Planet Granite

Mar 102014

Spring Break Camp all gyms

We’re psyched to host Spring Break Climbing Camps for your kids!  

Kids will explore all of the climbing features of the gym including bouldering walls, high roped walls, and more.

During a week at Climbing Camp, our experienced instructors will get your kids climbing and playing climbing oriented games.

Indoor camps are for kids 5-8 and 9-13 years old and will be offered at all our PG facilities.

*Give us a call for more information!

(408) 991-9090
(650) 591-3030 
San Francisco
(415) 692-3434
April 14th – 18th
1pm – 3pm
Ages 5-13
April 14th – April 18th
1pm – 5pm
Ages 5-13
March 31st – April 4th
1pm – 5pm
Ages 5-13
$140 per child $280 per child $280 per child
Mar 082014



Saturday, March 29, from 1:45 – 4:15pm

A popular workshop from PG San Francisco is coming to Sunnyvale!

Together with climbers at Planet Granite, Silvie created a signature yoga workshop that is designed to teach you how to use yoga to supplement your climbing by stretching and centering.

In this workshop you’ll learn a sequence of postures that target the opposing muscles from climbing.

*You’ll also go home with a tips handout to use before and after climbing!

$30 Non-members
$25 Members

*TO REGISTER, email Silvie:

*Follow Silvie on Tumblr here.                   |                    *Read her story here. 


Mar 062014
The Juice - Anthony Lapomardo

The Juice, 5.14a. Photo by Anthony Lapomardo

Recently, I sent my project – a sport climb called Big House, 5.14a, at Jailhouse, near Sonora CA.  This has been my dream climb – for at least a few years.  Two years ago, two attempts into the climb, I hurt my shoulder.  This is when my obsession began.

Fast forward through 1 year of physical therapy, strengthening and training in the gym and we’re in late 2013: my sole goal was to attempt this climb.  I had no expectations of sending, but I wanted to prove to myself I was stronger than the move that had hurt me.  Call me crazy, but I think that’s a little bit of what projecting is all about.

Big House is about 90 feet tall, located on a steeper section of the wall with big moves on some decently sized (others not so) holds with ok knee bar rests.  I’ve seen others do this climb, and the movement has always attracted me.   In spite of climbing at Jailhouse for at least 7 or more years, I must admit, I don’t love to knee bar.  I do it; I’m not great at it, and still somehow need them to be pointed out.   If left to my own devices, I will usually  muscle my way through a section rather than gracefully crawl (and now you can see why I hurt my shoulder).   But that’s what attracted me about Big House, it has knee bars but there were also straight up moves that couldn’t be crawled through.

I can't seem to escape the kneebars

Working on my weakness: knee bars. Column of the Giants, CA

So what is projecting and why is it so awful fun?  It’s about the process, about conquering something you couldn’t touch before.

When I talk about projecting and what is commonly found at Jailhouse, I’m referring to the type of climb on which you may not reach the anchors on your first try.  Where you may grab every draw and clip for dear life because there is no way you’re clipping off that tiny hold.  Where progress is measured in weeks or months, not tries.  Where when you finally one hang the route, you could be less than half way to sendage.  Where tenacity is the name of the game and your worst enemy is yourself.  

Projecting, and more knee barring, at the Pipe Dream, Maple Canyon

Projecting, and more knee bars, at the Pipe Dream, Maple Canyon, UT.

For me, the single most challenging thing about projecting is self doubt.  Can I do the moves?  Is it worth investing time on this to see if it’s possible?  Are people going to mock me for flailing my way up this route?  Am I crazy for trying this?  Working through a project is conquering that doubt and proving to myself it’s possible. Does that mean every day is awesome?  No.  Have I learned to embrace the I-got-one-foot-move-higher high point?  Not really.  Will I ever not project?  No.  Because if I didn’t project,  I would never realize what I’m capable of.

When I first tried Big House two years ago, I couldn’t get to the anchors.  It was guarded by a dynamic throw to a bread loaf sloper that I couldn’t seem to stick.  I also couldn’t do a move down lower – a big move off a finger lock (my trad friends are sure to laugh).  The move that hurt my shoulder was a wide left handed stretch under a roof to a two finger pocket, a move I also couldn’t do.  The list goes on, but that’s how it starts.  I liked the look of the climb and I enjoyed the movement I was able to do.  And I was motivated to do the moves I couldn’t.

And that’s how you start a project.  Find something you like.  It doesn’t matter why you like it, or if you can do all the moves; it only matters if at the end of the day, you’re psyched that you gave it your all.

Training Slopers with PG SF Mgr Eliot | Hanging at the first bolt...Red River Gorge, KY

Hanging at the first bolt…Red River Gorge, KY   |   Training on slopers with PG SF Mgr Eliot

And that’s the second thing about projecting.  I’d be lying if I said it was all about the process and not about the send.  I want to send, of course!

So if you’re looking to project a hard grade, choosing a project that suits your body type, your skill set and your interests is important.  If you are like my husband who excels at big compression moves on big slopey holds, he wouldn’t do so well choosing his hardest project on technical micro-crimps.   In the same way that I, at 5’2″, do not find giant compression moves to be my strongest suit. But as many of my climbing friends are, we’re over achievers and on some underlying level, we love to suffer on a climb we can’t do.

And that’s the next part of projecting: preparing yourself to battle.  Struggling up a climb, repeating a move several times to figure out the best beta – it’s hard.  And can be painful.  And frustrating.  So know what you’re going to get into, and set small goals.  For me, my ongoing goal is to keep a positive attitude and always try as hard as I can.   Take pleasure in the small successes, such as the one-foot-move-higher high point.  Be happy that you tried hard.

Projecting isn’t for everyone, and you shouldn’t project every climb you get on.   It’s probably the most frustrating thing I’ve done for fun, but as I’ve learned, fun isn’t always about smiling – sometimes it’s about proving to yourself that you can. :)


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Stephanie Ko Pound is the Marketing and Regional Manager for Planet Granite and when not climbing, can be found knitting another cowl.  

Feb 282014

A few months ago, PG Belmont’s Asst Manager Jeremy created and launched the newest class in our climbing curriculum!  This two part class targets climbers who have been leading for a while, but feel they have hit a plateau or aren’t sure how to improve.  But don’t take our word for it, check out this awesome testimonial by a recent graduate!  

Pushing Your Limits on Lead Poster

First, a disclaimer. I’m not writing this to sell anyone on taking the “Pushing your limits on lead” class.  I’m writing this as a cheat-sheet of what this class offers, lest I forget. I’m also writing a loud and public shout-out to the very awesome PG climbing instructors: Nick and Evan. A million thanks, guys! And on a personal note, I’m writing this as my own li’l pat on the back for deciding to register for it. Well done, me. :)

I’ve been climbing for 1.5 years, but consider myself a newbie: I make rookie sequencing mistakes. Sometimes my clipping stance is awkward at best and hilarious at worst. But most of all, I suuuuck at climbing overhangs – and consequently, falling off of them. My bad footwork exhausts my weak arms so I tense up, freak out and cling for dear life. When it comes to falling – as it inevitably does – I’d rather cheat, steal and kill than just let go. And yelling at me to from down below to “RELAAAAAX!” and “JUST FALL!!!” wasn’t helping me do either, really.

Enter “Pushing your limits on lead” class. I’m not gonna lie to ya, I was nervous and I was scared: “Here we go, 6 hours of lead falling, geez I can’t wait.” But, from the get-go to its sweet end, the class was sheer awesomeness:

1. Start with a wish

What do you want from this class? Learn to climb steep routes? To belay like a champ while tied to a melon? To master the art of soft catching? Lead falling? You betcha!

After an intro of must-knows (belay with a grigri), the class focuses on what YOU want to improve on. And being it’s a small class (4 students only), we all got to work on our wish list from Day 1.

2. Baby steps

Every lesson starts with a friendly pep talk and a small exercise drill. Hey wasn’t that fun, team? Before you know it though, you’re riding without your training wheels. Whoa, did I just do that? Even more impressive, did I actually enjoyed it? Holy shii…smokes!

3. Custom-fit feedback

Forget about the NSA, these instructors are always watching you. During warm ups, they see you when you’re cruising, and they know when you’re freaked out. The exercise drills are then set up for exactly what you need to work on. Tailored to you, for you – doesn’t get any better than that.

4. “You get a project! And you get a project! Ev’ry-bo-dy gets a project!”

My personal favorite was projecting drills. Each team (of 2) picks a challenging route to work on (hello, overhangs!). The sequencing exercise is brilliant: route sequencing first, then break it down and sequence each part, then sequence the overlaps, then do it all again – but better. In between each sequencing drill you chalk up and climb on! The instructors are there to help you with every step and will, quite literally, do the route for you if you ask them to. ;)

5. Mind games

The real magic happens with your mind(set). Don’t ask me how, but the instructors know exactly when to compliment (your footwork) and when to chide you (for your body position). They’ll give you private advice one minute then loudly challenge you to push through the crux the next. At the end of it all, they will grin and high-five you after you nail a move you never imagined you could..

6. Takeaway

I left the class thinking I could climb anything – which might very well be the biggest takeaway of this class for me. It’s true, there are no magic pills or shortcuts here: learning the skill and getting strong to climb hard takes a whole lotta work. But, armed with the right mindset, I got the upper hand on that overhang, don’t I?

Pushing your Limits on Lead is offered at a PG near you!  Don’t wait!  Class size maxes at 4 people!  
PG BELMONT: Tues March 11th and 13th
PG SUNNYVALE: Tues March 11th and 13th
PG SAN FRANCISCO: Tues March 25th and 27th

Feb 192014


The Friction Series is our Spring Roped Climbing comp held at each of our locations with an Onsight Final to conclude the events.   This is a community comp, fun for all abilities!   We’ll provide food and snacks, refreshments & beer (for after climbing of course), and amazing routes!  See you this Friday at the first in the series at PG Belmont!

Josh almost sticking the second box on Open #12

Josh almost sticking the second box on Open #12

COMP SCHEDULE – all comps start at 5pm.
Registration opens at 4:30pm
Friday February 21st – PG Belmont
Friday March 14th – PG San Francisco
Friday April 18th + Onsight Series Final – PG Sunnyvale

Comps are open to people of all ages and categories (for both men and women)are as follows:
Recreational: up to 5.10b
Advanced: 5.10c-5.11c
Open (lead only): 5.11d and higher
Youth: all youth 15 years and under.

The top 3 scores of the entire comp will be invited to pariticpate in our Onsight Series Final at PG Sunnyvale! To be eligible to compete in the finals, competitors must also compete in the Sunnyvale Comp at 5pm. This is not based cumulative scoring, so if your score at PG Belmont beats out the top scores from PG Sunnyvale and PG San Francisco, you’ll be invited! In the event a tiebreaker is needed, cumulative series scores will be considered. Witness the best climbers duke it out high above on ropes in an action packed, breath holding event! Even better – the routes will be left up after the comp so you can test your skills against the best.
First Place – $150 cash!
Second Place – $100
Third Place – $50

BL Friction Pan

Mike putting on an amazing show as the clock ticks down to the final moments of the comp!

A raffle will be held to auction off amazing gear by our awesome sponsors. We’ll have some yummy grub, great beer and of course Tshirts! There’s no other place to be on Friday night!

FREE for members
$15 for non-members
No pre-registration necessary!

Special thanks to our series sponsors!

Sterlinglogopetzl logologo_metolius


Jan 072014


There’s something going on with that guy behind the front desk at PG San Francisco… You know the one; long mane of hair pulled back into a ponytail, tie-dyed t-shirt, and a soundtrack of Black Sabbath that follows him around like he is, indeed, a wizard.  What you might not expect is that the man with a name no one can pronounce, Arsalan Pourmand, sole proprietor of Flux Coffee, is something of a businessman.

Arsalan + Flux on tap

Arsalan and his ‘Flux on Tap’ – a popular spot at PG events!

Two years ago, Flux started as an experiment in a small Brooklyn apartment. Essentially, he saw a flaw in the industry. People loved cold coffee, but cold coffee came in two flavors: cream with hints of watered down hot coffee, otherwise known as iced coffee, or cold brew. The latter is roasted coffee that goes through its complete brewing process cold. Cold brew is growing across the country because of its high caffeine content and strong flavor versus traditional watered down hot coffee.

Here is where Arsalan sets himself, and his coffee, apart. He spent his spare time tinkering with brew methods, roast variables and filtration processes until he settled on a combination that turned out cold brew coffee that tastes like it should — coffee! The result is a cup that contains exponentially more caffeine than its warm brethren without sacrificing smooth taste or bold flavor.

Flux in the making

“He spent his spare time tinkering with brew methods, roast variables and filtration processes until he settled on a combination that turned out cold brew coffee that tastes like it should — coffee!”

When he packed up his life and moved onto a boat in the East Bay, the coffee was put on the back burner. Luckily for us, that didn’t last long and since then he has hustled hard to supply the Bay Area and PG climbers with a bottle of caffeinated heaven that puts the big guys to shame.

Flux + Bay area

The Bay area + Flux = perfect fit!

So here’s the deal. That guy with the ponytail behind the desk is kind of a character. He’s a metalhead that happens to be a workhorse and a pretty brilliant coffee wizard to boot. The name is Arsalan – pronounced ‘our salon‘ – and he’s a pretty amazing dude!

Buy some of his coffee! You’ll find it at PG. And if you like it, tell every single human being or coffee drinking canine you know to stop in and buy some too. And look, Flux has been up El Cap – a lot, so you know, it will like, make you a better climber and stuff.

Flux + El Cap

Learn more at





Another great article by Jason Crase from PG SF! Jason lives for Mission burritos, Hemingway novels and Levi’s Slim Fitting Jeans. On any given day you can find him at Bender’s or hanging on the BeastMaker at PGSF.