At the beginning of our second semester, The Climbing Academy sought to take advantage of the prime winter bouldering conditions in Bishop, California. With some of the most historic bouldering fields in North America, Bishop has continuously grown in reputation as a proving ground to test the limits of the sport.
The picturesque egg-shaped granite boulders of the Buttermilks are the most common portrayal of Bishop in the media. However, The Happy and Sad Boulders of the Tablelands provide enough bouldering for weeks on end.
Arriving in Bishop after orientation in Las Vegas, we ventured off to the Happy Boulders for our first few days of the semester’s climbing. By word of mouth, we quickly learned that the famous Buttermilks were covered by two feet of snow. It was quickly melting, but our first weekend in Bishop, another snowstorm covered the mountaintops and worsened the Buttermilks’ inaccessibility.
With a thick layer of snow over most of Bishop, we were forced to devote our time to climbing the premier Happy Boulders — which is hard to complain about. Within days, TCA athletes were climbing some of the most classic lines in the area and continuing to find problems to project.
After two weeks of climbing in the Happy Boulders, TCA made their first venture out to the Buttermilks yesterday, February 2nd. After parking the van about 2 miles from the main parking lot and trekking through a near-foot of snow, we found that a few boulders were climbable. However, after a soggily adventurous day it is definitely apparent that TCA will have to wait a while longer to visit the famous boulders of the Buttermilks.
While not climbing in the Tablelands or hiking through snow to the Buttermilks, TCA has taken numerous rest days either to simply decompress or to explore our surroundings. A memorable rest day activity was visiting the former Manzanar War Relocation Center, one of California’s World War II internment camps. Stay tuned for our next post focusing on different students’ perspectives on their experience with a dark remnant of our past.
Photo Gallery of The Happy Boulders: