- The Kids Rock:
Alex, Connor and Jim, 9/13
The East Buttress of El Cap with two 10 year olds.
- NiaD, the next gen:
Kara and Jim, 5/13
El Cap and other fun Valley classics with the kids.
- A Chilly Half Dome:
Kara and Jim, 12/11
Winter Half Dome in a day with Kara.
- Half A Half Dome:
Kara and Jim, 11/11
A cold, snowy Half Dome attempt with Kara.
- Half Dome Redux:
Kara and Jim, 7/11
Half Dome with Kara.
- Childs' Play:
Ed, Clara, John, Elizabeth, Connor, Kara, Anne and Jim, 6/12
West Face, Hulk, Fairview, Snake Dike, etc with the kids.
- Tots with 'Tudes:
John, Sid, Ian, Elizabeth, Connor, Kara, Anne, and Jim, 8/10
Whitney and Russell with the little ones.
- Perennial favorite Snake Dike:
John, Sid, Ian, Elizabeth, Kara, and Jim, 6/10
- Three Little Bears:
John, Sid, Ian, Elizabeth, Kara, and Jim, 7/17-23/09
Bear Creek Spire with the Scotts.
- Valley Quiz: Kara and Jim, 4/09
Test of key Valley knowledge.
- Summer School: John, Sid, Ian, Elizabeth, Anne, Kara, Connor, and Jim, 8/08
Mt Conness with the Scotts.
- A Triple Play: Erika, John, Sid, Ian, Elizabeth, Kara, and Jim, 7/08
Arcturus (Half Dome) with Erika, Cathedral/Hobbit Book with the Scotts.
- Snake Dike /w the kids: John, Sid, Ian, Elizabeth, Kara, and Jim, 6/8/08
Snake Dike with the Scotts.
Tuolumne Summer '95: Anne & Jim, 8/95
- Caveat Emptor:
Chan, David, and Jim, 5/11
Chris Mac just raised $30,000 for his ASCA organization! The ASCA
replaces deadly old 1/4" rusty mank, which climbers have been whipping
on for generations, with new, strong, beefy hand drilled 3/8" stainless
steal bolts. It is backbreaking, exhausting, tedious, altruistic,
lifesaving work. And you need to stop reading right here and enjoy
your blissful ignorance. Because...
- A Kneeless Nose: Tim Klein and Jim, 11/10
Proving once again that correlation is not causation, at least with
respect to age and wisdom, Tim Klein and I climbed the Nose. You'd
think Tim, at 35, might have known better than to climb El Cap with a
man who just celebrated his 50th birthday with knee surgery. But then
Tim climbs with Jason Wells. 'Nuff said.
- A Wet West Face: Erika Monahan and Jim, 5/09
A picture is worth a thousand words although this particular picture
elicited considerably more from the verbally gifted Erika Monahan:
- Learning the Ropes: Lenny Ferreira, Erika Monahan & Jim, 5/08
One might reasonably assume that these
kiss and tell trip reports
would have a 'dampening' effect on my willing partner pool. True
enough. But those few, undeterred, indomitable spirits, whose only
take home lesson from such is that to climb the Valley's biggest you
simply need to not wear your climbing shoe on your back, do make for
some rather entertaining partners.
- The Long Road Back: Greg Murphy & Jim, 2/08
In his seminal narrative "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat",
Sack provocatively probes the depths of the human mind, if not
the human condition itself. And yet it is eclipsed by the complete
neurologically meltdown captured in his mind numbing sequel
"The Man Who Mistook His Climbing Partner for An El Cap Vet."
- Robbed: Rob Moellering & Jim, 9/04
It is highly unusual for a climbing partner to request, in this case
plead, for anonymity in the weekly trip report. But then Rob
Moellering is a highly unusual man.
- A Cold Nose: Greg Murphy & Jim, 1/02
Darwin's mistake was in extrapolating from the complex finch to El
Cap simpletons. Had he been a quiet observer in El Cap Meadows Sunday
morning -- forecast high of 43 -- he would have had to concede that
the Kansas Board of Education had a point.
- A Fast Nose + Salathe Headwall: Hans Florine & Jim, 10/01
Coalition building makes for some strange bedfellows indeed. While our
goals were wildly disparate our ultimate objectives were remarkably
similar: to land on top of El Capitan early in the day.
- Black Smith Peak: Chandlee Harrell & Jim, 7/00
Last week Michael Johnson's hamstring gave way in the 200M Olympic
qualifiers. Similarly Jim's back crumbled while picking up a bag of
cement at Home Depot.
- Angel Wings: Chandlee Harrell & Peter Coward, 8/00
On August 12, a mere three weeks after swearing off marathon approaches, I
found myself stumbling back to the car after another long day in the
backcountry. Chan Harrell and I had just climbed the South Arete Direct on
Angel Wings in Sequoia National Park, and, hungry and dehydrated as usual,
we were hoping to end our little adventure as soon as possible.
- Edge Of Time Arete, The Cidadel: Peter Coward & Greg Murphy, 7/00
On Saturday, Peter Coward and I climbed the "Edge of Time Arete", IV, 5.10
on The Citadal in the High Sierra. The most noteworthy aspect of this climb
is its 16 mile approach, which unfortunately translates to a 16 mile hike
back to the car once you've completed the climb.
- Astro-Hulk: Peter Coward & Greg Murphy, 7/00
We've decided that using the whole weekend to get in a long climb is
extravagant, self indulgent, and just isn't necessary. With a little more
focus, motivation, and efficiency, most climbing objectives can be completed
on Saturday, leaving all of Sunday to do house projects, laundry, shop for
groceries, take care of the kids, etc. "In a day" now means leaving the
house on Friday night and returning Saturday night.
- Rostrum+Astroman linkup: Chandlee Harrell & Peter Coward, 6/00
Caught in a rut? Perhaps, but once again, Chan Harrell and I met in the
parking lot of the Pleasanton Hilton, and together endured another Friday
night drive up to Valley.
- A Hungry Nose: Greg Murphy & Jim, 5/00
Did I mention Jim Herson forgot all his food on our Sunday climb of the Nose
route? AND, he later confessed that the Nose is a much better route than
the Salathe, even though he has spent most of the last four years of his
life on the latter.
- Indian Creek, 2000: Greg Murphy & Jim, 3/00
Jim Herson's phone calls were becoming increasingly frantic and desperate.
I felt like I was working for a suicide prevention hotline. Jim needed a
crack climbing fix to bring him back in from the window ledge and he needed
- Crack of Doom: Chandlee Harrell & Greg Murphy, 10/99
Chandlee Harrell and I stepped back into Yosemite free climbing history and
climbed the appropriately-named "Crack of Doom" two weekends ago. When it
was first freed by Chuck Pratt in 1961 it was something of a physical and
psychological breakthrough. 38 years of improved gear, better technique,
and climbing progress have not tamed this route one iota.
- Crack of Despair: Peter Coward & Greg Murphy, 10/01
I am humbly honored that Greg, being totally incapacitated and whipped
from his weekend flailfest, has asked me to step in and carry on the
sacred tradition of the weekend Trip Report. The art of trip reporting
is to capture the courage and vision that enables the human spirit to
triumph over adversity. Thus this will be a very tiny trip report.
- Tis-sa-ack: Peter Coward, Chandlee Harrell & Greg Murphy, 8/99
Another weekend update coming your way. This time around we somehow
managed to drive past El Capitan and find our way to the other big
stone in Yosemite Valley, Half Dome.
- An Embarrassing Half Dome: Hans Florine & Jim, 9/99
Well, we were planning to do the RNWF on Half Dome and then go for some
fun free climbing on the Zebra apres.
- A Fast Half Dome: Hans Florine & Jim, 10/99
Climbing with Hans Florine is not unlike touring the Louvre in
a bullet train. It is not the alpine, solitary, contemplative retreat
you might expect. Nor is it the spiritual growth big wallers
painstakingly undergo as doubt, fear, and self pity give way to
confidence, courage, and self pity. No, climbing with Hans is to
flaunt contempt for the length, difficulty, and historic significance
of the Valley's tallest. Gosh, is it fun!
- Grotto/Triple Direct: Jeff Schoen, Jimmy Thornburg, and Anne / Peter Coward & Jim, 1/01
For the first time since Kara was born two years ago, Anne and I had a
climbing weekend to ourselves -- albeit separate days.
- Direct North Face Of Sentinal: Jeff Schoen & Jim, 6/97
- Thailand: Anne & Jim, 1/96
To minimize impact on important internet traffic, like Dilbert, and to cut our
weary readers a break we've consolidated our summer's trip reports. This was
achieved by confining our summer's flailing to three climbs. The same three
with the same high points week after week after week.... Lest you think
we've fallen into a rut the weekends were easily distinguished by Sat night's
tasty pasta toppings:
West Face: Anne & Jim, 6/94
Cruxified: Anne & Jim, 5/94
- A humiliating Salathe: Peter Coward & Jim, 6/99
I was totally dissed on my home turf!
- A Salathe + Nose Linkup: Chandlee Harrell & Jim, 7/99
As a special wedding present to Jess I decided to introduce Chan, the
man who always gets his way, to the concept of compromise. After
back-to-back nerve wrecking weekends of buying bay area real estate
(OUCH!) I was in desperate need of some R&R on the big stone. Chan,
always eager to take advantage of my emotional vulnerability, insisted
we climb the Nose. Any reprieve from the bay area housing market
madness was fine with me. I was totally open to any climbing
suggestion as long as it was the Salathe. So we compromised. We
- A Half a Linkup: Greg Murphy & Hans Florine, 7/99
I was starting to get a little frantic last Thursday with my only weekend off
this month just 2 days away. Hans Florine and I had some vague agreement to
climb together but no concrete plan was in place. Hans and I finally broke
through the electronic barrier and actually talked to each other Thursday night.
We adopted the Jim Herson approach to route selection - we were up for any climb
as long as it was the Salathe on El Capitan.
- A Fast Salathe: Chandlee Harrell & Jim, 7/99
Route selection as of late has not been all that mentally
taxing. But this week was just too easy and fun. With no self-control
when it comes to tweaking Greggie, Chan and I headed back to the
Yosemite race track to smoke Greg and Hans' rather pokey time on the
- An Expensive Salathe: Greg Murphy, Konstantin Zlatev & Jim, 6/01
My resolve for a more rigorous partner screening notwithstanding --
they need a pulse -- I let Greg belay me last weekend. This monumental
lapse of judgment...
- A Scary Salathe: Derek Powell & Jim, 7/01
The Valley as viewed dangling upside down 20' below your partner and
2500' off the deck has an altogether different feel about it. To gain
this prospective I simply zippered the last Headwall pitch landing
with a full fall factor of two onto Derek's arm and leg. How Derek
placed himself in harms way is a sad story involving an unseasonably
cool weather forecast.
- A heartbreak Salathe: Chad Nichols & Jim, 7/01
Isaac Newton in creating the mathematical discipline of calculus noted
that by continuously halfing the distance to a goal you never actually
achieve it. Isaac must have been working the Salathe. But at least
Isaac salvaged something somewhat useful out of his flail fest. I've
yet to see any good come of mine!
- Salathe + Half Dome linkup: Peter Coward & Jim, 6/01
As they say you just don't want to know how sausages, laws, and
climbing plans are made. Our co-opted democratic system requires dopey
pet projects to be funded by tossing pork at the other guy's dopey pet
projects. Unfettered by fiscal reality this system has worked just
dandy and has given us such elegant documents as the US tax code among
other gems. Climbing plans, on the other hand, are much more
intricate. But the general principle of negotiating something utterly
worthless and irrational by agreeing to something even sillier, while
unconstrained by actual fitness, still applies. Thus Peteman and I did
a Salathe/Half Dome link-up.
- A Cold, Wet Salathe: Chandlee Harrell & Jim, 5/02
As Valley ancients Chandlee Harrell and I have seen it all. Or so we
thought. We'd like to think we're not an easy bunch to rattle and yet
we were somewhat taken back this weekend to find the Salathe's famed
Hollow Flake is now the newest Valley clip-up.
- A Committing Salathe: Anne & Jim, 10/01
While it's never a good idea to mix climbers with respectable friends
and family this week's trip report warrants an exception. No offense
intended to the latter.
- Salathe '03: Peter Coward, Derek Powell, Bill Wright, Greg Murphy, Deb Wolfe & Jim, Spring '03
Theory suggests that a million monkeys furiously pounding at their
keyboards will eventual produce the complete works of
Shakespeare. Bolstered by these odds I returned to the Salathe.
- The Free Salathe: Hans Florine
and Jim, 7/03
If this was some interminable Tolstoy drival I'd have to wax ad
nauseum on the agony of the unattainable. And then once the airhead
aristocrat finally takes note of our sniveling little heroine, I'd
have to wallow in self-pity on the disappointment of the mundane. But
this isn't and unlike love, rock never disappoints. While indeed the
fun was in the chase, actually redpointing the Free Salathe wasn't, in
fact, all that unpleasant.