December is Prime for Bishop Bouldering

“Woah, it’s a powder day at the Buttermilks,” Chris said, stunned at the number of cars we saw lining Bishop’s Buttermilk Road. With temps reaching 70 degrees and nothing but sun in the sky, last weekend was the perfect time to be bouldering in Bishop, California. And apparently, we weren’t the only ones who got the memo. There were maybe 100 people out there, with Lisa Rands, Charlie Barrett and Beth Rodden headlining, and tons of video cameras and SLRs out of their bags.

We met up with a few friends. Chris and Jay worked on Fly Boy and a few other problems, but in general we just kept it mellow enjoying the sun and scene. As the sun was setting we stopped by the crowd gathering around Charlie Barrett, who was about to make, what most think, the second ascent of Saigon Superdirect, what Wills Young calls “one of the proudest highballs at the Milks” on the Bishop Bouldering Blog. See Young’s post on Barrett’s Saigon Superdirect ascent for a cool photo… Chris is at the photo’s bottom spotting him.

On our way out, our dog, Fern, tried to eat a photographer; I think it was the guy making this cool timelapse video of the day.

On Sunday, Chris and I wanted to get away from the crowd. We took a trail run up the canyon (nothing better than wearing shorts and a t-shirt with snow-capped peaks all around you), then headed up to the Pollen Grains. We set up shop at the Lidija Boulder, where Chris got on some classic problems like Lidija’s Mouth, Drone’s Militia and Suspended in Silence.

We will definitely be making the drive from Tahoe again this winter… can’t beat wearing flip-flops in December. Bouldering in Bishop is definitely a great way to get away from winter, especially when the skiing isn’t its best like last weekend. Bishop bouldering is at its peak November through April, so get it while it’s good, too!



I'm Tahoe Mountain Sports' web editor and a 6-year Tahoe resident. Yep, I live the life, with a lake view from my desk, lunch breaks on the beach with my dog, and morning powder runs when the snow's good. I ski, snowboard, skate ski, and cross-country ski in winter, and hike, mountain bike, backpack, and lay around on Tahoe's beaches in summer.


Leave a Reply