Climbing Conditions Report – February 16, 2023

As the weekend approaches, questions pop up amongst people planning climbing trips to Bishop: Are the Buttermilks covered in snow? Is it too snowy to climb in the Gorge? How about Pine Creek? We got the answers to these questions and more! As always, you are welcome to join us for Climber Coffee at the PV Pit Campground from 8-10 Saturday morning.

Buttermilks: Washboards and potholes abound as well as impressive new ditches and washouts from last month’s storms. 4wd & high clearance recommended. There is snow the last .5 miles to the Peabody trailhead. After that, the road is impassible, which means no dispersed camping access. Most climbers are parking .5 miles before the Peabody trail and walking up the hill. The north sides of many boulders are still snow-covered. The Peabody trail is mostly snow-free now, but the trails on the west side (near the Birthday Boulder) are still under 6-18″ of snow. The road is in rough shape, many boulders have snowy top outs, and parking is limited. The Buttermilks simply can’t handle regular weekend traffic yet. If you do go, scout out your top outs and descents.

Owens River Gorge (ORG): Central ORG descent is still quite icy and dangerous. Most people are still accessing Central via the Lower Gorge road. Most of the Lower and Central crags are snow-free at this time. The Upper descent is snow-free, however there is still snow down at some Upper Gorge climbing areas and trails.

Pine Creek: Climbing areas are still under many feet of snow. The road is now open if you would like to drive there and go snow-peeping.

Tablelands: Sunny and Dry except for the Beefcake area in the Ice Caves at the Sads (see pic from last week’s report).

(From the Bishop Climbing Rangers and the Bishop Area Climbing Coalition)

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