.

Justin Alarcon has been climbing for nearly 13 years. During that time he ranks his continual growth and development as a climber as his greatest achievement. Justin has climbed many of the grand walls of Yosemite and sport climbed 5.13, but these days you’ll most likely find him amongst the boulders. Justin, a NASM certified personal trainer, has begun to apply the training philosophies of traditional sports to climbing and has reaped the rewards. Now, he wants to share this knowledge with you!

Read more: Training for Climbing

Zero Gravity at Regionals

On Sunday, May 13th, the Zero Gravity team headed to the USA Climbing's SCS Regional Championships at City Beach in Fremont.  The team met the best young climbers from Northern California and Northern Nevada to compete for a bid at the Division 1 Championships in Portland, Oregon on the weekend of June 9/10.  The team climbed well.

0 Gravity 4

Read more: Zero Gravity at Regionals

Summer Membership at Touchstone

Looking for a great way to spend your summer vacation? Why not spend it getting jacked and tan?!

The Summer of Fitness is upon us once again, and we're making it easier for those of you who are seasonally in town. Whether you are back from college or just need a place to get your yoga on, we are excited to roll out our 3 Month Summer Membership! 


The 3 Month Summer Membership will be offered at every gym for the killer price of only $199 at Bay Area gyms, and $175 at Metalmark in Fresno. This 3 month membership is like an unlimited use pass to Touchstone Gyms, and can be started any time in May or June. It will expire exactly three months later, when you are buff and crushing your projects! But remember  - this is only available during the summer. If you have questions check in with your local gym! 

El Capitan Season

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.  


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