Planet Granite is thrilled to announce we are hosting a Team of 2 Training Camp! This is an amazing opportunity to work with some of the best trainers in the climbing and fitness industry to help you hone your skills! Space is limited, so sign up early! All inquiries and requests to sign-up should go to Justen Sjong. For a little background on Team of 2, check out this presentation or their Facebook Page!
Kris Peters has trained some of the best names in climbing, such as Alex Johnson and Emily Harrington. And Justen, who many of us know from when he worked at PG, coaching and setting, has coached many athletes including Emily Harrington, Daniel Woods and Adam Stack – he’s an incredible climber, motivator and has a really keen eye for technique.
Team of 2 – Training Camp – Full Day
Thanks for taking interest in a new and exciting concept that incorporates the Technical, Mental and Physical aspects of climbing into a single program. We explore your climbing through these three different lenses. Thanks in advance! Justen Sjong & Kris Peters
Camp Topic: Power Endurance
Program Details This exciting training program incorporates classroom education and first hand experience with the skills needed to enhance your current level of Power Endurance. We will cover the following topics.
- Art of Warming Up
- Creating Direction
- Mistakes are Opportunities
- Finding and Calming your Inner Beast
- Training Drills
- Personal Feedback
Dates & Locations
July 20th at Sunnyvale from 8 AM to 5 PM
July 21st at San Francisco from 8 AM to 5 PM
Minimum Climbing Ability: 5.11+
Cost: $280 PG Members, $290 non-members
Expectations It’s very important to be upfront with our expectations while working together in the training camp. Since this program works as a group format we ask you to provide positive energy to the group. There are times that we can provide a quick fix where you might see gains right away. But, for most of us, progress takes hard work, time and patience. You can hope to have 30+ minutes of focused attention from each of us during this full day camp. Important note: when we explain an exercise, skill, drill or routine and it doesn’t make sense, please let us know and we’ll attempt to explain another way.
- Show up 10 minutes before the Training Camp.
- Warm up for ten minutes then head into the cycling room that will be used as a classroom.
- In the Classroom, we will discuss the plan for the day in more detail.
- Most plans will have the whole group split into smaller groups and rotate to each of the stations.
- If you have feedback for Kris or Justen please send it our way. It’s very important that the Training Camp reach your expectations. If, we’re not relaying the information in a way that excites you to work on the routines or skills that need improvement, let us know!
To sign up or for more details, please send inquiries to Justen Sjong: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Access Fund (AF) has just released a position paper on the newest draft of the Merced River Plan (MRP). The paper briefly mentions some of the major actions that the plan proposes, and highlights four specific areas that the Access Fund is urging the Yosemite Planners and National Park Service (NPS) to consider more in-depth. A link to the paper can be found here.
Comments are needed no later than April 30th, and you can comment via this webform HERE. We support the Access Fund’s position and urge you to comment. The Access Fund has just released an easy letter writing tool to help you submit your feedback found HERE.
While the plan does not affect Yosemite climbing directly, it does have potential, indirect ramifications down the line. In order to understand the possible long-term effects it is important to understand a little about what the Merced River Plan is and why the Access Fund is involved.
Essentially, portions of the Merced River are declared by Congress to be a National Wild and Scenic River, such as the part running through Yosemite Valley. This means the National Park Service has certain obligations to maintain and protect many of the natural qualities of the river, and they have attempted to implement a couple different plans over the years. Jumping ahead to today, the NPS is now on attempt number 3 to push through a plan that would put in place the adequate enhancements and protections to preserve the Merced’s natural awe and luster as well as do some much needed maintenance while they’re at it. So how does any of this affect us as climbers?
As climbers, we take trips to Yosemite to hike, to sightsee, and of course, to climb. In truth, anything that affects Yosemite will affect visitors, including climbers, and the variety of ways we use the beautiful valley. As the Access Fund’s paper points out, there are a few plans that DO deal directly with climbing in the Valley that will be coming down the pipeline. This is why we need to pay attention.
With all these plans, there are a number of parties who will be affected and all have their own vested interests. We, as climbers, are one of those parties but even we do not have common ground. Among us, there are pushes for more extreme measures (e.g. doing away with parking proposals, campsites near crags, etc). Well-intentioned as they may be, there may be possible downsides for pushing too far in the direction of our own interests. The unfortunate reality is that we’re dealing in the realm of politics.
The unspoken fear is that if we can’t help the NPS finally push a proposal through, Congress may pass a law over-riding the Park’s current plan that would likely increase commercialization and have negative impacts on the interests of climbers. The other possible problem with pulling too hard toward a more utopian plan is that climbers have been slowly making positive relationships with Yosemite Rangers and have a lot of momentum to lose in the following plans if we, fairly or unfairly, are made to look like mindless rabble-rousers.
All this aside, there is room for positive change within the latest MRP. The Access Fund has put out an open call to climbers to contact them with opinions, questions, concerns, and ideas pertaining to the upcoming draft. Look over the Access Fund points here and comment here. At the risk of oversimplifying I see climbers as having three options: push for a more climber-centric plan now and risk losing valuable traction on upcoming plans that will directly effect us; work to have climber interests met in the current draft; or do nothing. If the latter finds you bivied under a street light outside of the new El Capitan gift shop – tough luck.
Sincere thanks to the Access Fund and Jason Keith for supplying us with mounds of information and taking the time to answer our multitudinous questions.
Traffic in Nairobi is horrible. Truly.
45 minutes into my (ridiculously expensive) cab ride I was regretting my decision to check out East Africa’s new (and only) climbing gym.
Needless to say I was NOT in a good mood when I arrived at Diamond Plaza last month.
Looking up at the shopping mall (yes shopping mall!) in front of me I felt even less inspired.
What a weird place to have a climbing gym. I slowly grumbled my way up the SIX flights of stairs.
The moment I walked into Climb BlueSky all that anxiety melted away as I stared incredulously at what was, indeed, a ‘normal’ climbing gym. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but this blew me away. The fact that a climbing gym even exists in Nairobi is nothing short of a miracle quite frankly. I mean, who is going to invest in a facility for a sport that is virtually unknown to all but a few adrenaline junky expats housed in East Africa’s most vibrant economy?
Two guys from Texas. That’s who.
Andrew Conway and Stephen Powell have been best friends since their parents had them in diapers.
Upon graduating college both moved to Nairobi to work with BlueSky Adventures, an experiential learning organization that does ropes courses and summer camps. It was there they pitched a climbing gym to their new bosses. Two years, more than $250,000 dollars and multiple hand drawn sketches later they opened Climb BlueSky in November 2012.
These guys designed every single part of this gym. From the textured paint they put on the 3/4 inch plywood walls to the amphitheater room that hosts kids parties. There are currently about 25 roped routes on a 25 foot wall and 15 bouldering routes in a cave they built with a framework of metal square tubing and angle iron. Stephen ad Andrew are also the setters. None of the routes are graded per say, which makes roping up kind of fun to be honest. You never know what you are getting on.
The energy in the place is amazing. About 50% of all climbers there on a given night are new to the sport. That means the PSYCH is sky high. Seriously. You hear guys egging each other on in Swahili.
Small Indian kids wide-eyed as they fall off the wall.
Huge Masaii men grunting their way up routes. Loudly.
It is hilarious and loads of fun. And everyone is super psyched. Did I mention that?
Andrew explains the diversity.
“The climbing culture in East Africa is a unique one to say the least. The culture here is a mix of old school style and techniques from Europe. Everyone is keen on taking new people out and we enjoy getting new addicts to the sport!”
Climbers in East Africa are also extremely resourceful and creative. It’s virtually impossible to find gear. Stephen and Andrew have to wait months for shipments of things like chalk, shoes and holds to come in. Even seemingly simple things like disinfectant to clean shoes is impossible to find. And with so many new climbers the demand for gear is high. That’s part of the reason for my visit. Planet Granite San Francisco graciously offered to donate some of their used climbing shoes to the Climb Blue Sky Team!
I’m headed back in May – hoping to take the guys more shoes, climbing holds and anything else they may need to further their mission of spreading the climbing psych. Andrew and Stephen have big dreams for the gym but first and foremost they have to prove there is a market. Most gear companies and retailers have thus far refused to offer them pro-deals or support. Until then, it’s up to us, the wider global climbing community, to make sure they have what they need. So if you have anything you want to donate that is in good condition, let us know.
Kenya, by the way, has some great outdoor climbing. There is of course Mt. Kenya for the alpine climbing enthusiasts. For crack fiends such as myself there is a beautiful region called Hells Gate. And for some weekend cragging there is Lukenya. A 45-minute drive from Nairobi along Mombasa Road, this crag affords sweeping views of the landscape replete with giraffes on the horizon. I roped up for some sport climbing with the guys there one Saturday. Lets just say this rock does some damage to your pads.
PG SF member, Cris Valerio was in Nairobi on a mobile banking project as an Innovator in Residence at IDEO.org. She is a crack addict and aspires to be as strong as PGSF Assistant Manager Mick, grow sausage fingers like PG Sunnyvale Manager Eliot, monkey climb like PG Belmont Manager Jeremy, yard on gear as well as PG Retail Manager Carolyn and be half as cool as PGSF Manager Jeff’s wife.
Friction Series SF was two weeks ago and while we’re still reeling from the excitement, we are looking forward to Sunnyvale’s finale! Since launching the Friction Series back in 2009 and creating the first Bay Area Onsight Final in 2010 – this comp has grown to be a ton of fun and excitement! Local strong men and women get to duke it out high on ropes and compete for cold hard cash while we cheer them on! Even better, these routes stay up so you can test your strengths against some of the best climbers in our community.
As if you need more motivation to attend, we thought we’d recap San Francisco’s comp with some great photos by our own Brian Hedrick (aka CUZ) and guest photographer Jassa Campbell. Get psyched!!! And we’ll see YOU on Friday, April 19th at PG Sunnyvale. SCORES are posted here. Plus keep in mind the top 3 men and women will be invited to compete for cash the Series Final in Sunnyvale! Think you’re in the running - double check your standings! And check out all of our photos from the event HERE on our Facebook Page.
See you Friday April 19th at PG Sunnyvale for Friction Series part III and the Onsight Series Final!