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Non-highball bouldering in Bishop


Original Post
Thee-BIG-Willy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 0

So a University sponsored organization I'm in is planning a big climbing trip trip this spring break, and one of the areas we're considering is Bishop. The big concerns are that A) A lot of the bouldering is too highball and B) The sport climbing isn't dense enough.
Does Bishops reputation for highball extend to all of the areas or is it mostly just the Buttermilks? Is there enough easy/ not terrifying stuff that someone who was relatively new to outdoor climbing could fill a week? And how dense iare the routest in ORG compared to somewhere like Red Rocks (where we went last year)
Thank u thank u in advance

Jan Tarculas · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 808

Have you looked up ORG on mountain project? Some photos will be topos of sections and most areas are very dense. Routes can be 5-10 feet from each other, just like how some areas are in red rocks.

There are also plenty of low balls in buttermilks, happies and sads. There is something for everyone. Just search on MP and most will tell you heights of problems and routes

Nick Votto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 320

The sport climbing is everywhere.....go to Owens River Gorge, very dense. Or the Alabama
Hills for a day. Mammoth too.

The Happy and Sad boulders have tons of non-highballs.

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60

A little research would have probably answered most of your questions, but a little more info might have helped. Not sure what qualifies as "dense" sport climbing, but there is a lot. Also, even a glance at the bouldering pages on this site would have shown lots of bouldering options. It would also help if you described the skill set of the climbers. From your description, it sounds like not many of them may have even climbed outside, which is fine, but you'll have to look at bit harder for some moderate problems. Bishop is pretty fun though (was just there with my kids last weekend). I think there's enough there for a good time to be had by all.

JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 95
Thee-BIG-Willy wrote: The big concerns are that A) A lot of the bouldering is too highball
False.

Thee-BIG-Willy wrote: The sport climbing isn't dense enough.
Also false.

Thee-BIG-Willy wrote: Is there enough easy/ not terrifying stuff that someone who was relatively new to outdoor climbing could fill a week? And how dense iare the routest in ORG compared to somewhere like Red Rocks (where we went last year) Thank u thank u in advance
There is a lot of good quality easy bouldering in Bishop. There are many problems of non-highball height in the Buttermilks. And the Happy Boulders are full of fun, user-friendly, normal-height boulder problems. Meanwhile, the ORG has a very high density of sport climbs int he 5.9-5.12 range.

The bigger concern is crowding, and the impact you might have. Bishop climbing has become extremely popular in recent years, and is feeling the stress of too many people. When a large spring break university group shows up, this has an impact on everyone else there. I'm not saying that you can't go the Bishop, but keep in mind the effect that you have on other climbers when planning your trip. One thing which is enormously helpful is to break up the size of your group. When a group of 12 shows up at a wall it wan shut the place down and make it hard for others to climb. 3 groups of 4, spread otu through an area, has less of an effect.

Also consider visiting the Alabama Hills. They are an hour south of Bishop, and equally scenic. They have J-Tree-like rock, but more sport climbing. The density of easy/moderate sport climbs is very good- better than anywhere in Bishop. The link I provided shows just how many easy/moderate sport options there are. There are also usually a lot less people there, so you wouldn't be competing with the crowds. The weather there would be perfect at spring break. Nice camping. Very short approaches. Kind of a perfect area for groups. Also, it is close enough to Bishop that you could do half a week at the Alabama Hills and the other half bouldering in Bishop.
Jan Tarculas · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 808
Italic TextThe Description:

The Owens River Gorge is California's most concentrated sport-climbing area.

It is really a year-round crag, although summers can be a bit hot. There are many moderate sport climbs in the sub 5.10 range, but the best gorge climbs seem to be in the 5.10-5.11 range. The climbing is on volcanic tuff and features edges, pockets and cracks. Most of the climbing is close to vertical but there are some steep lines as well, namely at the Eldorado Roof and the Dilithium Crystal. Most climbs, whether face, crack, corner, even off-width and chimney, are fully sport bolted. There are some good trad lines, but sport climbing is why you're here. The gorge is often crowded but if you hike a little further you can usually find some solitude. The Warm Up Wall, the Pub, the Social Platform, the China Wall and the Dilithium Crystal are the most popular areas. Please buy Marty Lewis' "Owens River Gorge Climbs" if you are going to climb here. It's a great guide to the hundreds of climbs and you'll feel good supporting the guy who put up a huge percentage of the climbs and did a large amount of work (trails, research, bridges, talking with the LADWP that owns the gorge). It's a small price to pay for a great climbing area.
john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,640

As others have said,,so many boulders of all types, car-side and with approaches.

I guess a definition of "dense" sport areas ? There sure are a lot of sport climbs in the Bishop area depending on season..Some of the "less dense " areas are just so good

Crackist · · Palm Desert, CA · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 5

How big is your university sponsored group? How many adjacent walls or boulder clusters do you need each day? Are you going to gangrope walls all day? At the university level, why aren't your member climbers capable of breaking into smaller groups so that the "dense" requirement would be less relevant?

caesar.salad · · earth · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 85

I love how condescending-yet-helpful most of these replies are. Quintessential, MP. It's why I love you, Mountain Project.

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60

Some of the tone in the responses to the OP's question address: 1) the appearance that he hadn't done much if any research, and 2) he was planning on bringing the circus with him. To his defense, however, that's not unusual these days.

Re the circus, Bishop (the Milks and Happies) was really crowded last weekend. While that would have bothered me in the past (on lots of visits back in the day there'd no one else there), it was a pretty positive scene. I was there with my 12 yr. old and her friend. Other climbers were really supportive of them. And when they sent stuff older climbers couldn't, it created alot of positive motivation. Lots of spotters for the sketchier landings, and lots of good vibes to good around.

Jan Tarculas · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 808
Fat Dad wrote:Re the circus, Bishop (the Milks and Happies) was really crowded last weekend. While that would have bothered me in the past (on lots of visits back in the day there'd no one else there), it was a pretty positive scene. I was there with my 12 yr. old and her friend. Other climbers were really supportive of them. And when they sent stuff older climbers couldn't, it created alot of positive motivation. Lots of spotters for the sketchier landings, and lots of good vibes to good around.
I go bouldering there on the weekends for the crowds, because without the crowds I wouldn't have enough spotters and crash pads for those tall problems I want to work.
caesar.salad · · earth · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 85
Jan Tarculas wrote: I go bouldering there on the weekends for the crowds, because without the crowds I wouldn't have enough spotters and crash pads for those tall problems I want to work.
Dude, so true.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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