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Carlos' Guide to Bishop Bouldering

January 26, 2020 3 min read

One of the wonderful things about climbing in Bishop is that the 2 main areas, the Buttermilks and the Tablelands, are distinct in rock type and style. Generally, no matter what you are into, there is some climbing here for you!

The Buttermilks

Known for huge blocs and amazing views there are few bouldering areas in the world as picturesque as the ‘Milks. The rock here is a form of granite called quartz monzonite; the climbing trends towards the tall, the technical, and the crimpy.

Best Warm Up Area
There are basically two options for warming up in the Milks. The first is at the southern end of the boulder field on the north side of Grandma Peabody (that’s the MASSIVE boulder behind the first MASSIVE boulder you see when driving up). This overhanging face has a number of good, juggy, drops offs as well as some crimpy lines to get your fingers ready. The other option is on the North end of the field at the Birthday Boulders. These tend to be more vertical and technical warm ups.


  • Hero Roof v0
  • Buttermilk Stem v1
  • Green Wall Essential v2
  • Birthday Direct v3
  • Iron Man v4
  • Go Granny Go v5
  • Saigon v6
  • High Plains Drifter v7
  • Flyboy Sit v8
  • Soul Slinger v9
  • Stained Glass v10
  • Evilution v11 (v10 to the lip)
  • The Mandala v12
  • The Buttermilker v13


The Tablelands

The Happy Boulders and the Sad Boulders, the two main areas in the Tablelands, are so different in feel and style from the Buttermilks that they might as well be on a different planet. Where the ‘Milks are thin and techy, Tableland climbing tends towards the steep and physical. Expect big moves, steep climbing, and some pockets as well. The Happies is perfectly named; more open than the Sads, there is a ton of climbing here in every grade. The Sads tends to have the harder stuff, and there is less of it. Both are definitely worth checking out!

Best Warm Up Area: Happies
The very first major sector you come up to in the Happies, the Rave Cave/Acid Wash has a number of excellent warms up and climbs from v0 all the way into the double digits. Another option is Central Happiness near the Hulk and Solarium. This sector has less easier stuff, but, being central, makes it easier to access the majority of the climbing here.

Classics: Happies

  • Celestial rail v0
  • Heavenly Path v1
  • Monkey Hang v3
  • Keatron Classic v4
  • Solarium v4
  • Serengetti v5
  • The Hulk v6
  • Acid Wash Right v7
  • Disco Diva v8
  • Acid Wash Right Sit v9
  • Acid Wash Left Sit v10
  • Kill On Sight v11/12

Best Warm Up Areas: Sads
The best warm up area in the Sads is in the very back (or the very front, depending on where you park) near the entrance to the Ice Caves. Here, there are a number of short and easy lines to play on, as well as some short and steep ones to get those big muscles ready for thuggin’ through some caves.

Classics: Sads

  • China Doll v0
  • Kipper Snapper v1
  • Prozac Nation v2
  • Spacesuit v3
  • The Fang v4
  • Strength in Numbers v5
  • Rios Crack v6
  • Lawnmower Man v7
  • Pow Pow v8
  • Slunk v9
  • Beefcake v10
  • Wheel of Beef v11
  • The Aquarium v12