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Summer season in NorCal = Granite!
Whether you’re staying local and heading to Tuolumne or driving up north to Squamish, granite climbing is on the agenda.
Since our staff routinely crush on the weekends, we asked them to share a few of their favorite pieces of climbing gear.
All items mentioned are in stock now! Get to your local PG Gear Shop and get prepped for a summer of climbing on rocks.
*Remember, PG Members receive 10% OFF in our Gear Shop!*
ELIOT – Manager @PG San Francisco
5.10 ANASAZI PINKIES – ($150 | $135*) – “The Anasazi Blanco’s have been my go-to shoe since they stopped making the Pinkie’s in the early 2000’s. They are a similar style of shoe but when I heard they were re-leasing the Anasazi Pinkies, I was psyched to get a pair! I remembered the Pinkies from years ago as one of my first pair of climbing shoes. They perform exceptionally well on granite which is one of my favorite styles of climbing, especially in Yosemite.”
“I broke in my first pair over the weekend and they were awesome! They’re great for low angle to vertical slab and face climbing as well as crack climbing. This weekend I got on Freeblast on El Capitan on the 11b roof move and they edged really well. On the higher 10d/11a R section I was able to smear my way through the slabby crux.”
YOSEMITE BIG WALLS GUIDEBOOK - ($29.95 | $26.96*) – “The new Yosemite Big Walls Guidebook is inexpensive and has great beta for your longer excursions in the valley! And many of the topos presented in the book are the first to come out about these routes.”
“Two PG members are also featured in the book which is really cool! Two of Lucho Rivera’s new free climbs – Romulan Warbird 5.12c on Fifi Buttress and Mahtah 5.12d on Liberty Cap (featured on the cover of Climbing Magazine’s April issue!) and Luke Stefurak’s new free climb on Liberty Cap Scarface 5.12.””
ABBEY- Assistant Manager at PG San Francisco
LASPORTIVA WOMEN’S MIURA - ($160 | $144*) - “The women’s Miura is my “send shoe”! These shoes fit my slim foot without the heel cup digging into my Achilles tendon like most men’s climbing shoes do. Also, they are perfectly aggressive without completely distorting my foot. Sportiva rubber is the best, and they last a surprisingly long time for how much I use them outdoors and indoors. The leather upper breaks in to mold to my foot perfectly and they wear really evenly. I’m on my 5th pair!”
“I’ve worn these for all types of climbing and I fit them pretty snugly so I haven’t had the best time on multi-pitch routes with them. Their best use for me is bouldering, and whenever I’ve done a heel hook on that Yosemite polished granite or am tip-toeing around on little slabby nothings I am singing their praises. That last tiny foot foot on “Funky Tut”? Trust it! Getting off the ground on “Green Wall Center”? Boom! Couldn’t do it without my Miura’s.”
STEPHANIE – Sr. Director of Bay Area and Marketing
STERLING FUSION NANO 9.2MM ROPE – (Prices range from $252.05 – $310.40 before Member discount.) – “For being a thin rope, the sheath is incredibly durable. This has been our go to rope for climbing at Jailhouse, used for projecting the double extensions that are about 150 feet long. We just took it on a 6 week climbing trip to Spain and it more than held up the entire trip. Just at the end, we needed to trim the ends since they showed some wear. It handles well and is great for sport climbing!
“While the 80m version is a bit long for most of our local areas, the 70m would be perfect for trips to Tahoe and the sport areas of Tuolumne. Due to its diameter, I would only recommend this rope for sport climbing. But when you need something light and compact, it’s a great rope!”
KALIE – Retail Buyer and Graphic Designer
WOMEN’S LORELLI BRA BY VERVE - ($32 | $28.80*) – “The Verve Lorelli Bra is hands down my favorite sports bra, and I confess to owning five…! Not only is it flattering, supportive and attractively designed, but it’s also handmade (by Grandma’s in CO) in the USA using organic cotton. It’s perfect for everything from climbing, to running and yoga and is a life saver for those hot bouldering days in Bishop and beyond.”
JAMILA – Instructor and Youth Team Coach at PG San Francisco
PATAGONIA ASCENSIONIST PACK 35L – ($149 | $134*) – “I bought this pack in orange and fell in love with it right away! The backbone curves nicely around my lower back which makes it super comfortable for long approaches. It was also one of the lightest packs out of the bunch that I looked at. There are a lot of places on the outside of the pack to secure gear, like the back or on the hip belt. And on hot days it doesn’t completely suffocate my back with sweat which is awesome! I ended buying one for my boyfriend because he fell in love with it as well.”
*Planet Granite Member’s price! Tax not included.
Health & Wellness @Planet Granite
For this article in our Health & Wellness series we reached out to local physical therapist and athlete Caroline Bourcier.
With over 25 years of experience in the fitness and physical therapy fields, and a life-long athlete herself, she really has seen it all! Many members of our community have worked with her and raved about their experience.
We contacted Caroline to get the scoop on shoulder health.
How can we tell if we have an imbalance in our shoulders?
** The information in these articles are submitted by various professionals in the industry who are not employed by or representatives of Planet Granite. If you have an injury or more questions regarding the topics addressed on our blog, please consult a qualified medical practitioner. Before beginning any fitness program, you should have a complete physical examination by your physician.**
The 4 Tests Every Climber Needs to Pass…
So You Can Climb Until You’re 80
Guest Post by Caroline Bourcier, MSPT
As a physical therapist I see a lot of climbers with shoulder injuries, especially in those above the age of thirty. Given the demands climbing places on the shoulder I’m always surprised when a climber is surprised that their shoulder is beginning to hurt. Let me explain why…
The shoulder joint is persnickety – it requires balance to stay happy.
Specifically, the shoulder requires three things to stay injury free:
- Balance of strength in the posterior musculature relative to the anterior musculature
- Balance of flexibility/mobility in the muscles and connective tissue from front to back
- Sufficient coordination and timing of muscle recruitment in the arm and shoulder blade
Let’s break these down and see how this applies to you…
Test # 1
Stand up and let your arms dangle at your sides. Now look down.
- Which way are your palms are facing?
- Do they face your thighs, your butt or somewhere in between?
- Is one arm rotated inward more than the other?
Because climbing strengthens the lats and the pecs (both strong internal rotators) disproportionately, not only can these muscles become tight, their antagonists- the external rotators –can easily be overpowered.
In a shoulder with tight internal rotators, as you raise your arms above shoulder height, you have less space under the acromion for the rotator cuff and bursa. Done repeatedly, this can cause the supraspinatus (rotator cuff) or the bursa to be pinched and become inflamed. Chronically, it can cause tears in the rotator cuff.
Test # 2
Reach your left hand behind your back, touching the top of your right shoulder blade.
Can you reach your shoulder blade? If so, do you have any pinching or pain on the top of your shoulder?
Now reach your left hand behind your back as in the picture on the right and touch the bottom of your right shoulder blade.
- Can you reach your shoulder blade?
- Do you have pain in the front or the back of your shoulder?
- Is your movement symmetrical in both shoulders?
Keep these flexible and you’ll ward off rotator cuff impingement, biceps tendonitis and chronic labral tears (keep reading to find out how).
If you have pain or pinching in the top or front of your shoulder you may want to consult with a physical therapist to have them mobilize your joint capsule. Normal joint mechanics are essential to long term health and injury prevention, especially in the shoulder.
Test # 3
Place your right hand on top of your left shoulder, then raise your right elbow as high as you can towards the ceiling.
- Do you have any pain in the top or front of your shoulder?
While the first two tests are looking for ideal mobility to prevent impingements and other injuries, this test is more sensitive and suggests a problem may already exist.
If this reproduces a familiar pain that occurs during or after climbing and has persisted for more than two weeks, you should consider seeking out professional advice.
Test # 4
Keeping your elbow glued to your waist, push your forearm outward to the right, resisting with your opposite hand. Do this with a maximum effort.
- Does it feel weak or painful?
While this is not a perfect test, it is a quick look at your posterior rotator cuff muscles. The importance of keeping these muscles strong should never be underestimated.
Almost every shoulder problem is helped by strengthening your external rotators!
The Bottom Line
Whether it’s your shoulder or any other body part that’s giving you grief, the best use of your exercise time is to:
- Strengthen what’s weak
- Stretch what’s tight
It really is that simple.
We tend to want to do what we are good at and avoid those things we are not good at.
But it’s working on our weaknesses that makes us well-rounded athletes and keeps us injury free. Oftentimes, just adding a 10 minute routine to the beginning or end of your climbing can keep you injury free – through the decades…
*STAY TUNED FOR PART 2 -
CAROLINE’S FAVORITE STRETCHES & EXERCISES FOR CLIMBERS*
*SPECIAL OFFER FOR PG MEMBERS*
Schedule your 1st appointment with Caroline during the month of June
and receive a special 20% OFF discount!
ABOUT – Caroline Bourcier, MSPT is the owner of Thrive Physical Therapy in Mill Valley, CA. She has over 25 years experience in the fitness and physical therapy fields and is a former competitive and life-long athlete.
She is passionate about all activities in the outdoors, helping athletes stay young and injury free, and raising money and awareness for the Breast Cancer Fund.
She can be reached at (415) 497-6557 or Caroline@thrive-pt.com if you have any questions about aches and pains that are slowing you down.
COMES TO PG BELMONT & SUNNYVALE
After an awesome launch @PG San Francisco, BETA BABES is now offered at all 3 gyms!
WHAT IT IS: A women’s climbing club! Not a competition. Not a lesson. Just a friendly session!
We’ll be climbing, trying hard, goofing off, and will be more than happy to offer beta and answer whatever climbing questions you may have!
WHO WILL BE THERE: Female climbers of all ages, levels and styles of climbing are welcome to join us.
WHY WE STARTED IT: We women of Planet Granite take a lot of joy in our climbing sessions with girls…and we want you to join us! We believe in inclusiveness, camaraderie, encouragement and fun.
BELMONT – EVERY 3RD THURSDAY OF THE MONTH
SUNNYVALE – EVERY 3RD WEDNESDAY OF THE MONTH
SAN FRANCISCO – EVERY 3RD WEDNESDAY OF THE MONTH