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What’s in a Name? (AKA our Adventures in Bishop)

November 26, 2012

In between sends in Bishop, we continued to struggle with how to distinguish the two Maxes.

The climbers: Max M, Max W, Esten, Art, Kevin, Jackie, Avi, Shane, and Erica
Hydration: There was a lot of scotch, beer, wine, gin, schnapps…you know the deal

In what must be the the largest APW trip ever, 9 of us showed up in Bishop to climb some rocks.  Thanks to a great day at Coopers, even Avi the gym rat decided to go on his first camping trip in 20 years in order to experience some of the best bouldering in the country.

After spending Day 1 flying west and driving from Vegas, Day 2 started in the Happys with the classic highball Heavenly Path (V1) and then a hike up to the canyon rim for the iconic Atari (V6).  Kevin got the first send and Max M. soon followed.  Since Max M. put on some sunscreen that made him look like a vampire, Art started to refer to him as Sparkles (apparently a reference to Twilight).  Art also started to refer to Max W. as Buttercup, for reasons I still do not know.

Kevin sending Atari (V6)

Kevin sending Atari (V6)

Next we headed to Action Figure (V6) and Cholos (V9), neither of which anyone could figure out.

Jackie working Action Figure (V6)

Jackie working Action Figure (V6)

We then went further into the canyon for The Hulk (V6).  Max W. (aka Sparkles at this point) said, “Well, I have to send something today, so I guess this has to be it” and then proceeded to crush it.  Kevin also sent.  Does anyone have some short girl beta for me?  The day ended with some ridiculousness and me attempting to climb The Gleaner (V6) in the dark.

Max W sending The Hulk (V6)

Max W sending The Hulk (V6)

Day 3 became Day 2 at the Happys.  It started with Max M. sending The Hulk (V6) as well, thanks in part to his bright green shirt.

We then went back to The Gleaner (V6), which was sent by both Maxes.  Avi had joined us the night before, and sent Joseph (V3).

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Max W. on The Gleaner (V6)

Avi sending Joseph (V3)

Avi sending Joseph (V3)

Serengeti (V5) was the last climb of the day.  Avi, Max W, and Kevin had a party at the top.  In town, Max W. found a sweet hat/ski mask.  I will now proceed to refer to him as Shark Max.  Art still likes Buttercup, but I’ll leave that name to him.

For Day 4, we decided to go to the Buttermilks Main area for a change in rock and scenery.  After warming up on the Birthday Boulders, we went to work on Ironman Traverse (V4).  Max M sent, Shark Max flashed, and Avi sent without using a single heel hook.  Since a lizard basically sent the problem with him, there was some speculation that a lizard could be Max’s spirit animal.  So should he be Lizard Max?

Arthur working Iron Man Traverse (V4)

Arthur working Iron Man Traverse (V4)

We played around on the Green Wall and then tried out Cave Route (V6), but that remains a project for next time.  Shane showed up just in time to witness some pad surfing.

Day 5 was our day at the Sads.  We drove around for a bit trying to find the back entrance, and eventually found it.  Erica drove in later that day and had to find it herself, which must not have been fun.  The first big project was Strength in Numbers (V5).  After figuring out the sort of sketchy top, Max M. sent.

Max M sending Strength in Numbers (V5)

Max M sending Strength in Numbers (V5)

We then went to work on Pow Pow (V8).  A bunch of us made good progress, and Kevin and I attempted to figure out how to take the boulder back to DC with us, but there was no luck on either front.  We said goodbye to Avi, who ultimately loved Bishop even though he only could stand one night of camping in the cold.

Jackie working Pow Pow (V8)

Jackie working Pow Pow (V8)

The crew went down to the Molly boulder where Esten and Erica sent the highball China Doll (V0) and Shark Max (literally) tore up Molly Dyno (V5).

Esten sending China Doll (V0)

Esten sending China Doll (V0)

Max W sending Molly Dyno

Max W sending Molly Dyno

Day 6 was back to the Happys.  Shane, Esten, and Art started the day by sending Serengeti (V5) and then there were a few sends on Solarium (V4) as well.  More progress was made by multiple people on Atari (V6), but no more sends that day.  A bunch of the guys worked on Highbrow (V8), which Max M. wished he could bring home.

Kevin working Highbrow (V8)

Kevin working Highbrow (V8)

Since I’m nocturnal and can only climb in the dusk and dark, I sent Groundwater (V5) by headlamp.  Erica was also successful in the lamplight, sending a bunch of problems on the More Water, Less Power bouldering including Western Motiff (V2).

Jackie sending Groundwater (V5)

Jackie sending Groundwater (V5)

Erica sending Western Motif (V2)

Erica sending Western Motif (V2)

On our last day in Bishop we woke up to cloudy skies and some on again, off again rain.  To pass the time while we waited for our rain flies to hopefully dry out, Shane and Kevin played the first game of what is sure to be a new favorite pastime in The Pit, Bishop Bocce.  In an epic comeback, Kevin won.

We drove over to the Buttermilks to check out the rock, and the main area seemed pretty soaked.  However, the Pollen Grains on the other side of the ridge were dry!  Perfect, because one of the projects for that day was to be Jedi Mind Tricks (V4).  Both Maxes, Kevin, and Shane sent, and Shane could cross another problem off “The List.”

Shane sending Jedi Mind Tricks (V4)

Esten, Max M, and Kevin also sent this grainy slab to the left of the problem.  Erica and I tried not to watch as they looked like they were just going to go tumbling down.  We finished out the bouldering portion of the trip by working on some problems on the Get Carter Boulder on the way back, and then drove back to Vegas.

In the airport the next day, we discussed how Max M. doesn’t really remind us of a lizard.  Maybe Bear Max?  Well, no matter what animal Max is, Art will continue to call him Sparkles.

P.S. Can some crashpad company please make a pad that fits checked luggage requirements (and is not a small pad or mini pad)?  It used to not be an issue, but Southwest seems to be getting stricter lately… 😦

Below are more of Art’s photos from the trip.  More video to come!

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