Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bishop, CA

We've been in Bishop for a week now. Climbing hasn't been great because of really really shitty weather but this place definitely has the potential to be an insanely fun destination. There are about half a dozen big places to boulder within 20 minutes from the town of Bishop but the areas we've been and the most famous ones are the Happies, the Sads, and the Buttermilks. The first few days were just me and Tom staying at this campground called the Pit. It was a really ugly and crowded but only cost 2 dollars a night for the both of us.

On Saturday Siebe got here from Vegas and we also met up with Jess Suleiman who's living in Bishop now. So far we've only climbed 4 days due to the weather, 3 days in the Happies and Sads and then a day in the Buttermilks. The Happies and Sads, also known as the Volcanic Tablelands, is made really hard Volcanic Tuff rock with tons of little pockets with a really ugly sharp texture. The climbing isn't bad, it reminds us of a poor man's Hueco with a lot less rock and not quite as unique as Hueco. There's not many memorable lines we've done there either. Me and Tom did a few classics like The Hulk (v6) and Strength in Numbers (v5) and on our second day I was getting really really close to sending a v10 called Acid Wash. I was able to do all the moves except for the crux start which I didn't really try more than once.

Now we're camping in a beautiful free dirtbag camping spot near the Sads. We're on the side of a ridge atop the volcanic tablelands and we're able to look out on all of Bishop and the Sierra Mountains. We're camping next to a really cool group of people from all over (Utah, So. Colorado, Quebec, Sweden, and Cape Cod) and last night we got really drunk together on whiskey and listened to each others stories and had a blast.

Yesterday was the first day climbing at the Buttermilks, what Bishop's really famous for. It was beautiful. The Milks which are about 2000 feet higher than the other areas is made up of massive granite boulders that stand alone on the hillside below the Sierras. The rock is this clean pristine granite that is so gritty and offers the perfect friction for climbing much less featured rock. Almost all the boulders are highballs and it really tests your mental game. I didn't get on much yesterday except for a few warmups and a really cool but hard v6 arete/prow. Tom was working on a classic v7 called High Plains Drifter and Siebe a v10 called Evilution. Its snowing again in the milks today but hopefully we'll get up there again by tomorrow or Friday.

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