Ethan PringleTouchstone Climbing Athlete
Born and raised in the Mission District of San Francisco, Ethan was introduced to the wonders of nature before he could walk. He first set foot in Mission Cliffs at age eight. Mission Cliffs was, and still is, one of the premier climbing gyms in the country, and happens to be only four blocks from his home.
Ethan met some amazing people at the gym who had a profound effect on him. He was very lucky to meet climbers willing to take a snotty but enthusiastic little kid on outdoor climbing trips to places like Pinnacles, Mickey’s Beach, Bishop, Owens River Gorge, Red Rocks, and Mt. Charleston. He remains forever indebted to those people.
Since climbing is still such a small community, as a youngster Ethan had the opportunity to climb and become friends with people who inspired him—people who he read about in magazines and were his heroes at one time, like François Le Grand, Jason Campbell, Liv Sansoz and Chris Sharma. At twelve he began to compete. Since then he has been on the U.S. climbing team every year, placing top three in almost every comp he has entered, and winning a few national and international level competitions.
Beth RoddenTouchstone Climbing Athlete
Beth was born in San Francisco and grew up in Davis, California. The mountains were always important to her family and she spent most of her family vacations exploring the Sierras. At the age of 14 she started climbing in her local climbing gym. She quickly rose to the top of competitions, winning Junior Nationals three years in a row and traveling to World Cups across the globe. Mission Cliffs became one of her favorite training spots during her teenage years.
After five years of competitions she turned her focus to outdoor climbing. She redpointed To Bolt Or Not To Be (5.14a) during her “semester off” of college, becoming the youngest female at the time to redpoint a 5.14. She never went back to UC Davis, instead taking the opportunity to travel to Madagascar with her climbing idol Lynn Hill.
Over the years she has become one of the most accomplished climbers out there. She’s free climbed three El Cap routes (Lurking Fear, The Nose and El Corazon), established 5.14 sport climbs, and established one of the hardest traditional climbs in the world, Meltdown (5.14c) in Yosemite Valley.
She’s currently focused on her hardest pursuit yet, motherhood. When she’s not chasing after Theo, she can be found either in Berkeley or Yosemite.
Natasha BarnesTouchstone Climbing Athlete
Natasha has been climbing since 1991 and has been a professional athlete since 2001. She has earned a spot on the US World Cup Team for both bouldering and sport climbing multiple times, and has sent several V11’s and 5.13d/14a’s outdoors. She earned the Bouldering National Champion title in 2005 and was a gold medalist in the 2005 Teva Games (now GoPro Mountain Games/IFSC Vail World Cup). She now competes in powerlifting and has qualified for the 2018 National Championships, with personal bests of a 290lb squat, 167.5lb bench press, and 355lb deadlift.
Natasha first set foot in a Touchstone gym 17 years ago at an ABS bouldering event; slept in her car behind Mission Cliffs the first time she came to compete at a Touchstone comp. Touchstone has been a large part of her growth and development as a climber and she has met lifelong friends climbing at some of Touchstone gyms since she joined in 2005. She has been living in San Francisco, California for 13 years and has a private sports medicine practice at Motus Clinic in SoMa. She is excited to continue to be a part of the Touchstone community!
Elise BuserTouchstone Climbing Athlete
Elise was born and raised in majestic Oakland, California. Before setting foot in a climbing gym she had already put up various first ascents of local poles, trees, and doorways, but her formal introduction to the climbing world happened at age twelve when she went to a kids’ camp at Berkeley Ironworks. She was instantly hooked and has been climbing ever since.
She loves how climbing allows her to constantly push and surprise herself. Elise’s favorite places to climb are Bishop, Donner Summit, and Great Western Power Company. She is also a routesetter for Touchstone and enjoys trying to stump people with confusing sequences.
She has podiumed multiple times in ABS regionals and divisionals, participated in Nationals three times, and has podiumed in several Touchstone Climbing Series. Outside, she is most proud of her ascents of Pimp Juice (V9), White Lines (V8), and Nat’s Traverse (V8), as well as Cannibals (5.12d) and Warp Factor (5.13a).
Elise is currently a sophomore at UC Davis and is pursuing a major in Biological Sciences. When not climbing, she is likely studying redox reactions, drinking coffee, slacklining, drawing geometric cats, or tending to the mushrooms in her closet.