Post by Danielle, a personal trainer and fitness instructor in SF

Climbing is a challenging sport. It requires a great deal of technique, strength, flexibility, endurance and power. I see a ton of climbers at our gym who have so much technique and skill – but sometimes, there’s one part of the puzzle that is holding them back from those bigger more challenging climbs.

First off, I want to clear the air about one misconception – just lifting weights will not cause you to get bulky or gain weight (though, if that is your goal, it is possible with the right diet and routine!). With the right choice of reps and weight, an athlete can get stronger, denser muscle but not put get bulky. In turn, having more dense muscle in the body will cause the metabolism to increase – allowing us to burn more calories throughout the day without any additional exercise – which translates to less body fat. So by adding denser muscle – we will get stronger AND we will lose weight! That’s a win-win for our sport!

Most climbers do a lot of upper body PULLING and usually have a good base of slow twitch muscle fibers; the muscle fibers that are necessary for endurance sports like long distance running or yoga. While climbers have exceptionally strong backs and biceps, there are a few exercises we can add to give them an extra edge on their abilities. The movements I’ve found that translate to better power and strength for climbing are those that build fast twitch muscle fibers, improve overhead mobility and increase stability through the core. So let’s get into it. Which exercises are the best compliments for climbers – and WHY should I add them into my training?Read More…

The perfect team shares your psyche, pushes you to be your best and helps you laugh at all the silly little things that life throws at you. They make you more creative, more compassionate, more connected. Together you dream up cool adventures, embark on fascinating journeys and stand on distant summits. A great team makes the climb even more rewarding.

With that, we are very proud to announce our newest addition to the Planet Granite and Earth Treks family, Robert Cohen! Robert is joining as our new CEO and will be the perfect teammate to guide us as we continue to create incredible places for our communities to gather.Read More…

Happy New Year’s PG community!

To wrap up the year, here’s one last quick update from 2017:

For most of this month, I focused on recovering my broken hand from the injury I sustained at the end of November. Most of the recovery process involved spending 4 weeks in a cast, then doing some simple finger movements once I’d gained some basic mobility. It was hard to once again be forced to take time off of training and climbing, but I was able to fill the time productively with some fun activities.

One of the more unique opportunities I had in December was to visit my friend Daniel Gershin at University of Nevada – Reno (UNR). I’d met Daniel a couple years ago at the Red Rock Rendezvous while taking a wilderness first aid course, and kept in contact with him over the years to help him develop the school’s climbing team/club. Earlier this year, Daniel reached out to me to see if I was interested in doing a speaking event at UNR, to which I gladly accepted! It was super cool to see the club Daniel had started himself have such an incredible impact on the community, with dozens of students participating in both the competitive team and the recreational club. I had an amazing time sharing my climbing experiences with the club and leading a mental training clinic with their competitive team. We also got to do a bit of hiking in the Reno/Tahoe area and check out some Escape Rooms while in town (new favorite hobby!).Read More…

It’s the New Year and with that comes a time to look at the possibilities that 2018 presents. Whether your New Year’s resolution includes trying something new, getting in shape, or improving on your hobby, a Planet Granite membership can help!  Through January 31st, you can get a Planet Granite Membership while paying $0 Initiation!

Don’t wait! On February 1st, initiation returns to $45!

My goal is to try something new!

Awesome! Trying something new is a great way to challenge yourself in various ways – mentally, physically, emotionally. Climbing can be intimidating but there is a reason so many people love it – it can be an exhilarating experience for people of any age! Once you have a membership, you can come in whenever we are open and boulder or rope climb! Plus, with a membership, you can sign up for 2 free Belay Lessons per day – one for you and one for a friend or bring two friends in if you already know how to belay!

Already climbing? Try out our group classes – we offer Yoga and Fitness classes daily that are included in your membership!

I want to take my climbing to the next level!

One of the great things about climbing is that there is always another challenge – a new grade, a new type of climbing, a new technique – that you can do. With our climbing classes, you can work on beginner skills in our Fundamentals or Beginner Rock Climbing courses or learn drills and techniques in Balance and Technique. Want to try a different type of climbing? Lead climbing and Crack climbing can open up a lot more terrain to climbers looking to challenge themselves! While these classes available for everyone*, as a member, you receive a discount our regular classes and clinics!

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Tommy Bell was part of the Earth Treks Rockville family for more than six years hosting birthday parties, teaching climbing classes and much more. Best known for his ever-present smile and seemingly endless supply of positivity, Tommy embodied the best in all of us. Our community lost Tommy far too soon when he passed away in a bicycle crash in the Spring of 2017.



We hope to honor his memory and three of his deepest passions: photography, spreading happiness and rock climbing with the annual Tommy Bell Photo Contest! Post your most happy, passion-filled climbing pic on Instagram using the#CanIFocus, #EarthTreks and #PlanetGranite hashtags for a chance to have your photograph displayed in Earth Treks Rockville on a majorly large scale for the entirety of 2018. After that, the winner’s large print will be displayed at a different Earth Treks or Planet Granite gym and a framed smaller print will live in Rockville indefinitely on the Tommy Bell Gallery Wall.

One day, we will fill this gallery with photos of, or by, folks in our community doing what they love—rock climbing.



It’s easy to enter, simply post your most happy, passion-filled climbing pic on Instagram using the #CanIFocus #EarthTreks and #PlanetGranite hashtags. Post as many times as you want and your best pics from previous climbing trips are allowed! Contest runs January 1, 2018 – January 31, 2018.

Why #CanIFocus? It is Tommy’s Instagram handle!



  • Their image reproduced on a large scale and displayed for one year in Rockville and then will move to other gyms.
  • After one year, a smaller version of the image will remain in Rockville on the Tommy Bell Gallery Wall.
  • In addition, 1st place will receive $200 Earth Treks/Planet Granite gift card, 2nd place will receive $100 Earth Treks/Planet Granite gift card and 3rd will receive $50 Earth Treks/Planet Granite gift card.Read More…

Giving back to the community that makes us who we are is one of our core values and we strive to live that core value throughout the year through fundraising, clean ups, partnerships, and donations of time, access to the gym, and money.

Since the start of our Give Back program in 2010, we have given 1% back to the community and will continue to give back in 2018. We focus on 3 different areas for our donations – climbing, the environment, and under-resourced youth.

Overall, we donated over $105,000 in 2017. We would love to share the stories from some of the organizations that our Giving Back partnered with. Read More…

This year, Planet Granite was lucky enough to be able to donate $5,000 to the SharmaFund, a non-profit who dedicates their time to giving underprivileged kids the experience of rock climbing. Lisa, one of the SharmaFund’s coordinators, shares her experiences with the group:

Planet Granite + SharmaFund from Planet Granite on Vimeo.

In the video, you will see a couple of different groups that we’ve been doing ongoing trips with this fall. One is a middle school group from Bishop (Home Street Middle School), and the other is a middle school group from Big Pine (Big Pine Middle School). You will notice the happy faces of the young climbers, who only recently got introduced to the sport through us. We take them to a few different spots around the Bishop area. In the video are the Fish Slough Boulders and the Happy Boulders. These kids had never been to either spot before.
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Total donated $20,000; total raised $46,000+: 

In October, Planet Granite partnered with the American Safe Climbing Association to raise money to replace bad bolts around the country. Planet Granite has plenty of staff, friends, members, and guests who climb outside and it is one of our main priorities to make sure that those of us who climb outside are using bolts that won’t just come out with a little tug.

How do you know when to trust the gear on which your life depends?

The ASCA gives money to local climbing organizations to help with their efforts to rebolt areas or, through the help of volunteers, the ASCA rebolts areas itself. One of the local California crags that many of us have climbed at is Pinnacles and through the efforts of the Friends of Pinnacles rebolting team, they have replaced quite a few sketchy bolts.

Bruce Hildenbrand is the president of Friends of Pinnacles and has quite a few stories to tell about the rebolting efforts at Pinnacles that get their bolts from the ASCA and with other climbing organizations like the Access Fund.

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Hey there again, PG!

Since my last update, I’ve wrapped up my global tour in China and headed back home to the Bay Area. After spending more than 6 months of the year traveling to over a dozen different countries, it was nice to finally be back home.

During the first several days of being home, I had the opportunity to teach a ninja-based physics course for middle schoolers from Synapse School in Menlo Park. I had been working with the kids remotely via Skype while I was in China, but this was my first time meeting them all in person. We met up at Obstacourse (a newly-opened obstacle gym) and had a great time playing around on the obstacles, analyzing the physics behind the movement, and doing a couple full-course runs as well. I, for one, had a blast and hope the kids enjoyed the experience as well!

While it would have been nice to take a well-deserved rest and recover the minor injury in my right hand,  (keep that in mind for later) my competition schedule said otherwise. The weekend after my return to the Bay, I packed up my bag once again and headed out to Denver for the second stop on the 2017 Wolfpack Ninja Tour.

It had been a while since my last venture into the world of ninja sports, but I was really looking forward to heading out to the event for several reasons: 1) I would get to see all my ninja friends again, 2) it would be a great opportunity to test my climbing training on a ninja course, and 3) the main focus of the event is mostly on providing a positive experience for all the kids in attendance and encouraging them to follow healthy, active lifestyles. Couldn’t ask for much more!

As fate would have it, all the focus that I’d devoted to recovering my right hand’s minor injury ended up backfiring. On only my second qualifying run on the course, I whacked my left hand on one of the obstacles, prompting me to back out of the competition following some aggressive swelling. The swelling died down after the first day, and an initial assessment by some physicians at the event told me that my hand would ‘most likely’ be fine.Read More…

Whether you are a regular day pass user looking to save some money or know someone who is looking to get into climbing, yoga, or fitness, now is that time to get a membership to Planet Granite!

December 1st – December 31st, all Planet Granite locations are offering $0 initiation on new memberships!

Being a member of Planet Granite has a ton of great benefits including:

  • Unlimited access to all Planet Granite locations
    • Unlimited climbing
    • Unlimited Yoga & fitness classes
  • Discounted rates on PG instructional and climbing classes and workshops
  • 10% off any item in PG Gear Shops (excluding already discounted or package items)
  • Guest passes at PG
  • Discounts with vendors (varies depending on season, subscribe to our newsletter for updates!)
  • Access to all Earth Treks locations

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