Trip Report
White Mountain Weekend
Tuesday August 22, 2017 8:25pm
A few months back me and a few buddies headed up into the Whites east of Bishop for a little relief from the heat of Los Angeles. We made our way into the Cottonwood Creek Basin and did a little climbing and a little exploring. On our way home we made a detour into the Crooked Creek area for a little recon for future climbing trips. These areas are worth visiting if you are already heading into the Whites but being so close to Bishop there are plenty of other options for climbing so this will never be a destination area.
Credit: Batrock
Credit: Batrock
Credit: Batrock
Credit: Batrock
Credit: Batrock
Credit: Batrock
Credit: Batrock
Credit: Batrock
Three new routes on the upper headwall of this formation.  5.11 top ro...
Three new routes on the upper headwall of this formation. 5.11 top rope face climb, 5.9 bolted face and a 5.7 hand crack.
Credit: Batrock

  Trip Report Views: 2,234
Batrock
About the Author
Batrock is a trad climber from Burbank and knows all the rad climbing in the greater Burbank area.

Comments
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Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Author's Reply  Aug 22, 2017 - 09:02pm PT
A few more pictures added
Nick Danger

Ice climber
Arvada, CO
  Aug 23, 2017 - 05:50am PT
Now this just totally rocks! Obscure places in the Great Basin with no crowds and great looking rocks. This is just my ideal destination. Good on ya, Mate.
johntp

Trad climber
Little Rock and Loving It
  Aug 23, 2017 - 08:46am PT
Diito what Nick said. I assume 4x4 is required?
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Aug 23, 2017 - 09:14am PT
Nice! I'v heard you talk about this place, first pics I've seen. Any hairpin turns or major boulders with deep hollows before or after them that would make it too tough in the 4x4 sprinter?
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Author's Reply  Aug 23, 2017 - 09:49am PT
You can probably get into Crooked Creek pretty easily in a non 4x4 with slightly high clearance. Cottonwood has a few tight turns with steeper climbs but I still think the Sprinter could probably make it.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
  Aug 23, 2017 - 10:18am PT
Looks super fun. I gotta get up in those Whites again.
eKat

climber
  Aug 23, 2017 - 10:20am PT
YAY!

TFPU!
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Aug 23, 2017 - 01:01pm PT
Super cool. Looks kinda like the Alabama Hills with some green grass instead of brown low desert. Very cool. Thanks for seeking out a lesser known zone and for posting up!
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
  Aug 23, 2017 - 02:06pm PT
This area is pretty cool! I'd always wondered if people were climbing there. TFPU!
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Author's Reply  Aug 23, 2017 - 02:36pm PT
Its a lot like JT but at 9,500 feet with a trout stream and grass. It also suffers from incredible shrinking dome syndrome just like JT. There are some good size crags however in the 200-300 foot range. Most are in the 50-100". Camping is best in Cottonwood as it has more shade and grass but is harder to access, a high clearance vehicle would probably have no problem getting into Cottonwood and Crooked Creek is even easier access.
Credit: Batrock
Credit: Batrock
This crag is about a 45 minute walk from camp downstream and would pro...
This crag is about a 45 minute walk from camp downstream and would produce routes up to 2 pitches.
Credit: Batrock

I'd like to get up there one more time this summer before the Saline climbing season starts again in the Fall.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Aug 23, 2017 - 02:44pm PT
Looks beautiful and fun,
Thanks!!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Aug 23, 2017 - 03:02pm PT
Always stoked for the Batrock locales!

Greg Barnes

climber
  Aug 23, 2017 - 04:02pm PT
Credit: Greg Barnes
I collected a very old hex from the red circle in 1997 (that's a great 5.6 crack pitch). Lots of ways to approach the big midway ledge, we chose a 5.9-ish steep knobby wall on the lower right (huge knobs, think I used double-length slings to sling a couple).

The summit block pitch was 5.9 R but there was likely an easier way up, we just chose a fun looking line (which had less pro than appeared). Counter-weight rapped off the summit (since you can 3rd class from the front side through a notch to the back).

Saw HUGE fresh bear tracks near the base of that thing, some big Sierra bear wandered over there to check it out!
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Author's Reply  Aug 23, 2017 - 04:15pm PT
Greg, that gully to the right in the picture has what looks to be a beautiful splitter hand crack on the right wall starting at the pine tree in the gully. I remember you saying you had done some stuff on this formation but wasn't sure what. I really want to go back and do that hand crack before the end of summer.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Aug 23, 2017 - 04:18pm PT
hey there say, batrock... wow, this was fun to read and see...

say, the photos are outstanding, neat rocks to study, thanks for sharing...

:)
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Aug 23, 2017 - 06:38pm PT
Thanks for posting this.
Mike.

climber
  Aug 24, 2017 - 07:16am PT
Incredible scenery TFPU, Batrock.
Gunkie

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
  Aug 24, 2017 - 07:29am PT
Wow, that looks like a lot of fun!
Greg Barnes

climber
  Aug 24, 2017 - 08:41am PT
Batrock, we didn't climb that, although someone else may well have. In the late '90s I also found old finger tape and a couple slings at various formations.

We did do a few more (easy) routes in this photo, and we drilled a rap anchor on the back side of one tower (yellow arrow below). On top of the tower you downclimb a bit to the east to find the bolts. They are camo Metolius rap hangers and it was a 2-rope rap with 50m ropes, you rap down a big chimney/corner system, my notes say 120' rap but I wouldn't be surprised if a single 70 would work (or not...). If you do the obvious line on the front side, watch out for big loose blocks at the base of the upper chimney. I'd recommend going around to climb cracks on the northeast side if you want to bag that tower.

Credit: Greg Barnes
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
  Aug 24, 2017 - 09:29am PT
May they never be documented in a public route forum ;)

I've wanted to go back up there like forever. I need to get off my duff.

DMT
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
  Aug 24, 2017 - 10:50am PT
Thnx for the TR. Those are some of my favorite places.

It may not be entirely legal these days, but the 5 star mt bike tour (which I've written about b4 on Bat's threads) is park near Crooked Creek Station, ride up the main road then detour past Eva Bell Mine and down into the Upper Cottonwood Basin, thru Granite Meadows and ultimately exit up and over via dirt roads that drop you back into Crooked Creek. 3- 7 hours ish
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Author's Reply  Aug 24, 2017 - 12:48pm PT
That is quite the ride Sewelly. That must have been a while ago because the trail down Cottonwood Creek is it pretty bad shape right now. We spent some time cutting back overgrowth and barely made a dent in it.
Greg Barnes

climber
  Aug 24, 2017 - 03:29pm PT
Definitely not legal to bike there anymore, the whole area is Wilderness now except for the jeep roads. Even in the late '90s that was some major shin-skinning bush-whack type riding, although some equestrians were keeping the "trails" somewhat clear at least at head height (and above).

Here's a zoom-able map for the Wilderness boundaries:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/recarea/?recid=21883

Also if you start exploring the further-out crags, please leave the furthest north good-sized wall alone (the only crag with tons of small aspens at the base) - eagles nest there and there's a coyote den not far from the base (saw 4 pups there once!). And the formations up the hill the furthest to the east/northeast have a lot of bighorn sheep forms (forms = sleeping spots).
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Author's Reply  Aug 24, 2017 - 03:39pm PT
Still some horsemen up there at least on the Crooked Creek side. Deep Springs College still herds cattle up there and still use the line shack on Crooked Creek. Haven't seen them over in the Cottonwood basin yet unless they are looking for lost cattle.
Greg Barnes

climber
  Aug 24, 2017 - 04:59pm PT
It may not be entirely legal these days, but the 5 star mt bike tour (which I've written about b4 on Bat's threads) is park near Crooked Creek Station, ride up the main road then detour past Eva Bell Mine and down into the Upper Cottonwood Basin, thru Granite Meadows and ultimately exit up and over via dirt roads that drop you back into Crooked Creek. 3- 7 hours ish

The long version is to park at the bottom of Wyman Canyon near Deep Springs, ride the highway through the valley and up to White Mountain road, up the road to the top, then down and back to Deep Springs. If you go down Crooked Creek and through Deadhorse it's still a legal route.

Once tried that early season before the gate was open to cars (closed at the overlook past Grandview), but there was too much snow (or I was just too tired....ha ha), so I went down Wyman.

Of course that really doesn't make much sense as a bike ride unless you're camping over in Deep Springs valley. I've ridden up Wyman early season as well, it's not too bad but the creek crossings kind of suck (cold and deep), and you want to get going early since that first hill (up to the boulders) is hot if you wait until the sun is really up.
weeds

Sport climber
Bishop, CA
  Oct 27, 2018 - 08:07am PT
nice to meet you out at Saline. what a magical place, eh? look forward to revisiting the area soon. Allan
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Author's Reply  Oct 27, 2018 - 09:24am PT
Allan,
Nice to meet you. Sorry I didn't have time to stay and talk, this was a very quick trip. I'll be out there next month for a few days at the springs, no climbing on that trip but I will be out from time to time this winter climbing out at the south pass area. Hope to run into you again.
Zay

climber
Monterey, Ca
  Oct 27, 2018 - 01:31pm PT
If you find this roof crack, it goes. 5.10+

Credit: Zay
Zay

climber
Monterey, Ca
  Oct 27, 2018 - 01:50pm PT
Up, behind, and tunnel through behind hanging tooth.
Up, behind, and tunnel through behind hanging tooth.
Credit: Zay

another nickname

Social climber
Yazoo Ms
  Oct 27, 2018 - 03:08pm PT
Cool.

All I know about the place is from Galen Rowell's write up on skiing there.
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Author's Reply  Oct 27, 2018 - 03:25pm PT
Zay, thats awesome. I have no idea where that is up there but thats the great thing about the Whites, you need to explore and look around and you will find some amazing rock and you will never run into crowds.
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Author's Reply  Oct 27, 2018 - 03:44pm PT
Zay,
I was looking through some of my old shots and I think I may have found the formation it's on. If it's not the same roof then there is another cool route to get after next season.
Zay

climber
Monterey, Ca
  Oct 27, 2018 - 04:25pm PT
This is what the thing looks like from the outside, way more heinous than it really is.
Credit: Zay

We also climbed this one, up the middle into the chimney:
Credit: Zay

The beauty of it all, is that I couldnt describe how to find this stuff if I tried. Lots of 4x4 and lots of hiking.

Cheers to adventure!
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Author's Reply  Oct 27, 2018 - 04:27pm PT
Zay,
Definitely not where I was thinking but I now have an idea. Cant wait to get back up there.
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