/ Must Do's in Bishop, CA
California Road Trip, by Tom Slater + Chris Summit (Maximus, 2009)
which has much around Bishop (and other places along the way you might not have thought of)
or more specifically ...
for Sport climbing near Bishop:
Owens River Gorge Climbs, by Marty Lewis (Maximus)
with some Trad options (in addition to that Boulder + some Sport stuff):
Bishop Area Rock Climbs 3rd edition, by Peter Croft + Marty Lewis (Maximus 2008)
btw - It's pretty hard to get between Yosemite and Red Rocks/JTree _without_ going thru Bishop (even if Tioga Pass is _not_ open).
Correction -- actually it's fairly obvious to avoid Bishop if Tioga Pass is closed. Tho it depends on how bad you want to get there ... could drive north from Yosemite to Carson Pass or rt 50, then south down along the Eastside Sierra on rt 395 (surely more spectacular than driving down the west side).
If someone in your party happens to be into high-mountain free-solo climbing, might want to consider the NorthEast ridge of Bear Creek Spire (4181 meters) - not more than an hours drive from Bishop in the Rock Creek valley. Traditionally side to be "class 4", but the recent McNamara eays it's hard to find a way to avoid a few "class 5" moves.
An easier free-solo alternative might be the East ridge of Mt Russell (4294m) - but that requires a _long_ approach up North Fork Lone Pine Creek -- and almost two-hour drive from Bishop.
. (Up by Tuolumne Meadows + Tioga Pass are a couple of harder and more famous high free-solo routes.)
Mt Whitney (4419m) is the highest summit in the lower 48 states -- and the East face of the Mt Whitney group is about the most spectacular alpine rock wall in the USA - (Trailhead almost two-hour drive from Bishop). But to do a technical climbing route on it is pretty tough without an overnight permit and equipment to make a high camp.
You will be spoilt for choice down the Owens River Gorge: sport climbs of all grades.
I can also recommend Cardinal Pinnacle: multi-pitch granite climbing above Bishop: try the West face and Cucumbers...both moderate 5.10's, 3/4 piches...and it is virtually roadside but at 9,000ft.
If you have time, as above, I would recommend Bear Creek Spire...4/5 miles walk in, but do The North Ridge 5.8 ..... early start, but OK to do in a day.
Horton Creek campground is good that time of year
Make sure you visit the hot springs after climbing, take some beers and relax. (the ones near Mammoth, near the green church)
I know you don't need guidebooks, but indulge me one quote from
"California Road Trip", page 308:
"Lovers Leap - The best multi-pitch traditional granite climbing crag in Northern California"
(next page shows 80% of the routes are in the 5.7-5.10 range)
alongside one of the roads I mentioned as a north + east side alternative to Tioga Pass.
You should be OK accessing the Eastern Sierra from Yosemite via the Tioga Pass in October. Then a 4 hr or so drive from Bishop to Vegas by Route 168 to Interstate 95....an interesting drive.
You should check out the Mountain Light gallery in Bishop on a rest day.
You guys will get all that done in a couple of days, after all you have the Timinator with you and he 'Absolutely will not stop' :)
Drive down to Lone Pine, then up to Whitney Portal and do the best finger crack on the East Side:
Looks fantastic, how come we missed that? Grade please!
10c Chris, if I remember correctly. The hardest part is the thin slab to get to the crack. It's on one of the white granite buttresses on the right just before Whitney Portal. Here's another gem from there: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=160986
10c - them were the days!
Looks great, vaguely reminiscent of the blobtastic stuff on Dome Rock.
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