Holiday Climbing Destinations
This weekend many people will be busy with family, holiday festivities, and the fun events around Christmas. Hopefully, all the Touchstone members are having a great time doing just that and are getting pysched for future climbing trips. Next weekend will be an awesome time to head out and climb!
A holiday climbing party in Bishop
California has a number of great winter climbing destinations. Cragging in the sun on the down canyon cliffs of Yosemite is a great distraction. The bouldering temps on the granite crimps of Bishop's Buttermilks can be awesome, and the fun moderate trad climbs and highball boulder problems of Joshua Tree can be perfect.
Winter weather can affect the desert. Make sure you're prepared.
As you plan your trip, make sure to look at the conditions for the past week and not just the past few days. Joshua Tree has desert weather all year. The National Park dries quickly when it does rain. Joshua Tree has great climbing but a lot of it involves long hikes through the desert and the rock can be sharp. It's an ideal place for those looking for an adventure.
Jen Atkin eyeballing the highball bouldering classic Slashface
in Joshua Tree
Located on the east side of the Sierras, Bishop sits in something of a rain shadow. Severe winter storms can head over the mountains though and dump feet of snow, making the climbing less accessible after storms. The sport climbing at Owens gets little winter sun at many cliffs, and the Buttermilks can be covered in a few feet of snow. The Tablelands are a better bet for winter bouldering in Bishop. That being said, Bishop is the best winter climbing spot in California- the quality of climbing is excellent.
Yosemite's winter weather conditions are typically snowy, wet, but there are occasional periods of dry, sunny weather. The crags down canyon- like the Cookie Cliff and Arch Rock, receive lots of sun and can be great places to climb. Think t-shirts in January. The conditions have to be right though.
Keep an eye on the weather as the weekends approach. Here's a great site to check the weather- Climbing Weather.com
Labels: Buttermilk Boulders, Cookie Cliff, Slash Face