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Planet Granite

Aug 262013

Summer is winding down; school is starting back up!  Check out our great After School Programs for your child!

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Our programs are for kids ages 5-13 years old who are looking to climb more! Our instructors are climbers too, so they will work with your kids on the basics, getting them climbing higher and stronger! If your child is dedicated to climbing, we’d recommend joining our Climbing Team!
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After School Programs are $140/child and run for 5 consecutive weeks.   See below for your local gym’s After School Schedule!
Call today to reserve a spot in one of our programs!

PG SUNNYVALE – (408) 991-9090
5 week sessions
Tuesdays 4pm-6pm (5-8 year olds)
Thursdays 4pm-6pm (9-13 year olds)
Cost: $140

Session 1
August 27th-September 24th, Tuesdays 4-6pm, 5-8 year olds
August 29th-September 26th, Thursdays 4-6pm, 9-13 year olds

Session 2
October 1st-October 29th, Tuesdays 4-6pm, 5-8 year olds
October 3rd-October 31st, Thursdays 4-6pm, 9-13 year olds

Session 3

November 5th-December 10th, Tuesdays 4-6pm, 5-8 year olds
November 7th-December 12th, Thursdays 4-6pm, 9-13 year olds
**No classes Thanksgiving week**

5 Week Sessions
Mondays 4pm-6pm
Wednesdays 1pm-3pm and 4-6pm
Ages 5-13 both days
$140 per session

Mondays 4-6pm
September 9th – October 7th
October 14th – November 11th
November 18th – December 16th (*No Class Thanksgiving Week – 4 week program, pro-rated price $112)

Wednesdays 4-6pm AND 1-3pm
September 11th – October 9th
October 16th – November 13th
November 20th – December 18th (*No Class Thanksgiving Week – 4 week program, pro-rated price $112)

5 week session
Tuesdays 4pm – 6pm (5-8 year olds)
Wednesdays 4pm – 6pm (5-8 year olds)
Thursdays 4pm – 6pm (9-13 year olds)
Cost: $140

Session #1 September 3rd – October 3rd 2013
Session #2 October 8 – November 7th 2013
Session #3 November 12th – December 19th 2013 (no program the week of Thanksgiving)
Session #4 January 7th – February 6th, 2014
Session #5 February 11th – March 13th 2014
Session #6 March 18th – April 24th 2014 (no program during spring break: 4/1/13-4/3/13)
Session #7 April 29th – May 29th 2014

Aug 222013

Summit Rock

Summit Rock, a local climbing area nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains, has been closed year round due to peregrine nesting.   The Access Fund has been working to change the year round closure to seasonal, which would allow climbers back into the park during the off season.

Back in 2011, we helped raise over $3000 to re-open Summit Rock.     The money raised covered the cost of bringing out nationally recognized Peregrine expert Dr. White to assess whether a year round closure was needed and to make a recommendation as such.  He found that a seasonal closure would be sufficient!

Fast forward to 2013, and now the Access Fund is working with locals: they want to open the park to climbing through permitted use with the help of volunteers who can monitor the birds and educate visitors about peregrine nesting.  The future of Summit Rock depends on good volunteer participation; if you’re interested in helping, please read below!

Volunteer Wildlife Monitor-Summit Rock

Job Description:

County of Santa Clara, Department of Parks and Recreation is seeking volunteers to assist with the monitoring of special-use permit, recreational activities in a sensitive habitat environment, and monitor and document behaviors of peregrine falcons during the non-breeding season of the peregrine falcon utilizing Summit Rock (September 1 through December 31 of each year). Parks is seeking to re-open Summit Rock during limited periods of the day (Thursday-Sunday) from 8AM-4PM to permit-holders only. Parks is seeking volunteers to assist with educating the public that the area is only open to permit-holders and assist with monitoring and documenting the behavior of the peregrine falcons during this time of restricted access. Selected, interested volunteers will be required to attend a training on peregrine falcon behavior, recording collected data, radio usage and customer service/contact. This is not an enforcement position, however it is expected that the on-site volunteer will contact users and notify them of the required permit. The volunteer will educate non-permit users and educate them on the permit process, and notify Park Ranger staff for enforcement needs.


  • Ability to hike in remote, rugged areas off-trail to observation locations.
  • Strenuous hiking required, with poor footing
  • Ability to make contact with park users
  • Operate a park radio
  • Able to observe and document bird behavior

Typical Duties:

  • Shifts are starting at 8AM. Parks is looking to cover shifts from 8AM-4PM Thursday-Sunday September 1-December 31 each year to monitor this pilot program (typical shifts are in blocks of 4-6 hours).

If you have any question,

Senior Ranger Flint Glines will be the Main Point of Contact for Summit Rock Volunteers



Aug 202013

Abbey Lee Leroux: musician, Beatle fanatic, bananagram champion, crusher, and all-around BAMF. Oh yeah, and the new assistant manager at Planet Granite San Francisco. Abbey was generous enough to squeeze me into her increasingly busy schedule so I could get the scoop on her new gig. Amidst much cackling and the deafening crunch of vegan cheezy poofs being masticated by the handful, we managed to produce some material suitable for public consumption. Here goes.

SM: So congratulations on the job!

AL: Thanks!

Bouldering in Bishop. Photo by Eliot Carlsen

Bouldering in Bishop. Photo by Eliot Carlsen

SM: A little birdy told me that you were recently in attendance at the SF Opera, rubbing silk-clad elbows with the San Francisco aristocracy. How was the experience, and more importantly, what is a woman of such obvious refinement and taste doing around a bunch of chalk-smeared dirtbags?

AL: I mostly am a dirty climber with filth under my cracking nails and cuticles, but occasionally, I like to dress up and put a little bit of lipstick on. It’s like playing! It’s like pretend. And also I love music. So, yeah. A night of refinement and Mozart is in order occasionally.


SM: Well that leads me to another question. Among your natural talents is a very simple and lovely musicality. Can you talk little bit about the instruments you play and what inspires you to play music?

AL: Sure! I started playing music when I was a child. I never had any instruction; I just always picked up what was in my house. It started out with piano and then became guitar and bass and drums and ukulele  - none of which I’m particularly good at, as you know.


SM: I beg to differ…

AL: Every once in a while, something will consume me, and suddenly one week I’ll be like, “holy crap, I’m pretty good at ukulele! I know a lot of chords!”

I also love to sing. It’s funny, but my passion for athletic pursuits, specifically climbing, kind of takes away from my inspiration to play music.  It’s physically very painful on hands to be contorted into weird positions for climbing and guitar playing or ukulele. But I think I have struck a balance, and music inspiration is something that’s constantly floating around me. I don’t have to look for it; I just always wanna play. Not a day goes by that I’m not playing my ukulele for at least a few minutes, or my guitar, or just whistling some random song that I’m making up, and definitely singing really loudly to myself in the car, like most normal people.

Post surf-session

SM: So can we expect a PG-inspired ditty to come along in the second installment of the Abbey interview series?

AL: I would maybe like to keep my work and music life separate. BUT, that said, have you ever seen NPR’s tiny desk concert series? It’s so good! Go to YouTube and search ‘tiny desk concert’. It’s in an NPR office in New York and they’ve had famous or semi-famous musical artists and bands come in and perform a little mini-concert at the desks of the NPR staff. Wilco [for instance] will just set up something rudimentary – they’ll have guitars, but the drummer (because it’s a tiny office) will sit at a desk and use a bunch of staplers and paperclip things. Wilco’s a really good one. Lucius, that little New York band that I like, has a really good one too. I am hoping to have a tiny desk concert maybe occasionally at my desk. I’ve never had a desk before! The first thing I thought about having a desk was, “oh! Tiny desk concert!”


SM: So you spent a year and a half or so working the desk at Planet Granite starting back in 2010 and then disappeared for a year before returning to re-join the current crew.  Lots of rumors floated around about where you went in between PG stints. Care to clear some of them up?

AL: I was in Truckee. I thought that was obvious … we had a going away party! I felt a little bit of wanderlust, and thought, I wanna try living in the mountains. I didn’t expect to stay there forever, but also I was open to that possibility. It was really, really hard to leave Planet Granite at that time. I remember all of the very mixed emotions at that going away party.

But Tahoe was great. I feel like I really got to know a specific climbing area and it became like home turf to me, [especially] since I didn’t grow up actually climbing at a home crag. Being in Tahoe for the winter also led me to Bishop a lot, which was great because I had never been there before. And it only took me three and a half hours to get there as opposed to the 10 hours it took you guys from the Bay. But I definitely missed the city, and every time I’d come back here to visit I’d remember how much I missed everybody! I knew that if I moved back to San Francisco I would absolutely want to work at Planet Granite again because it’s full of so many awesome people.


SM: And here you are, in July 2013. Everything’s come full circle.

AL: Here I am, livin the dream!

Getting friendly with some rock in Joshua Tree. Photo by Joanna Rasmussen

Getting friendly with some rock in Joshua Tree. Photo by Joanna Rasmussen

SM: You mentioned that you didn’t grow up climbing at a home crag, or at all. One of the things I really appreciate about you is that you love all kinds of climbing. You sport climb, boulder, trad climb; you’ve also been known to hang out at the top of a multi-pitch classic with Steph Davis on occasion.

Tell me a little bit about some of your most memorable climbing experiences? Everybody’s had an epic.

AL: Well, like I said before, being in Truckee for a whole year definitely made that place very sentimental to me.  I do really enjoy all different styles of climbing. I feel like I just kinda go with the ebb and flow of what my gut is telling me that I should be pursuing.

When I first started climbing, I hated bouldering and just wanted to get as high off the ground as possible. But then last winter I went to Bishop for the 1st time and was like, “wait a second. This is so rad!” With bouldering, I feel like if you have a community of people to climb with, you’re golden. It’s so fun. You get to really see what kind of power you have in you.

Hmmm, particular climbing experiences that stand out … besides getting stranded on top of a dome in a Tuolumne thunderstorm? Well, I don’t wanna name drop, BUT … climbing with Steph Davis was a huge influence. I read her book before I even started climbing. I just saw it in a Patagonia store and bought it. I was super curious. I had always wanted to rock climb and I just had no way into it. I read her book when I lived in New York City, and then I moved to San Francisco and started climbing. Probably less than a year later, I was in Moab climbing Castleton with Steph Davis.


SM: Talk about living the dream!

AL: Meeting her after having read her book, and then just spending a chill day climbing with her was just so rad. You know, it’s funny; people stand out to me in climbing more than anything else. When I’m trying to wrap my brain around what experiences really stand out in my climbing life, I think of people – like climbing with Steph Davis and climbing with Fernando [Motta] and being in Bishop with the PG crew, and having so many great days with my best friend Joanna climbing some multi-pitch thing that we’re curious about in the middle of nowhere. It’s really the people that stand out in my memory, not any sick sends. I can barely remember the names of anything I’ve ever climbed and I’m always hazy on what the grade is. But always, the people stand out.

Summit of Castleton Tower, Moab. Photo by Steph Davis

Summit of Castleton Tower, Moab. Photo by Steph Davis

SM: Well, that really speaks to the core of Abbey li’l Lerouxski.

AL: I didn’t really think about it before, but all I see [when I think about my favorite experiences] are the faces and warm feelings of basking on a rock after a climb or drinking summit beers. Those things make me think, “oh, that was a successful trip.”


SM: Your brilliant current and former co-workers have come up with all kinds of clever nicknames for you, including Fumbleroux-ski, Yabbadabbadoodleroux-ski, Abu, the Hip Hoperatic Chickurkey, and Crabby Abbey. OOPS! Just kidding, nobody calls you that last one.

AL: That’s my childhood nickname.


SM: No way!

AL: I mean, that’s what I was called when I was a toddler.


SM: You’re part of a big mob of PG folks who have all gotten really psyched on surfing at the same time.

AL: The surf safari!

Skydiving over Lodi.

Skydiving over Lodi.

SM: I saw yer new ripstick, brah! Where have you headed recently to seek out waves, and can you hang ten?

AL: I cannot hang ten, unfortunately. I wish I could. I’ve been going to the Hook in Santa Cruz a LOT. It’s summer, so it’s not the greatest anywhere up here, but I really like the Hook and I like Santa Cruz. I like going super early in the morning to beat some locals out and get some practice in when there aren’t a ton of people around, and meet the nice locals who are there. It’s been awesome!


SM: That’s the reason your hands are tan. Just your hands.

AL: Just my hands! And my plethora of freckles. They’re just merging into one giant unit. Ugh! I just love the outdoors. And outdoorsiness. This morning – not unusually – we were just sitting there waiting for a set to roll in, and a little dolphin comes swimming by, and an otter … every time I’m out there, I see at least an otter or a seal, or just a pod of dolphins.


SM: Is the break pretty far out at the Hook?

AL: No, but there are some major kelp beds out there so a lot of critters hang around to find their food.

Bouldering in North Lake Tahoe, photo by James Adamson

Bouldering in North Lake Tahoe, photo by James Adamson

SM: Maybe one day I’ll get out there too.

AL: Yeah! It’s too hot to climb anywhere right now so it’s been fun to try something new.  I’m still kind of new to climbing in a lot of ways, since I discovered it as an adult, but I feel like I’ve been at it long enough to know that if I want to keep doing it forever I occasionally need to take a break and mix up my training. I had my worst injury ever this year, and being super stoked about surfing has eased the break from climbing and has kept me from pushing through recovery too fast.


SM: You and I are both gluten-free vegans. The difference is that you cook sometimes and, like … eat a vegetable once in a while, whereas I subsist on a steady diet of things that come out of packages, such as potato chips and sugar cubes. Your homemade gluten free bread is ridiculous and your vegan nutella is famous among Planet Graniteers. What outlandish concoctions have you been whipping up recently, and where in the city do you go out to eat when you feel like treating yourself?

AL: Ugh, I’ve felt like treating myself way too often lately!

When I do cook at home, I’m cookin two heads of broccoli and some rice with vegetable broth. I’m going macrobiotic at home because of all the burritos I eat, and all the falafel, and whatnot. So I haven’t been very creative in the kitchen lately. When I lived by myself a few months ago … those were the glory days.

Tuolumne, photo by James Adamson

Tuolumne, photo by James Adamson

SM: So, how are you feeling overall [about the new job]? How are you feeling transitioning into the role, what do you envision as your job, and what are some projects you’re excited to take on?

As we touched on before, I’m loving the enthusiasm from the staff here. I’m really enjoying getting to know the other managers and the owners. I‘m realizing the incredibly cohesive team needed to run all the gyms. (Former project manager) Brett McIntosh always used to joke that the gym basically runs itself. That joke is WAY funnier to me now than it ever has been because it really does take so many people on a daily basis – from front desk to event staff, routesetters, and management – just to keeping things running smoothly. Implementing fresh ideas is really important but really time-consuming. It takes a lot of innovative thinking and people who know how to implement it. So it’s been really fun to see that side of things more and be involved in it.

One thing that I am excited about is working on curriculum to fill the gap in our intermediate classes. As an instructor at Planet Granite I’ve felt that hole in our curriculum for a long time. I taught BRC (Beginning Rock Climbing) and Balance&Technique, belay lessons, the lead class; I’ve taken Power&Endurance twice. But the gap between where Balance & Technique leaves off and the branch that goes to Lead or the branch that goes to Power&Endurance is a huge stretch. That’s probably the biggest thing that I’m most excited about, because as an instructor I really feel the need for it, [especially] having met so many awesome people who are there and looking for it. You’re not forgotten; we’re thinking of ways to help you become a better climber.


SM: I can’t wait to see what you guys unveil. It definitely is something that applies to a huge percentage of the folks here. So is there anything else you wanna share?

AL: … I feel like we kinda covered it!


SM: Okay! I’m gonna go wash [the cheezy poofs off] my hands now.

AL: I think we’re done then.

Bouldering in Bishop with the interviewer. Photo by Jeremy Spitz

Bouldering in Bishop with the interviewer. Photo by Jeremy Spitz




Stephanie never leaves any food on her plate, always makes wishes at 11:11, and laughs at approximately 120 dB. Ask her about high-fiving trees.

Aug 192013

On August 7th Planet Granite San Francisco hosted the 4th annual ASCA Live Auction Fundraiser.  To support the American Safe Climbing Association as part of our PG Gives Back program, Planet Granite pledged to match up to $20,000 of all donations made between the August 1st and 15th.

When the night came to an end,
a total of $ 8471 was raised for the ASCA.

Over the next few days more online donations poured in,
and the final count was over 24k!

With the 20k match from Planet Granite,
we beat our goal from last year
with over $44,000 dollars raised for the ASCA!

This means to date, Planet Granite has helped raise
over $140,000 for the ASCA since 2009.
We are proud to support such a great organization!

ASCA Fundraiser - Planet Granite 130807-037

guest speaker Chris Sharma at PG SF

As folks arrived to find a seat, they were greeted by tables filled up with prizes, local cold brew coffee Flux on tap, cases of Napa wine to accompany every purchase, and most importantly, the guest of honor Chris Sharma was in the house for a special presentation.

ASCA Fundraiser - Planet Granite 130807-023

Perusing the overly stuffed auction item table!

The highlights of the auction included the bidding for the newly released GoPro Hero3, a special edition Timbuk2 messenger bag with the PG Logo and not surprisingly, an autographed photograph of Mr. Chris Sharma himself.   The audience went crazy when free Prana chalk bags, water bottles and cliff bars were thrown out into the crowd.  Excitement was high and every dollar spent was going towards a great cause!

ASCA Fundraiser - Planet Granite 130807-031

Packed house

It’s a truly special moment when a community comes together and makes an effort to bring about a positive change to the environment.  Spending time in the mountains is a rare gift awarded to all of us in the rock climbing community. Planet Granite is grateful to the friends that came out to the event and made donations to support the ASCA.  See you next year!


In addition to the donations from Patagonia, Mountain Hardware, SuperTopo, BigUpProductions, Metoilius, Prana, LuluLemon and Adobe, a ton of small businesses from the Bay area stepped up and were happy to participate. Special thanks to Lola Kay vineyards, Flux Coffee, Lombardi Sports, The Priest Station Café, Escape Campervans, Sports Basement, Sky Dive Hollister, House of Air, Huckberry, Fixed Hardware, Timbuk2, Aqua Surf Shop, Chateau Montelena and Go Kart Racer for their generous contributions.

Special thanks to everyone who donated!  For more photos, check out our Facebook Page.

ASCA Fundraiser - Planet Granite 130807-006

A good snapshot of what the ASCA does. Would you want to climb on the bolts on the left, or the shiny new ones on the right? :)

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PG SF staff with Chris Sharma!

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Auctioneers Patty and Mitch with Asst Manager Nick at the auction table

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guest speaker and founder of the ASCA, Chris McNamara

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ASCA Director Greg Barnes (left) shaking hands with Sharma

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Huge thanks to the team who put this show together: Patty, Jackie and Jeff.

ASCA Fundraiser - Planet Granite 130807-009

Thanks Boone Speed for donating such an amazing photo to be used for our poster!


Thanks to everyone who donated to the event!




Sender Films

SkyDive Hollister

Chaya San Francisco

Patxi’s San Francisco

Jacqui Rowley

Hans Florine


Psoas Massage & Bodywork

Big Stone Publishing

GoKart Racer


Mike Crow

BigUp Productions

Chris McNamara


Corey Rich

Lulu Lemon

Chateau Montelena

Escape Campervans

Aqua Surf Shop


The TacoShop at Underdogs

Mountain Hardware

Burgess Wine from Napa Valley


House of Air


Lombardi Sports

Scratch Labs in Boulder,CO

Hood River Coffee

Arno Ilgner

The TechShop


Flux Coffee

Fixe Hardware

Seven Stills in San Francisco

ThinkTank Photo


Presidio Sport and Medicine

Gsports Physical Therapy

Dandelion Chocolate

Eryn Lauckern CMT

Mission Workshop

Outback Adventures

Recycle Resoles in Marin

De La Fountain

Accelerate Sports Medicine

Team of 2: Kris Peters and Justen Sjong

Steve Dawson

Roaring Mouse Cycles

Priest Station Café and Denise Anker

Conrad Anker

Alex Matus

GoKart Racer

Miki Marvel

Todd Offenbacher


Aug 132013

It’s back!  Our Planet Granite Bloc Party competition starts up again this Friday!   Registration opens at 4:30pm!

This FREE event for PG members is a great time to hang out with friends, test your skills on some great new problems, enjoy some food and of course, earn a chance to win some prizes!

For those of you new to our comp series, here are the details:
3 Locations – 1 Onsight Final
Friday August 16th – PG Sunnyvale
Friday September 13th – PG Belmont
Friday October 18th – PG San Francisco + Onsight Series Final!


Check back after each comp. Scores and photos will be posted here:

Competitions are open to people of all ages and categories are as follows:
Recreational V0-V3
Advanced V3-V6
Open V6+

Recreational V0-V2
Advanced V2-V4
Open V5+

Comp is free for members and only $15 for non-members!  All participants who turn in a completed score card will receive a FREE  Bloc Party Tshirt!

The top 5 scores of the competitions from each mens and womens are invited to compete in a Series Final that takes place at the end of the last comp. The Series Final consists of 3 problems with 5 minutes for each competitor to attempt the climb. Winners take home cold hard cash.

$150 – first place
$100 – second place
$50 – third place

Plus ALL participants will be entered into our raffle.  Awesome prizes from our favorite vendors will be raffled off at the end of each competition, so no worries if you don’t think you’ll get first in your category, you still have a chance to win something cool!




Aug 122013

And they are back!  This elite training duo from Boulder CO, Justen Sjong and Kris Peters, are returning at the end of a August for round 2 of their training program!  Last month, we hosted their Power Endurance Training Camp and this month they are coming back to train POWER.

Justen Sjong, aka “Sensei,” has been a mentor and coach to a number of staff and famous athletes.  Stephanie Pound, one of PG’s managers whose hardest redpoint includes The Juice, 5.14a, was impressed with the feedback he was able to give her.  “Until now, I thought climbing slow and steady was the best way, but Justen taught me to incorporate breath and contrast: how to power through tough moves with focused breath and then slow it down to recover.  Kris taught me how hard I can push myself.  With their training, I am better prepared to push my limits and find my peak power endurance.”

Adriel Rodriguez, one of PG’s routesetters and competitive coaches, commented, “Since taking the Team of 2 clinic, I have been super inspired to push and find my limits in all 3 areas: Mentally, Technically and Physically. I incorporate everything I learned to try to find my awesomeness throughout my training and plan to utilize it to better my climbing, as well as help and inspire others the way you guys have inspired me. Thank you.”

Kris Peters is an excellent trainer who focuses on the needs of climbers.  He understands the human body and knows how to push you to be your best.  Check out this video of him working with climbing rock star, Emily Harrington.  He is currently working with some of the top names in climbing!


Team of 2 Combo Flyer

See details below.


This exciting training program incorporates classroom education and first hand experience with the skills needed to enhance your current level of Power.

  • Art of Warming Up
  • What is Power?
  • Finding and Calming your Inner Beast
  • Ways to use Campus Board & System Board
  • Training Routines
  • Personal Feedback

Minimum Climbing Ability: V4

8 hour Program Cost: $280 PG members, $290 non-members

Locations & Dates
Planet Granite, Sunnyvale August 24th from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Planet Granite, San Francisco August 25th from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM

For more details, contact Justen Sjong at


If you want to take your climbing to the next level then you need to sign up for a one one on session with Kris Peters. Current trainer of top climbers consisting of Matt Segal, Daniel Woods, Alex Johnson, Emily Harrington and many more! Get a session designed around your specific goals and get a program that will be designed to your specific needs!
Locations & Dates
Planet Granite, Sunnyvale  Wednesday August 21st
Planet Granite, San Francisco Thursday August 22nd
Book your times with Kris directly.

Member Rate: 1 Hour – $65 2 Hours – $100
Non Member: 1 Hour – $75 2 Hours – $110

Contact Kris Peters at to sign up or for more information.

Sign Up now to hold your space!