• Snow. And lots of it.

    Third forced rest day. We WOULD return to Bishop just as the weather is beginning to turn! It poured… and poured… and poured some more on Friday night. Saturday was spent inside, out of the cold and the wind. We were expecting to be able to climb Sunday, but awoke to temps in the low 20′s and a heavily clouded sky. No sun to be had. A Brit approached us as we were making coffee and said, “Good morning. I was hoping you’d be able to reassure me about the weather.” Chris chuckled and retorted, “We were hoping YOU would!” The guy had apparently just arrived in the US the previous day. He was parked in a nearby campsite with a gigantic camper. Jealous. He said he had luckily brought ski gear, so he was considering heading up to Mammoth to spend the day. He told us that, where he was from, the current weather was ‘terrible’ and this was not a bouldering day. As the Brit walked away to seek refuge inside his luxurious portable motel room, I turned to Chris in wonder and said, “But I thought the Brits were used to weathering the worst conditions??? I thought they were tougher than Dave Graham, who passes the winter bouldering in CO (the loon).” Chris shrugged his shoulders as he shoved his bagel half (smeared with peanut butter) into his mouth.

    We packed up the car and drove into town. I killed time on the net at Starbucks, reading about how Carrie Cooper, a very strong climber, climbed all the way through her pregnancy. Hell yeah, that’s gonna be me if I ever decide to bear a child. Won’t be for a while, at the very least! Slowly, but surely, the clouds began to clear. Around 1pm, we darted out to the Happys in hopes of getting some climbing in before the afternoon rain returned.

    We weren’t the only ones with this desire. The place was packed. Pretty sure everyone in Bishop was at the Happys yesterday. Chris did somehow manage to squeeze an awesome session into Acid Wash Right, just barely missing the last move. That one is goin’ DOWN… if the snow ever melts. We were in the Slow Dance cave most of the day. Sure enough, the dirty, looming clouds made their presence known and scared us back to our campsite at 3pm. We got our bed set up, ate dinner early around 5pm, and then the snow began to fall. We snuggled up in our 0 degree Marmots (I cannot praise these bags enough) and hibernated for the rest of the night. Chris awoke at 5AM due to the weighted tent wall restricting his breathing by pressing directly down on his face. Chris shook the tent walls in an attempt to free them from the wet, heavy snow. In vain, we tried to fall back to sleep, listening as the large snowflakes plopped on the tent. Again at 6AM, I punched at the tent walls in resentment of the snow.

    By 6:30AM, I was tired of lying around. I opened the fly and snow tumbled in. My eyes peeked out in consternation as I emerged from our nylon abode. WOW. Bishop must have received 6-8 inches of snow overnight. Guess the weather.com prediction of ‘little snow accumulation’ was mistaken! Percy (my little black civic) glared at me morosely, burdened with the tremendous accumulation of white fluff. I wielded my limbs as human snow scrapers, and Percy subsequently perked up. “Please get us out of here,” I implored. He expediently obeyed, trucking through the dense, cumbersome snow.

    So here we sit in Starbucks, doing what we can to pass the time. I’ve been wading through various blogs and videos, some awful, some evoking moderate interest. Any suggestions are welcome. Not sure whether we will be able to climb tomorrow. Depends on how quickly this stuff melts and dries out. Fingers crossed.

    The Pit? Where?

    The first ones up. Wonder how many people were smart enough to get a room last night?

    In the comfy corner at Starbucks. They are repulsed by us. Chris’ repulsive countenance.

    Nicole Brown

    Read more on our blog: storiesfromaclimbinglife.wordpress.com

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