Bouldering Bliss

Three days in California is not enough. It was time enough, however, for a great adventure planned out for us by our friend David, who Catherine and I met in person for the first time as he and Paul picked us up from SFO late Friday night, grabbing In and Out on the way to Sacramento. Catherine and I have both been to California before, since she’s hiked the Lost Coast and I lived there when I was much younger, but this was our first trip together to CA.

We left for Lake Tahoe the next morning, trading the 110 degree heat in the city for bluebird skies and 80 degrees in the mountains. Our goal was to go bouldering at Bliss.  Catherine provided photo documentary for most of the trip.

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Awesome bald peaks surrounding us on the drive up.

We arrived without a guidebook and only a general idea of where to go. We pulled over, grabbed the bouldering pad, and walked right up to some incredible boulders strewn about the high Sierra terrain. We spent the afternoon clambering all over them, scouting new boulders as we went.

I captured some of our bouldering on my goPro, and sped it up. I’ve tried in the past to leave goPro on while camping, etc, but always screw it up, so it’s great to have something to look back on.

If you don’t care for video, I also snapped a few photos of the fun!

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Catherine heading up a fun problem.

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Paul’s turn.

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David showing us how it’s done in Vans.

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Ian with the hand-jam.

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We climbed both sides of the big boulder, and though the crash pad wasn’t much use it was Type I, truly fun climbing, not grit your teeth, always about to fall climbing.

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Paul gets rad boulder jumping.

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David on some prime rock.

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Me, trying my hand at the route.

As our fingers tired and we were done baking in the sun, we headed down to the lake and jumped in.  The water was crystal clear, almost Caribbean.  We weren’t quite done climbing and jumping off rocks, so we wandering down the shore a ways and found a secluded spot to test the waters.

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As the evening crept in, we drove down out of the mountains, though we all wanted to stay. David had other plans for us the rest of the weekend. The next day we headed for the coast north of San Fran, and stopped to boulder at a creek along the way. This time the rock was volcanic and blocky, and the water was even colder and more refreshing.

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Catherine at our second hang out, under the bough of a shade giving tree.

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Time to cool off! It was over 100 again.

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Paul won for best leap.

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We swam out to a rock filled with swallows nests.

Later that afternoon we were at Mt. Tamalpais, and drove down for dinner on Stinson beach.

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, Mt. Tam environs.

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Our awesome tour guides and bouldering buddies for the trip, David and Paul.

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We camped out on top of Mt. Tam, and hung around for a bit in the morning. We considered trying to rent some surfboards since a number of people were tout on the water, but decided better of it. Instead, we headed back to San Francisco for a bit of city tourism before our flight out. Thanks David, Paul and Ian, for a great trip!

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