Mussypotemia is a rock formation in the Little Egypt area of the Eastern Sierras.
The best part about climbing on Mussypotemia may very well be doing the approach and sight seeing. There are no trails, at least none that we found. There are a number of discontinous tracks that did not seem to lead all the way to the base itself. The approach is made from Lambada Dome. You skirt Lambada Dome from the left and after several minutes of going up and down scattered sandy and rocky ridges, you see the massive Mussypotemia dome, and that’s when the fun begins. Although Mussypotemia is only an hour’s worth of hiking from your car, you may end up taking two hours to get to the base. The reason for the extra time is for stopping to look at mountain views and figuring out exactly how to get close to the base. You may spend an entire week here without seeing a single soul. That alone gives this area a feeling of remoteness.
On the way to...
White Mountain Peak
Routes of Mussypotemia
All the negative commentary on the rock quality aside, there are a number of climbs worth making the approach to Mussypotemia. On the left hand side there is a beautiful three pitch climb that make the effort definitely a worthwhile endeavor. This climb is called “Chick Dead (Dog Killed It),” rated 5.9. On the right hand side of the the dome, you get two great climbs, a crack “Blue Balls Conga Line, 10c,” and a bolted face named “Alive Alone, 10c.” Immediately to the left of these two routes, you see a very old fixed rope. This is a bolted face called “Exit Planet Mussy” rated 12b. Except for a few knife-blade pin scars at the beginning of the climb, the rest of the route looks featureless. But, then again, that’s what you need to expect from a climb with 12b rating on a vertical face. The holds are too small to be seen from down below.
Doing any one of the climbs on Pussypotemia is one thing, and getting to the base of the routes another. There is a very narrow, boulder-filled gully on the base that is not trivial to negotiate. Rapelling down to get close to the base is one way to get close enough. There is supposed to be an obscure way to get to the base from the left. Once you are inside the gully, you have to use a 5.7 ramp to get to the base of the actual climbs. There is an old white fixed line that I would not trust. There is also a 5.4 slab on the left hand side of the gully that can be used.
Getting to the base of the climbs of the right side is somewhat more straight forward. You need to hike and scramble on sandy slopes and rocks till you are facing the old fixed line. You will end up on a large boulder with a single bolt that can be used for lowering or rapping down to the base. There may be a carabiner in the bolt. Please leave that carabiner in place. It’s being used by climbers putting up routes here.
There is a great alternative for those who don’t care to climb on Mussypotemia’s main formation. There is a very large boulder with two bolted routes. This boulder sits right across from the main dome, and requires zero effort to get to its base. This is the “Flotilla Boulder.” The bolted climb on the left is “Cleopatra’s Flotilla of Love, 12b,” and the bolted route on the right is “Jungle...., 10d.” Both of these climbs have their own anchors. There is an unfinished climb under the overhanging part of the rock. You may see a bail carabiner on the last bolt. Please do not remove this carbiner. It belongs to the climbers responsible for developing all the routes here.
Climbs of Mussypotemia
|A||Shipley Drive, 5.4 slab|
|B||Lower Echelon Paranoia, 5.7 approach ramp, Don't trust the old fixed rope.|
|C||Don't Be Late, 10b run out|
|D||Chick Dead (Dog Killed It), 5.9, three pitches, bolts and standard rack, pro to 3.5 inches|
|E||Tricky, Goldy, 11b A0, grab the last quick-draw, two pitches, bolts|
|F||Jungle...., 11d A0, grab the last quick draw, two pitches, bolts|
|G||Exit Planet Mussy, 12b, bolts|
|H||Blue Balls Conga Line, 10c, crack, standard rack, large pro|
|I||Alive Alone, 10c, bolts|
There are many campgrounds along Bishop Creek. There are also many places in The Buttermilks are that are close to a creek that are suitable for camping. Please do not camp in The Buttermilks bouldering area. That area is very crowded and is suffering from the impact unregulated camping has caused.
The following links should help finding a good campsite
Horton Creek Campground
Rock Creek Canyon
Inyo National Forest
Bishop Creek and vicinity camping
How to get there
From the town of Bishop, California, drive about eleven miles west on Highway 168 toward the mountains. This highway, will intersect with a small road used as an access road to a power plant seen from the shoulder of Highway 168. Turn left onto this road and drive down till you see a small brick building. Refer to the photo. Park your car in any of the wide dirt spaces at the end of this service road. Walk past the brick building on a dilapidated road that parallels a pipeline for a few hundred yards. At one point, you will see the pipeline disappear under the dirt. This is where you will see a small bridge going accross the creek. Drop down the steep slope and cross Bishop Creek here. After a steep but short section you can easily follow a nice climber’s trail zigzagging up the hillside. Once you reach the ridge-top you will see Frontier. There is a large boulder in the middle of the basin. The trail to Lambada dome continues past this boulder on the left. Walk up to the top of the obvious ridge short distance up the hill. Upon reaching the top of the ridge you will see Lambada Dome. Skirt around to the left of Lambada Dome and continue on uncertain and discontinuous tracks for several minutes untill you see Mussypotemia. To get to the very base of the routes refer to the description of the routes on this page.