Elevation: 6,391 ft
GPS: 37.32799, -118.57762
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 1,363,789 total · 6,874/month
Shared By: AWinters on Oct 21, 2006 · Updates
Admins: Aron Quiter, Euan Cameron, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

Description

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 * * * * * *

Opening moves.

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.

Some heavy-hitter boulders in the Buttermilks

Getting There

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.

Andrew Thomas working 'This Side of Paradise' v9-10, Buttermilks

525 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
 553
Hero Roof
Boulder
V1 5
 379
Buttermilk Stem
Boulder
V2 5+
 126
Sheepherder
Boulder
V2 5+
 301
The Hunk
Boulder
V4 6B
 478
Iron Man Traverse
Boulder
V4 6B PG13
 168
Jedi Mind Tricks
Boulder
V4+ 6B+
 256
Bowling Pin
Boulder
V5 6C
 110
Leary/Bard Arete
Boulder
V5+ 6C+ R
 78
Suspended in Silence
Boulder
V6 7A
 116
Saigon
Boulder
V6 7A
 278
The Ruckus (aka Seven Spanish An…
Boulder
V7 7A+
 251
High Plains Drifter
Boulder
V8- 7B
 97
Flyboy SDS
Boulder
V9 7C
 130
Soul Slinger
Boulder
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 136
Southwest Arete
Trad, TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Hero Roof Buttermilks Main > Iron Man Area > Hero Roof Boulder
 553
V0 4 Boulder
Buttermilk Stem Buttermilks Main > Buttermilk Stem… > Buttermilk Stem Boulder
 379
V1 5 Boulder
Sheepherder Buttermilks Main > Loaf
 126
V2 5+ Boulder
The Hunk Buttermilks Main > Hunk
 301
V2 5+ Boulder
Iron Man Traverse Buttermilks Main > Iron Man Area > Iron Man Boulder
 478
V4 6B Boulder
Jedi Mind Tricks Pollen Grains /… > Jedi Boulder
 168
V4 6B PG13 Boulder
Bowling Pin Buttermilks Main > Bowling Pin Boulder
 256
V4+ 6B+ Boulder
Leary/Bard Arete Buttermilks Main > Corner Boulders
 110
V5 6C Boulder
Suspended in Silence Pollen Grains /… > Lidija / Pollen Grain…
 78
V5+ 6C+ R Boulder
Saigon Buttermilks Main > Saigon Boulder
 116
V6 7A Boulder
The Ruckus (aka Seven Spani… Get Carter Boulder
 278
V6 7A Boulder
High Plains Drifter Buttermilks Main > Drifter/Smoking Boulder
 251
V7 7A+ Boulder
Flyboy SDS Buttermilks Main > Stained Glass/Flyboy…
 97
V8- 7B Boulder
Soul Slinger Buttermilks Main > Cave Area > Soul Slinger Boulder
 130
V9 7C Boulder
Southwest Arete Buttermilks Main > Peabody Boulders > Grandma Peabody Boulder
 136
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
More Classic Climbs in Buttermilk Country »

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