Tuesday, April 8, 2014


The drive from Zion to Bishop is about seven hours. We stopped in Vegas for groceries and got to Bishop around dinner time. Friends of ours, Angel, Mike, Cedar, and T, had already been there for almost a week and we shared camp site at the Pit with them. Two bucks a night per vehicle. For the next three days we went bouldering in the Buttermilks, the Happies, and sport climbing in Owen's river gorge. I was trying to take a rest day in between but failed to do so. Oh well. I rest later.

Camping at the Pit

First we did a full day at the Buttermilks Main area. I was overwhelmed by the convenience of the climbing. The boulders were close together, trails run through the area, and people are happy to share pads. Buttermilks' sharp, crystally rock (quartz monzonite) provides excellent friction but is hard on skin. The problems we did (mostly V2-V4) were crimpy, balancy, slabby, and some relatively high. Friends of ours had already scouted out the classics so we didn't have to spend much time reading the guide book. Here are some of the boulders and names of the routes I remember working on:

The Iron man: Iron Man Traverse V4
The Womb boulder: Birthing Experience V1
Green Wall Boulder: Green wall arete V1, Essential V2, and Center V6
Buttermilk Stem Area: Buttermilk Stem V1
The Hunk boulder: The hunk V2, my favorite!
The Tut boulder: King Tut V3 and Funky Tut V3
The Birthday Boulder: BD direct V3

V1 was the hardest grade. I did not send any V1. Instead V3s were perfect. My favorite boulder was the Hunk. It was crimpy, slabby, and tall. It felt like a sport route so maybe that explains why I enjoyed it the most. I never asked how to get down before climbing up because I would have gotten scared. The down climbing was not too bad but some of the boulders were high so it was committing and scary for me. Towards the end of the day I got used to it. If you want to send hard get your V3-5 down climbing skills in order.

Angel on the Hunk V2

Down climb

We spent the rest next day taking photos and bouldering at the Happy bouldering area. The rock at the Happys is very different from the Buttermilks'. It's volcanic tuff, much like Smith rock. It makes both crimpy, vertical and juggy, ovehung problems. Much better for skin. I tried a couple of problems and ended up giving way too many goes for a classic route called Solarium (V3-4). Too much fun, no sending.

Mike sent High plains drifter V7

Last day was a sport climbing day at Owen's river gorge. I was tired. The climbing is super fun which was unfortunate since we only had one day left. Most of the routes at Owen's are steep and juggy. My friends called it hero climbing. Some stuff is less steep and crimpy. Feet are everywhere and they are good. Routes are tall so single 70 is a must and even then you might end up not making it to the ground. Check the guide book before committing yourself.

Cedar on Sendero Luminoso (10b R)

I bailed one route (a five star 10c) because I got scared. Max did ask me if I wanted him to put up the draws and check it out. I said, I'm sure it'll be fine and took off. I had only 5 meters of climbing left when I realized that the move to the next bolt seemed a little too committing. I even got to the bolt, but I couldn't find a good hold to clip from. I down climbed (useful skill, eh) to the last draw and asked Max to finish the route. After TR the route I realized what I should have done: kept going because the holds were all there. Next time. I got about 7 pitches in that day. Max got a couple more.

We were done climbing around 5pm. Max's friend had invited us to spend the night at Mammoth Lake before driving back to Eugene. On our way to Mammoth we learned that the area would get a lot of snow during the night. We decided to keep going so that we would not be stuck in traffic the next day. Three hours later we were in Reno having a late night snack at In-N-Out. We spent the night at a rest stop and drove back to Eugene the next day. The end.

Since we got back I've been trying to let my skin heal. I've climbed some at Smith but nothing super exciting. Oh, I did hop on one of Max's projects (Kings of Rap) to see what 12d feels like. 12d feels hard. Mike just climbed three 14as (8b+) last week. The same day. He said he didn't send so it's not a big deal but I think it's awesome. And one more thing...

Hyvää syntymäpäivää Julia! Miun on sinua ikävä! <3

No comments:

Post a Comment