Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bishop, Scro

 Scro:  noun
a: One whose friendship surpasses the level of bro.

See also: Scrosef, Scrosefina, Scrolita, Scrodom

At 3:00 p.m. last Friday, Evan, Meredith, Joyce, Bart, Nick, and I hit the road on a trip with no particularly set destination.  We had tossed around ideas with Joe's Valley, Indian Creek, Red Rocks, Yosemite; the only place we planned on for sure was Bishop, California.  Looking through the guidebook on the way out, the hype quickly increased, and we decided to drive through the night, which led us to an hour-long dinner epic with an exploding Dr. Pepper machine and a full-length Californication sing-along.  We finally rolled into the Pit at 6:00 a.m., where we quickly set up camp and went to bed.

We woke up to climb at 8:30.

 We spent our first day in the main area of the Buttermilks, Bishop's most famous boulders.  The boulders there are really breathtaking, being tall and monolithic with very proud, perfect lines-- easily capable of making a creationist out of the average boulderer.

We hit the Green Wall boulder first, which was still in pleasant shade from the blazing California sun.  After warming up on the fun V0's, I quickly realized how spoiled I've been from climbing on heavily textured Wyoming rockA lot of the holds are very polished, but the real shock was in the feet, which have the texture of glass that has been massaged with KY Jelly.  This definitely made what could have been a casual send of Green Wall Essential (V2) borderline desperate for me.

Nick on the Green Wall Center (V6)

We took the rest of the day to get an overview to the Buttermilks, mostly getting on easy problems. By the end of it, we were all pretty certain that we would be spending the remainder of our week in Bishop.

Meredith on the Hero Roof (V0)

Nick working the ultra-classic Iron Man Traverse (V4)
 The next day was spent in the Pollen Grains, where the highlights were Evan's send of Suspended in Silence (V5) and his and Nicks sends of Jedi Mind Tricks (V4).  I had kind of a crappy day, getting shut down trying SiS's very long opening moves on a bad crimp, where I should have tried to dyno through it to the jug.  I then proceeded to work a few no-star really sharp problems instead of saving my tips for JMT in the evening, which kinda killed my day.  Still in the weekend warrior burnout mindset, I quickly realized that I had to pace myself this week...or die.  On a lighter note, the scros and I discovered the magic of Schat's Bakery in downtown Bishop that day.

Evan sending Suspended in Silence

Nick on Jedi Mind Tricks
Schats: the breakfast of scros.

The third day was spent at the Happy Boulders in Bishop's Volcanic Tablelands.  The rock there is volcanic tuff, which is much easier on the skin than the Buttermilks' granite.  These boulders have a lot of really steep climbing on crazy features, which is a good bit more fitting for my frame.  Highlights included Evan's nighttime send of The Hulk (V6) and my (almost flash) ascent of Son of Claudius Rufus (V5).

Evan working Atari (V6)

Joyce on a nice V0 warm-up
 We took a single rest day on Tuesday, which we mostly spent eating, with a short hiking break to the Druid Stones in between.

Nick,  sans crash pad, checking out some easy Druid problems

Wednesday saw a stop at the Sad boulders, which is another mini canyon of stellar tuff boulders.  There, Evan and I both managed a send of Strength in Numbers (V5), which is super fun and worth getting on, even if you can't pull the crux.  Everybody in our group got on and was able to at least pull the first few moves.

Yours truly on SIN
 Nick's highlight was his send of Gotta Be Kiddin' Me (V5) which, in classic Nick fashion, was the most heinous slab that nobody really wanted to get on.

Heinous, I tell you...
 We spent most of the day's remainder playing around in the Ice Caves on the Mothership Connection (V4 my ass...) and Rio's Crack (V6), which I came close to sending, but sadly, no cigar.

Bart on the Mothership Connected, a really cool V6 variation
 We went back to the Milks Thursday morning, starting the day at the isolated Get Carter boulder.  There, I gave a few burns on Seven Spanish Angels (V6), which I really think is one of the greatest problems I've ever been on.  Seriously.  The movement is soooo fun!  Evan and I both got to where we fell at the last move, and with the incoming sun, we decided to leave it for next time and bail to the shade.

Evan on Seven Spanish Angels-- so much fun!!
Back in the main area of the Buttermilks, Evan managed a send of the Birthday Direct (V3), which combines horrid glassy holds and long reaches to create the short person's worst nightmare.  Afterwards, we met up with Mike and Abby at the Bowling Pin boulder, where Evan, and I sent the Bowling Pin (V4) and Mike crushed the sit-start variation, which goes at V8.

Evan sending Bowling Pin
 We returned to the Happies that night for some nonchalant headlamp climbing, where we drank beer and climbed pretty much everything on Girlfriend Rock.

 And then came the last day.  Everybody was pretty burned, but Nick was dead set on going back to the Iron Man Traverse one more time, which spit all of us off last Saturday.  With perfect sending temperatures that morning, his psyche spread to me and we rushed everbody out of camp.  Oddly enough, we arrived at the boulder with an army of 11 Wyomingites, since Mike and Abby came by, as well as a group of 3 Casper climbers who frequent the FNBS comps.  With the unprecedented levels of scrodom, perfect temps, and a little Crystal Castles bro proj music (courtesy of Evan), I managed to send with relative ease, which ended the trip on a very positive note for me.  Afterwards, we all said goodbye to Bishop with a few final ascents of an unnamed V0 highball on the Sunshine boulder.

One last send...
 Only one day back and I miss it.  The views, the weather, the otherworldly vibes; the Bishop area is a really special place, and I can't wait to go back again (yes, I'm already planning my next trip).  So much to send, so little time.  

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