Spring Bouldering In Bishop

20 04 2009

We had planned on a Limestone excursion to Saint George but the weather gods decided that was not in the cards. After some searching on NOAA.gov we thought Bishop would be a workable alternative. Bouldering is a good way for us to have a relaxing weekend with the hassle of ropes and Bishop is fairly close to Pasadena.  It was a rainy Friday (last week)  in both LA and San Diego and our drive up towards the sierras was much the same.  When it wasn’t raining on the 395 we could at see the clouds dumping snow in the mountains in the distance on either side of the road. The rain lessened as we approached the town of Bishop and when we pulled into the Pit, a local campground, the ground was completely dry.  

By chance on the drive up I had called Jamie and he was headed up to Bishop that night with two friends, Daniel and Megan, from Santa Barbara. We reserved them a site and were happy to share breakfast the following morning after their midnight arrival.  Jamie and crew spent Saturday at Dale’s Camp and the Buttermilks and we went to the Sads. Lizzy prefers Volcanic Tablelands and wanted to work on one of her projects from last trip, Sad Parrot. My fingers are still not in top shape so I focused on flashing easier problems and climbing on slopers. We were quite successful on Saturday since Lizzy sent her project and I flashed my first V5 and did another in three tries.  Daniel took a bad fall off Evilution and hurt his ankle so Jamie and Megan decided to join us on Sunday at the Happies. This left Daniel to spend Easter morning at the local Casino before the SB crew returned home.

Sunday started for me with a Flash of the super fun Slap Happy and Pirate Booty. Slap Happy is very simple and has fun moves on large slopers that requires commitment and body tension. Lizzy worked on Mr. Witty and Jamie and I both sent Will’s Arete, which I had tried on a previous trip.  Jamie sent first and I had a surprise send when I took Jamie’s advice and really pushed with my feet to stick the crux throw.  This problem is meaningful for me since I tried it on my first trip to Bishop in November of 2007 and it seemed impossible despite being V5. I appreciate each piece of progression as I am able to work through my weaknesses.

Lizzy ran a few laps on, Heavenly Path, and Megan, despite being fairly new to climbing, topped out this heady highball. Near the end of the day I got on my other main project, Every Color You Are V6. On the last three trips I had fallen off the second to last move before finally seeing an essential bit of beta. I had yet to try the  high right heel hook, but was convinced since I had seen it work. I fell off a few times trying to figure out how to throw up my heel before some other climbers stopped by. A strong dude from Portland sent Every Color first try using the heel hook and I was impressed.  On my next try I got up to the second to last hold and unable to figure out the proper technique threw my lower body to the right. My feet cut, legs making a big arc and all of a sudden my heel was in the right place! I bumped up my left hand, like I had just seen, but stalled not knowing if I should go left or right to the final jug. I was barely holding on using both hands and my spotters were encouraging me loudly to go for it, but how! I bumped my right hand and my fingers wrapped around the elusive jug. I was ecstatic but shaking from the extended effort and carefully moved my feet up through the final easy moves to top out! Sunday was one of my best climbing days in months with my fingers fairly pain free and  two projects sent. I carried my excitement and cooled down on a few more climbs before heading to The Loony Bean for a celebratory Chai.

It seems this will be our last trip to Bishop for the season and I was happy to put a few of my projects to rest. Next season I hope to recover my crimp strength and get on Los Locs and The Checkerboard which have been in my mind for the last year or so.  Lizzy has been doing awesome bouldering and is working her way up through the grades. She even has a few projects and is excited to get back on Mr. Witty and Action Figure.

Enjoy the photos!

– Luke


Lizzy sizes up the shady warmup.



Lizzy makes the warmup look good!



Lizzy works out some sweet mantel beta for a fun problem on the Reward and Treason Boulders. 



Lizzy enjoyes the stress free bouldering lifestyle.



Using Lizzy’s beta Luke flashes the  Space Suit.



Luke plays around on an fun unknown problem.



Lizzy sizes up the next move to the small chalked gaston on Sad Parrot



The crux finger pocket of Sad Parrot



Luke starts up Pirate Booty



Jamie makes quick work of Pirate Booty



Luke gets ready to throw for a sloper on Slap Happy. 



Lizzy pulls off the ground on Mr. Witty


bishop-april-09-146Lizzy pushes left into the tricky rockover start of Mr. Witty



Megan works her way up the fun V1 right of Solarium



Jamie figures out some beta for Solarium


bishop-april-09-176Jamie tops out the sandbagged Solarium






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