We arrived Thursday afternoon after a long and semi-stressful drive
full of “deep” conversations. Leaving LA county after eleven a.m. was
a bad idea due to the lunch traffic and construction on the I15 North.
After making a quick late lunch stop and picking up more road munchies
we arrived at the pit and luckily had multiple free sites to pick
from. Time flew and we did no climbing, good for me since I was
exhausted from all the driving. I almost never go to sleep before
midnight, but this time my body would force me to do it.
I was anticipating a really cold night so I double bagged it with a
zero and thirty-five degree bag. I think I only woke up once in the
middle of the night because my face and ears were really cold because
of the occasional rolling around. I woke up after ten hours of amazing
sleep. After a quick breakfast we headed down to the Happies for my
first day time bouldering session in Bishop. My last visit to the
happies was at night after a long sport climbing session at Owens
We had a quick warm-up sessions before we jumped on Solarium and The
Hulk. My buddy George sent his project, The Hulk after a few
attempt’s. Maybe next time I will send it. I had better luck on
Solarium, I stuck the lip hold, but had no luck getting my left hand
on the jug. Definitely going to project this one. Feeling a bit more
stoked we moved onto Serengeti. I managed to catch the sharp left
handed crimp, but by then had lost plenty of skin and became too much
to hold and bring up my left hand. Day one would come to an end with
no hard sends for me. Perhaps day two will be better.
Woke up a few hours earlier today to get an earlier start and to meet up with some friends in the Buttermilks. First stop was at Starbucks for some breakfast and a quick look at the results for the ABS 13 Qualifier round. Unfortunately Dan Bealle and Kyle Owens didn’t make it to the semis, but plenty of Madrock athletes did.
The Grandma and Grandpa Peabody boulders are as intimidating in person as they are in images and in videos. Had a quick warm up on the Green Wall. Although warming up was a bit difficult with the strong winds blowing. I then walked around following the Hangar 18 youth team as they worked on some projects. I stopped and was amazed by Ambrosia. It’s so huge!!!
They decided to stop and try a slightly overhanging and traversing v6 or v7. A pretty cool looking arete caught my attention a few feet away. It turned out to be the Saigon boulder. Had the wind not been freezing my fingers, I would have attempted the start of the climb. I decided to start with one hand on a left side-pull and the right at the start hold. On my first attempt I managed to make it to a left facing hold which I used as a gaston. On my third attempt I was able to get my left hand on a higher left facing hold which I used as a side-pull in order to grab the right hand sloper hold. At this point I dropped because I only had two pads and lack of trust in one of my two spotters. I believe I found a project to bring me back to the Buttermilks. Although I gave Ironman traverse a few attempts, it just wasn’t as interesting as Saigon.
After a few hours of climbing videos and facebooking we were happy to hear that some people were bringing firewood and we would be warm. Unfortunately when we arrived the winds had snapped the center pole of my friend’s tent and was laying flat on the ground held down by several boulders that had been placed by a neighbor. I wonder if the tent went airborne…To make the night worse when we were just about to start the fire the rude and obnoxious campground host told us we couldn’t have a fire because of the strong winds. A simple explanation would have sufficed, but he went out of his way to belittle the two friends that were starting the fire as the rest of us set up a tent that almost flew off into the pitch black campground. It would be another early night for us…
After a rough windy night and who knows when I finally passed out, we woke up to perfect weather. No wind and good temps. After a quick breakfast and goodbyes to our friends, we went back to the Happy boulders for another session. This trip turned out to be a success for my friend George. He managed to send Serengeti (right variation) after a few attempts.
I climbed a few easy problems, but didn’t really get any further on Solarium nor did I try The Hulk or Serengeti again. We decided to end our climbing early to get to the Keogh Hot Springs and back on the road. I think this wasn’t a trip to send hard climbs, but one to test out as many climbs as I could get on and find future projects. The Buttermilks are by far my favorite bouldering crag so far. Until my next adventure…