After our seven hour drive, with most of it being through a snow storm we arrive in Bishop to witness about seven more hours of snow that lasted well into the night. With our hopes hanging in the wind that the weather would be good in the morning we called it a night to prepare for what hopefully would be a good day.
Saturday morning started off with perfect conditions and no effects from the previous nights snow. We headed straight to the Happies so I could try and put down a long standing project, Bubba Lobotomy (V12). I started trying this climb when I was in the middle of dealing with my finger injuries earlier this season, and right away I was falling off the last move. I was instantly psyched and pleasantly surprised with how I was climbing and I thought for sure that I could do it that day. Well it didn't go quite as planned. The climb is a 12 move traverse that climbs through many two finger pockets that destroy your fingers, all capped off with a huge heartbreaking move and a double clutch to catch the finish holds. Being a route climber my whole life I thought that there was no way that I would fall off of the finishing move more than maybe one or two times, since I am so used to having to try really hard while pumped, but man was I surprised. All in all I ended up taking about 20 falls from the last move, and one time with both of the finish holds in my hands!
Anyway, with all things considered, the final move had definitely gotten inside my head. After a good warm up we headed up to the climb. I rehearsed the finish move one time, and then I was quickly able to dispatch the climb on my first try!
(Bubba Lobotomy V12)
(Very poor quality, for better quality go to
After the send we left the Happies and headed up to the Bardini boulders to try and see if we could have a rare post winter attempt on A Maze of Death. Surprisingly enough almost all of the snow had melted on the hike up and it was no problem getting there. When we reached the boulder we found Dan Beall removing toilet paper from the holds as he was attempting to dry them. After a somewhat successful effort Dan decided that he would just try to skip the wet holds, and in doing that, he came up with the most absurd beta that looked physically impossible. After a few heartbreaking attempts falling on the last move he had to call it a day.
Gregor and I also found success on the boulder problem. While neither one of us sent, we were both able to make somewhat quick work on all of the moves, before having to stop because of our bleeding fingers. We both left the boulder with a very high psych, lots of confidence and a digging desire to return and finish it off.
Saturday night consisted of the usual; try and find something to kill time so that the morning comes and you can climb again. So this time we decided to go bowling with our friend Wes Miraglio, and keep in mind, none of us bowl with any regularity. We bowled two games and Gregor quickly jumped out to a huge lead in both games, only to have me chase him down in the later frames! :-)
Sunday rolled around and with our tips already shredded, we made the best of it. Gregor was finally able to unlock the secret beta on the Sharma Traverse (V11) and was kind enough to share it with me. With the afternoon sun creeping over the boulder ever so quickly we had to end our attempts on it as the sloppers were getting harder and harder to hold.
We left Bishop feeling successful and eager to get back. On our way back home we stopped in South Lake Tahoe for some pizza. Right as we sat down to eat, a little boy came running by our table, gave a little bit of a stutter step, stopped, turned to his parents and said, "I farted," and kept on running out the door.
(HighGear SolarPod charging my phone back at
the camp site)