Charlie Barrett: Writing the Guide to Bishop Bouldering

Charlie Barrett grew up among the beautiful coastal redwoods of the bay area, mostly around Santa Rosa, CA. Charlie got into rock climbing, bouldering, and climbing mountains through backpacking trips to the Yosemite high country as a kid. As a climber of over 15 years, he couldn’t imagine life without climbing, for him it would be harder to not go climbing than it would to go. Climbing is his life, and he feels very privileged to call his endless playground the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range his home.

Charlie has now literally made climbing his life. Beyond sponsorships, he wrote two bouldering guidebooks for his home areas: ‘Mammoth Bouldering’ and ‘Tuolumne Meadows Bouldering’. As an all-around climber, he’s red-pointed and done first ascents of 5.13c cracks, 5.14b sport routes, V14 boulder problems and has been on top of over 100 mountains in the Sierra. Charlie has learned a lot from climbing and the mountains. It’s about being with good friends, pushing yourself, enjoying everyday, and being in some of the most beautiful places climbing takes you.

Here Charlie weighs in on his recently published book, Bishop Bouldering.
I remember it like it was a year ago. I had gotten home to my house in Mammoth lakes from a great day of doing first ascent boulder problems with a great crew of friends. We had joked around saying “wouldn’t it be cool to have our own little guidebook to Hartley Springs.” I went back the next day with the same group of friends with a notepad and a camera. I was going to give, the whole making a guidebook thing a shot. We had walked around and remembered what we had named things and all the funny inside jokes that gave them their names. I eventually started transferring all the info into my computer and learned to use the programs I needed to make a guidebook. That was in 2010, two years later I printed my first guidebook, Mammoth Bouldering.
I had figured that was going to be my one and only book, but after living and climbing in Tuolumne Meadows for most my life, the same story happened again. Another group of good friends and I had been finding and developing amazing boulders all around the Tuolumne area. After a few seasons, my friends asked me if I was gonna write the Tuolumne Meadows Bouldering guide. My first thought was no, it’s just so much work but then after a while, I’d thought I opened my computer and started at in again. A year and a half later I came out with my second book. Tuolumne Meadows Bouldering, that was 2015.
After a small break from doing the two books, I spent the summers hiking and peak bagging in the Sierra.  Then that’s when I got the phone call from my old roommate in Bishop, Wills Young. He had previously written the Bishop Bouldering book and asked me if I wanted to take over the project. Nope, was my first response. Then he called again and asked, I was still hesitant but know it needed to be done and of all people, I know the boulders around Bishop better than most. So I took on the project. After a long winter of spending 16 hour days in the boulders and working out of my truck at night. I am happy to have printed my third Bouldering guide, the comprehensive guide to Bishop Bouldering. Which will be out in early August 2017.

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