Bishop Peak 4x P1K CC / LPC

Jan 6, 2018

With: Jackie Burd
Kelly Bishop

Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX Profile
previously climbed May 7, 2011

This was a quick trip with a lot of driving, some nine hours, worth every minute. Christmas break over, my daughter needed to get back to UCSB. I signed up to take her and a friend back on Saturday. Kelly used to play on a club volleyball team with Jackie when they were both in middle school. In high school, Kelly gave up volleball to concentrate on cross-country and since they went to different high schools, the two lost touch with each other. They were thrilled to discover each other again at UCSB and quickly resumed their old friendship. Both have an adventurous nature so it was easy to talk Kelly into a short rockclimbing stop on the drive down. Bishop Peak makes for a fine beginner's climb, located just off US101 in San Luis Obispo. Though she had never been on a rope before, Kelly did quite well, much as we expected. Jackie had been here once before, 12yrs earlier. At that time, she was only six years old and had been unable to muster the nerve to climb the summit block as her brother had. This opportunity would give her an easy revenge.

Utilizing the trailhead off Highland Drive, it was necessary to park some distance down from the end of the road due to the popularity it sees on a weekend. We spent about 40min climbing some 1,100ft in less than two miles along the busy trail which gets to the summit area in no particular hurry. It first goes up through oak forest on the north side before winding around the east side to reach the switchbacks that ascend the south side through thick chaparral. There are two summits at the top, the lower east summit reached by easy class 3 scrambling being the most popular. We followed along one of several use trails to the higher west summit where we paused for some short rope work. I scrambled up to the summit along the class 4 route on the left side of the summit block, set up the rope on the summit anchors and rapped back down to the others. The ladies then took their turn making two climbs each up the rock face which I belayed from below, followed by rappels. Jackie did a good job atop the summit helping Kelly ensure she had the rappel setup correct before sending her down. At the end, she also got the job of rethreading the rope through the rappel chains, packing up the gear (we got to make fun of her when she made a beginner mistake by dropping a carabiner which Kelly had to climb through a hole to retrieve) and making the last rap down before we pulled the rope and called it a day. We spent about 2.5hrs on the whole outing, one we all thought was great fun.

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