Friday night at Diablo Rock Gym, a dozen people headed over to the weight section of the gym and had the first Bay Area Grip Competition.
The competition comprised of four different activities; grippers, two hand pinch, apollon's axle deadlift, and a overall strength test.Contestants had four tries to close the hardest gripper they could. The two hand pinch involved lifting the most weight on a decive. This focused on contestant's thumb strength. The apollon's axle deadligt required a deadlift on a solid 2" bar for the most weight out of four tries. The overall strength test required 38 different excercises that tested many aspects of hand and lower arm strength. From pinch lifts, nail bending, card tearing, to sledge slevering the competitior had 4 minutes to complete the most items before time ran out.
A few weeks ago, 12 kids from the Children's Hospital Adaptive Sports program headed over to MetalMark in Fresno. The program provides recreational and athletic experiences for those with disabilities. The kids that came out had an excellent time, fighting their way up the walls.
This young girl was a parapalgeic who managed to campus her way up the wall. The individuals in the groups have physical and health impairments ranging from cerebral palsy to spinal cord injuries. Through hard work and determination, the kids learn that they are able to have athletic lives.
The students have taken multiple trips to MetalMark and plan on returning again soon. This truly inspiring group had a blast at MetalMark.
Michael Reynolds, a bay area born and raised photographer has a series of fantastic photographs adorning the walls of Berkeley Ironworks currently. The east bay gym's artist of the month, Reynolds began hiking and climbing in Yosemite and the Sierra as a teenager. “My photography was an out-growth of going the mountains and exploring. I was also a bit of a photography geek in high school. I was the kid with the camera, taking pictures for the high school yearbook, fussing around in the darkroom, etc. It really started as a vehicle for sharing my vision of the outdoors.”
Reynolds photography includes images from the Southwest, the mountains of the western United States and the Pacific coastal areas.
There's never been a better time to be a free soloist. If you're willing to put it all on the line and climb without ropes, there's a ton of amazing footage of the world's best unroped climbers out there. On February 12th, the National Geographic Channel will be airing a short piece about Dean Potter, one of the world's bravest individuals.
Potter climbed traversed from Thanksgiving Ledge on Lurking Fear to Round Table Ledge on The Freerider. The footage of him climbing ropeless on El Cap involves some seriously exposed 5.11+ granite ninja work. National Geographic also put together a short piece about making the piece.
Climbing and parenting: a balance between hanging on and letting go. Kate Reese McGinnis is a parent with a young child. When Annie was born, Kate thought her lifestyle as a climber would change drastically. The Red River Gorge climber didn't know what to expect. She's learned how to balance the climbing lifestyle with being a parent. Her story is just one of thousands of climbers with children. Across the bay area, climbers with kids crush. It's not an easy task but it's fully doable. Check out her inspiring story.
Touchstone athlete and renown global rock climbing super star, Ethan Pringle just returned from an exciting trip to Turkey.
After spending the holidays in Norway with friends, Pringle headed to Antalya, Turkey, to climb on the limestone crags of Geyikbayiri for three weeks with his girlfriend, Trine Hollerude-Odden. Daniel Woods, Emily Harrington, Sam Elias and other members of the North Face crew had traveled to the area and made a video series of the area. Pringle had seen the amazing climbing in the area. “It was steep limestone sport climbing with tufas and pockets. Some cracks too.” said Pringle. “It’s world class. It’s on par with Kalymnos.”
Mill Valley resident, Kyle O'Meara transplanted from Washtington earlier this year and has been crushing the boulders in Yosemite. He flashed Midnight Lightning, the Moffat Start to Midnight, the Force, and a number of other classic Yosemite boulder problems. He's documented a number of his ascents. In his latest video, he made a super proud ascent of King Air. This V10 by Leconte Memorial sits next to a short practice aid climb. The boulder problem is higher than the bolt ladder! Check out Kyle going all out on the problem with 4 pads and no spotters. Proud!
The folks over at Louder Than 11, Dave Wetmore, Max Zolotukhin, Natasha Barnes, Rich Crowder, Ryan Silven, and Jordan Shipman, spent ten days climbing in Yosemite earlier this winter. They came out with a rad video featuring some of the best problems in the Valley. Check out their 25 minute long movie of a ton of amazing pebbles.
Project Yosemite is a collaborative project by Sheldon Neill and Colin Delehanty. The time lapses of Yosemite are breath taking. Take a few minutes to watch some of the beauty in California's greatest park.
Winter finally arrived in the Bay area. The cold wet weather will be around for a few weeks. There are numerous people in the Bay who have a hard time staying warm through these periods of rain and sleet. Brittini Tanebaum, an AmeriCorps Program Coordinator and Ironworks member, is conducting a winter clothing drive to benefit the underprivileged youth of Berkeley.
The clothing drive is being run through an organization called Playworks (www.playworks.org) by a group of AmeriCorps members. AmeriCorps members dedicate a year to serving communities that are in need.
From Thursday January 19th until Friday, February 3rd, bins will be located inside Berkeley Ironworks for clothing donations. The drive has a number of different sites. When everything is collected, the clothing will be distributed to different elementary schools throughout the East Bay and anything that is left over will be donated to charity.
Take the time to donate some of your warm garments to kids who need them.
The Touchstone Zero Gravity Climbing Team continued their impressive run of form at the USA Climbing, Division 1 Bouldering Championships. The event was hosted by the Seattle Bouldering Project http://seattleboulderingproject.com/ in Seattle, WA the weekend of January 14/15, 2012.
Congratulations to Division 1 Champions Mirko Caballero, Natalia Grossman, and Joshua Levin. Silver Medalists Hanna Grossman, Jacquelyn Wu and Cicada Jenerik. Bronze Medalist Rick Gentry.
And also; Will Roderick 4th, Courtney Ceran 4th, Matt Grossman 5th, Connor Everton 5th, Dylan Meyerhoffer, 6th, Revan Florn 8th, Michael Cohen 8th, Ethan Rogers 10th, Seth Rogers 10th, Gabrial Pine 11th, Sera Busse 13th, Mel Roderick 13th, Daniel Franklin 14th, Nathan Frankel 15th, Mike Humphrey 18th, Cameron Read 19th.
Those placing 7th or better, have received an invitation to the USA Climbing Youth National Championships. The National Championships will be the weekend of March 3/4 at United Stated Olympic Training Facility in Colorado Springs, CO. This is exceptionally exciting as Climbing is on the International Olympic Committee short list for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics. Coordination between the USO and USAC is a positive step in making this a reality. In addition, many of the older Touchstone's Zero Gravity athletes will be competing at the Adult National Championships the weekend before, February 24/25 at the same venue.
More information about USA Climbing can be found at http://usaclimbing.net/home.cfm Touchstone Zero Gravity is coached by Scot Jenerik.
On Wednesday, January 18th, a group of young adults from the Bridges School in Martinez headed over to Diablo Rock Gym. The group learned the basics of rock climbing. They were taught basic rock climbing technigue, knot tying, and the importance of belaying safely.
"We have been coming here for years. The participants always talk about this experience more than any of our other outings,"said the facilitator from the Bridge School. "They are always asking when the next visit will be. Thanks so much for having us."
Groups like these come to Diablo Rock Gym and the other Touchstone gyms often. They are a great chance to spend time with a group building team skills and cooperative behavior. They are also a ton of fun.