17 Down Under:
17 DOWN UNDER. "A celebration of moderate grade climbing in Victoria". 184 pages. 285 images. Father & son team, Steve & John Morris, embark on a journey to climb and photograph 50 of the best rock climbs in Victoria, grade 17 & under. Inc bookmark $50.00
So..........is Bishop any good? The bouldering looks about 500x less awesome than a couple of other famous spots, and the whole "amazing mountain scenery" thing seems dumb. If you want amazing mountain scenery, maybe just go and climb some mountains.
I look at video of some of these U.S. "destinations", and think that people must be smoking crack
Normally when I watch bouldering videos of super strong climbers wrestling pebbles I feel weak and inspired to get stronger. On the other hand, I couldn't watch more than 10 minutes of this video and the only thing I got out of it was thinking that climbing is a middle class sport ripe for branding, fancy video cameras and editing software.
On 21/08/2012 One Day Hero wrote:
>So..........is Bishop any good? The bouldering looks about 500x less awesome
>than a couple of other famous spots, and the whole "amazing mountain scenery"
>thing seems dumb. If you want amazing mountain scenery, maybe just go and
>climb some mountains.
Well it pisses all over any Australian granite bouldering area. Pretty sweet setup with heaps of great problems right next to each other, cool dry conditions in winter and nearby hot springs. And go sport climbing at Owens or tradding up in the Sierras on other days. I really enjoyed Bishop and I generally hate bouldering.
On 22/08/2012 nmonteith wrote:
>Well it pisses all over any Australian granite bouldering area. Pretty
>sweet setup with heaps of great problems right next to each other, cool
>dry conditions in winter and nearby hot springs. And go sport climbing
>at Owens or tradding up in the Sierras on other days. I really enjoyed
>Bishop and I generally hate bouldering.
Hmmm, adding Owens as a sweetener doesn't really make it any more interesting, that place looks a bit dildos too. The hot springs sound pretty good.........but mentioning the Sierra's and good winter bouldering conditions in the same sentence seems silly. Surely you can either go in winter for the good bouldering friction and hot springs, or summer for the alpine rock routes?
On 22/08/2012 One Day Hero wrote:
>Hmmm, adding Owens as a sweetener doesn't really make it any more interesting,
>that place looks a bit dildos too.
It's really not that bad! Long sustained routes - interesting rock compared to anything in Oz (actually its pretty close to Canberras Red Rocks but 1000x the scale). Certainly worth a few days.
>The hot springs sound pretty good.........but
>mentioning the Sierra's and good winter bouldering conditions in the same
>sentence seems silly. Surely you can either go in winter for the good bouldering
>friction and hot springs, or summer for the alpine rock routes?
Ha ha. I knew someone would pull me up on that one. When I was there 2 years ago I climbed Mt Whitney in joggers (ok, crampons could have been useful....) and was sport climbing and bouldering Bishop in great crisp conditions. That was September/October. There is some ok granite at lower alts which is still great - Mt Whitney Portal has some great looking rock at around 1500m, and Pine Creek Canyon is even lower and has a couple of days worth of granite cracks and faces. Bishop in itself is not a main destination crag but on the way from LA to Utah or Nevada or Yoseimte it's a great week of climbing. Happy/Sad boulders is also very cool - amazing pockets. Bit like Heuco. We certainly have nothing like that in Oz.
On 22/08/2012 wallwombat wrote:
>Peter Croft lives in Bishop, so I imagine the climbing is OK.
This is a commonly quoted but logically flawed argument. What one expects from a 'backyard crag' and a 'travel round the world crag' are completely different things. I sure as hell didn't see Peter Croft down at the Murrumbidgee when he was over a few years ago...........although I did attempt to drag Henry Barber down there, until things got a bit weird.
Bishop is OK as a town (everything is relative, most towns in the USA suck) and roadtrips usually end up passing through there as it connects Yosemite/Sierras with Red Rocks/Utah etc, and its a place to go when the Sierras crap out.
The granite canyons like Pine Creek and Rocky Creek are good. The buttermilks bouldering is OK if you like granite bouldering. Bishop is also the staging place for the east side sierras, like Charlotte Dome or Temple Crag. Owens River Gorge, however, is fairly unlikeable, set in a post-holocaust environmental-destruction landscape. Everything in the 10's was super polished, maybe its better in the higher grades. On top of that I pulled off a belayer-killing block on a three star sport route; considering the amount of traffic this place gets that doesn't sell the place.
On the up side, there are some good rest day activities in the area. My fav was driving up to the White Mountains for camping and exploring the Ancient Bristlecone Forest, and also the petroglyphs just out of town. The supermarket with the giant rooster is cool; you can buy vegies that come from local resident's back yards. The gear shop in town is good, you can get $10 haircuts, and there is a choice of two fairly good bakeries (that's VERY important when road tripping these parts!)
On 22/08/2012 Big G wrote:
>so this all begs the question.... if you did go to the US for a trip and
>you could only visit one crag/area - which would it be (by style)?
Big Wall - Yosemite
Trad - Devils Tower
Bouldering - Hueco tanks (though destroyed through bureaucracy)
Sport - Rifle