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Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop
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Poll: Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop
Hueco Tanks 14 / 33%
Bishop 17 / 40%
Somewhere else 11 / 26%
42 total votes
 

sp00ki


Jun 7, 2010, 10:27 AM
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Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop
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A group of us are discussing a week or two long bouldering trip for 2011, and it's come down to these two.
I know people who've been to either, but no one who's been to both.

Can anyone with experience at both areas comment on what the differences are, and which they feel is a more enjoyable experience for a week to two weeks of bouldering?

Climbing abilities range from V3 to V7 (east coast); mix of genders; probably five or six climbers. If Hueco, the trip will most likely be (or at least we'll shoot for) early March.
If Bishop, then ???


(This post was edited by sp00ki on Jun 7, 2010, 10:28 AM)


sp00ki


Jun 11, 2010, 12:03 PM
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Re: [sp00ki] Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop [In reply to]
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Majority of votes for Bishop... Anyone have insight as to why?


caughtinside


Jun 11, 2010, 12:22 PM
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Re: [sp00ki] Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop [In reply to]
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I've been to both.

Hueco is the better bouldering in my opinion. You do get to deal with the park restrictions though. You need to pay to get in, take their little class. I was there off season, so the park filling up wasn't an issue for me but it might be during prime time. You can camp in the park or just outside at the Rock Ranch.

Bishop, notably the Happies/sads and the buttermilks, the climbing is not as good, but still very good. The happies is very similar style to hueco, but the hueco rock is harder/better, steeper, and there is a lot more of it in close proximity than at the happies.

The milks and the happies are free to climb at. Camping is pretty cheap near the happies, or free (for now) in the buttermilks. However, the buttermilks are much higher elevation than the happies, camping lower would be much warmer that time of year.

Bishop is a small sleepy but neat town in a beautiful area. El Paso is giant and gross. The chances of losing climbing days because of weather are low at both, but higher in Bishop I think.

Hope this helps. They're both great areas.


bandycoot


Jun 11, 2010, 12:31 PM
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Re: [sp00ki] Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop [In reply to]
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Go to Hampi India. You won't regret it. I'll give you beta if you want it.


sp00ki


Jun 11, 2010, 12:46 PM
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Re: [caughtinside] Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop [In reply to]
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caughtinside wrote:
I've been to both.

Hueco is the better bouldering in my opinion. You do get to deal with the park restrictions though. You need to pay to get in, take their little class. I was there off season, so the park filling up wasn't an issue for me but it might be during prime time. You can camp in the park or just outside at the Rock Ranch.

Bishop, notably the Happies/sads and the buttermilks, the climbing is not as good, but still very good. The happies is very similar style to hueco, but the hueco rock is harder/better, steeper, and there is a lot more of it in close proximity than at the happies.

The milks and the happies are free to climb at. Camping is pretty cheap near the happies, or free (for now) in the buttermilks. However, the buttermilks are much higher elevation than the happies, camping lower would be much warmer that time of year.

Bishop is a small sleepy but neat town in a beautiful area. El Paso is giant and gross. The chances of losing climbing days because of weather are low at both, but higher in Bishop I think.

Hope this helps. They're both great areas.

Helps a bunch.
What is off season? I was planning to go next march for two weeks. Is that a good time of year? Later? I was told it gets really hot there, so i'm looking to avoid that.
I was also told that it makes a LOT of sense to stay at the ranch (makes access easy, and the accommodations aren't bad).

That said, what is a good "cutoff date" to book the trip by?


i_h8_choss


Jun 11, 2010, 12:51 PM
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Re: [sp00ki] Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop [In reply to]
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I haven't been to Hueco. I'd really like to go someday. The restrictions and fees don't really bother me much. The climbing looks awesome. I'd make a reservation. Plus it seems very easy to meet people that climb similar grades and styles as you do, pad up with them, and go for it. Since you're going with a group, that's no issue.

I lived in Bishop for half a year. More freedom....sure. Free and easy camping. A variety of rock. Town life, hot springs. I like highballs. Druid stones are cool. Rock creek and Yosemite if you're there in the fall.

It seems more people head to Bishop for the freedom, but I don't think anybody interested in bouldering would be disappointed visiting either place.


caughtinside


Jun 11, 2010, 1:05 PM
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Re: [sp00ki] Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop [In reply to]
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sp00ki wrote:
caughtinside wrote:
I've been to both.

Hueco is the better bouldering in my opinion. You do get to deal with the park restrictions though. You need to pay to get in, take their little class. I was there off season, so the park filling up wasn't an issue for me but it might be during prime time. You can camp in the park or just outside at the Rock Ranch.

Bishop, notably the Happies/sads and the buttermilks, the climbing is not as good, but still very good. The happies is very similar style to hueco, but the hueco rock is harder/better, steeper, and there is a lot more of it in close proximity than at the happies.

The milks and the happies are free to climb at. Camping is pretty cheap near the happies, or free (for now) in the buttermilks. However, the buttermilks are much higher elevation than the happies, camping lower would be much warmer that time of year.

Bishop is a small sleepy but neat town in a beautiful area. El Paso is giant and gross. The chances of losing climbing days because of weather are low at both, but higher in Bishop I think.

Hope this helps. They're both great areas.

Helps a bunch.
What is off season? I was planning to go next march for two weeks. Is that a good time of year? Later? I was told it gets really hot there, so i'm looking to avoid that.
I was also told that it makes a LOT of sense to stay at the ranch (makes access easy, and the accommodations aren't bad).

That said, what is a good "cutoff date" to book the trip by?

I was there at the end of may and the place was hot and pretty deserted. I've never been there in March but I imagine that's prime time.

The rock ranch was pretty cool, but empty when I was there. I think it's 5 bucks a person a night to stay there? And there aren't a lot of other options unless you get a hotel in el paso i think.

Plus if you're at the ranch you'll get partners, beta, etc. The 'accomodations' are them letting you pitch your tent in the desert, but there's a cooking shack, and this barn thing you can hang out in.


pyrosis


Jun 13, 2010, 4:55 AM
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Re: [sp00ki] Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop [In reply to]
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For the climbing, Hueco might be better... And for the Mexican food.

For everything else, Bishop. Hands down.


rockman517


Jun 21, 2010, 1:02 AM
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Re: [sp00ki] Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop [In reply to]
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Undoubtedly Hueco. There is much more diversity in the styles of climbing. March is pretty hot in Hueco. The busy season (when getting into the park can be difficult if you don't want to spend the extra money on commercial tours) is during "winter break" for schools..so Dec 24-Jan 15ish. End of January, early Feb is the absolute best time to be there as far as lack of crowds and good conditions go. Keep in mind that the Buttermilks may be snowed in still in March, and if that's the case you might as well skip it because the Happies and Sads aren't exactly destination areas. The 'Milks are definitely the main event in Bishop.


rhythm164


Jun 21, 2010, 5:19 AM
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Re: [sp00ki] Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop [In reply to]
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The Happies and Sads are absolutly destination areas in Bishop and not to be missed. Classics of every grade abound. The Buttermilks are great as well and there are many less travelled outlying areas that can provide better temps if it's hot in the Tablelands. I cant speak for Hueco, but as far as Bishop is concerned, there are no access issues, you can camp almost anywhere provided you're lowkey about it and the town provides pretty much anything you need (Schotts Bakery, say no more).


rockman517


Jun 21, 2010, 10:16 AM
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Re: [rhythm164] Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop [In reply to]
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Sorry, my context was a bit misunderstood. The tablelands are definitely worth visiting if you are already in/close to Bishop, but if they were the only climbable areas I wouldn't tell someone to travel from the East Coast to climb only there. I personally wouldn't drive from Salt Lake City to Bishop just to climb in the Tablelands, but again, that is just an opinion. I'd also like to add, that I've traveled pretty extensively, and the number of super classic problems in the V7 and under range in Hueco far surpasses any other area I've ever been to. Especially where concentration is concerned. The number of uber classic lines V4 and under is in the hundreds. Any main spot you stop at is bound to have a 3-4 star line in the immediate area ranging from V1-V12. My personal experience in Bishop has been that many (not all) of the best lines start at V8/9. It's also true that Hueco doesn't have Schats, but it does have some of the best Mexican food you'll ever have, and the food there is generally far far less expensive than in California. In the end I suppose the expenses may even balance out after paying to camp/climb in Hueco vs paying for the more expensive things in Bishop. I hope this provides some insight for folks hoping to travel to these areas. In the end, they are both really great.


kyote321


Jun 24, 2010, 5:50 AM
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Re: [sp00ki] Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop [In reply to]
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we climbed well into april in hueco this year - but we had an usually late winter. march can be a great time to go because the crowds have left. i always stay in the park itself so i can get in that day. park is less ghetto than the rock ranch. that way you don't need to plan your reservations/ rest days ahead of time. works during low season, like march.


sp00ki


Aug 11, 2010, 8:20 AM
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Re: [sp00ki] Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop [In reply to]
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Is the first week of November a good time for Bishop?


madrockclimbing


Aug 11, 2010, 8:33 AM
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Re: [sp00ki] Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop [In reply to]
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First week of November is a perfect time to go to Bishop.Wink


(This post was edited by madrockclimbing on Aug 11, 2010, 8:34 AM)


REXRW1


Feb 19, 2011, 11:37 AM
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Re: [madrockclimbing] Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop [In reply to]
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They both are amazing. Go with which one has the best weather


bouldervhard


Feb 19, 2011, 11:42 AM
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I have been to Hueco many times during the first half of March. The weather can range from high of 50 to 80 just depending on what is rolling through. There is not the same friction dependency as there usually is on the east coast and there is 0 humidity. I would go with Hueco. I am heading out there March 5 for two weeks and was able to get reservations for every day that I wanted.


kyote321


Mar 8, 2011, 5:25 AM
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el paso has a drive in porno theatre.


kyote321


Mar 8, 2011, 5:26 AM
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...and it can be very windy in march.


kyote321


Mar 8, 2011, 5:28 AM
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i haven't been there, but joes is meant be as good as either, and maybe closer.


eddie_munster


Apr 16, 2011, 2:36 PM
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Re: [kyote321] Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop [In reply to]
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Iíd say both great destinations, you wonít be disappointed in either. Hueco is the quintessential birthplace of modern bouldering, use of pads, and the v-system. It has changed a lot over the years, and for a short trip, it can be a bit of a hassle for the 1st timer (seasoned veterans know how to navigate the system). Hueco has far more top end problems than Bishop (V11 and up). The climbing is usually steep and gym-like featuring, super rad roofs and overhangs. The climbing is as fun as it gets.

As for Bishop, it offers far more actual climbing and freedom. Hueco is one square mile of dense bouldering. Bishop encompasses thousands of boulders nearby on many types of rock. Only the Front Range, Vegas, St. George, or SLC might compare to the diversity of not only bouldering, but alpine, sport, trad, etc. Within an hour of Bishop weíre talking more climbing than most other places in the U.S. Also, contrary to popular belief (mostly by Hueco locals), Bishop isnít really chossier. Many of the classics at hueco have had major breakages. Bishop has had its fair share as well. But, Bishop is pretty buffed out at this point. Bishop sees far more traffic than Hueco these days, due to the lack of restrictions (like hundred car days at the happies alone! Remember, only 50 visitors can be on N. Mt. at a time) and really, the problems just donít change much all that often. The variety in Bishop blows Hueco away. So does the freedom. Camping is free to very cheap. The season in Bishop is now year round, since the discover of more alpine bouldering. Iíd say the best seasons are fall and spring. Winter is good, but sometimes cold or snowy, especially at the Buttermilks.

As for the comment above about problems not being good at the lower grades. Whoever made that comment obviously isnít very familiar with Bishop. The guidebook lists about half of whatís there). Also, Bishop has more variety of styles, from steep to desperate slab. It is the highball capital of the U.S.

These sorts of threads are usually just a bunch of BS. Most of the folks posting here just havenít been in the bouldering scene very long. Iíve been bouldering at Hueco for 20 years, and Bishop for 15 years, so Iíd say take all of it with a grain of salt (including my post). Youíll have fun going to either and you SHOULD visit both. They are bad-ass!


lajhanata


Apr 21, 2011, 3:45 PM
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Re: [eddie_munster] Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop [In reply to]
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Hueco is super high quality, but it's a single awesome area surrounded by Texas borderland. El Paso is a real toilet. It takes a little bit of strategy to maximize your climbing access in the park too. But the drive from the airport isn't too long and the climbing will blow your mind. The weather is usually good too.
"Bishop" is dirtbag paradise. Very few rules out in the sage and the climbing can be just as good as Hueco if you choose your battles. The climbing isn't as concentrated but there is WAY more of it. There's more variety, and loads more rope climbing if you want some of that as well. It's a long way from any major city though so expect a 4+ hour drive from Reno or LA. The weather can shut you down too. It's a rainy year in the Sierra.
I'd say it's warmer with less precip at the Tanks right now.


roughster


Apr 21, 2011, 5:02 PM
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Re: [caughtinside] Hueco Tanks vs. Bishop [In reply to]
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I also have been to both.

Agree with CI (what a surprise :) but honestly I would chose Bishop in a heart beat. Hueco is amazing, don't get me wrong, but Bishop is a cool town, Hotsprings nearby, ORG if you want to clip, and mellow camping. Hueco has the regulations that just fucking suck. No they won't stop you from having fun, but if you're a rebel it will irk you.

Bishop's #1 draw? VARIETY. You can do Sad, Happy, Buttermilks, Sherman Plateau, Mammoth, etc... You could hit a new area EVERY day you are there and never visit the same place twice. You can check out Whitney, Mono Lake, fish Convict, blah blah blah. The list of things to do in Bishop is only limited by your ability or desire to do them.


(This post was edited by roughster on Apr 21, 2011, 5:04 PM)


natew84


Jul 10, 2011, 6:07 PM
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Jtree.


tH1e-swiN1e


Aug 1, 2011, 9:11 AM
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Ive been to both but people have already said what needed to be said about both areas. If you do Hueco though Id go in dec or jan.


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