About a month ago, I got the awesome opportunity to go climbing/camping in California. My friend and I flew into Reno on a Wednesday night and drove to South Lake Tahoe the next morning to appreciate the gorgeous scenery.
We were just about to leave and start heading south when we saw a couple of climbers walk down to their sweet awesome van parked right next to us. Turns out there was an entire wall of beautiful sport routes just up the hill at Eagle Creek Canyon, so we followed them back up and had a few burns on some really fun routes. Next, we stopped at a Walmart to stock up on food. Originally, we planned to buy a cooler and ice so that we could eat some perishable food, but plans changed, and we decided to stick with non-perishable food items.
Here’s what the food box included:
2 packs of applesauce - the real kind, no extra ingredients.
1 box of Clif Builder bars
2 boxes of Kind bars
1 bag of rainbow Goldfish - yes, I’m still a child at heart :)
1 bag of beef jerky for the boy. I’m not a huge fan, personally.
tons of fruit - bananas, apples, oranges, blueberries, cherries
1 loaf of whole wheat bread
1 jar of real peanut butter
1 jar of real strawberry jelly
4 packs of tuna (with crackers)
2 bags of random $1 snacks - rice snacks, banana chips, trail mix
We were only camping for about 4 days, so this was plenty of food for the two of us.
After hitting Eagle Creek Canyon, we drove down past Mono Lake and stayed at the Glass Creek campgrounds just north of Mammoth Lakes. Friday morning, we drove into the town of Mammoth and stopped by an outdoor store to pick up some guide books. We ended up going to Owen’s River Gorge and checking out the upper section of the gorge. After climbing, we drove down to Bishop to check out the city and found an authentic Texas BBQ joint for dinner. We also stopped at a public city pool for a shower. Nice and cheap!
We planned to stay at the Pit, but it was closed, so we stayed at Horton Creek campground across the highway. Saturday morning, we wandered around the town of Bishop, got some amazing breakfast tacos from Mahogany Smoked Meats, stopped for coffee at the Looney Bean, and drove down to Owen’s River for a little dip. It was freezing.
A couple friends of mine from LSU met up with us in Bishop, and we drove back to Owen’s River Gorge for some more climbing. We climbed til dark, grabbed some pizza at Johnny’s in Mammoth, and camped at Big Springs campground near Clark Canyon.
Sunday morning, we drove down the road to Al’s Garage and spent the entire morning climbing various routes on the volcanic tuff. My friends had to leave that afternoon, so we left Al’s Garage and headed back north. After seeing them off, we found a little crag off the highway called Matrimony wall. We climbed a few routes there, and then drove across the highway back to Glass Creek. We set up camp, ate some peanut butter banana sandwiches, and enjoyed the Zac Brown music blaring from some nearby speakers. Monday morning, we went back to Matrimony wall for a last minute climb, and then headed back north. We stopped at Mono Lake to see the Tufas, stopped for coffee, and went all the way back to South Lake Tahoe. We stopped at a Sprouts Cafe for lunch and went stand-up paddle boarding on Lake Tahoe. The water was freezing, but the view was absolutely breathtaking!
Later, we headed back to Reno and stayed at Harrah’s Casino. We decided that it would be nice to take a shower and sleep in a real bed for one night! After taking our showers, that may or may not have lasted 45 minutes, we spotted CommRow across the street - supposedly the tallest outdoor climbing wall in the world, but most likely the tallest in the country. We had to wait for another couple to finish the lead route, so I went back inside to play in the gym. As we waited, I wore myself out on some awesomely overhung V4 routes and tried my luck on the slackline. They finally finished, and we got to climb up the entire 168 ft wall. It was about 9:30 pm by the time we got on the wall, so I got to climb by the neon lights of Reno. The view was absolutely amazing, and I got some random cheerleaders out of the mix - drunk cheerleaders, but cheerleaders nonetheless. After that we called it a night, said goodbye to Reno, and flew back to Austin the next morning. Can’t wait to get back out there and climb some more cool routes :)