We could really feel the tiredness in our bodies from the last 6 day stint in High Sierras but also the tiredness of the last 51 days on trail has been accumulated deeply in our body tissues. Knowing that we are staying in Bishop for at least 3 more days felt pretty amazing – such a long rest. Until now we have only had 3 days of rest total. So to rest was the main thing on our agenda for today. The only other important matter was to pick up our climbing gear and my new shoes from the post office.
We also went to VONS and bought a ton of food, mostly fresh fruit and veggies as those are the things we really miss while on the trail. So that was pretty much what we did for the rest of the day: ate, hydrated and rested. The hostel was filled with other hikers and they all pretty much did something similar, though some were getting ready to get back on the trail the next day. The whole place was the headquarter of chill – The Hostel California or THC for short. This place is apparently pretty legendary and even climbers such as Alex Megos and Daniel Woods have stayed here.
Finally, we were going climbing! We found David on the Facebook group for people who are looking for other people around Bishop to go climbing with as normally you need to be at least two to do some rock climbing. He was so kind to offer to take us out to the crag!
David picked us up from the hostel around 8 o’clock and we all drove to the Owen’s river gorge, which is a very well established sports climbing site inside a canyon, spread over approximately 1,5 miles of rocky cliffs on both sides. It was truly a sports climber’s paradise, especially for beginners – a perfect playground with lots of both easy & hard routes. Even though there was also a hydroelectric station right in the canyon, giving it a bit more of an industrial look, it did not make the climbing any different.
When we got down we were the first ones there so we could choose the best walls. Luckily, David was with us and being a local he knew all the best spots. We got to the bottom of our first wall and started to get ready.
With us was also Elia (or Gandalf, a former electrical engineer from Israel) – another hiker who has never climbed before – but he really wanted to try it. And when we told him about our plans the day before he got really excited so we invited him with us. After climbing his first route his excitement grew even bigger and he was really grateful for the opportunity to try climbing.
We started climbing around 9 o’clock and continued until 16:00, which was a proper day at the crag: having lots of fun.
After getting back to Bishop we drove around town to look at the murals and then decided to get some coffee all together. As it was Sunday and not many places were open we ended up in Starbucks where we just sat, drunk coffee and talked about life for an hour or more. David is a really nice and friendly guy and a very good climber aswell. We were very thankful that he took us climbing and showed us the crag.
Once we got back to the hostel our evening went pretty much the same as the evening before – chilling around.
The schedule for the day was not really determined as it was just another rest day. We thought of going climbing again with someone else we found on the group mentioned earlier but the person felt a bit sick and honestly our hands were hurting from yesterday as we haven’t climbed for a while. We decided to take it really easy today as we planned to get back on the trail tomorrow. So the few things we had to do was to resupply and send our climbing gear to Seattle.
After breakfast we did the business part of the day which included the shopping and going to the post office. Once again the rest of the day was for us to rest our bodies and prepare our minds for the upcoming 8-9 days in the snowy Sierra mountains. We also said bye to Elia who went back to continue his hike from Kennedy Meadows – hopefully we’ll meet him again later on the trail!