If you’ve climbed in the bay area gyms in the past few years, you’ve probably seen a few of the young climbers grow up and turn into strong climbers. Eric Sanchez has been climbing at the Touchstone for a number of years now and currently works in the gyms. Sanchez, a 19 years old from Livermore California, works full time as a setter at Diablo Rock Gym, studies graphic design, and crushes in the time in between. The modest crusher said, “Setting, working, and school is pretty much all I do. “
Sanchez began climbing nine years ago. “My mom dropped me off at the gym in Livermore to keep me busy.” Sanchez became immersed in the sport, spending three years climbing with Zero Gravity. In 2009 he won adult nationals for speed and has been to a number of world championships for climbing.
Sanchez began working for Touchstone in June, helping out with the initial setting at Fresno’s MetalMark gym. “Setting is really fun,” said Sanchez, “I’ve climbed the other setters routes for years and I finally got to meet them.”
Earlier this year, Sanchez headed to Mickey’s Beach, located just north of San Francisco in Marin. Sanchez dispatched with Dream of White Porsches (5.13b). “I’d been bouldering a lot so it was good to tie into a rope. Id tried it for a few years but it had always shut me down,” Sanchez saif of the climb. “I had been working it awhile with Ben Polanco and Scot Cory. We put our beta together and it kind of clicked.“
Sanchez has also dispatched King Pin, a 5.13b at Jailhouse in Sonora, and Foreignator, an 8a in Ceuse France. Sanchez described the notoriously pocketed area of Ceuse as being specifically difficult for him. Foreignator consists, “primarily of two finger pockets. My fingers aren’t that strong as just two.” Despite his difficulty with pocket climbing, Sanchez made the third ascent of Half Shark Alligator Half Man, one of the hardest climbs at the Sads. “I generally don’t like pocket climbs because my fingers don’t take well to them but it was a really fun climb.”
These photos were snapped by Sanchez’s friend, Alton Richardson
Next month, Sanchez will be heading to the ABS bouldering Nationals in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Good luck with the climbing Eric.