The Eastern Sierra offers world class climbing throughout the valley. Start off at the Buttermilks, smearing your way through the granite, and then hop on some highball climbs if you are looking for a rush. You might be lucky and find slack liners making their way across the Grandma and Grandpa Peabody boulders while you are out there. Famous climbs, like the Ironman Traverse, usually have a bed of crash pads with a crowd of supporters around the base who are ready to break your fall or cheer you on as you go.
Be sure to save some skin for the volcanic rock at the Happy and Sad Boulders. There you will find jugs and finger pockets guaranteed to fit any size, just make sure you don’t pick a pocket that is too small. Crash pads double as a bed for a midday nap, but while you are sun bathing and giving those forearms a rest, be mindful of the wildlife around you. Stay on the trails and whatever you pack in, pack out. If you are climbing alone, you are sure to meet up with friendly folks from local Bishopians to foreigners from all over the world. If you want beta or a spot, they got your back and a good conversation.
Head up higher into the Owens Valley Gorge and leave your crash pad at home. Grab that neon colored rope, harness, and the rest of your essential gear to hit up climbs that coalesce into the sky. If you are looking to cool down, hike down to the climbs set right above the Owens River that meanders through the gorge. Where ever you choose to go, you know you will have to come back to finish climbs and discover new ones in Bishop: a mecca for climbers.
Anamaria Sanchez lives in Bishop and enjoys writing, climbing, photography, and shredding turns at Mammoth Mountain.