Climbing in a Winter Wonderland

Climbing in a Winter Wonderland

Rocky fun on the Eastside Words by Leonie Sherman • Photos by Bruce Willey Getting happy in the Happies, Caroline Schaumann rises above the rim. For California climbers the intersection of the Owens Valley, the Great Basin and the Mojave desert form a dramatic paradise of stone. whether you want to boulder, clip bolts or belay from your bumper, you can scratch that itch on the quartz monzonite and volcanic tuff between the friendly towns of Bishop and Lone Pine. The Alabama Hills, Owens River Gorge and Happy and Sad Boulders showcase the diversity and quality of climbing available during the coldest darkest months in the rain shadow of the fairest range. Marty Lewis and Peter Croft have penned several Eastern Sierra climbing guides, which provide detailed and hilarious beta. What follows is only intended to whet your appetite and stoke your enthusiasm to drop whatever you’re doing and...
Buttermilk, Sweet and Sour

Buttermilk, Sweet and Sour

How did we get here? Where are we going? By Doug Robinson Stretching out … and Up. From a tight core of Armadillos exploring the venerable Peabodies, Bishop bouldering has gone international. And highball. In this photo of the outer Buttermilk, Matt Segal high steps into the no fall zone on Hive Boulder. Is it worth it? (Jeff Deikis). For a while I fancied that I had invented the Buttermilk. After all, in 1969 I made the first ascent of the biggest boulder by roping up, placing two or three nuts, and even sinking a couple of bolts to protect the 5.8 crux, which edged out above the lip of an overhang. But I soon got schooled. Bob Blanchard had already soloed my route—definitely highball to a 70-foot summit—and not bothered to mention it. I should have guessed. Bob’s father Smoke Blanchard had become Bishop’s first climber in 1941,...
Sandbagging an Olympian

Sandbagging an Olympian

Ski Racer Daron Rahlves dives head first into the Sierra backcountry with snowboarder Jeremy Jones Story and photos by Seth Lightcap You’re only a virgin once so we had to go big. Especially considering the man of the hour. The task at hand was to take former Olympian turned pro freeskier Daron Rahlves into the backcountry for his first overnight Sierra ski trip. Now, Rahlves had explored the backcountry near Sugar Bowl on Donner Summit, but he had never been winter camping, nor had he explored the towering peaks of the High Sierra. That all was to change when he accepted my invitation to join pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones and me for an adventure in the Sierra last January. Of course, Rahlves is one of the strongest skiers on the planet, so despite his inexperience in the skintrack, this was not your average rookie outing. We needed a worthy...
Sierra Adventure Rides

Sierra Adventure Rides

Three All-Day MTB Epics from Bishop to Tahoe Story and photos by Seth Lightcap Sierra Adventure Rides Though the dirt is decent and the rocks are wicked fun, one of the best things about mountain biking in the Sierra Nevada is the fact that there is a trail for any occasion. Whether you only have an hour to cruise or you have all day and are looking for an ass-whupping, there are countless ride options. Finding a Sierra destination for your average three-hour ride window is easy. Chances are you’ve already spent an afternoon or two on a few great ones. But what about those dawn to dark days? Where would you pedal if you had 12 hours to burn and were allergic to riding laps? Here’s your answer. Check the specs on the three all-day epic rides profiled here. These rides are adventure testpieces that will challenge your legs,...
Growing Green on the Eastside

Growing Green on the Eastside

In the land of little rain and scrubby sagebrush, a climber morphs into gardener to find some roots By Bruce Willey Dirt Farming Climber June, the finest month of all, the earth in full tilt soak of the sun. Late afternoon light spills over the Sierra Crest and under the lenticular clouds. I’m sitting under an unknown grape, a vine with a trunk the girth of a large man’s thigh. It might have been planted when this house was built in 1918 … or not. Then again, there are always a lot of surprises with this old house that my wife and I bought this spring in downtown Bishop. And this being a magazine with adventure in its title, perhaps it best to mention, there’s been a lot of that too, sometimes enough to rival any epic I’ve found on the rocks or in the water. Colonies of subterranean termites...
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