Bishop, Bishop, Bishop!

10 02 2009

So far 2009 has been a bit ripe with injury. First Lizzy pulled a muscle in her chest and then about a month ago at the gym I heard the dreaded POP in my left pinky. I took some time off, got a new pair of running shoes and kicked into running mode.  Two weeks later my new shoes were causing me foot pain but luckily I was able to return them and ended up with a fancy pair of Adidas.

Running has been going well and Lizzy and I will be competing in the Montana de Oro trail race this weekend. The timing of this race is good since when we went to Bishop two weeks back I made my finger problem first. On the third day I started off with a quick send of The Clapper V5/6 without tape on my left pinky. I felt no pain and had simply forgot to splint the finger to prevent movement. So far all was going well!

Inspired by some comments by the Narc about traverses at the Happies, Lizzy and I went over to check out Sabers of Paradise. There are three tricky traverses on the west rim, Hand to Hand Combat V7, Sabers of Paradise V7+ and Less Poetry Please V8. Previously I had done Hand to Hand going Left to Right which is a bit easier than the reverse and was excited to work on the other two.

Sabers of Paradise starts with a sweet roof with heel toe cams and progresses through thin pockets to a bunch of jug hauling to a final tricky crux. After working through the start I wanted to try the first crux, a powerful three or four move sequence. With a good right hand pocket and way undercut feet you reach left to a shallow pocket, move your feet, bump to a deeper two finger pocket and then cross right hand over to a deep pocket. When I attempted the cross I got a jolt of pain in my hand when I failed to stick the move.

I immediately rested and was worried that I had blown another tendon pulley. I felt all the parts of ring and middle finger but could not find any specific pain. I relaxed for a while and then X taped my fingers. I didn’t want to try the crux again but thought it could be beneficial to work the juggy section. After a while I figured out the moves and we left so Lizzy could climb elsewhere.

Less Poetry Please links up a V6 pocket traverse into the tricky Wills Arete V5. After figuring out the sequences for the initial traverse I spent some time playing around on the Arete without much luck. The crux is a blind throw to a fairly good hold followed by a highball topout. I was getting the setup correctly but couldn’t quite make the reach. Hopefully when I return I can climb both of the sections and work on the link.

Lizzy sent a few hard problems as noted in her blog and Julie had fun exploring the table lands. The weekend was a blast and the first two days at the Buttermilks were quite good. My inability to crimp hard with my left hand was a handicap but I still managed to do the right exit variation of Go Granny Go.  For a photo check out the Julie’s blog for a great Trip Report. Despite only sending two problems I had a great time exploring Bishop and supporting Lizzy. As always I enjoyed taking photos and we got to experiment with the bounce cards my mom got me for Xmas. I returned to San Diego with more pain in my left hand so I have been taking it easy. I will try to stay motivated and finish off a few blogs I have been working on for a while.

Enjoy the Photos,



Lizzy warms up at the Roadside Boulders.


Josh takes advantage of the morning shade to work on the Mandala.


Lizzy enjoying the super techy Pope’s Prow


Julie starts off the Pope’s Prow. (We all had to stack pads to get off the ground)


Luke tries to hold on to the south arete of the Green Wall boulder.


Julie works her way up the Sunshine Boulder.


Lizzy contemplates the first crux on the spicy Good Morning Sunshine


Luke makes due with the tiny crimps of Junior’s Achievement


Lizzy figuring out how to Buttermilk Stem


Luke tries his hand at 7 Spanish Angels AKA the Rukus


Luke is way excited to be in the shade!


Luke feels out the top moves of Get Carter


Dan Kovner crushes Get Carter


Lizzy is happy with the edging prowess of her new Muria VS’s after a send of Bad Parrot


Lizzy contemplates the starting crux of Sad Parrot


Lizzy works her way up the tricky left problem on the Pig Pen slab.


Luke makes quick work of The Clapper


Luke works through some brilliant moves on Sabers of Paradise


Luke sets up for the final crux on Sabers of Paradise


Luke tries to keep the tension and make the reach.


Lizzy takes a casual lap on the classic highball, Heavenly Path