Owen’s River Gorge

This past weekend, we went rock climbing in Owen’s River Gorge, 10 miles or so north of Bishop, off the 395. I have been too tired to unpack and do laundry, much less blog, since we got back late Monday night. It was a fun weekend and this year (unlike last year), I was prepared for the steep and rocky hike into Central Gorge, so it didn’t seem as bad as I expected. We climbed on the Great Wall of China, or China Wall as we call it, and Warm-Up Wall on the first day. On the second day, we hiked into Upper Gorge and climbed on Triple Play Wall and Gorgeous Towers. I climbed Gorgeous itself, a classic in the gorge, which is a .10b – too difficult for me to lead, but not too bad on toprope. Aditi earned the nickname “Inchworm” and prompted Martin to say, “Aditi can climb anything if given enough time” after she top-roped the .11b on Gorgeous Towers. There wasn’t time for everyone to climb it as it was the end of the day and we were climbing on someone else’s rope. I did more leading this trip than I did at Red Rocks, where I led lots of .8s, but nothing harder. This time I led lots of .9s and one .10a. I was feeling brave for some reason – maybe because I led several times in the gym before the trip. I haven’t climbed since we returned – too much editing and tutoring this week, and now I’m totally exhausted and still haven’t put all the camping and climbing gear away. Here are a few pictures from the trip.

Owen’s River Gorge from below (Notice Matt belaying Jenn on the right side)

Looking down on Gorgeous Towers from the parking lot
(Gorgeous is the arete in the far left of the frame)

Jenn on Gorgous Towers

Martin belaying Meghan on lead (You got me?!)

Aditi bathing in the river next to our campsite

Our campsite

Martin climbing on Upper Elbow Room

The backwards-seated belay, invented by Martin and perfected by Aditi

Highlights of the trip:

When I fell in the river fully clothed before breakfast after so carefully balancing on the log to pour water over myself
Porc chops and Pinot Noir at the Whoa Nellie Deli at the Mobil station in Lee Vining
Throwing a snowball at Martin on a stop through Sonora Pass
Peeing side by side with Aditi on the side of the road on our drive back – we didn’t even bother to find separate trees
Aditi and Matt quoting Pulp Fiction, “I’m super fly TNT”
Jenn imitating Cartman: “Oh! RainBOW! Yeah, those are cool …”
The sign at the top of the gorge that said, “No trundling and no posing,” which prompted us to yell, “Stop trundling” and “Stop posing” at each other all weekend

Lowlight of the trip:
Very bad accident on the Sonora Pass. SUV clipped a camper – camper torn apart, SUV upside down – people still in it – young guy trying not to cry – I hope nobody died.


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