Back during the summer, Ryan (a daring intern) decided to help Acorn out by harvesting what was left of the 4 bamboo-trellised poles of hops by the barn. Some were reached from the ground, some from standing safely on the deck. The best, though, we climbed over the railing for. Something deep inside me (maybe my vanity and desire to be picturesque, but maybe something else too) is very satisfied to harvest from a plant and place scented buds into a woven basket.
Hops vines will climb over many things, from other plants to benches to trellises, and yes, up bamboo. The buds are ready when their small tips start to flare out, they're still green, and you can see small yellow crystals on the inside. Once pulled off the plant, they should be quickly and carefully dehydrated/dried and then sealed in an airtight container. They can be frozen for later use in beers or used fresh as a sedative in tea.