It's been a month since I'm in the States and I can't help but feel like spoiled. At least I'm trying to send hard to make this trip not feel just like a three month vacation. I don't go bouldering that much, but Bishop brings out all the psyche I've got for it. The Buttermilks are up there with any world class boudering area. The amazing space-like desert landscape creates the typical Buttermilks picture: clear skies, mountain backdrop and a hill scattered with egg shape huge boulders. We are running around like kids. I also think it's really similar to Prilep. I keep telling people how good bouldering is there!
Leaving aside all the stereotype and prejudice I have on the USA (which I feel all hold true, in fact), visiting here is such a nice time. Maybe it's the climbing community that makes me feel so welcome, I'm part of it now, jumping on the usual fall circuit of Yosemite-Bishop-Red Rocks-Zion-Indian creek, being a full-time dirtbag. But anyway the States greet you with nice people everywhere. America, home of the free, land of the brave, sometimes coming across as stupid, but never fails to surprise in some way...
Bishop is the next stage of my trip after Yosemite. It's a nice change from big wall climbing and it's nice to take it easy each day playing around on world class boulders. I spent a month in Yosemite, packed full of climbing with my friend David and enjoying the vibe of the Valley. What the Valley means for a climber is too big to describe with words. All of the climbing culminated in a great time on El Capitan, where we climbed the Freerider over the course of a full week! We shot a ton of video so we'll make a slideshow when I'm back home in December, to tell the story of how we climbed the Monster offwidth, the Enduro corner, the Boulder problem and the Teflon corner and the other 28 pitches of what is Freerider, the modern day big wall free climbing classic. And an attempt in the incredibly ballsy face climbing testpiece, El Nino, some larger-than-life single pitches like Separate reality and the real Mount Everest, that is, the Midnight lightning.
|Soul Slinger V9 at the Buttermilks|
|Bishop... the desert|
|Atari... doesn't get more perfect than this!|
|David relaxing and clipping some bolts in Owens River Gorge, the sport climbing venue next to Bishop|
|Tao on the approach to the Owens River|
|a day at the 'Milks...|
|me leading the Enduro Corner, on the sixth day, somewhere under the Salathe Headwall, 150 metres from the summit of El cap|
|well syked after the Enduro corner! Almost there...|
|all the luxuries of staying on the wall|
|Camp 4 banda :)|
|Separate reality. It's all there, in form, not only a myth! photo by Francois Lebeau, thanks dude!|