Bishop is such a cool town, dirtbags and ranchers, it’s a place where you can camp anywhere and it’s all free or at least cheap. It’s a town where you can walk into any establishment with chalk on your pants and no one will judge you for it. It’s a town where only some of the bathrooms say no shaving. And it’s a town with limitless possibilities in the vertical realm. The climbing there is neither hard nor easy, it’s particular, it’s a style that takes time to get used to. Bottom line is that bouldering there makes you a better climber, at least it did for me. Also, the boulders in the Milks are tall. Climbing there you have to move away from the pad if you want to send; I dealt with my fear for a month and then I came back to Utah and was like I can do this. Don’t get me wrong I can still get intimidated by the sizes of boulders all over the country, but after spending time in Bishop I have a better ability to control myself doubt. Arriving in Moe’s Valley we were able to climb harder problems faster which was great; topping out became more casual and adding ticks in the guidebook more frequent.  I know I’ve talked a lot of shit about bouldering, and I stand by everything I said. It’s dumb! Have you ever tried to explain bouldering to a person from Rockford, Illinois? It’s impossible, countless times they asked us why we were going “mountain climbing” in the winter. Invariably I would start to explain that we’re not climbing mountains we’re climbing boulders that are fifteen feet tall or so and we go up the hardest way possible and we don’t use a rope and we fall on a mattress type apparatus. Sometimes we even have to start sitting down. We do all this in the winter because the temperatures are colder and the rock feels stickier. Then, would come the inevitable question “Why?”. Which I have tried to figure out an answer to for the last decade and still haven’t come up with a good one. Which further backs up my original thesis of bouldering is dumb. However, I’m not writing this to relitigate the worth of bouldering, I’m talking about living in a place that is dirtbag friendly and where people can be themselves and everybody is in it for the climbing. Bishop isn’t the only place I’ve found this but it was the place I visited most recently. What I’m saying is if you haven’t been to a place where the climbing community is strong and the people are friendly, then go, if you can’t go now then plan a trip. Not just a weekend, but enough time to meet people and really experience a place. Find someone who is secretly psyched about dumb bouldering.

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