Bouldering in Bishop

Our climbing trip in Bishop has been pretty amazing; what a place! With over 2,000 problems recorded and even more unrecorded or unclimbed, the potential is phenomenal. Add to that a favorable weather 7 months a year, an easy access and many lodging options and you will understand why Bishop is a top bouldering destination…

The Flake, Smooth Shrimp Boulder, Buttermilks (© P. Gatta)
The Flake, Smooth Shrimp Boulder, Buttermilks (© P. Gatta)

Even though we all say Bishop, there are in fact multiple bouldering areas, which are between 11 km and 50 km away from Bishop city. The style of climbing and the nature of the rock varies between the sites; from volcanic tuff to granite.

Amazing traverse of Hand to Hand combat, V7. The West Rim, Happy Boulders (© A. Gatta)
Amazing traverse of Hand to Hand combat, V7. The West Rim, Happy Boulders (© A. Gatta)

We climbed in Happy Boulders, Sad Boulders, Buttermilks, Rock Creek and Sherwin Plateau.

Water Hazard Right Start, V9. Passageway, Sad Boulders (© P. Gatta)
Water Hazard Right Start, V9. Passageway, Sad Boulders (© P. Gatta)

Happy Boulders is where we spent most time. With over 500 problems, many fantastic ones, this is really a great area.

Dance The Night Away, V11. Slow Dance Cave, Happy Boulders (© A. Gatta)
Dance The Night Away, V11. Slow Dance Cave, Happy Boulders (© A. Gatta)

Sad Boulders is very similar to Happy in term of rock and climbing style. The canyon is a bit smaller but there are still over 250 problems and we particularly enjoyed the Ice Cave.

Mothership Has Left Sit Start, V8. Passageway, Sad Boulders (© A. Gatta)
Mothership Has Left Sit Start, V8. Passageway, Sad Boulders (© A. Gatta)

Buttermilk Country is our third preferred bouldering area. It is different from Happy and Sad Boulders with more open space and great views over the Sierra Nevada, but many highballs and probably less variety in the climbing style.

Gleaming The Cube, V8. Cave Boulder, Buttermilks (© P. Gatta)
Gleaming The Cube, V8. Cave Boulder, Buttermilks (© P. Gatta)

Rock Creek is totally different from the other areas; no volcanic tuff, desert heat and sand but instead some nice granite boulders in a forest of Pines and Aspens.

One Move Blunder variation. Clearcut boulder, Rock Creek (© A. Gatta)
One Move Blunder variation. Clearcut boulder, Rock Creek (© A. Gatta)

Pocketopia in the Sherwin Plateau, is another nice small area with volcanic tuff, highly pocketed boulders.

Frankie says, V5 (traverse). Maximum joy boulder, Pocketopia (© P. Gatta)
Frankie says, V5 (traverse). Maximum joy boulder, Pocketopia (© P. Gatta)

Overall we sent over 150 problems up to V11 in 12 days over a 3 weeks period. We really enjoyed Bishop, the variety of problems, style, rock and areas. We will post soon a full trip report with information about lodging, weather, guidebook, best problems and many more photos…

Weekender. Slow Dance Cave, Happy Boulders (© A. Gatta)
Weekender. Slow Dance Cave, Happy Boulders (© A. Gatta)

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