Over the New Year I was lucky enough to be in the best place in America once again with many of my favorite people. In contrast to my last trip over Thanksgiving, I was given the green-light to get on any problem I wanted, without fear of re-injury to my finger. Finally, after so long I can climb worry-free, pain-free, and just focus on enjoying it.
Hot Winter in Bishop - Nick Bradley
The whole trip was about a week and a half; The first few days were with the team camping in The Pit, and the rest with the kind Donnely family who rented a warm house right in the middle of Bishop. With the team, my main job was to coach rather than climb, but I admit it was hard to resist. Often I would spray some beta here and there and point out some technique issues, but I couldn't help but climb constantly. Though fun and enjoyable, those few days were pretty uneventful, including some accents of a 7b+ here and there. The funny part for me was that I couldn't repeat some of the moderate to easy problems that I always do when I go, but it was pretty cool to get shut down and have to re-learn the moves again.
Once the team trip was over, I moved into the Donnely's place and focused on my project in the Buttermilks. The Mystery was about to go down. I knew all the moves, and only had to link them together. Simple enough... This ended up being my epic for the rest of the trip. Every time I got close, I would then make negative progress and end up having to stop, instead of deepening the hole in my pointer finger even more. Anyway, after about 4 days of heart-breaking close attempts, I finally sent on the last day, which would've been my last attempt anyway since my tips split pretty badly. First 8a+! Psyched for sure.
Besides my send of The Mystery, the rest of the trip was pretty dull as far as the tick list goes. I did however get on the famous Southwest Arete (Thumbnail photo) which is a thrilling 45-foot easy arete. Next trip I have so many routes in mind that I need to try and know will go, and I should probably start projecting The Mandala... Counting down the days until that trip!