Trip Report
Thanksgiving 2012 TR
Monday November 26, 2012 10:30pm
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.
Me on some contrivo pumpy over extended Gorge classic
Me on some contrivo pumpy over extended Gorge classic
Credit: Russ Walling
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.
Looks great from 100yds.  At 5 feet, it looks like you might need a gr...
Looks great from 100yds. At 5 feet, it looks like you might need a grain umbrella.
Credit: Russ Walling
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.
Susan leading the class of the entire crag.  No idea what it is.
Susan leading the class of the entire crag. No idea what it is.
Credit: Russ Walling
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.
Calling this choss would flatter it... Christ this rock is bad!
Calling this choss would flatter it... Christ this rock is bad!
Credit: Russ Walling
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.

  Trip Report Views: 2,319
Russ Walling
About the Author
Russ Walling is a gym climber from Poofter's Froth, Wyoming.

Comments
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susan peplow

climber
Joshua Tree, CA
  Nov 26, 2012 - 10:45pm PT
Yup, that about sums it up. Other than we got to spend the holiday with minimal pre/post arrival clean up! Plus who can ever complain about going to the Eastside and seeing such great friends? Thanks Karen & Steve for hosting a great event and everyone who contributed to such good eats! The new house is great, poor Russ will be north Gorging it soon!

SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Nov 26, 2012 - 10:55pm PT
Ah....sure made my Thanksgiving seem boring!

Susan
Lloyd Campbell

Social climber
St. Cloud, MN
  Nov 26, 2012 - 10:56pm PT
New plan: Roll your stuff down to Santana's in the back of a Radio Flyer red wagon and wait. No gear, no climbing. You could score some meth while you're waiting.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Nov 26, 2012 - 11:02pm PT
That's a swell holiday weekend right there!

Radz!!!
Jeremy

climber
  Nov 26, 2012 - 11:09pm PT
WAY...
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
  Nov 26, 2012 - 11:15pm PT
Russ, if you ever want to make a little extra income, consider writing for some TV comedy series. You're funnier than most of the dialog on most of the successful sitcoms.

I've only been to Alabama Hills once and my impression was that it was quite chossy but strangely enjoyable. But I'd go there again if the weather was right. The setting is quite appealing.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
  Nov 26, 2012 - 11:17pm PT
It's a fun read TR. There's J. Long and then there is R. Walling. Like the letters you make into stories. Cool read. Keep writing. Cheers,
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Nov 26, 2012 - 11:19pm PT
Russ, if you ever want to make a little extra income, consider writing for some TV comedy series. You're funnier than most of the dialog on most of the successful sitcoms.

Haha! I concur. Kinda like a climber's 'Arrested Development' type of sitcom.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Nov 26, 2012 - 11:20pm PT
Did I mention we had an ice chest with no beer?

The horror!

Unconscionable, man.

Great TR!
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Nov 26, 2012 - 11:26pm PT
You have it all wrong. The idea of "the shortest approach = the best choice" is great in theory -- who wants to carry a seven-pound pack more than a hundred feet? But in practice, well, think about it...

Short approach = more time spent climbing.

This is where your attempt at being light breaks down. You are forced to actually climb. A lot. For over-the-hill, I-can't-climb-sh#t-anymore, old guys, the trick is to go for the longest possible moderate approach. Put the beer in someone else's pack when they're not looking, and go walkies. Moderate walkies.

By the time you get to wherever it is that you've talked your friends into as a destination there will only be time for one climb, and you can magnanimously offer the lead to someone else. "Oh, no, no worries. I actually twisted my ankle on the approach, so you go ahead. You'll love it."

You get a nice walk, your partner gets to lead whatever you've led him to, you get to look awesome cruising on the toprope, and there's beer waiting (in his pack) when you get down.

shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
  Nov 26, 2012 - 11:34pm PT
what a sick trip report. i mean really sick. between the chossy rock, overbloated bellies, and empty cooler(one day anyway), i could just about projectile vomit this report to the manure pile. ss
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Nov 26, 2012 - 11:32pm PT
You have it all wrong. The idea of "the shortest approach = the best choice" is great in theory -- who wants to carry a seven-pound pack more than a hundred feet? But in practice, well, think about it...

Short approach = more time spent climbing.

This is where your attempt at being light breaks down. You are forced to actually climb. A lot. For over-the-hill, I-can't-climb-sh#t-anymore, old guys, the trick is to go for the longest possible moderate approach. Put the beer in someone else's pack when they're not looking, and go walkies. Moderate walkies.

By the time you get to wherever it is that you've talked your friends into as a destination there will only be time for one climb, and you can magnanimously offer the lead to someone else. "Oh, no, no worries. I actually twisted my ankle on the approach, so you go ahead. You'll love it."

You get a nice walk, your partner gets to lead whatever you've led him to, you get to look awesome cruising on the toprope, and there's beer waiting (in his pack) when you get down.

I like the way you think.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Nov 26, 2012 - 11:34pm PT
Hey Ghost that was a Fine Patey there.

DMT
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
  Nov 26, 2012 - 11:40pm PT
I mostly sat around and looked available to do odd chores or prep tasks for the people that were really doing something.

One of the secrets of successfully surviving such celebrations is to perfect the art of appearing available, supportive and helpful - without ever doing anything. It usually requires occasional location shifts, so a modest amount of exertion may be required.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Nov 26, 2012 - 11:41pm PT
Another great TR Russ, thanks!!!!!
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Nov 26, 2012 - 11:41pm PT

I wanna see Sooze's forearms--lifting that turkey looks like
it took some REEL muscles!!!!!!

Man, I wish I'd been there!
klk

Trad climber
cali
  Nov 26, 2012 - 11:54pm PT
you drove four hours to climb ahills? good job. munge drove ten. heh
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
  Nov 26, 2012 - 11:55pm PT
a climber's 'Arrested Development' type of sitcom

That's perfect, Bluey! My favorite sit-com ever, but the supertopo version. You've got a good idea there.
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
  Nov 27, 2012 - 12:00am PT
Sweet choss climbing! Missed you guys at turkey day in Josh, maybe next time :-)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Nov 27, 2012 - 12:11am PT
The day finally ended and I crawled out of the sporto-maw

Tremendous Reportage.

Such a load a gargage.

Welcome back to the arena, Fish.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1993437&msg=1993437#msg1993437

I never imagined how this would work out, but truer words...

You do find the rank ones.
chez

Social climber
chicago ill
  Nov 27, 2012 - 12:26am PT
That's one messed up goat!
paganmonkeyboy

climber
mars...it's near nevada...
  Nov 27, 2012 - 12:28am PT
i think the lesson here is ice chest must always has beer...
locker

climber
STFU n00b!!!
  Nov 27, 2012 - 12:36am PT


Sounds like you two had a BLAST...

Fuk yeah!!!...

;-)

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Nov 27, 2012 - 01:16am PT
Only 7.5 hours, KLK!

Sorry to have missed the belly show!

We put on our own bloated affair Friday morning after stuffing ourselves with Season' Filets the night before and Bud Light Limes later in the day. Free camping at the LP, with hardly no one around, so I had the pit Twallet to moi self.

An ascent of Choss, Moss and Butt Floss was particularly fun. Got to climb with Em of Wyde, Michael, Greg "ASCA" Barnes, and see their new born, met Leverne the climbing dog, and Paul. They were late starting Friday. hrm, I suspect they were part of the illuminati party of Bishop too! :)

Capped off Saturday with an pink point of Choss Whisperer! Whoever established that must have been a little 'off'. CHOSS with a capital loose.

Pawed at some chossaneering sunday with Mooch, and even managed some new leads of some junk I hadn't done before.

Got in 5 to 11 climbs a day, so like Ghost says, I really fouled up by not strategizing.

Next time for sure!


WBraun

climber
  Nov 27, 2012 - 01:25am PT
Classic funnier then sh!t sentences in this thing ......
Myles Moser

climber
Lone Pine, Ca
  Nov 27, 2012 - 02:04am PT
You ever find the shovel?
crunch

Social climber
CO
  Nov 27, 2012 - 09:37am PT
lifting that turkey looks like
it took some REEL muscles!!!!!!

Turkey? That's no turkey. Looks like Ray the Frog.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Nov 27, 2012 - 10:52am PT
Oh yeah! And a good time was had by all especially those of us reading this
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Nov 27, 2012 - 11:04am PT
I don't usually feel worthy to comment on most TR's but this one makes
me feel especially unworthy! But in a gud way. ;-)
Gal

Trad climber
going big air to fakie
  Nov 27, 2012 - 11:43am PT
That WAS a good read! Yep, the only very sad part of this tale was the beerless cooler... but at least you found a place with bad food and BEER to make up for the empty void ;-) Good times!
Studly

Trad climber
WA
  Nov 27, 2012 - 11:48am PT
Why do some people have all the fun?
susan peplow

climber
Joshua Tree, CA
  Nov 27, 2012 - 12:36pm PT
It's not all climbing....feature film production, equestrian enthusiasts and Mussy go to Alabama Hills for some good riding!

Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Nov 27, 2012 - 01:32pm PT
Oh, that's funny...^^^

Holding off on the inappropriate comments...
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Nov 27, 2012 - 01:45pm PT
"Did I mention we had an ice chest with no beer? That probably falls under the heading of blowing ass."


You would fit right in the "FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS" thread. ;)
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
  Nov 27, 2012 - 02:50pm PT
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.
Bill Mc Kirgan

Trad climber
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  Nov 27, 2012 - 03:09pm PT
GOTE ENVI!!!!11111!1!11111
Fish Finder

Social climber
  Nov 27, 2012 - 05:14pm PT


You still got the moves down mussy,

Nice clean hands up on the last take, stop the clock.

Looks like a cross between a bull, manatee and a camel rock.

You sure are making some fancy noises on that rock !
euro-brief-guy

climber
Auburn, ca
  Nov 27, 2012 - 05:39pm PT
What no poker game?....the horror!
salad

Big Wall climber
  Nov 27, 2012 - 06:35pm PT
i got as far as this:

Did I mention we had an ice chest with no beer

and then left to read a political thread.

jk sounds like fun. i almost ended up there this weekend with my kids but got lazy and stayed local.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
  Nov 27, 2012 - 06:39pm PT
Thanks for sharing!



Oh yeah... I tried a 9 and 10b there, seemed to be about 10b/c and 11a. Something about dried kitty litter covered feces for holds.
moosedrool

climber
lost, far away from Poland
  Nov 27, 2012 - 07:35pm PT
Sh!t. spilled my beer. Too funny, man!
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
  Nov 27, 2012 - 08:15pm PT
Mighty Fine, Mighty Fine.
caughtinside

Social climber
Oakland, CA
  Nov 27, 2012 - 08:39pm PT
hey there SAY!

Sick!
sullly

Gym climber
  Nov 27, 2012 - 08:51pm PT
Hugely funny. Bring back Weld_it while you're at it.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Nov 27, 2012 - 09:59pm PT
Haha hilarious TR, that was a fun read. Yea I know what u mean about the gorge, it's not so bad once your down there climbing but walking out at the end blows. I always feel like I got away with something when I take an eastside trip & somehow avoid the gorge:-)
JOEY.F

Gym climber
It's not rocket surgery
  Nov 27, 2012 - 10:29pm PT
I laughed, I cried, the best feel good TR of the year...
tom Carter

Social climber
  Nov 28, 2012 - 12:24pm PT
Nice dally!!
sullly

Gym climber
  Dec 30, 2012 - 08:12pm PT
Tied for first place for Best TR of 2012 (imho).
Scott Thelen

Trad climber
Truckee, Ca
  Dec 30, 2012 - 10:17pm PT
It is good crap
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
  Dec 30, 2012 - 10:25pm PT
Way beyond merely Way Homo. This is like Oort Cloud Homo.
BTW, Russ is whipped. So bad. Poor bastard.
Mimi

climber
  Dec 31, 2012 - 01:01am PT
Great TR. The bull riding nails the Largo and Mussy rodeo true life adventure.
10b4me

climber
  Jan 1, 2013 - 01:57am PT
Sounds like fun
sullly

Gym climber
  Dec 1, 2013 - 08:58pm PT
BUMP!
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