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October trip to Owens River Gorge and nearby areas - Bishop, CA

Let's get our climb on outside!  PLEASE READ CAREFULLY BEFORE RSVP-ing.

WHEN: Extended weekend to Bishop and Eastern Sierras. Depart WED night, Oct 16, return Sun night, Oct 20 for 4 fabulous days on the East Side.

Please notify organizer when RSVP-ing if you plan to leave or return on a different date. Those leaving Wed or Thurs night and climbing at least a 1/2 day Sun before returning will be given priority in the event of a large waitlist.

WHAT: Mostly sport climbing at Owens River Gorge (ORG), but with multiple nearby options to mix things up a bit, including sport and trad at Pine Creek Canyon, Rock Creek Canyon or Little Egypt, or a day of bouldering at the Happy Boulders or Buttermilks (all within 30 mins of ORG).

Conditions and group permitting, we may do our final day in Tuolumne or at one of the Mammoth areas (Clark's Canyon, Dike Wall, Crystal Crag, Mammoth Crest) as those are on the way home for those returning to the Bay Area.

Exact day-to-day plans depend on weather conditions, interests and skill levels.  Assume at least 2 days at ORG.

WEATHER: Fall conditions are typically PERFECT in Bishop - warm but climbable in the sun, cool and crisp (perfect for sending but bring layers!) in the shade. One of the great things about ORG is that one side of the gorge is always in the shade, so you can choose sun or shade depending on temps.  Temps tend to be a bit cooler than in Bishop (~2000 ft higher elevation, shade and cool breeze makes the difference).

It CAN also get chilly at night, and while unlikely, an early winter storm isn't unheard of, so expect summer conditions but be prepared for anything.

FEE: DROPPED; THOSE WHO HAVE PAID ALREADY WILL HAVE FEE REFUNDED

WHO SHOULD COME:

* Solid 5.10 - 5. 11+ leaders will be in HEAVEN!  There is a reasonably good selection of 5.8 - 5.9 routes, and plenty in the 5.12 range, too, but not much at 5.7 or below.

* If you're leading in the gym, ORG is a GREAT place to do your first outdoor lead, or build on your lead skills.

* Routes at ORG, Pine Creek and Rock Creek must be led, so even if you are not a leader yourself, you MUST be comfortable lead belaying and catching lead falls. The final person on a route may need to untie at the anchors, clean the anchors and rappel.

* If you do not at least follow 5.10 (clean) consistently, you won't have as many options and may not have as much fun.

If aren't sure if you have the requisite skills, such as being comfortable catching lead falls, cleaning anchors or rappelling, please contact me directly to discuss.  We may be able to fit you in, but I will want to make sure first that we have enough strong leaders in the group.

 

LOGISTICS:

* For those driving from the Bay Area, take Hwy 120 through Yosemite to Lee Vining on the east side of the Sierras, then south on Hwy 395.  Total drive time 5-1/2 to 6 hrs.  This assumes Tioga Pass Road remains open.  An early winter storm could close the pass, in which case Hwy 50 to South Lake Tahoe and across 88/89 to 395 south is the best option at about 30 minutes longer drive time. We will cancel if there is an active winter storm that weekend.

* 4WD and high-clearance are NOT mandatory for ORG or most of the other areas, but they are nice to have; high clearance is necessary to make the approach to Clark's Canyon.

* Winter conditions are always a possibility over the pass so please be prepared with 4WD and/or chains.

* Camping: at the Pinyons site.  This is FREE, PRIMITIVE (no reservations, no facilities) camping on Forest Service land about 1-1/2 miles north of the North Gorge approach trail. The Pinyons site sits at about 6000 ft, so expect cooler temps at night.

* Supplies: Bishop (12 miles) and Mammoth (~30 miles) both have full-sized Vons grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, gas, and large outdoor gear stores for any climbing or camping gear you may have forgotten

 

WHAT TO BRING:

* COLD weather clothing, sleeping bag & tent for at night or in the event we choose to climb a day or two at higher elevations

* WARM weather clothing for in the sun.

* Layers -- even if it looks like hot T-shirt and shorts weather, it's best to bring at least a lightweight jacket or long-sleeve top into the gorge, and you'll definitely want that if we spend a day in Mammoth or Tuolumne. Be prepared for big swings in temperatures.

* WATER, sunscreen, headlamp, hat, gloves, jacket, helmet, backpack, harness, shoes, chalk; NO water at campsite, but supplies in town

* Stove & cookware (optional) if planning to cook at camp; I typically go into town for dinners but do breakfast at camp

* Rope -- 70m best, 60m+ recommended; with shorter ropes you need to pay very close attention to route lengths and whether or not you can safely reach the ground

* Quickdraws -- typical route at ORG requires 8 - 10 quickdraws plus 2 extras for the anchors

* Trad gear (optional) -- there are a handful of crack climbs in ORG, most not worth doing, and a few routes with optional gear placements to supplement bolts. I will have a rack with me but seldom use it at ORG. Pine Creek, Rock Creek, Little Egypt and a couple other areas do require gear.

* Bouldering pad (optional) -- I don't own one, and boulder regularly, but I'll happily use someone else's if it's there :-)

* $$ -- no fee for camping, but it is a long drive so please plan to contribute to gas costs.  Groceries if fixing meals at camp. I tend to eat dinner out in town, and you may want to be prepared to do that at least once or twice.

 

MISC:

* I will NOT be coordinating meals, other than negotiating restaurant destinations in town. If someone would like to volunteer to coordinate for those who prefer to prepare meals at camp, please let me know.

* Looking for a Co-Host volunteer.  Must be someone who can attend for the entire trip.

* If you prefer not to use PayPal to pay the $20 fee, contact me directly for info.

* I have removed the $20 fee, which was intended to ensure people were committed to going. IF your plans change, PLEASE update your RSVP and notify the organizer directly.  No shows and late cancellations may be dropped from future events.

 

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  • Michael D.

    Hey all. Hope you are well. As you know I am doing a film and we are about to launch an indiegogo.com campaign which shows our 4 minute video that is basically a trailer so you can all see the buzz about what appears to be a really amazing piece. In any event we are also launching a facebook page and I created a section for Owens Rivers Gorge. I am adding what photos I have but wondered if any of you have photos you can post here or send? [masked]. I have a few fun ones I will upload for ya all. Thanks :)

    April 20, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was lovely to meet everybody. It was a great weekend. Sorry I didn't get to say it in person (somehow got separated) :) - happy birthday again, Denise!

    October 21, 2013

    • denilou

      Thanks! Glad you and Chris were able to make it!

      October 21, 2013

  • Michael D.

    hey Denise. You were right. I loved Owens. Amazing. So many routes I was overwhelmed. Need to explore next time without a film crew. Let's charter a plane to mammoth airport next time so we dont have to drive so far OR hire Simon to fly us :)

    By the way thank you for letting us piggy back on your meetup. Hope we didnt get in anyone's way. The film crew really liked you guys. Oh yeah that approach down lower gorge. Oy vey :) Creekside was awesome, campsite was coolio, loved Thai Thai (?tai tai) and the owner. so brash. This meetup and weekend was 5 star birthday girl :)

    1 · October 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you Denise! Had a great weekend.

    1 · October 21, 2013

  • John

    Thanks for organizing Denise! What a great area for sport climbing.

    2 · October 21, 2013

  • denilou

    One more update -- After driving the final 1.3 miles north on Owens gorge rd, look for the dirt turnout on the LEFT -- the sites on the right side of the road were mostly taken, so we are on the other side. We tried to stake out the entire area around that pullout. It's a big dirt circle with camping all around -- look for my blue Mt Hardwear tent, another blue tent and a Subaru, and my white XTerra

    October 17, 2013

  • denilou

    Update on directions -- if you see a hwy road sign with "Owens Gorge Rd" DO NOT turn! You're not there yet :-)

    The turn you want is NOT labelled.. The first Owens Gorge Rd is after coming down grade from Deadman's Summit and before the rest area. This road will take you to Clark's Canyon. Eventually. But it won't get you to ORG. Nope, from here, you still have 45 mins - 1 hr to go. There is also an Owens Gorge Road across from Tom's Place. Not that one either, but getting close.. From here, go another mile or so to Sherwin Summit, then down a lllloooooooooonnnnnnggg grade. A mile? More? And at the very bottom, turn left across the hwy. That's the right road, even though there is no hwy sign for it. You'll be able to tell you're on the right road quickly -- after 1/2 mile, it dead ends at a T intersection. Scroll down to earlier message for full directions.

    Safe travels all. See you soon!

    Denise

    October 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    does anyone have tent space Thursday Friday and Saturday nights? Ill be renting a car if anyone wants a ride. Ill be glad of the company.

    October 13, 2013

    • denilou

      I can probably spare space in my tent, or you can also rent them pretty cheaply at REI or Sports Basement

      October 15, 2013

    • William F.

      I have a 2 person tent with just me. I should be there those 3 nights. Not really a gear + 2 people tent, but thats what cars are for!

      October 16, 2013

  • denilou

    Soo, I have:

    John leaving Wed; Marcy riding with him
    I'm leaving tomorrow evening, Helen (?) with me
    Simon will do his own thing -- Simon, will you be there on Thurs? If not, when?
    Rachael leaving Thurs? returning early to catch flight on Sun

    Stacey leaving from Napa Thurs eve; Stacey, is anyone driving with you?

    Meg, Caro and Chris leaving Friday.
    Patrick leaving Friday from Sacramento.

    William can't leave before Friday; needs to coordinate ride?

    Gennady and Brian? Are the two of you driving together? Leaving Thurs or Fri? If you can swing it, I recommend leaving Thurs, but if not leaving until Fri, maybe you guys can also hook up with William?

    Anyone else?

    October 15, 2013

    • denilou

      Hey Simon, do you mean the place right between the two dirt turn offs? If so, we'll be just beyond that, maybe 50 yds further in, so close by :-)

      October 16, 2013

    • Simon

      I think that's the one! It's near there and kind of hard to see the turnoff to the spot. It's definitely close to where you we were at last time.

      October 16, 2013

  • William F.

    This is late, but would I still be able to join in on this trip. I just joined the group recently and am looking for some good lead/ sport climbing while in california. I did not join at first due to time commitment, but am very interested if people are planning on leaving friday afternoon night and com back before monday morning. Please let me know (I would need to carpool but owuld of course chip in for gas)

    Experience: multiple lead routes up to 11.a
    Typically climb 11.a/b/c in gyms in california (top rope)
    Gear: shoes/chalk/harness/belay device
    I have my own sleeping bag and may have a tent by friday (being shipped from chicago currently)

    1 · October 15, 2013

    • Michael D.

      William you should totally go. I believe Brian Holmes and Gennady here have room in their car leaving from SF. Email them here or directly. Owens River Gorge led by the ever experienced and safe Denise will change your life in a meaningful way :) If you want a sport climbing heaven this is your trip... :)

      October 15, 2013

  • Gennady K.

    hi everybody, i have a car and can carry one to two people depending amount of gear. not looking to undertake that whole drive alone. is anybody looking for a commute partner? thinking of going for about 3 days. [masked]-9110. g

    October 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Gennady, Meg and us are driving together on Friday. Maybe see if you can get in touch with Brian or Rachael and try to work something out since y'all are leaving from SF...

      1 · October 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Caroline, Chris, and I are planning to leave from SF around 6pm on Friday evening. See you all there! Drive safely.

    2 · October 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This trip sounds great. I'd love to join, but I'd have to leave Friday evening from SF. I have a car. Anyone else planning on leaving from the area on Friday?

    1 · October 13, 2013

    • Gennady K.

      hi, I have space in my car. do you still need a commute partner? i am looking for somebody to share driving time.

      October 14, 2013

    • Michael D.

      Caroline, Gennady is the coolest dude from my gym. You and your honey Chris would do well by driving with him AND ive been trying to get him outdoors with us since ever since he joined GYCO :)

      October 14, 2013

  • Helen F.

    Hi all, esp Denise -
    I tweaked my knee climbing a couple days ago. It's getting better and I think I should still be able to go & just take it easy, but if it flares up or doesn't get any better, I might have to cancel. I just wanted to give all a heads up. Ack sorry to be so up-in-the-air!

    October 13, 2013

    • denilou

      Okay, keep me posted

      October 13, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hope you can still make it, Helen! It'd be great to see you again.

      October 13, 2013

  • denilou

    DIRECTIONS TO PINIONS camping @ Owens River Gorge

    Take 120 thru Yosemite over Tioga Pass. At Lee Vining, turn right (south) on Hwy 395 and continue past Mammoth, Lake Crowley and Tom's Place.
    Shortly past Tom's Place you'll start down a long, steep grade.
    IMMEDIATELY at the bottom of the grade, turn left across the hwy and onto Owens Gorge Rd -- there is a sign for the turn to the right - for Paradise / Swall Meadows; there IS NO SIGN marking Owens Gorge Rd.

    Once on Owens Gorge Rd, go a half mile to a T intersection.
    Turn left and drive 5 - 6 miles until you come to a very sharp elbow turn to the right. A little past that you reach an intersection. Turn left (if you go straight it dead-ends at the Upper / North Gorge approach)

    After the turn, continue north another 1.3 miles. Look for a dirt turnoff to the right. There are several places to camp; we'll try for a spot ~50 yrds in on the left where there is room for several cars and tents.

    Denise

    1 · October 11, 2013

    • denilou

      I will be driving a white Nissan XTerra, lic # 6VFG108

      October 11, 2013

    • denilou

      I will also have my cell phone with me - text or call if you get lost or need to figure out where to meet:[masked]

      October 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Does anyone have room for 2 people in their car? Or maybe interested in sharing the cost of rental car?

    Leaving from SF on Thurs eve and back on Sunday.

    Looking forward to seeing everybody.

    October 11, 2013

    • denilou

      Hi Caro, it sounds like Stacey has room and is on the same schedule, but she's leaving from Napa, so don't know whether it's practical for you guys to get to a reasonable rendezvous point. If so, that might be an option.

      October 11, 2013

  • John

    I will be heading out Wednesday afternoon from Davis. returning Sunday afternoon

    1 · October 9, 2013

    • John

      Confirmed time off with my boss, super exited!

      October 11, 2013

    • denilou

      Hi John, I have another friend, Marcy, leaving from Sonoma who might be able to leave Wed afternoon.. if she can get to Davis, is there a safe place for her to leave her car and ride with you? If not, I'll have her meet me and Helen and ride with us, but I suspect we'll get a later start.

      October 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    hey! im on holiday in SF from Canada. i would like to go to this, but have a few logistical issues, if someone could help me out i would be eternally grateful.
    1. i do not have transport.
    2. my flight home is at 8pm on Sunday night.
    3. I do not have a tent
    4. i brought only a rope, no draws.

    is there anyone with space in their car and tent, is returning early sunday and willing to take me aboard?

    i will be EXcellent company.

    October 10, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      no takers? :( can i bribe anyone with beer and cookies? all i need is space in a car and space in a tent.

      October 11, 2013

    • denilou

      Hi Rachael, you are definitely welcome to come, and I lack of draws is not a problem. I'm sure we can work something out re: a tent, too. Are you flying out of SFO?The only question is whether there is anyone returning early enough to make your flight, which pretty much means not climbing on Sunday -- leaving to drive home Sun morning or even Sat night. I don't know if there is anyone planning to come back that early.

      October 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Ooh, yes please. Chris and I are a strong maybe atm. If we go it'll be a Thurs eve - Sunday eve trip.

    1 · September 30, 2013

    • denilou

      Yay! Hope you can make it!

      October 3, 2013

  • Ruth H.

    Hi Denise, I unfortunately cannot come with you to celebrate you birthday at Owens River Gorge.I had a bike accident 2 days ago and broke my jaw as well as the tip of one of my fingers :(. So I now have to recover for a while until I can go climbing again.

    September 28, 2013

    • Simon

      That's awful Ruth! We'll miss you on this trip! Take care of yourself, get well soon.

      September 29, 2013

    • Ruth H.

      Thanks a lot. Tomorrow I have the plastic surgery to fix my jaw. Then I have to eat soup and be patient for 6 weeks until I can climb again. Have a good trip to ORG and I hope I can join again the next time!

      October 1, 2013

  • denilou

    So excited! We're getting a great group lined up!

    Can you each post here and let me know when you are thinking you'll want to leave and return? I will leave either Wed night or early Thurs morning, depending on how many others plan to leave Wed night. If I leave Thurs am, I'll get to Bishop in time to get in a couple hours of bouldering, then Friday into the Gorge.. Climb Sat, Sun, return Sunday eve.

    Helen, do you want to ride with me?

    Who else needs a ride and who's planning to drive?

    1 · September 17, 2013

    • Simon

      I'll probably arrive a day late, and leave day late, depending on how works pans out the week of the trip. I'll update when my schedule is more concrete.

      1 · September 20, 2013

    • denilou

      Helen, it's a plan; I'll coordinate with you on departure schedule as we get closer, will be either Wed pm or Thurs early :-)

      September 20, 2013

  • Simon

    Barring an act of God, or if I end up there the preceding weekend, I'll be there!

    1 · September 8, 2013

    • denilou

      Hi Simon, can you RSVP so I don't forget you're on the list? :-)

      September 17, 2013

    • Simon

      Sorry for the slow RSVP was figuring out my schedule for that month..

      September 20, 2013

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