|Buttermilk road, Bishop|
You hear Bishop and you immediately think about an amazing bouldering paradise, as the best spot of the world. This is probably due to the commonly positive and flatterer comments by the most part of the climbers that visited this area. Its fame is also made by the scenes of the famous American climbing films like Dosage 1, with the first ascents of Mandala, King lines and many other good videos about Bishop. Even for me was the same. I saw a pictures of "Mandala" in 2004 and after that I always heard speaking really well about the place. Probably I could be the unique, or maybe one of the few, but Bishop is definitely disappointing my expectations. We came here on the 28th of January and immediately got delusions from the Buttermilks sector, known as the best zone. We walk in the famous paths, we checked all the problems and the rock seemed to be one of the worst I have ever seen: sharp, with big grain and it makes painful and bad holds. Something looked cool, especially in the highest grade of difficulty, but not as good as I expected. Moreover the sector is close to the parking, where for all the day long there is an intensive comings and goings of climbers and so it seems to be in a seaside resort. The only few things that gave the impression to be nice were the place around the problems and the some shapes of the boulders. When the second day was over, after dinner we were already looking for another place to go, escaping by this. Joe's valley came in my mind, but it was too cold and a bit hard under the logistic aspect. We decided to stay here for all the 3 planned weeks. Now the sensations are going better, but for sure Bishop is out of the top 15 places where I have climbed. My negative opinions are certainly personal, in fact I usually search to describe what I saw with a subjective vision: from the point of view of the natural places, of the kind of rock where I climb, of the quality of the problems, its shapes, holds, suggestions about difficulty and so on. Buttermilks offers also other secondary sectors, with different landscapes and good lines to climb, even though the rock is still one of the worst.
The first ten days are over and I managed to climb some lines, but without sending the main desired boulders. The first day I took down "Buttermilker" V12/V13, maybe one of the best in Bishop. It has been put up by the American pioneer Chris Sharma in 1999. The problem is certainly good, but is not to be compared with the quality of Red Rocks. I had fun on it and the movements are pleasant. The other goods lines I was able to send are "Haroun the sea of stories", which personally deserves a full V12 and "Xavier’s roof" V11 in Dale’s camp sector. The first one is huge, with huecos in the first part and a long crimpy pumpy wall to reach at the end. It was nice to send it and thanks to the push of Alex and Mat (two guys we met and we are climbing with), I did the mantle after few goes. Also "Xavier's roof" has been cool, maybe my favorite one so far, with an incredible last move to a giant hueco.
A bit disappointed by the Buttermilks, we often went to the other sector, "happy boulders". it is in another direction from the Buttermilks but not so far from this. Here, it is really curious to see how the rock formations change as well as the place, despite the distance is not so big. The rock is volcanic, so from the tiny granite crimps, you can pass to walls full of pockets, big crimps and some slopers which weirdly seemed to be not painful. It is situated in a sienna painted canyon that splits in two a perfect plateau, this last flat like a table. You climb in the canyon where every rock looked broken and holey, but in some points you can see a perfect, clear, smooth and flat piece of earth up to the bouldering sector. The problems appeared better for my tastes and for Giulia's ones, who hates the granite we found. The easy-medium boulders are really much better and also in some harder lines the rock is softer and it makes cool conformations. The best problems I have done here are the traverse of "Bubba Lobotomy" V12 and "Kill on sight" V11. Bubba is a line of few days ago and its climbing is funny. The traverse has a big quantity of pockets that finishes on a good rail to make a big double dyno at the edge. After this awesome move, you top the boulder out on the infinite desert table , watching the canyon below your feet with the pumpy arms. Really nice moment.
Now we had still 14 days, in which I hope to finish some projects in the buttermilks sector like "Mandala sds" first and then many others. I am feeling that it still too early to try hard crimpy stuff with the skin I have at the moment. It is now quite soft and I hope to get the stronger skin I have ever had soon, in order to push hard on the tiny sharp crimps. I had also some good lines I have still to attempt like the beautiful "The Spectre" that might be the best here, together with "This side of Paradise" and "Jedi Mind tricks". For the moment, some shoots taken by Giulia and I, about our first part of the trip in California and some problems done.
|Xavier's Roof V11, Bishop. Photo Giulia Paoletti|
|Harun and the sea of story V12, Bishop. Photo Giulia Paoletti|
|Evolution (to the lip) V10, Bishop. Photo Giulia Paoletti|
|Giuly on Pirate booty V3, Bishop.|
|Bishop, Photo Giulia Paoletti|
|Bubba Lobotomy V12, Bishop. Photo Giulia Paoletti|