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> Sierra Eastside
> Bishop Area
> Owens River Gorge
> Lower Gorge
Access Issue: Bridges Out! IMPORTANT LADWP NEGOTIATIONS!! High water release May 13, 2019!!!
Alert! Water levels in the Gorge are set to rise starting Monday, May 13, 2019! From LADWP: "In order to manage the runoff, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power plans to release water through the Middle Gorge starting on Monday May 13, 2019. LADWP is committed to public safety and is advising the public to practice general water safety and be aware of swift flowing water in this location. We will continue to keep residents in the Eastern Sierra informed of LADWP’s water operations for the spring and summer runoff."
Due to liability concerns, bridges are being removed in the Owens River Gorge at the request of LADWP. The Bishop Area Climbers Coalition and the Access Fund are currently in negotiations with LADWP to get this issue resolved. In the meantime, please continue to be good land stewards by respecting these bridge closures and finding alternate crossing points until this issue is resolved.
1) Never park or camp overnight at the access points. 2) Always park off the pavement, taking great care to avoid blocking the gates. 3) Clean up after your dogs. (Local climbers are finding abandoned doggie poop bags.) 4) Pack out all trash and TP, including picking up after others. 5) Use the outhouses if at all possible.
The Diamondback area and it's neighboring zone downstream -the Big Tower area- are two of the easiest crags to access in the entire Gorge. Ample parking and a casual twenty minute walk down the Middle Gorge Power Plant Road -with a constantly changing view- leads to cliffs hardly 5 minutes from the pavement. The ease of this graded roadway attracts hikers, fishermen and geologists, as well as climbers.
Climbs are often tall here, so bring a 70 meter rope and 16 draws or so - including some long runners. Knotting rope ends is smart, as is always watching the rope-end on lower-outs.
Diamondback area is center to left.
NOTE: The plank bridges that previously gave access to these areas have been removed. See approach info below.
Stand-out long, moderate climbs include "Chewey the Beaver" (5.8+, 14 bolts) and "Finked" (5.7, 10 bolts). Also, "Phylanthropy" (5.7, 7 bolts) is another enjoyable moderate, just to the left and up some steps. All routes have fixed hooks, but please use your own quick-draws if you are doing an extended top-rope session with a group.
Skip Vasquez on the first ascent of "Phylanthropy"
Access Update: Once you reach the bottom of the grade (Big Tower is the first big obvious formation) continue through a narrowing and a curve in the road. Just past the cliffs (Grey Wall) on the other side is a trail that leads over a berm of dirt. There is a natural log crossing located here.
Follow trail and scramble to the base of Diamond Face. For the Diamondback area, scramble over some larger blocks and up to gain the talus cut & follow the trail over a slope.