Short steep bolted sport climbs in Bishops Tuff (volcanic rock with multitudes of holes and pockets). Climbs are 40 to 200 feet and face all directions so its easy to find sun or shade and shelter from the wind.
About 7 miles north of the Mammoth Lakes turnoff on Rt. 395 you pass a signed rest area on the left(west). Shortly after that turn right on the Owens River Road. Drive appox. 2 miles and turn left at Big Springs Campground (Road 2S04). At just over 2 miles turn right at a fork (Road 2S06). Drive a mile to a cattle gate (please close the gates behind you), another half mile and turn right at a "T", then left through another cattle gate shortly after that. Drive another 1.7 miles to a four-way intersection, turn right and follow that to where it ends at a parking circle. The main crags are 1/4 mile up a faint trail that leads NE from the circle.
The crux is pulling the 3 intimidating bulges 160 feet off the ground. The route is well protected though, and offers great climbing. You can do the route in 3 separate pitches if you are worried about rope drag, but doing it one long rope stretcher isn't a problem (make sure you have 60m or longer 50m will be to short) ...[more]Browse More Classics in CA
High(er) ground clearance vehicle recommended. You can make it in a car, but you will scrape your paint along the bushes to avoid bottoming out along the last section of road because of a high center hump. A couple other rocks had to be negotiated carefully too.
The bugs were absolutely horrible on 6/16/12, mostly horseflies and 'no-see-ums', or biting gnats. DEET didn't do any good. If you're dying to climb here go early (88 degrees in the afternoon) and wear long pants and shirts. Hopefully this is a short lived thing, cause 3 days later I look like I have chicken pox and still itch like a mo-fo despite a thick layer of benadryl cream.
Hope this helps people decide which crag to hit up. I can't wait till it cools off a bit so I can get back on some of the fine lines here.
Bugs are still bad! Climbed at the Potato Patch on 6/30/12 for only a few hours in the morning. Temps were perfect but I got eaten alive. The mosquitos could get through thin long sleeves, but not the no-see-ums. The no-see-ums got me before I put the long sleeves on and 3 days later I was covered in bumps that itched like crazy. Otherwise we had a great time! And there is no tree blocking the road...
There is a small formation between Area 13 and The Main Island. The formation is slightly down-hill from The Alcove and the first climbs reached in Area 13. The formation is called The Wave and has four sport routes apparently bolted in the 90's by some Japanese tourists. None of the routes have names. The Mammoth climbing guide book claims they are the following grades (from left to right) 5.11d, 5.10d, 5.8, and 5.8. I climbed all of these with a few others this past week and would argue the following grades from left to right 5.10d, 5.10c, 5.9, 5.8. The left most climb is a short 4 bolt route that goes mostly straight up with some beta-intensive moves at the slight roof, above a somewhat loose left facing flake. The 10d is immediately left of the arete and has only 3 bolts. The 2nd bolt seems to be a bit bent, but the holds for the 3rd bolt and pulling over the lip are all great. The third line starts on the arete and gradually moves right onto the face for the remainder of the climb. The last climb to the far right is a fun face climb with a nice bit of an arete at the very top. All are worth doing. Cheers.