Despite predictions of precipitation and howling winds, Sunday, November 5 was a gorgeous, sunny late fall day—perfect weather for celebrating the unrivaled climbing opportunities that grace Bishop’s backyard. As the culminating event of the American Alpine Club‘s Fall Highball climbing festival, we combined forces with the Bishop BLM to lead climbers in stewardship projects near our most popular bouldering areas. We planted native bitterbrush in disturbed areas in the Buttermilks and the Volcanic Tablelands, used local stones to delineate parking spots, trails, and campsites, picked up trash, and reduced fortress-like campfire rings to more appropriate sizes.
Of course, it’s not all about the numbers, but we can’t help feeling proud that this event broke our participation record! One hundred and forty-one volunteers of all ages, backgrounds, and home states lent their time to public lands. Wow. That’s the equivalent of a single person working full time for more than twelve weeks!
It’s exciting to see climbers taking responsibility for their impacts on the natural world. Next time you’re in the Buttermilks or the Tablelands, consider donating the last few sips of your water bottle to a thirsty, newly planted bitterbrush shrub.