By now, you’ve surely seen the members of California’s newest competitive youth climbing team doing their thing at our various gyms. If you’ve stopped to ask “Who are these kids?” or “How are they running laps on my project?”, ponder no longer. The young climbers you see tearing up the walls in our gyms are members of Team Touchstone, Touchstone’s very own competitive youth climbing team and one of the premier youth climbing teams in the country.
Team Touchstone competes in the USA Climbing youth competition circuit, attending competitions around the country in order to test their skills against the best young climbers (ages 7-18) in the nation.
The year is divided into two seasons: the American Bouldering Series (ABS) and the Sport Climbing Series (SCS) which encompasses sport and speed climbing. Each season begins with a series of small local competitions, which allows climbers to travel to local gyms and sample different wall angles, experience new routesetting, and test their overall fitness.
When the local competition season concludes, the rest of the season consists of three championship events: Regional, Divisional, and National Championships. Each round of the championship events becomes increasingly selective and demands an outstanding level of physical ability and mental fortitude on the part of the climbers. Each season culminates in the National Championship, which is the proving ground for the best climbers in the country. Nationals is competition climbing’s promised land; only a fraction of the climbers in the nation qualify to compete at the national level, and performing well at this level solidifies a climber’s status as one of the best in the country.
Recently, Team Touchstone competed at the SCS Regional Championship at City Beach in Fremont. The Regional Championship is the first hurdle in the championship season that climbers must overcome in order to advance to higher level competitions. This year’s Regionals proved to be extremely tough; there were over 150 climbers in attendance, and the competition routes were stiff and unforgiving. With competitors in each age/gender category vying for a chance to compete at the Divisional Championship, the climbers held nothing back and threw themselves at their routes with a mix of calculated strategy and brute-force try hard.
Of the 43 climbers Team Touchstone sent to Regionals, we are proud to say that 21 of these climbers will be advancing to Divisionals next month in Bend, OR. Congrats to Hannah Donnelly, Kat Genry, Elise Buser, Thalia Barr-Malec, Hanna Grossman, Annie O’Brien, Dewi Zarni, Sophia McManus, Lauren Berry, Cate Harty, Lucy Cress, Elizabeth Cook, Nick Bradley, Seth Rogers, Ethan Rogers, Michael Puchkov, Matt Grossman, Gabriel Flynn, Nilo Batle, Cameron Read, and Kaeden Wemmer! All our climbers performed exceedingly well, showing that their hard work and rigorous training regimen is paying off.
As we get ready to attend the two biggest championship events of the season, you’ll be sure to see Team Touchstone climbers putting in some serious work at our world-class Touchstone facilities.
When you see our climbers in the gym, don’t be shy! Feel free to stop by and wish our climbers good luck as they prepare for their next big competition. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the season has in store for us!