Vegan Thanksgiving and Bishop

I was lucky enough this Thanksgiving to enjoy cooking an amazing vegan dinner with some of my best friends at my friend Josh’s lovely home in the Richmond district in SF. We had black bean and acorn squash empanadas made from scratch by me, two pumpkin pies and one berry pie also made by me, vegan field roast and vegan ice cream pie made by Josh, and salad with fig balsamic, Butternut squash casserole and mesquite oatmeal chocolate chip cookies made by Audrey.

The whole family.

Since Yosemite is under a foot of snow at the moment Max, Randy and I decided to head to Bishop Thursday afternoon where the weather looked more promising. My car has no heat which turned out to be a little epic since the last 3 hours of the drive was 0 degrees and ice began to form inside the car. Nevertheless, we made it safe to our hotel room in Bishop. I love camping but after that coldddd drive we were all very happy to have a nice warm hotel room to snuggle up in.

The next day we hit the Buttermilks. Conditions were perfect and the psych was high. It was Randy’s first time in Bishop and Max’s first time back in several years.

Max packing the Revolution pad.


Randy ready to go.


The Buttermilks on Friday morning.


Haroun and the Sea of Stories.


The end of the day at the Buttermilks.

Friday we all sent. I flashed Fly Boy Sit (V8), Randy flashed it too and also flashed Soul Slinger (V9), and Max flashed Center Direct (hard V10). GO TEAM! Then we enjoyed the rest of the night bowling with every single member of Mission Cliffs and Berkeley Ironworks and hot-tubbing with Bruce and friends.

Saturday was a historic day. Randy sent The Mandala (V12) just before our friend Anson broke a key hold with his foot. It will never be the same again. Actually, Randy lifted me to the hold and it still goes…it may just be a little harder now, especially if you’re short. The hold that broke is the first really small right hand crimp you grab from the undercling on the starting hold (the “short person beta”). Max came close to sending too but started to run out of skin. I tried it a bit and it feels really hard but I think it could go with some work.

A snow storm came in but the blizzard didn’t stop us. We went to the Pollen Grains with a crew and tried Spectre (V13), not that I have any business on it but it was the only sheltered climb to try. Later we went back to the Buttermilks and Max sent The Mystery (V11/12) after only about 10 minutes of work, a very quick send. He was really close on Thunderbird (V11) too.

Max getting ready to send The Mystery (V11/12).


Max trying Thunderbird (V11).

Sunday was our last day and we hiked out to Xavier’s Roof (V11). It was literally freezing there. Snow and ice covered the finishing jug. Randy took the initiative (this man can’t be stopped) and climbed up to clean the snow and ice out of the jug. Since there was also a lot of ice in the jug Max gathered sticks and Randy made a mini fire in the jug to melt the ice. After about 45 minutes of work the climb was ready. Randy sent it second try. Sick!

Randy cleaning snow out of the jug on Xavier’s Roof.


Randy making a little fire to melt the ice in the jug.


The view of Mt. Tom from the boulder.


The view of the Buttermilks from Xavier’s Roof.


Desert flowers covered in snow.


Xavier’s Roof (V11).


Mt. Tom from the road out of the Buttermilks.

Goodbye for now, Bishop. We had an epic 12 hour drive home and I had to be in class the next day but fortunately we escaped without the usual car epic. Whew! It was a really fun trip with two really fun and inspiring climbers and we are all thinking of returning for the New Year.


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