We Found Our Twins!

Trip Start Jan 14, 2009
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27
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Trip End May 2010


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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Well, our car barely made it to Bishop, CA, but after several hot-weather stalls, we coasted into the cow-poke town just in time for Mule Days. Despite the year-round tourism offered by Bishop (fishing, climbing, backpacking, skiing), Mule Days is the weekend when the city is the most packed. Tens of thousands of people come from all over the world, believe it or not, with their horse trailers and hundred thousand dollar campers pulled by their fifty thousand dollar trucks to dress up their mules and parade them around in a host of mule-related festivities. Sadly, we missed this event and opted for climbing instead.

We did, however, meet our twins in this beautiful destination, Meaghan and Braden.

Meaghan and Braden are taking close to 18 months off from their lives in Salt Lake City, UT, as engineers to travel across the western US on a climbing adventure, followed by an international trip over to Asia. They were in Indian Creek the same time we were and have hit many of the same climbing destinations between then and when we met them. They are also planning to be in Nepal the same time as us so we're thinking of joining our team up with them to do the Annapurna Circuit with them. Also a strange coincidence: Lindsey's middle name is Megan and as a child, she always thought she was more a Megan than a Lindsey. Lindsey's parents named her after a guy friend of theirs and Meaghan's parents were thinking about naming her Lindsey except that there was this short bald neighbor guy named Lindsey and they thought it would be too weird to name their child the same name!

We climbed with our twins in the Owens River Gorge for a couple days during the Memorial Day Weekend (AKA Mule Days) but took our own excursions as well. We spent one day hiking up in the Bishop Pass area, checking out real estate in the Bishop area, and bouldering at the Buttermilks.

(We're still trying to pull these pictures off a disposable camera we used while our camera was on the fritz)

We also spent a day up at Mt. Whitney. I'm sure most of you already know this, but in case you don't, Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48. Standing at 14,495 feet, this peak and its sisters, (Keeler's Needle and others), are often rendered as the Patagonia of the Eastern Sierra.

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The Mt. Whitney range, a little Patagonia


Ben climbed Mt. Whitney car-to-car in 10 hours while Lindsey took her own excursion to all the side lakes and met up with Ben about 6.5 miles up the trail to greet him on his successful return from the summit.

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Ben at the Summit of Mt. Whitney

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Lindsey by Mirror Lake with Thor Peak in the background (we were eyeing the many gorgeous alpine routes on this baby for sure!)

While Mt. Whitney isn't as spectacular as Mt. Rainier back home in terms of its sheer mass or setting, Mt. Whitney certainly wins in terms of its quality of granite. Most summits of peaks are topped with choss, but the type of choss you see on Whitney's summit is large, perfect granite boulders the size of cars. The pure rock climbs in the Mt. Whitney area are some of the best alpine granite in the world!

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Fishook Arete, one of the famous alpine climbs here

Beyond Mt. Whitney lies the granite peaks and domes of the Eastern Sierra.  From Mt. Whitney in the South to Mammoth in the North, there is year-round climbing of all types, including perfect alpine routes, bolted sport routes, trad crags, and world-class bouldering  It's is a rock climber's wet dream!!  Can you blame us for checking out the real estate?

We headed north from Bishop on our way to Yosemite with a stop off at Clark Canyon just north of Mammoth. When we pulled into the meadows, I can't say we were all that surprised to see our twins' grey and blue van in the climbers' meadow.

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The van with Mammoth area snowy peaks in the background

We were super excited to see them again though! We switched partners for a day and Meaghan and Lindsey took turns leading pitch after pitch of beautiful sport climbs, 11 routes in total, which Braden and Ben sampled the quality routes there, easy and hard, and even tackled a 5.12b!

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Lindsey leading up one of the many multi-starred, moderate climbs in Clark Canyon

The foursome returned to the meadows that day fully satisfied, and we celebrated together by playing Frisbee in the meadows, with wigs on our heads and beers in our hands, and Scrabble at night. What a blast we had with these guys and we hope they get off their butts and join us in the Wind Rivers in July!

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Meaghan and Braden enjoying the Frisbee in the Clark Canyon climbers' meadows

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Lindsey at Mono Lake

Links to all the pics from this segment can be found here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/benkunz/sets/72157619297545260/
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Where I stayed
Free camping all over!

Comments

davidkimber
davidkimber on

..home sweet home..
Ahh you made it to the birthplace of my bouldering odyssey :) So glad to hear you kids are trucking along, getting strong, and exactly where you belong.

We all miss you!!!

sallykunz
sallykunz on

Coulfd you leave a cairn on the granite tip?
Are those jagged peaks the same ones visible from the highway north of Bishop...the same ones we noted and thought, 'Lindsey and Ben will be climbing those!'? 'Peaks upthrust like fists in a frozen ocean of rock that swirl into valleys the moon could be rolled in.'
Bishop is indeed an gorgeous and impressive town...too bad you couldn't partake in the festivities, but as they say, 'Great things are done when humans and mountains meet.This is not done by jostling in the streets.' Did you find any interesting real estate?
As for your twins...it's so marvelous to find like minded friends who love to climb, travel, and who look equally ridiculous the black, frizzy wigs! Have they been to Pune?

sallykunz
sallykunz on

Do something for the old folks
Bring me a couple of car-sized world-class granite boulders for landscape rocks at Seabank Road, eh?. It would just be great if you could!
Love
Dongler Det

therunningdog
therunningdog on

Jealousy...
I wish I was there with you cats! Bishop is my favorite town in the US. It sure looks like you're gettingRdun, but Ben...TEN hours car-to-car? Did you gain weight or something?

Still hoping something will work out to meet you guys in July...

Carry on kicking ass!

TJH

krista.mcmillan
krista.mcmillan on

still jealous
fantastic as usual guys! Esp like the frisbee, wigs and beer with the twins! No climbing for me...ultimate frisbee (without beer, wigs or twins) last weekend left me on crutches with a busted ankle. So living vicariously though travelling friends emails has a whole new meaning!

ukersten
ukersten on

reminiscing about my 2nd US journey
Hi guys! While envying you always prevailed a little when I received your latest entries, this blog evokes the memories of my trip in that area in September 2000! I also had a great time there, especially in the Yosemite NP. Say hello to El Capitan if he comes across...!
Cheers and keep on having lots of fun, Uwe.
Jonny also asked me to send you his best regards.

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