Erin and I are comfortably residing in Bishop. We’ve been in the area for about three weeks now and we are both getting into the swing of the lifestyle and climbing here.
Erin has started teaching Yoga and we are both exploring various other job opportunities. We’ve been hanging out with a ton of cool people. Old friends and new. Life is good. And of course there is all the climbing going on…
Yesterday I think I managed to put up a pretty fun new problem in the Buttermilks Main Area, Crouching Tiger.
If you’re familiar with the area, it’s on the Yayoi Boulder and is definitely worth getting on. It’s got a good mixture of power and balance, along with a great landing. I would guess it’s about V8. Here’s a video of it…
I’ve also managed to put down some old and new projects.
Kill On Sight at the Happy Boulders was a thorn in my side left over from a few years back. It’s a steep power endurance compression line that gets a lot of action. It resides somewhere in the V11-12 range depending on who you talk to, and I found it quite hard. It has been unseasonably warm here and that surely added to the difficulty for me. When I fired it, darkness was just about to set in and the rock felt kind of alright. I’m glad the stars aligned.
I also managed to trick my way up the Form Destroyer (V12, possibly easier depending on your tactics) in the Secrets area at the Buttermilks. Myself and “Jeremy” from the bay area randomly ran into each other at the problem and tagged teamed the beta deciphering and managed to grapple our way up it. Jeremy had to go before I did it, which left me questing up the tall slabby top out without any pads underneath me. It was memorable.
With the unseasonably warm weather there have also been benefits..
We have been able to climb up at Rock Creek, a high elevation area north of Bishop, and the conditions are great. I managed to do a problem I had never done before, Blue Ribbon (V11). It surmounts a short roof to a cruxy lip encounter where you really have yank on some small holds. I was psyched to do it with a quickness, especially because a friend of mine, Adam Thomason, put it up back in the good old days.
Erin has been picking her way through the many classics. She has had plenty of success and has no shortage of future projects. She is psyched to say the least.
We also made some new friends from Germany, Alex, Daniela and Felix. We’ve gone out climbing with them on several occasions and had a nice evening bowling, even though Daniela sandbagged us and is a master bowler. She put us to shame.
Alex just so happens to be one of the strongest climbers in the world, and every day we went out it was quite the show. I was fortunate enough to witness him climb Lucid Dreaming, a notoriously difficult V15 on the huge Grandpa Peabody boulder. It was a strange morning when he did it too. The boulder was in a cloud and it was lightly misting. The crux holds were dry, and as soon as Alex touched them upon arrival you could see the glint of excitement in his eyes. It felt better than ever. Sure enough, second try (I think?) he fired it. What he didn’t count on though was the 30 foot tall exit slab being wet due to the mist. He kept his composure and dried off the slab as he climbed with his shirt and a chalk bucket, and after a tense five or ten minutes he was on top of the boulder. He said it was his longest project and the hardest thing he has done.
Yesterday Erin and I went up to the Bardini boulders with the German crew too, and once again got quite the show. Alex casually flashed Maze of Death (V12, and one of my projects), then he did a rarely repeated V11, Harry’s problem in a few tries. After that a quick ground up ascent of This Side of Paradise followed (V10 and tall as all heck).
Yup, life in Bishop is pretty entertaining!
A friend of mine, Ken Etzel is a local photographer in the area and takes great photos. If you want to check out some of his work here is a link to his site. http://www.kenetzel.com/
Hope everyone is well!