Driving up Rock Creek Road in the eastern Sierras you see many rock formations on the west side of the canyon. The smallest of these formations is Iris Slab. If you are tired of climbing in The Buttermilks or Owens River Gorge and looking to make an easy day of it, Iris Slab is the ticket.
Iris Slab is an eighty foot low angle rock with enough fun routes to keep you occupied for at least for half a day. You can bring beginners here to teach how to place protection and lead a climb. You teach rappeling from three bolted anchors on top. Or if you have dropped out of the climbing scene for some time and are bit shaky on confidence, Iris Slab is a great place to get back into the swing of things.
This beautiful little rock sits in the best surroundings the Sierras have to offer. You are belaying from the shade of beautiful pine trees close to the all-year-running Rock Creek and enjoying the best views of Mount Morgan from 8500 feet. Iris Slab is only a few hundred feet above Iris Meadow Campground. If you have a campsite, you just go down for lunch and come back to the rock for more.
Iris Slab is east facing, so expect nice warm morning sun to hit you by 9:00 a.m. in the spring season. The altitude and the short, but steep approach will remind you of where you are. You are rock climbing in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Enjoy.
Iris Slab Routes
I don’t think anyone really knows how many routes and variations there are on Iris Slab. The fact is that you can get as creative as you like linking all the different routes and call each a different route. Most of the routes follow the crack systems that pretty much run from bottom to the top of the rock. The faces between the cracks can provide a diversion from cracks and can easily be top roped.
Getting to the top is very simple and is done via the right hand slope. There are four double bolt anchors on top. One of the anchors is missing hangers, but another anchor is close enough to be used.
|1||Concrete Jungle, 5.7, formerly known as, Jah Irie|
|2||Easy Shankin, 5.5, formerly known as, Beginner's Crack|
|3||Crazy Bald Head, 10c|
|4||Exodus, 10a, formerly known as, Easy Way Out|
|5||Get Up Stand Up, 5.7, formerly known as, Walking On a Thin Line|
|6||Welcome To Iris Slab, 5.8|
|8||Powered By Ganja, 10c, formerly known as, You Saw It, But We Climbed It|
In addition to Iris Meadow campground there are several campgrounds, such as Rock Creek Lake Campgound and French Campground, up and down Rock Creek canyon. Some of the campgrounds may be in operation only during the peak seasons. For information call 760-872-4881 or see the link for Rock Creek Canyon:
Rock Creek Canyon Camping
Bishop Creek and vicinity camping
How To Get There
From the town of Bishop, California, drive twenty three miles north on Highway 395 to Crowley Lake/Rock Creek Lake exit. If you turn right after the exit you will find yourself in the town of Tom’s Place where you can dine in a friendly restaurant. But if you continue up Rock Creek road for about four miles on paved road you will see the sign for Iris Meadow Campground.
Unless you have a campsite, park on the wide shoulder of the road.
If you look past the campground and up the hill, you will see Iris Slab from here. Walk through the campground and cross the creek on several large logs, or a bridge if you find one. From here a short but steep and obscure path leads to the base of the Iris Slab. This hike should not take more than ten minutes.