About 10 months ago I took my first wander into Pine Creek Canyon after being curious about it for a while. I took a buddy up Racing Lizards for one of his first climbs and was very pleased with what I found.
Fast forward beyond a few more trips to PC and here I am at the end of my employment (done June 30), working part-time and done with school. Jeremy ends up getting in touch with me since he is visiting from Washington to see family in Reno/Truckee via my thread:
Thursday morning we load up my truck and point it South on 395.
Jeremy had never climbed trad before but had experience sport climbing, and was mega psyched. 213 recommended a climb he had been looking at on Mountain Project that had a ton of variety to it and a short crux section with most of the climbing being very moderate at 5.8/9.
Chips Off the 'Ol Block
Before I start about the route, I have GOT to give a TON of credit to Tai and all of the other Bishop locals making it happen at Pine Creek. Not only are they putting up high quality routes, they are putting up very user-friendly high quality routes and doing a ton of work beyond the route itself. The trail work they have done out there is first rate, and the fact that these guys are so psyched to have people climb and enjoy their routes is VERY awesome.
Enough rambling, time for some action...
After a short approach we are greeted by the most obvious line at the Scheelite Wall, a 300+ foot right-facing corner:
We racked up and pounded some water, the first pitch went quickly. Fun climbing in a flare with awesome jams and stemming
Jeremy cruised P1, at that point I knew he would be fine learning trad, as he followed quickly and had no problems jamming or working his way through the super fun flare.
Pitch 2 was fun climbing with a couple of moves over a roof (5.9) and then easy cruising to the anchors for P3.
P3 was super fun, with some interesting climbing leading to a wide section (5.9) to bring you on to a nice ledge at the top of the corner.
On Pitch 4 I managed to wander off and we wound up doing a bit of a variation. Head right from the belay into a cool jam/LB corner and then on to high quality slabby face on the slab visible up and right of the belay was very fun, pro was a bit sparse. Maybe 5.6/7R? Could be easier, could be harder. Who knows. On rappel the stellar hand crack on P4 looked way fun. Next time!
The ledge you get to hang out on, where P4 ends, is palatial and super nice to hang out on.
The views aren't anything to complain about, either.
After hanging out on the ledge and enjoying views, being glad neither one of us dislodged any of the death blocks waiting on the edge of the ledge, and generally having a laugh, off we went on to P5!
P5 was very fun, with an awesome crux and fun finish.
We only did 5 of 6 pitches, since the photo topo I had indicated it would require two raps from the top of 6. This is not the case, as there are intermediate anchors. Had I known this, definitely would have cruised up the last pitch - it looked awesome! The pitches are short (30 meters or so) and you can rap the route with a single 60. We rapped with a single 70 and I would assume that with a 60 it would be rather close, so tie knots in the ends of your rope if you do it with a 60. This route was VERY fun, and people would be lining up to epic on it if it were in Yosemite Valley.
After hitting the taco truck in Bishop (not sure of the name of the place, AWESOME burritos and tacos) and listening to a local (driving a jacked up pick-up truck with camo paint, awesome) haggling the owner, attempting to get him to sell him 50 tamales for $1.00 each (listed price of $1.75) to no avail, we wandered around town for a bit and then crashed.
On the menu the next morning was The Gong Show Crag.
We climbed the first pitch of the Main Attraction (very fun!) and then the good weather, fine views, and the continued buzz of psyche from how good yesterday's climb was took over and turned us a bit lethargic to anything resembling work. Lounging occurred. We decided we might as well clip some bolts, so Jeremy took off and climbed Grab A Handful, a fun sport climb
Note: There were two notable and random rockfall occurrences while we were up there and nobody else around. Be careful.
We hiked out and were sure to thoroughly enjoy the water features on the way out while crossing Rock Creek....
After getting back to the car we met up with some friends at the Bachar Boulders who had just arrived back from the Valley for a BS session, hit the MoMart for bbq chicken sandwiches w/fries and were treated to sunset as we drove through the Carson Valley, back to Reno. A quick, fun trip!