Saturday, May 29, 2010


..... is amazing. Nuff said. A climber's paradise by definition, this place is probably one of my favorite bouldering crags ever. Almost unlimited potential, amazing backdrops, world class conditions and rock combine for the best climbing trips possible. The fact that it was spring break made it even better...
This past trip to Bishop I was able to tick off some of my hardest sends yet, including:
  • Pow Pow v8 (onsight)
  • Moonraker v9
  • Last Dance v9
  • Beefcake v10 (hardest flash yet!)
  • Beefy Gecko v11
We headed into Bishop on the 13th and I was able to hit up the Buttermilks for a couple hours with my friend Tiff Hensley and Mauricio Huerta, who is up from Mexico and absolutely crushed everything he got on. We climbed at the cave boulder while Tiff and I projected Moonraker v9 and I ticked off that and Gleaming the Cube v8 after a couple efforts. Mauricio was getting pretty close on the Buttermilker v13, but ended up coming up a bit short on his last attempt. Tiff and I were playing around with her fisheye camera for a while after that, and got some pretty great shots on the 4 foot wide ring that makes the problems in that area so cool.

The next day, we hit up the Happies in the morning, and I was able to fire off Last Dance v9 after a couple goes and some heelhook beta from some locals. Unfortunately, the wind was really picking up around this time, so I decided to take a break and hiked up to the upper rim to scout out some of the problems up there. While working some stuff up there, I ran into Tiff and Mau(ricio) again and started working a super pocketed v11 called Bubba Butt Buster. Tiff got all the way to the lip and almost pulled through, but ended up falling at the last set of crimps on the slab. So close! At the end of the day, I got myself super psyched up for probably the most classic problem in the Happies, and stepped up to Atari.

Starting Crimps on Bubba Butt Buster

Atari is on the right side of the rim as you walk in, and looks like.... well... the Atari logo. The super slopey sides of the boulder make the whole thing a super hard, super cool compression problem with heelhooks galore and a crazy last move to the finish. It was almost dark by the time we got up that far, and we had to finish fast so we would still have some light to get back down. On my first go, I got all the way up to the finish move before slapping the edge and barely falling on the pads at the bottom. As soon as I looked at it again, I realized I missed a key foothold in the middle of the face, but took a couple more tries to get back up to the same spot. After sticking the hold again, I hit the finish easily topped it out. So cool!

soo close on the last move


On my last full day in Bishop I decided to go to the Sads. I had never been there before and was pretty psyched to try out the classic there. We started off the day with Molly (v5) and some bouldering on some easier stuff around there. After a quick snack, I headed off into the boulderfield with my guidebook to try to find some harder problems to project. After scouting out most of the Sads, I found the ever-classic Pow Pow. After looking it over for about 15 minutes, I laid out the pads, put on my shoes, chalked up, and fired it first go! My hardest onsight ever at v8, I was super stoked for more.

Pow Pow
photo: Carrie Levin

sticking the crux
photo: Carrie Levin

After a quick lunch (yeah, it was really good), we hit up the Strength in Numbers Boulder and I fired off the problem first go. Tiff, Mau and I decided to head out to the Ice Caves where Tiff wanted to try Beefcake (v10) and Mau wanted to try the right variation, Beefy Gecko (v11) as well as Beautiful Gecko (v11/12). The cave itself is located in the far corner of the Sads, and the Beefcake boulder is actually the side of a horizontal ledge. The climbs in that area are all hard, body tension intensive, roof climbs. Obviously my style.

When we got there, there were already a couple guys trying the problems from Southern California. They were really chill about us climbing with them and were able to give me and Mau really good beta on Beefcake. Mau flashed both Beefcake and Beefy Gecko pretty easily (BEAST) and started to work Beautiful Gecko, which he did in about 10 tries. I sussed out the moves on Beefcake for about 10 minutes before giving it a go. As I climbed, I got super good running beta on all the moves. Before I knew what was happening, I pulled the crux move and was working my way around the corner on jugs. I just flashed my first v10! Super psyched, i topped it out and let out probably the best victory yell of my life. SUCCESS.

After I got down, I thanked the guys who gave me the beta, who were in the process of leaving for the day. Energized, I brushed off the holds on Beefy Gecko, which follows the same line as Beefcake but branches off and heads right with a hard cross right after a rest. I tried to flash the problem as well, but forgot all the beta that our SoCal friends had given us earlier. Oh well. I thoroughly worked the problem for the next four hours, and FINALLY got back to the break off point of Beefcake, but I was unable to link that with the upper section. I decided to come back the next day, and ended up firing the problem next go that morning. I felt pretty accomplished.

Overall, this Bishop trip was one of my best ever for sure. Good sends and good memories go a long ways. Can't wait till I make it back out there again.

Mauricio in the moment

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