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Ascent of Bishop Peak on 2017-02-22

Climber: William Musser

Date:Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Bishop Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:1546 ft / 471 m

Ascent Trip Report

Beautiful peak. Well maintained trails. Top has three significant peaks each with a separate saddle. There are numerous subpeaks. Most can be climbed as class 3 or 4. The tallest of all of the summit blocks is class 5. The far right block summit (eastern most) can be easily scrambled class 3 and is frequently topped with climbers. The far left blocks (western most) are more tricky and higer than the eastern block but most can be summited. I did not see anyone climb over there so there is some solitude there. There are some deep fissures and chock stones in this area to be cautious of a fall, spill, or ankle twister but great back views of the main peaks and the ocean.

The tallest peaks are in the middle of the volcanic cone. Between the western peak and the middle peak is some small pinnacles that are also nearly as tall as the summit blocks and some can be mounted more easily than others. The middle block can be accessed non technically from the backside (NE side). The south side approaches are all class 5. The tallest summit block has a parallel block next to it that is only about 3 feet lower than the true summit block. They are separated by a deep cleft some 15 feet apart. The lower summit block has a shelf that can be accessed from another cleft with one high reaching class 3+ move from the backside and then there is a class 4 backside route up the slightly lower block. With song winds this is unnerving. The top of this block is very close in elevation to the main summit block.

James Barlow gives a TR that is excellent for the main summit block (5.5 to 5.6 route) for those to prepare properly. Fortunately, Several local climbers came along and demonstrated/assisted the easiest way to climb the blocks. The locals were very helpful and credit them as guiding.

I spent an extra hour enjoying climbing on and off the many blocks from one end to the other end and thus the extra mileage and gains.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1426 ft / 434 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1426 ft / 434 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Grade/Class:1,2,3,4,5
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
Guide
    Weather:Pleasant, Windy, Clear
55F
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1086 ft / 331 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 996 ft / 304 m; Extra: 90 ft / 27m
    Loss on way in:90 ft / 27 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:Bishop Peak Trail
    Start Trailhead:Patricia TH Entrance  550 ft / 167 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1336 ft / 407 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 996 ft / 304 m; Extra: 340 ft / 103m
    Gain on way out:340 ft / 103 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Route:scrambling entire ridge them BPT coming down
    End Trailhead:same  550 ft / 167 m
Ascent Part of Trip: SLO-1

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Islay Hill2017-02-22 a590 ft / 180 m
2Peak 17152017-02-22 b1580 ft / 482 m
3Bishop Peak2017-02-22 c1426 ft / 435 m
4Cerro San Luis Obispo2017-02-22 d1244 ft / 379 m
5Little Madonna Peak2017-02-22 f368 ft / 112 m
6Cheapskate Hill2017-02-23 a415 ft / 126 m
7South Hills Peak 5692017-02-23 b179 ft / 55 m
8Cheapskate Hill2017-02-23 c220 ft / 67 m
9Terrace Hill2017-02-23 d211 ft / 64 m
Total Trip Gain: 6233 ft / 1900 m    Total Trip Loss: 5975 ft / 1821 m



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