We kicked off 2017 right with a pretty special trip to Bishop and Mammoth. Great weather, climbing, snowboarding — is there more I could ask for?
What a treat it is to live just 4 hours away from Bishop. As Los Angeleno’s, we’re damn lucky to have all this great climbing just half a day away.
Day 1 — Travel day + stop at Alabama Hills
Some time this summer I was inspired to make a climbing goal. Although it’s not super important to me what grade I climb, it is important to me that I measure my improvement and push myself to try harder things. I settled on the goal of climbing a 5.11a clean. At the time I was climbing 5.10c pretty solidly — sometimes I’d take a fall if the route was really pumpy, but for the most part, I could do every move with ease. I gave myself until December 31. Just before Christmas, I took a big fall from the top of the bouldering wall at the gym and gave myself some bad whiplash that stopped me from climbing for about a week and a half. Crap. With the end of the year just around the corner, I was mentally prepared to let it go. It was an arbitrary thing, I had improved over the past half year, and just having the goal had pushed me to try harder things — the accomplishment of the goal wasn’t really that important. My boyfriend suggested that we stop by Alabama Hills on the way up to Bishop to have a rope day, and also to maximize sunlight on a travel day. Without any expectations, I jumped on Dihedral Dance 5.11a, and sent it! Maybe it was easy for the grade, or maybe all the stars were aligned in my favor, but it's done now. Next goal...? Hmm. 😉
Day 2 — Wake up early and climb!
...at the Buttermilks, that is. We're the first party to arrive at the Get Carter boulder, and it's COLD. Warming up while freezing my hands at the same time. I'm such a baby about the cold... sometimes I wish I was brought up in heartier weather and able to brave temps below uhh... 60 F. Seven Spanish Angels v6 is on the agenda for this morning. This climb is honestly too hard for me to make much progress on right now, but I was able to see some improvement after a few attempts. Putting this in my back pocket for the time being. After one epic send, and a few near sends that brought on dreams of beta later that night, we moved on to to a more varied (but tired) tour of the Buttermilks.
Day 3 — Snow? What’s that?
Snowboarding. Powder. Hot chocolate & Bailey’s. Mammoth Brewing. That is all. Post-snow celebration for New Year’s Eve at the campground. Much fire, much storytelling, much champagne. Feelings.
Day 4 — New Year’s Day
Started off 2017 at the Sads! Our group had a pretty large range of what we wanted to work on, so v1’s were projected just as intensely as v8’s. We climbed ’til we could climb no more. We got on Strength in Numbers v5, My Chemical Romance v2, The Fang v4, Pow Pow v8, and some other problems we encountered along the way.
Check out this sweet video Eric Dehaven shot of Ben on The Fang!
Day 5 — The Happy Boulders, and finally good-bye!
This was one of those days we split up into little groups so everyone could get in what they wanted on the last day. Man, this day was cold and windy. We finally found sunshine up near the 60-ft Woman Traverse and thoroughly shredded our hands on razor sharp pockets until it was time to go.