Saturday, November 5th, 2005

Owens River Gorge in Bishop (For Two Days)

Tim, Dave, and I had been talking about going climbing at Owens River Gorge and had even made plans, but well, plans can fail, and they did. This weekend, I had planned to climb with Debby in Yosemite Valley. But on Thursday, Tim and Dave informed us we were going to Bishop. There went OUR plan!

Immediately, we invited ourselves to Robert’s house. He and his guest were already in Bishop at that time and were planning to return to the Bay Area on Saturday, but they stayed one more day for us after receiving our “notification” about our arrival. Tim secured a rental car that would be waiting for us at the Bishop airport. All set! At 7am on Saturday morning, we were in the air. Since Debby had flown a plane (a different one) before , she was appointed the co-pilot. It only took us one hour and fifteen minutes to get there. Out of the plane, loaded the car, stopped by the Kava coffee shop (Our pilot Tim needed to wake up), unloaded our sleeping gear at Robert’s house, and there we were, the Central Gorge parking lot. The weather was perfect — so perfect that I was comfortable climbing in my tank top the whole day, which was nice because I made an effort to be color coordinated: red bracelet, red necklace, red tank top, red harness, and red fleece shirt. Yep, I became one of those sport climbers my trad climber friends always laughed at. It was fun 🙂

On Saturday, we scattered around Pub Wall, Faulty Tower, and Negress Wall, and walked out of the Gorge in the fading light. Climbing was awesome, but the day was just getting better. Robert had left the Gorge earlier. When we returned to the house, there was wine, veggies, and Robert’s authentic Italian dish, Risotto, waiting for us on the table. I dove into my bowl and did not emerge again until the last piece of rice was sent into my mouth. Oh now I wish there were such delicious food waiting for me after every day of climbing. After eating, the four of us spoiled were not ready to go to bed yet, so we made a trip to town where we had even more food and Ben&Jerry ice cream (chocolate flavor). Sitting in the Mexican restaurant, we had an intellectual discussion about our scabs, a result of climbing. Do you know the difference between a gobi, a cack (or kack? Who knows the spelling?), and a strawberry (oops, should be a raspberry)?

Sunday morning, Robert left for the Bay Area before we woke up. But we didn’t linger; instead, we loaded our sleeping gear into the plane and paid a visit to the famous bakery, Schats. Oh, the cinnamon roll was so good. Wish I could move to Bishop. We did some climbing in the Upper Gorge — warmed up at All You Can Eat area, and then moved to Gotham City area. The day ended with us climbing Grindrite (5.11b). I had to single that out because my onsight lead surprised me. It made me so happy that I couldn’t feel my weight on the steep hike out of the Gorge.

On our way back, there seemed to be weather all around us, but not on our course. Either we were really lucky, or we got an awesome pilot (and co-pilot too). Or maybe both.

Photos: All the photos have been uploaded to my album. They were even captioned. Check them out.