Author Topic: TR: Thanksgiving 2012  (Read 11720 times)

RussWalling (has/been/hxm/Scots-Anglx)

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TR: Thanksgiving 2012
« on: May 13, 2019, 02:51:59 pm »
This is a sorta trip report.  Things were done and it was sorta a trip, but nothing worthy of a "report".  This is more like a standard few days out of the house, a different location for the nightly bed, and some new-ish faces.  Some of the pics are ours, and others are just stolen web pics from unknown people, but they might have well have been us.  They will help illustrate this tale.

In past years Thanksgiving was a fairly large and standard event out here on the sand at our house in Joshua Tree.  Sometimes planned, sometimes not, sometimes we were not even at our house and got to see it being party central in another SuperTopo trip report… that was weird. 

Anyway….  This year we were going to spend Thanksgiving in Bishop at our friends Karen and Steves new-to-them house.  They have been renovating this place for the last couple on months and just got it ready enough to have about 20 people over for dinner.  We were two of that 20. 

So, on the way to Bishop is some climbing.  We had our pick of the destination crags of New Jack City or the Alabama Hills.  I mostly glaze over these days with any talk of visiting a climbing area on the way to anywhere, but it was decided a stop at the A-Hills was on the agenda. 

It has a lot of the classic elements I like.  First and foremost, no approach to speak of.  Car side cragging is the norm.  The rock is really shitty on the whole, and I like that.  And it would be many hours before I actually had to climb.  Another plus. 

We rolled in mid-day and hopped on some piles.  Susan found an entire cliff of moderates that would be in the sun, a mere 45 seconds from the car.  The place was a ghost town.  No climbers, a couple of campers and OHV guys putting around.  The moderates turned out to be horrendous and I three hung a 5.9, projected a 10b and actually topped out on a nice 5.6. 

WTF already with this stuff?  My guess was all the holds fell off and the 5.9's were actually 11c now.  Or I just suck.  Either way, the day was sorta blowing ass and my tips were sore and my new shoes fit like sh#t and were killing my feet.  I could hardly wait to get back on the road.  Did I mention we had an ice chest with no beer?  That probably falls under the heading of blowing ass.

Dinner in town was pretty good at the Whitney Restaurant or whatever that place is called at the bottom of Portal Rd. 

The thing about Lone Pine is every business there now thinks they are on the Euro, so count on getting hosed on your food purchases.  They have no qualms about charging $12.00 or more for an over done burger that is touted as "the best in town".  Two bottles of Ripple and some Cheetos is a much better deal and still probably cheaper.  If they did not have Sierra Nevada on tap I would never go there again.

 I'm a sucker for a nice, big, cold pint after climbing (or really anytime) , so they probably have my business for life, but not without complaint.

On to Bishop!  We bivy at the new house that night and start thinking about the massive upcoming meal.  That next day did not disappoint.  There were many dishes of goodies being delivered throughout the day and much prep was going on for the big dinner.  I mostly sat around and looked available to do odd chores or prep tasks for the people that were really doing something.  Dinner was a huge success and all the illuminati  of the Bishop area were in attendance. 

It was a great feast and a good time talking to the invited folks that spanned decades of Eastside climbing lore. 

That night it was decided that the next day that a few of us would go to the Gorge.  I was praying for an aneurism during the night so I would not have to go.  I hate the Gorge.  It is no secret.  I was going anyway.  At least we were going to the North Gorge, which has the shortest approach.  We went down and did some stuff that was quasi horrendous in the 5.9 - 10b range.  I consider 4 bolts a pitch these days, and some of these routes had 16 bolts… that is like 4 pitches of continuously hard 5.6 pulling with a V0 double minus crux.  I was at my limit.  I got a flash pump in the first four feet of the first thing we did. 

It is not like i'm tiny, and having 22lbs of turkey and fixings in my lower hoses was throwing off my center of gravity.  Every pull was an audible effort and every clip was maximum effort.  Christ, I need to get in shape, or take a giant shit… I'm not sure which.  The day finally ended and I crawled out of the sporto-maw and finally made it back to the car near dark.  At least that's over for about another year…

On the way back to Steve and Karens we decided to pop into our pal Grindrites ranch to check out some critters he recently acquired.  He was not home so we quaffed some of his beer from the back porch and awaited his arrival.  Soon the zookeeper arrived and showed us the midget ponies and goats he is now fathering.

Cool animals!  I'm starting to get the farming bug.  Susan is hoping this goat envy thing will pass quickly

After getting back to Karen and Steves and doing some leftovers, which in itself was pretty funny due to some mystery origin of some of the leftovers, we decide to watch a movie.  Normally this is no big deal, but since Bishop is still sort of a backwater, watching a movie involves phone tethering, personal hot spots, a pirated Netflix account and probably $65 in excessive bandwidth. 

Anyway, a movie, a few beers and another 20lbs of food put everyone in bed by like 8:30 PM.  Man, are we past it or what?

Next day: Today we go home!  On the way home of course we need to go climbing again.  The A-Hills are the obvious choice.  This time we want something in the sun, nice and easy, and plenty of routes.  We arrive and crack the guide book.  Hmmm… maybe over here… maybe over there… damn… we are lost.  But wait!  Here is a tower with like 6 routes on it not in the guide book.  Sounds good to me. 

We flake the rope and start with whatever was right in front of us.  No name, no grade, nobody around.  The route was real good, on surprisingly good rock, and was a nice warmup. 

Hey!  here's an idea… lets tick the crag!  How bad can it be?  Well, it can be pretty bad.  The rest of the crag was in a total state of decomposition.  Some of the starts were beyond oatmeal and venturing into the vertical sugar zone. 

It was laughable.  So laughable in fact we continued ticking routes until the entire crag, including the route with the bail biner, were in the bag.  What a total load of fun crap.  This stuff was so bad even a drytooler would have walked away long before we did.  For this end of the day we did have some beers in the ice chest and pounded them soundly before making the 4 hour drive back to our empire of sand.

PDF attached below.

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« Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 05:23:44 pm by RussWalling »

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Re: TR: Thanksgiving 2012
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2019, 03:53:41 pm »
"Christ, I need to get in shape, or take a giant shit… I'm not sure which."
Funny report Russ,
I love my Country,
 but am embarrassed and ashamed of our Government.


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Re: TR: Thanksgiving 2012
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2019, 08:47:47 pm »

Munge AyatolahRockaRolla

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Re: TR: Thanksgiving 2012
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2019, 05:01:27 pm »

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Re: TR: Thanksgiving 2012
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2019, 03:00:29 pm »
I hate to be the one to inform you but you missed your calling in life.   Yeah everyone needs Fish gear ;)  but you should have been a comedian .

You had me rolling on this one:
I consider 4 bolts a pitch these days, and some of these routes had 16 bolts… that is like 4 pitches of continuously hard 5.6 pulling with a V0 double minus crux.
There is something out there and it ain't no man.   We're all gonna die!


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Re: TR: Thanksgiving 2012
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2020, 05:01:46 pm »
Tore myself away from the politard threads to read about two of my fav activities eating and drinking, oh wait, climbing too, so make that 3. Nice one Russ.
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