Mammoth Lakes, CA - Dog Boulder, TJ Lakes and Clark Canyon
I've been such a freaking slacker, or rather, have not made the time to update this thing in a while. Therefore, I'm sort of behind on updating trip reports. There are about 4 on my queue right now, and so here is my first one to update. Back towards the end of June I got to go up to Mammoth Lakes to do some camping and climbing. Mammoth is hands down one of my most favorite areas to go visit in California... not just exclusively because of Mammoth, but the areas close to Mammoth as well (June Lake, Clark Canyon, Owens River Gorge, Bishop, Lone Pine... etc.) are all so close to it. I just love this area. Its gorgeous, and I want to live here. I'm pretty much down to go here any time I can. Winter or summer... its a fantastic playground. So when Marc invited me to join a group going up there in June, I didn't hesitate to jump on board.We stayed at a sweet campsite area in Mammoth Lakes called Shady Rest Campground which I had never been to before. It's not exactly roughing it, but it was a cool car camping site that is really accessible to all parts of the Mammoth area.I drove up Friday evening, and joined the crew at their campsite.
Marc and I got some Thai food in town for dinner because we were both too lazy to prep for camping food. No regrets here. I always welcome the opportunities to eat good Thai food.
Ended the evening drinking wine, playing card games such as poker (using grapes, twigs, and chips to wager), and bullshit, and spiraling downwards in tipsy to drunken states to singing loud songs and sitting around the fire... the usual campsite shenanigans.
Saturday we decided to do some bouldering, which is good because I ended up having a killer hangover and it took me some time to get off my feet.
I got some coffee and a breakfast burrito at one of the local coffee shops, and then we headed to Dog Boulder.
The image below is an image from Mountain Project submitted by Euan Cameron. We warmed up on this side first. I'm sure people hopped on more than I did, but I scrambled up Problem A (V0) a couple of times and also up Problem D (V0). Both fun, easy warm up problesm. We down climbed Problem A to get off the boulder.
Then we went to the other side of the boulder and worked on a few more problems. This is another photo from mountain project submitted by Euan Cameron again.
I worked on Problem L (VEasy) and Problem J (V1). Problem J was actually really cool, that is the one you see Jeff on below. Probably my favorite problem on the boulder.
All in all, I actually really enjoyed these boulder problems, they were a nice warm up and pretty fun.
After Dog boulder we went and got some grub at Pita Pit, and then made our way over to TJ Lakes. There is a 20 or so minute approach hike up to the TJ Lakes area, but once we got there we decided that we'd just roam around and jump on whatever we thought looked climbable. It was really free form and I can't really describe the areas we all went to. We literally just walked around, climbed up, and went all over the place.
It was kinda nice actually, just chilling, taking in the mountain air... no pressure... just a free-spirited kind of afternoon.
On our hike back, you could see Crystal Crag, which would also be a cool place to go to maybe next time.
Saturday evening followed a similar route as Friday night, card games, wine, and such.
Then Sunday, I broke from the group who had plans to do some fishing and boating to join a few other friends that were headed out to go to Clark Canyon. Which is one of my favorite climbing areas in California. The drive in is a bit brutal... definitely beneficial to have a SUV. My friends who I met up with had to park their car two miles from the parking area because the terrain got too rough. Check out how dirty my car is. I love my subaru. It hasn't let me down yet.
We got started later in the afternoon and had to drive back to Bako, so we only got about 4 climbs in at Area 13, but it was still lovely. I lead two climbs to set the top rope and my friend lead the other two climbs.
The climb below is Ugly, Fat, and Mean, Comte to Mammoth be a queen (5.7), lead by my friend. As you can see below, this wall is freaking sweet. Its full of these beautiful pockets and epicly long sport routes, and there are aretes galore.
I lead the route to the left of the above arete seen below with the red rope called Bodhisattva (5.7). This climb had a crux near the top (or at least for me because my crack climbing skillz are lacking). There was a move that was a bit awkward involving a fist jam, but it was cool once you figured out the beta.
View from the top of the climb.
Here is one of Caty's friends doing the crux move on Bodhisattva. I happened to be on the climb to the right getting belayed down while she was at this part.
Then my friend set up another route on the Left Center side called Bread Line (5.9) which had an interesting beginning up this crack to the top.
To the left of his climb (up the black streak the you can see) I lead the route Rock Candy (5.8), which was super fun! The bolts felt really far apart, but thats probably because I'm still getting used to leading... all the holds were there though, and it was a fun little climb.
Anyways, Clark Canyon is one of my favorite spots. This is the second time I've been here. I'd love to make a trip up here and just focus on climbing in Clark Canyon. It would be an excellent spot for me to get a lot of lead climbing practice in, and then there are a bunch of other areas besides Area 13 to explore as well.
Great Mammoth trip... as usual. This place is captivating and a must visit even if you aren't into climbing. There is so much to do up there. I've been told the mountain biking is sick, and I need to come back to try that as well.