Access Fund: Kids at the Crag

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. Kid

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.

Read more: Access Fund: Kids at the Crag

MetalMark Roundup!

Every year during the last week of April, Clovis holds an annual rodeo.  Cowboys and cowgirls come from across the country to compete in various contests from lasso tossing to the exciting sport of bull riding.  This year, MetalMark decided to hold their own rodeo- The MetalMark Roundup!

tug of war 2

The roundup started at 3 pm with a game of horseshoes.  Soon after that came a test of stength as four teams battled against each other in a serious game of tug of war.

Bull riding

The highlight of the event was the bull riding.  Phillip created a "bull" and members were challenged to ride the beast for a lifetime of 8 seconds.  Over 20 people took up the challenge of battling the beast, often with a pretty comical outcome.
bull riding2

The festivites included barbequing lots of hamburgers, veggie burgers, and hot dogs.  The first annual Roundup was a huge success and over 100 people stopped by for the fun.  Stay in touch with all the exciting events happening at MetalMark. And make sure to practice your bullriding for next year!

Casting Call

Are you good looking?  Like really really ridiculously good ?  If you climb, do Yoga, or work out at the Touchstone gyms you probably are.


Mountain Hardwear is hosting an open call for male and female models to sport their spring line at their global sales meeting in Richmond in May.  The company is looking for men who are 5'9" - 6', size Medium, and 32 pants and women who are 5'6" - 5' 9", size Medium, and 8 pants.  The models need to be available Tuesday 5/22, Wed 5/23, and Thurs 5/24 for 1 hr dress fit session TBD and a 2 hr dress rehearsal. 

The casting call will be held at Berkeley Ironworks on May 4, from 7:45 to 9pm

Models will be compensated with Mountain Hardwear gear

Questions- email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 510 558 3000

Master of Movement Video

Mainstream portrayls of climbing can be a bit over te top. Often times, the media portrays climbing as brimming with heroics and boldness so much so that it becomes downright comical.  Recently, Bear Grylls was spotlighted in The Master of Movement.  He jumps! He places cams! He wears approach shoes on routes and stems on blank walls.  Grylls is a well known British adventurer and has climbed Everest, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a rigid inflatable boat, an he also had a dinner party in a hot air balloon, creating a world record for the highest open-air formal inner party.  Here's a great video of a man who eats cavier at 25,000 ft.

DRG Gear Swap

Need some gear to supplement your rack?  Looking for some hard to find climbing equipment?  DRG is having a gear swap from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm on Tuesday, April 24th.  This will be a great time to buy or sell used climbing gear.  Stop by with your old gear or bring cash and get some great deals. 

climbing gear 2

To sign up to sell, please post on the DRG Facebook page and sign in at the front desk prior to the gear swap.  This will be a great chance to get some incredible deals on climbing gear.  Check it out!

Joe Maier on Luminance

Recently, former Pipeworks setter and Sacramento superstar, Joe Maier headed out to the Luminanace Boulder in the Buttermilks. This problem defines high ball. The enormous boulder problem borders on a free solo. A fall from the top would not be good. Many climbers prefer to climb problems like these top down, rappelling in and rehearsing the final moves. Maier took a ground up approach and fought through to the summit on unknown and terrifying ground. Check out this cool video of "V10 Joe" pulling down.

Zero Gravity at Nationals

April 6th and 7th, marked the 2012 Sport Climbing Series National Championships in Boulder, Colorado at Movement Climbing + Fitness.   Zero Gravity Climbers Josh Levin, Alexa Nazarian, Charlie Andrews, Dylan Barks and Jacquelyn Wu traveled to Boulder to compete with some of the best climbers in the country.  The National Championships are used to determine who can represent the US Team in this year's World Cups and World Climbing Championships.

After the chalk settled from the two climb qualifying round, Josh Levin, Dylan Barks and Jacquelyn Wu made the 8 climber finals.  Had there been semifinals, Alexa Nazarian would have qualified with a respectable 16th.  Charlie Andrews came in 24th.

The next morning, Josh, Charlie and Jacquelyn tried their hand at the speed wall.  All three made it to speed finals held later in the evening.  Josh and Jacquelyn had the 2nd fastest times and Charlie had the 3rd.  Ranking was a combination of the qualifying round and the finals round.  Charlie was faster than Josh in the final round, but not enough to swap places.  Jacquelyn won her finals against Danielle Rogan, but not by enough to be National Champion.

At 6:45pm, Saturday evening, all the finalists came out to a packed house in order to be introduced to the crowd and the finals problems.  Over 400 people were at the event and stands plus 3 floors were full of spectators.  At 7pm, climbing began.

LT11 wrote "The finals round on Saturday was one for the history books.  For the women, Sasha Diguiulian dominated the field for the 3rd straight year with no falls and a relatively easy looking flash of the finals route...For the men it was a different story.  Daniel Woods was destined to win the 2012 SCS Nationals with an impressive flash of both qualifying routes.  In finals, poor route reading led to a fall down low and bumped him into 3rd place.  Newcomer, Dylan Barks hurtled into 2nd with an impressive read of the finals route but couldn’t hang in there for a send.  Vasya Vorotnikov, fresh off a debilitating shoulder injury, rose from the ashes for a monumental attempt on the finals route, achieving high point and his name in the record books."

After the competition, Dylan said he was shocked at beating Daniel Woods.  He just focused on climbing his best and was thrilled with the results.  Jacquelyn couldn't believe that she tied with Tiffany Hensley in the last climb and beat Angie Payne.  She was amazed when these seasoned climbers asked for her input in the final climb beta discussions.

With 3 climbers in sport finals and 3 climbers in speed finals, Coach Scot Jenerik must be doing something right with his climbers.

Finals results as follows:

Women's Sport Climbing                            Men's Sport Climbing
1 - Sasha Digullian                                              1 – Vasaya Vorotnikov
2 - Delaney Miller                                              2 – Dylan Barks
3 – Michaela Kiersch                                         3 –  Daniel Woods
5 – Tiffany Hensley                                            5 – Matty Hong
6 – Jacquelyn Wu                                          7 – Josh Levin
7 - Angela Payne                                                 12 – Carlo Traversi

Women's Speed Climbing                           Men's Speed Climbing
1 – Danielle Rogan                                              1 – Alex Johnson
2-  Jacquelyn Wu                                            2 – Josh Levin
3 – Kyra Condie                                                   3 – Charlie Andrews

LivinBob at MetalMark

Some people believe there's not much to do in the Central Valley but Socrates Lozano and Joey Ybarra started a YouTube channel to prove people wrong. Recently they headed over to MetalMark in Fresno to show some of the excitement going on in the Central Valley.

“We’re trying to show people what there is in the Valley and see if we can do it,” Ybarra said. “Our goal with this is to have a great time, make videos and show people that life in the Valley isn’t as bad as some people say it is.”

Read more: LivinBob at MetalMark

Yosemite Rockfall

Rockfall is a serious hazard to rock climbing.  On April 3rd and the 4th, a serious amount of rock fell at Yosemite's Churchbowl climbing area. The granite fell from an area above Bishop's Terrace and hit the second pitch of the climb, the short section that climbs to Bishop's Balcony.  The rappel for the route was also hit. A large amount of debris fell to the west of the base of Bishop's Terrace.

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Greg Stock, a Yosemite National Park geologist, commented about the hazard. "Although I'm not able to predict future behavior, I have seen cleaner source areas than this one. Future rockfalls are possible."

Read more: Yosemite Rockfall

Pringle Bouldering Video

This winter Touchstone athlete, Ethan Pringle crushed the boulders of the Buttermilks.  He made a fast ascent of the Swarm (v13) and a number of other amazing problems.  Pringle captured some of his sends on tape and filmed other climbers sending classics like Stained Glass (v10), and Secrets of the Beehive (v5/5.12-). Check out his cool video.

Making Holds with Wes Tite

Thousands of red, green, yellow, and blue holds cover the walls of the Touchstone gyms. But where do all the holds come from?  The easy answer is from right next to Sacramento Pipeworks, in a white corrugated steel building next to Garlinger Steel.  More specifically, Stone Age provides Touchstone with all of its holds.  Wes Tite, a climber of 20 years, runs Stone Age and creates all the holds himself.  Tite has worked as a climbing guide, a route setter, and a coal miner.  For the past 20 years, he has traveled around the world climbing and looking for inspiration to create the best grips for the Touchstone climbing walls.

Wes Tite 2

Evan Kristiansen snapped a couple of pictures of Wes at work.

Tite began working for Touchstone in 2009, beginning as a route setter.  As the gyms grew, there became a need for a full time supplier of gym holds.  Tite’s experience in an industrial work environment made him an ideal candidate for running Stone Age climbing holds. Tite makes around 1000 holds a month for the Touchstone gyms.  This past year has been a busy year for him with the openings of MetalMark and the San Jose gyms as they both needed a ton of new holds.

Read more: Making Holds with Wes Tite

Member Interview: Lisa Feather Knee

Recently, long time Touchstone Member Lisa Feather Knee climbed her first 5.12a at the Berkeley Ironworks lead cave.  Knee, who hails from Santa Fe, New Mexico, works as an artist painting large colorful oils and making serigraphs with acrylic paint.  The Touchstone blog got a hold of the rock crushing artist shortly after he send. 

Knee began climbing 12 years ago when a friend took her out to a local crag.  “All was going well until the point when I realized I would have to let go and trust the rope to get me back on ground. That's when the screaming started. After that I was hooked.” Knee started a membership at Mission Cliffs shortly afterwards.


Read more: Member Interview: Lisa Feather Knee

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