Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 37.33528°N / 118.57726°W
Additional Information County: Inyo
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 6560 ft / 1999 m
Sign the Climber's Log


The Buttermilks countryYou are treated to this view of Mount Tom.

Windy Wall is located in The Buttermilks bouldering area of the eastern Sierras. To understand the significance of this wall, we first need to understand the significance of the Buttermilks bouldering area.

Consisting of a large conglomerate collection of granite boulders, the Buttermilks boulders have been there for millions of years, but the history of the entire area has been going through a fast-track evolutionary change for the past ten years.This evolutionary change has been mainly in the medium of bouldering.
Windy Wall, west sideWindy Wall

Bouldering has been around as long as mountaineering. Bouldering areas have become popular only to fall from grace after a few years. The case with the Buttermilk boulders has been exactly the opposit. These boulders went with limited attention for decades. Then some of the best climbers in America decided to make Bishop, the nearby town, their home. The level of activity on these boulders has exploded in the past ten years. The visits by out of town, and even out of state, climbers has reached levels never seen before. On my last visit to the Buttermilks I counted several dozen cars parked in the parking areas along the dirt road. Another phenomenon has been an explosion of tents by the visitors in the surrounding land. Considering so much activity in this area, my hope is that the access to the Buttermilks boulders continues to remain without restriction.

Windy Wall east side
Scoot, 5.8
Windy Wall, west side

Windy Wall

Miles From Nowhere, 5.9Miles From Nowhere, 5.9 R, optional pro to 1"
Windy Wall, left PillarExtreme left Pillar. This pillar features "Make It Suede, 10c"

For those who are tired of trying boulder problems, there are several other options, and that brings us to “Windy Wall.” Windy Wall was developed by a few local climbers in the 1980s.
In the recent years, a new breed of climbers have added several new routes on this wall. This wall offers a variety of of one pitch climbs from cracks to bolted faces. There are also a number of routes consisting of climbing on huecos with bolt protection.
Basin MountainBasin Mountain, Another great view you are treated to.

Due to its north west facing orientation, Windy wall stays in the shade most of the day. True to its name Windy Wall seems to funnel an airstream from the west keeping it cool most of the year. Furthuremore, being within a few walking minutes from the parking area, Windy Wall is a great place to climb during the hot summer months. Last but not least, the mountain views from Windy Wall are something to behold. You have the best vantage point to view Mount Tom, Basin Mountain and Mount Humphreys.

Windy Wall, left side

Windy Wall, east side

Windy Wall can be divided into two sections, east side and west side. The extreme left starts with a pillar with huecos running from bottom to top. There is a bolted climb on this formation called “Make It Sueded, 10c.”

There are three short bolted face climbs to the left of a hand crack on the east face. The crack is one of the oldest established climbs on the formation and it’s called “Scoot, 5.8.” There is potential for several more climbs on the east wall.

Windy Wall, right side

Windy Wall, west side

The west wall possesses many more features compared to the east wall. There are a number of cracks from finger size to hand size. There are also well featured face climbs on the west side. Being generally steeper than the east wall, the climbs here are of a higher degree of difficulty.

On the upper tier of the west wall you will see a set of huecos running from bottom to the top of the formation. There is a bolted climb here called “Huecos Thanks, 5.9.” a play on the the name of the famous bouldering area in Texas called “Hueco Tanks.” In addtion, there are a number of classic climbs on the west wall such as “Wild Garlic, 10c” a finger and hand crack and “Rubber Gloves and Razor Blades, 10d” a thin crack. There are also a number of newer bolted face climbs all leading to double bolt anchors.

On the far right side of the west wall you will find a classic “Must Do” climb called “Miles from Nowhere.” “Miles from Nowhere” is a 5.9 climb following a set of bolted huecos, some large enough to sit in, to a double bolted anchor. There is a bit of a runout near the top, but with some creative protection up to an inch you can climb with confidence.

Climbs of Windy Wall, left side
ABeginner's Route, 5.5
BHoot, 5.8
Cpoot, 5.9
DScoot, 5.8, crack, standard rack, pro to 2 inches
Climbs of the right side
AHueco Thanks, 5.9
BWild Garlic, 10c, crack
CRubber Gloves And Razor Blades, 10d, crack
DClean Sweep, 10d
EDr. Zyme, 10a crack
FCayenne Pepper, 5.8
GMiles From Nowhere, 5.9

How to get there

On the way to Windy WallThe small triangular rock is your landmark during the approach.

From the town of Bishop California drive seven miles on Highway 168, also known as Line Street, to its intersection with Buttermilk Road. Take this dirt road for 3.5 miles to a broken gate. To your right you will see many boulders of all sizes. These are the famous Buttermilks Boulders. Turn right after the gate and soon you will see a large clearing to your right. This is known as the “Back Parking.” Park your car here.

To get to Windy Wall walk down the road you were on and walk for .2 miles to its intersection with a steep dirt road on your right. Hike up this steep dirt road to a wide clearing in the brush. Continue walking past this clearing for another two hundred yards to a point where you can see a gabled rock formation to your left. The small gable-shaped rock in the middle is your landmark {refer to the photo}. There is a narrow trail leading to an obvious corridor and Windy Wall itself. Walking time is about five minutes.


Camping at The Buttermilks has become a problem. Many climbers are camping in the parking areas taking parking spaces. Many of the campsites are unsightly. Please do your best to use the campgrounds, at least for extended stays. Thank you.

Bishop Creek and vicinity camping



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