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My favorite highball of all times is in the Buttermilks in Bishop, CA. It’s a classic. A perfect set of moves. My hands sweat just thinking about it. I keep telling myself, with the pads we have it’s going to be ok, even with the big dyno at the end.

What is a Highball?

A highball [hahy-bawl], also spelled high ball, is a boulder problem that has lots of moves, and is high off the ground. Bouldering is typically “crux” movements done above pads. A time to go “all in.”   Highballs are closer to a climbing route, but done without a rope.

Highballs are dangerous

Ironman Traverse with Baby

… you probably already knew that, but it’s important to understand that highball bouldering comes with risk. It requires a different set of mental and physical skills in order to climb them. For many climbers, this risk is what makes the climbing fun and engaging. On the other hand, some people decide that the risk is not worth the reward, and opt out of highballs all together, like my mom. Both of these attitudes are good. Either way, be careful and have fun.

My dad started out moving pretty swiftly, swinging like a monkey from crimp to crimp. Then the swaying stopped and spotters moved in. Hand over hand, to the end of the rail then I looked back and my mom stopped watching. Uh oh, was this serious? Go dad go, you got this, and with all his might he caught the big dyno. Matched. Then with a heave we were on top. Wow! With some time to look around from the top of the boulder the view was so very pretty. I think Mount Tom winked at us. After a big sigh of relief and a pat on the head, we descended the boulder. I had practiced the descent, just to make sure I could get off the boulder (sometimes overlooked). I hopped off, and our support spotters were all high fiving me. I guess I held it together and didn’t even poop my pants!

I know, I know, it’s nothing quite like ambrosia or evilution, but on this day, when I was a 1 year old, and 2 feet tall, the Ironman definitely felt like a highball!

To highball, or not to highball? That is the question…

Are we worthy? Is it time to go “all in”? Are we legit? Do we deserve to claim this noble title? We finally reach the empowering moment where we resolve to openly define ourselves as a highball climber. Do we really need to go bigger. Go badder?

Whether you’re a gym climber, boulderer, sport climber, Sierra trad master, or a dabbler of all, Bishop, California is a world-class climbing mecca that is lucky enough to have playgrounds full boulders with everything from sit starts to a plentitude of towering boulders that tempt fate.

But do we deem ourselves worthy?

Bishop as a community, continues to see demographics evolve and the popularity of climbing, especially bouldering explode.  Thankfully, once a year the AAC brings in the Fall Highball Craggin’ Classic, an event to get us grounded. Filled with camaraderie, actively getting your hands dirty by contributing back to our landscape, and of course time to send!

1 MONTH AWAY

World-class rock climbing. Perfect climbing temps. Killer event line-up.

November 3rd – 5th, the American Alpine Club, CAMP USA, and Adidas invite YOU to the one and only. The world’s most world-class climbing mecca, Bishop, California for the 10th annual Eastside-climbing-celebration-mega-throw-down, the Bishop Fall Highball Craggin’ Classic!

About the Highball:

This 3-day climbing festival is a true celebration of climbing in the Eastern Sierra. Started a decade ago by local climbers looking to clean up the Buttermilks and afterwards drink some beers with friends, the Highball has always been a grassroots event by climbers, for local climbers. The event has grown to feature films, climbing clinics, slideshows, music, games, gear, and good times–all in a massive celebration right in the heart of downtown Bishop. And of course, we have incredible participation in our local stewardship projects, which take place both in the Volcanic Tablelands as well as the Buttermilks.

Happening in 2017:

The 2017 event hosts a full lineup of climbing clinics taught by pros and local guiding outfit Sierra Mountain Guides–these cover important and useful skills and cater to  beginners and experts alike. Our DownTown ThrowDown–hosted by our local friends at Mountain Rambler Brewery, June Lake Brewing Co. and Black Sheep Coffee Roasters–features local food trucks (tamales!), local Eastside-brewed beer, an extensive silent auction and raffle where you can score some incredible deals on top-end gear, not to mention the music, games, good people, and high fives abound.

On Friday we will kick off the weekend at our downtown location and then head across the street to the Bishop Twin Theatre for a special screening of the short film Alpinists at Large, about an expedition to China gone awry, followed by a presentation by Adidas athlete Kevin Jorgeson where we will be regaled with tales from his storied climbing career. Bring your questions, comments, and heckling spirit for this fun presentation.

Saturday get after what you really love: climbing. Attend a clinic and learn some new skills, rub shoulders with pro athletes, and spend some time on the stone around beautiful Bishop, California.

Saturday evening the party will continue in downtown Bishop. New for 2017, we are hosting Mountainfilm on Tour right here on the Eastside. With submissions from Cedar Wright, Renan Ozturk, and others, be prepared for short films about climbing, skiing, kayaking, the dirtbag lifestyle, and adventure galore.

And of course on Sunday morning, join us for a free volunteer breakfast and select volunteer raffle, followed by our Eastside stewardship projects to give back to the places where we play. Sign up for those projects Saturday night, or just show up on Sunday.

It’s the 10th year of the Highball. Which means a good party. And good climbing. In the Eastern Sierra. More need not be said.

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3 days ago

We are buried in smoke again today, so we thought it would be fun to share a little about how the names of some of the towns in the Eastern Sierra came about. Thank you, California High Sierra for the article!
californiahighsierra.com/trips/california-high-sierra-towns-the-origin-of-their-names/
Photo by Amy Leist
... See MoreSee Less

We are buried in smoke again today, so we thought it would be fun to share a little about how the names of some of the towns in the Eastern Sierra came about. Thank you, California High Sierra for the article!
https://californiahighsierra.com/trips/california-high-sierra-towns-the-origin-of-their-names/
Photo by Amy Leist

Comment on Facebook

Wow... been a good long while since I’ve been to Bishop. Their high school team was in our league (I went to Tehachapi High) and we traveled there for some football games — something like a 5-6 hour drive each way if I recall correctly. A tough team to beat also. I’m betting it hasn’t changed all that much over all these years (circa late ‘60s).

I'm so sorry the smoke is bad there still. I missed my annual visit this year. It's on my to do list for next year.

We can see it over the Spring Mountains to the West/NW here in Las Vegas. Fortunately, not much of it made it into the LV valley.

Would LOVE to move there if my hubby can find a job nearby!

We left this morning. Not only is it very smokey the smell of smoke is incredible. I don't smoke and I was ready to light up.

Nice photo. That's the real West.

Miss Bishop, Lone Pine, Big Pine, Tinnamaha campground!!!!

No, that is where the theater and Joseph’s used to be. Joseph’s has been gone for some time now. Penny’s is now Dollar General. Unfortunately a lot of vacant stores. Hi Kent!❤️

Hello and good morning. I am planning to drive up to Bishop from Southern California. The main purpose is to see fall colors. May I know if the fall colors are still at peak this coming next two weeks or is it past peak? Thank you for your advice/suggestions.

We were just there.😔

We have to leave too, I almost threw up it was so bad, got to Lee Vining and blue fresh air..take care of yourselves

so sorry for the smoke crazy time for all this year.

I spent a week here and didn't get to see the beauty through the smoke 😏

When was this picture taken, Sunday at 6 am ? never seen it this quiet.

Awesome pic! I wish a Main Street business had a rooftop deck so you can eat with that exact same view!

No smoke in the photo. ??

Is this an old photo? Joseph’s market was the only market back when we lived in Bishop in 1969.

It’s still Smokey? Where is the smoke coming from ?

Beautiful town

I always love to go threw Bishop.

Went thru Bishop yesterday, it was terribly Smokey 😪💚

I wish it was still small !

Does bishop still have a jack in the box

My favorite place ❤️

Isnt that the Old JC Penney store?

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6 days ago

Wonder if this little sheep was as grateful as we were for a view of the mountains this morning??!! Happy Friday! From Bishop, with love ❤️
#keepbishopsafe #mttom
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Wonder if this little sheep was as grateful as we were for a view of the mountains this morning??!! Happy Friday! From Bishop, with love ❤️
#keepbishopsafe #mttom

Comment on Facebook

Wonderful vacation destination

And a free thinker! This is Good!

🙏praying that it stays like this 💖

I miss Bishop so much and living there too 😢😉❤️

This is one of my favorite places to take pictures when I lived in Bishop. There’s many more.

Sigh. Bishop. Love it.

See you next week little sheep

We loved our visit to Bishop

Miss bishop fun times there

Nice!!!

Oh how I love that view

It was beautiful

Love Bishop

👍

Need snow on them things!

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1 week ago

In case you are wondering what roads and campgrounds are open, here is the latest, as of yesterday, October 14th:
www.sierrawave.net/state-of-inyo-roads-and-campgrounds-whats-open-closed-oct-14
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In case you are wondering what roads and campgrounds are open, here is the latest, as of yesterday, October 14th:
https://www.sierrawave.net/state-of-inyo-roads-and-campgrounds-whats-open-closed-oct-14

Comment on Facebook

I've been on that same road every year at this time...

It sure was smoky today.

Still hazy there.😥

I love the West.

Beautiful picture thanks for sharing 🙂🙂❤❤

We always used to stay at Brown’s Millpond Campground just north of Bishop. Very nice private campground with a stream running through it. So many wonderful memories from Mule Days!

Up her for 4 day little smoke but really nice trees turning colors

It's the hunting and fishing Road 🏞️🎣🏕️🌌🤠🥰

Love Bishop and the surrounding mountains !!!

Hwy 168 going to Lake Sabrina, North and South lakes?

With I was there.

maybe next weekend any hotel suggestions?

Johanna Atwell

GOD HOW I WISH I WAS ON THAT ROAD... CAREFREE HIWAY...

Lots of nice smoke.....

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1 week ago

The Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance is hosting a virtual 5K walk and fun run this year!!! Going on NOW!! You can do it from WHEREVER you are!!!Hello Friends!☺️
💥 ESCA 20th Annual 5K Walk & Fun Run! 💥October 11-17th! Virtual Edition!
Please LIKE and SHARE this flyer with your friends and family!
Thank you for your continued support! ☺️
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The Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance is hosting a virtual 5K walk and fun run this year!!! Going on NOW!! You can do it from WHEREVER you are!!!

1 week ago

Dog days of summer or fall??!!
Last weekend we had warm temps and blue skies again. Fingers crossed we get some more blue skies this weekend!

Photo by Amanda Zhang
#NorthLake #fallcolors #keepbishopsafe
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Dog days of summer or fall??!! 
Last weekend we had warm temps and blue skies again. Fingers crossed we get some more blue skies this weekend!

Photo by Amanda Zhang
#NorthLake #fallcolors #keepbishopsafe

Comment on Facebook

I heard the colors have peaked in this area. Is it still worth visiting or are there other good spots to hit up?

Beautiful picture.

Wonderful vacation destination

Beautiful

Beautiful picture! Cute dog!

North Lake?

Looking good

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