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Elevation: 6,391 ft 1,948 m
GPS: 37.32799, -118.57762
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Shared By: AWinters on Oct 21, 2006 · Updates
Admins: Aron Quiter, Euan Cameron, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

Description Suggest change

The scenic and awe-inspiring Buttermilk Country has long been one of California's premier bouldering destinations with a long history of ground-breaking ascents and some of the proudest, boldest, and most aesthetic lines in the world. These massive glacial erratic boulders sit in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada under an impressive backdrop of high peaks just a mere four miles to the west. Quartz monzonite makes up the boulders featuring sweeping blank faces, polished patina crimps/plates and sharp slopers and edges. Fingers tend to get torn up quickly on the large grain so bring tape if your callouses aren't sufficient. Included here are the iconic problems The Mandala, Evilution, Saigon, and High Plains Drifter as some well-known classics.

Buttermilks bouldering is BIG, literally. Some of the larger stones rival the largest erratics known anywhere. Many problems here feature reachy standing or jumping starts with huge moves, so on many routes you'll soon find your feet well above a height you'd want to drop off. Don't leave any pads at home because a lot of the classics top out at 20+ feet, luckily most of the landings are flat and uniformed. Before you hop on a boulder scout the down-climb first, as many require some techy down-climbing and/or a big jump to the ground.

If you need a rest day there is some fun roped climbing on a handful of small crags not far to the north, or you might want to explore the wacky chasms and rock formations of Buttermilk Dome.

* * * * * * DO NOT CAMP or BUILD FIRES at the BIRTHDAY BOULDERS PARKING AREA * * * * * *

Please respect the designated footpaths in the Buttermilks Main area and avoid tromping through the vegetation. A restoration effort is in effect marked by small green and tan signs about a foot high. PLEASE AVOID THESE AREAS. Do NOT place crash pads on any sort of vegetation. Let's leave as little trace as possible in this amazing gift of an area. Consider yourself fortunate to be climbing here.

Dog Owners: Rattlesnakes are fairly common in warmer months so take precautions and know the risks if you have a furry friend. My dog had a close call and I've heard of a few other run-ins. Most dogs know to avoid them, just be careful. A bite to your pup's face could ruin your trip. Don't let this deter you though, as rattlers usually give plenty of warning that you're getting too close. Also, and obviously, please clean up after them.

Please do not camp at the Peabody Boulders or The Birthday Boulders parking areas. There's plenty of free camping before and after the Buttermilks Main Area.

DO NOT SPEED ON BUTTERMILK ROAD, THE SPEED LIMIT IS 25 MPH

Many locals walk and bike on this road, and it's easy to stir up dust if you're driving too fast. Be respectful and slow down. Speeding also causes the painfully annoying washboard ruts you'll find on the way in, so do your part, drive slowly and enjoy the views.

Getting There Suggest change

From downtown Bishop, take W. Line Street/Highway 168 west towards the Sierra. After eight miles or so, turn right onto Buttermilk Road. Follow this bumpy, washboard road for approximately 3.5 miles to the main area on your right. The boulders are incredibly obvious on the right (north) side of the road. Park in designated areas.

For more complete information and great color photographs, refer to: "Bishop Bouldering", by Wills Young and Mick Ryan. Pick up a copy at Wilson's Eastside Sports for $36, a small price to pay for perhaps the best bouldering guide out there and a great addition to your book collection.

547 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Buttermilk Country

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V0 4
 264
Robinson's Rubber Tester
Boulder
V0 4
 607
Hero Roof
Boulder
V1 5
 416
Buttermilk Stem
Boulder
V1 5
 290
The Womb (Birthing Experience)
Boulder
V2 5+
 348
The Hunk
Boulder
V3 6A
 317
King Tut
Boulder
V3 6A
 367
Birthday Direct
Boulder
V4 6B
 547
Iron Man Traverse
Boulder
V4 6B PG13
 184
Jedi Mind Tricks
Boulder
V4+ 6B+
 297
Bowling Pin
Boulder
V5 6C
 273
Flyboy Arete
Boulder
V6 7A
 314
The Ruckus (aka Seven Spanish An…
Boulder
V7 7A+
 276
High Plains Drifter
Boulder
V9 7C
 148
Soul Slinger
Boulder
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 150
Southwest Arete
Trad, TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Robinson's Rubber Tester Buttermilks Main > Cave Area > Robinson's Rubber Tes…
 264
V0 4 Boulder
Hero Roof Buttermilks Main > Iron Man Area > Hero Roof Boulder
 607
V0 4 Boulder
Buttermilk Stem Buttermilks Main > Buttermilk Stem… > Buttermilk Stem Boulder
 416
V1 5 Boulder
The Womb (Birthing Experience) Buttermilks Main > Womb Boulder
 290
V1 5 Boulder
The Hunk Buttermilks Main > Hunk
 348
V2 5+ Boulder
King Tut Buttermilks Main > Tut Boulder
 317
V3 6A Boulder
Birthday Direct Buttermilks Main > Birthday Boulders
 367
V3 6A Boulder
Iron Man Traverse Buttermilks Main > Iron Man Area > Iron Man Boulder
 547
V4 6B Boulder
Jedi Mind Tricks Pollen Grains /… > Jedi Boulder
 184
V4 6B PG13 Boulder
Bowling Pin Buttermilks Main > Bowling Pin Boulder
 297
V4+ 6B+ Boulder
Flyboy Arete Buttermilks Main > Stained Glass/Flyboy…
 273
V5 6C Boulder
The Ruckus (aka Seven Spani… Get Carter Boulder
 314
V6 7A Boulder
High Plains Drifter Buttermilks Main > Drifter/Smoking Boulder
 276
V7 7A+ Boulder
Soul Slinger Buttermilks Main > Cave Area > Soul Slinger Boulder
 148
V9 7C Boulder
Southwest Arete Buttermilks Main > Peabody Boulders > Grandma Peabody Boulder
 150
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
More Classic Climbs in Buttermilk Country »

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