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Issue: # 40 November 2011
Fall has arrived! Colors are changing, leaves are falling, temps are dropping and snow is sticking. As we watch the weather change, we are getting psyched for the winter ahead, but lets not rush into it. There is still lots of rock climbing to be had while we wait for ice to form and snow to fall. We finished our summer season with fantastic trips, check out a few of them.
Tulainyo Lake ; Middle Palisade; Crystal Crag; Trip Reports
exertion, and being just outside my comfort zone all the while being coaxed along by a great guide made this a trip to remember." - Steve G. about Neil
Check out our upcoming trips!
Climbing with Peter Croft Avalanche Courses Backcountry Skiing
In late fall, I hear alpinist and skier types complain when the first snows of the season start to stick to the mountainsides. Hopes for one more high altitude rock climb before the end of season are dashed, and impatience for the backcountry skiing sets in during this hiatus from the high country. These addictions can only be fed by wallowing on talus covered in 10 inches of faceted snow, generally alone (since you are the only one who thinks this sounds fun) or perhaps Mammoth Mountain opens one meandering white ribbon of death upon which you can be entertained for a good 45 minutes just to claim you skied in November this year. It seems rare that this 'tween season is very long in the Eastern Sierra. As excited to ski as I always am, I still sometimes find myself wishing it was longer.
The 'tween season forces us to capitalize on the best of what we have way down near the bottom of the Owens Valley. There is perhaps no better place and time for rock climbing than the Eastern Sierra in late fall. I was just down in the Owens River Gorge yesterday discussing this with a British couple, when one of them said, "You don't have to
explain it to us. Last Fall we accidentally spent a month here!" I have heard international climbers proudly proclaim such statements without shadow of doubt as, "We will be climbing in Bishop every Fall for the rest of our lives," and "As far as I am concerned, the Buttermilks are hands down the best bouldering venue in the world." Legendary masters of stone such as Peter Croft, Lisa Rands, Chris Sharma, Doug Robinson, John Fischer, Bob Harrington, and many others have made their homes here, either for a good while or more permanently. Croft points out, "Bishop has more climbable weather days than any major climbing venue in the country." He is right. Even J-Tree and Red Rock are more often either too hot or too cold throughout the year. There are literally thousands of accessible sport, trad, and mixed routes in the Valley, plus more bouldering problems than you can hang on in a lifetime, on multiple rock types. Bishop is a hard place for a rock climber to get bored, and an easy place to stay strong all year without having to pull on plastic.
That's cool if you are more concerned with keeping up with the jonesers on Mammoth Mountain this Fall, or perhaps donning those ripped, nylon, knee-high gaiters you still have from before the advent of soft shell pants. On the other hand, don't obsess so much that you forget to take advantage of the season when we can, without missing a great day of snowsports, put on a T-shirt and bask in the sun on a desert boulder or sparkling granite wall, or feel the pumpy burn that hurts so good on a steep, pocketed wall of welded tuff. This time of year, with the sun relatively low in the sky, and the dusting of snow on the foreground Sierra peaks, the world of rocks and mountains sparkle with the colors of the Earth and the warmest hues of sunlight. It reminds you how inspiring life is and how lucky we are to be able to commune with nature as we do.
If you are thinking of a rock climbing weekend getaway while you wait for the snow, give us a call or shoot us an email. Peter Croft is going to be leading some very special winter climbing events this year! And we are stoked to rock climb with you anytime this winter, especially when the high country is too stormy, or your legs are too tired from skiing. Fly direct to Mammoth from LA or the Bay Area! We'll even arrange a pick up for you at the airport. Happy Turkey Day everyone!
Peter Croft 3 Day Climbing Camp
12/1/2011 3:11 PM
All Inclusive 3 Day Rock Climbing Camp
Check out our website for more details
SMG Gear Review - CAMP M3 Light Pack
Sierra Mountain Guides: Guide Tips - Step Chopping with an Ice Axe
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All of us at Sierra Mountain Guides
Sierra Mountain Guides operates in partnership and under permit with the Inyo National Forest "In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer."
WINTER PROGRAMS are on the calendar!
Sign up by Nov. 30th for any avalanche course, backcountry ski, ice climbing or rock climbing program for this winter and get 10% off!
Winter programs start before March 21st. Must sign up and submit deposit before 11/30/11.
Sierra Mountain Guides | 312 North Main Street | Bishop | CA | 93514