Schat’s, Owen’s + the Sads

​We got there at around 1:30am, pitched tents and went to sleep. Initial thoughts were that it wasn’t really that cold, that I might be okay with my old sleeping bag and down jacket. Oh no. Was I wrong. (I purchased a nice warm sleeping bag the minute I got back.) Besides the cold, I was really surprised at how easily I could put my tent up in the dark. It felt routine and comforting to build my small home for the weekend.

The first time you wake up and open your tent to see the gorgeous white mountains in the background remind you of why you drove 7 hours to just climb for two days. We went to Schat’s, grabbed some baked goods and wonderful coffee and then headed out.

The climb down to Owens River Gorge.

Bishop is a desert that lies in between the Sierra’s sprinkled with volcanic rock throughout that is a climber’s heaven. And we headed to Owen’s Gorge, where miles and miles of sport climbing await! Once we rolled in around 8:30am, three more climbing cars came right in. We had to get down there if we wanted any climbing done without a wait. There was also the women’s climbing festival the same weekend, so we were ready for big crowds. Once we climbed down the 20 min scrambling down the gorge, we finally started climbing! I was really excited to lead some more routes. Not gonna lie, the fright of being on lead is still scary as hell. I love it though. The fear somehow makes me climb harder and learn how to mentally block things from your head.

​​​Don’t get me wrong, my first love is running. It helps clear everything in my head and be one with just me and the route I decide to take. Climbing is really similar. When I’m climbing, I think of the next move and what I need to do to get there. Once I clip the next draw, I think, “okay, I’m safe here”… only to climb to the next draw… and then the next. In between the draws, there’s definitely more negative thoughts in my head like “you seriously can’t fall here,” “this is WAY too high for comfort.” But what I love is how I’ve learned to control those thoughts, breathe through every single step. I can hear my breathe and throw those thoughts out of my head and just think of what my next move is. It’s so fun to be scared?

We climbed all day in the gorge and finally got back, had an nice discussion about whether or not teepee fires or cabin fires are better. I didn’t care. I just wanted the warmth! That next night wasn’t as bad as the first.

​I woke up a little earlier and started packing up slowly. A little sad that the weekend was so short. But bouldering awaited us! We headed to the Sads for a half day. I finally got my project, Prozac Nation! We climbed a few more and got to just hang out with this amazing backdrop.

​These weekends remind me of how much I do love climbing outdoors and the truly awesome friends you experience it all with. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.


Originally published on 2/22/16 at lizlizwanders.weebly.com.