“This is the perfect weather for bouldering,” sang my friend. She was excited. The sky has stayed grey lately. It’s what we’ve been waiting for in San Luis Obispo after an autumnal heat wave.

My friend is Alyssa. My true reason for visiting Bishop’s Peak to climb was to photograph and interview her my university’s newspaper, Mustang News.

Bouldering in Bishop’s Peak

We set out from the car, winding our way up the base of the peak and smiling as mist settled into our brows and lashes. It seemed as if we could reach up and hold the cloud cover that kept the tip of the peak hidden. The clouds were just shy of being fog.

We broke out of some oaks after an easy half mile, and saw our first two boulders. They sat in an open pasture between the grove of oaks we came from and the clouded peak.

As we approached, it quickly became obvious how inviting the boulders were. They had easy holds, and harder holds, simple routes, and complex routes. There was something for the newby (me) and even the most seasoned climber.

Alyssa laced up and hit the wall. I grabbed my camera and began taking the shots that I would later send to my editor for approval. I had my favorite lens attached and the lighting was working in my favor. I was feeling good behind the lens, and my camera was acting like it enjoyed being in my hands.

bouldering in Bishop's Peak
bouldering in Bishop’s Peak

Soon after, a man approached and helped us get more dialed into the area through a climber’s lens. He even led us to another good boulder and gave us tips and advice before going on his way. Not often you’ll meet someone whose time spent in Nature fills them with an appreciation that tips over into others, leaving them warm.

bouldering
bouldering

The man went on his way while Alyssa hit the wall and I grabbed my camera. This boulder was beneath a forest of oaks, a nice change from the other boulders settled in open land. We checked out some courses that seemed very effortless, but then others that seemed near impossible given any given climber hasn’t been gifted forearms of steel.

hugging the wall
hugging the wall

After climbing and snapping shots for awhile, I set up an interview with Alyssa. “When did you start climbing?” “How has climbing influenced you?” “Where was your best climbing experience at?”

On the way back to the car, the sun began to peak slightly around the clouds, and a new warmth settled gently onto our sore forearms. All was well.

a nice ledge
a nice ledge

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