Calling on the ST Community


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Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 3, 2013 - 05:41pm PT
Hello everyone.

Meet Cory. He'll be 11 next week. We met through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program here in Fresno. For our first outing, I took him to the climbing gym here in Fresno and he has been hooked ever since. He also did a mock trad lead on the gym crack with my rack and a rope in tow.

We've gone on several trips to Yosemite to ice skate, build a snowman (a first for me too), scramble up to the base of Lower Yosemite Falls, he bouldered the first 6 feet of Pine Line in his snow boots, and we've started climbing outside.




Cory bouldering the first 6 ft of Pine Line in his snow boots.
Cory bouldering the first 6 ft of Pine Line in his snow boots.


On his first trip out, we rolled up to Square Nail with my buddy and his 9 yr old. I taught them how to build a trad anchor. We then fixed a rope and I rapped down. Danny hooked the boys up and they got to rap themselves and I provided a fireman belay just in case. We did some TR'ing and he did a 5.8 slab for his first burn, then did another lap back to back. We did a short multi-pitch on the way out.


Yesterday we met up with some peeps at Pat & Jack. After I got beat up on Sherry's Crack 5.10c, Cory hopped on for his first time ever climbing crack and he climbed like a totally different kid compared to his burns in the gym. He was head strong, great technique and foot work. He was doing moves I've never seen him do and got me starting to take notes. He motored up and finished the pitch for only his 2nd day out.

Cory on his first crack climb on his 2nd trip outside. Sherry's Crack ...
Cory on his first crack climb on his 2nd trip outside. Sherry's Crack 5.10c

Motoring up the 5.9 section
Motoring up the 5.9 section

He gave Nob Job 5.10b a go, but had to bail due to a bad stomach ache. Later we decided to head home. He puked on the way and started feeling better. We stopped at REI on the way home and unbeknownst to him, the Freedom of the Hills book I was buying was his b-day present that I shortly after handed to him. His smile wrapped around his head.

He is officially now training for After 6, Nutcracker, Royal Arches, Cathedral Peak, and Snake Dike. He's been scouring the ST guidebook pointing out the approach beta and the gear we'll need. He's also planning out his training circuit. His homework is to read a few chapters of the FOTH book.

He wants to climb El Cap this summer, but he has much training to do. I told him my only requirement is for him to have fun and that when he turns 18 he needs to take me up the NIAD. Hahaha. His mom says he's never been so happy.

So, he's been borrowing my buddy's girlfriend's climbing shoes, which Blaine later let him have. Thanks man! However, I need to send those up to Barry to get resoled. He only has 1 pair of shoes, which look like old school All-Stars. He has endured a lot of hardship, which I'm not going to post up any details. I'm wondering if any of the ST ladies have any approach shoes they'd like to sell in size 6.5 or 7 that don't look too girly....haha. :)Some running shoes would be nice for our training hikes. I'm not looking for free stuff. Rather some cheap hand-me-downs to get him by.



Trad climber
Yosemite, ca
Mar 3, 2013 - 05:51pm PT
Good for you and him. Sounds like a fun kid to hang out with. Good luck getting some shoes.

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Mar 3, 2013 - 05:52pm PT
Nice lead! This young man is lucky to find a friend to show him the ropes for real and for his life. The smile on his face says it all. I have friends that I have climbed with since they were young teens, and we have bonded for life.

Mountain climber
Mar 3, 2013 - 06:02pm PT
Wow Sherrie's Crack that quick?
I don't have any shoes to offer but I can offer a hearty pat on the back for doing some quality service. Nice work man.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Mar 3, 2013 - 06:22pm PT
Beat from the weekend .... and checking the Taco. Let me see if I have any shoes for him. Please post up again Monday or Tuesday with a reminder.

Cheers, Lynnie

Edit: can he wear a size 71/2? Does he have a high volumne or low volumne foot?
James Wilcox

Boulder climber
The Coast
Mar 3, 2013 - 06:23pm PT
Very cool, and I mean the both of you.
Dick Erb

June Lake, CA
Mar 3, 2013 - 06:38pm PT
Absolutely Wonderful!

Social climber
the Wastelands
Mar 3, 2013 - 06:52pm PT
It's fun being a Big Brother isn't it!

I have two Little Bros in the program, both in their mid twenties now, met them when they where 11 and 13.

Just got done doing the income taxes for one of them, now working full time at Lowes, and will meet him next week for breakfast, the kid is doing great, the other one not so.

Cory seems a wonderful young guy, and good on you for being a Big Brother!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Mar 3, 2013 - 07:07pm PT
Great, Paul. Show him Mirko's website. Mirko is 12 years old, lives in Los Gatos. It should give your guy Cory an idea how wonderful this climbing thing could be for him.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Mar 3, 2013 - 07:41pm PT
Super Paul, there are lots of young lads out there looking for some direction and good on ya for sharing such an experience.
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Mar 3, 2013 - 07:46pm PT
Good on you Paul. I'd like to do something similar, but I already have my hands full as a home carer. Best wishes.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Mar 3, 2013 - 07:59pm PT
good one, Paul;...thanks for sharing this post and for sharing of's a big deal, no doubt...Bravo to you!

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Mar 3, 2013 - 08:03pm PT
Paul, you're a hell of a good dude. I don't have any shoes for you, but thanks for taking the time to reach out to someone that needs you.

Mar 3, 2013 - 08:46pm PT
Yeah, nice one, Paul. I know it's not what you are asking, but here's another idea:

The nice thing about having small feet is you can often find good shoes at a substantial discount. Sierra Trading Post usually has a decent selection, here's one at Return Every Item:

The kid deserves a good shoe. If a half-dozen of us were to kick in $10 each, Bob's your uncle. If you want to go this route, I'm in.

Kennewick wa
Mar 3, 2013 - 09:49pm PT
What's his boys size in shoes and clothes? My son is the same age and big for his age. I may have some stuff that will fit him.

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Mar 3, 2013 - 10:01pm PT
Glad you posted this just 'cause it's a cool story and reminds us what it's all about! Maybe it'll motivate a few people to do something like that too? I'd check thrift stores, tons of cheap shoes of all sizes to thrash on approaches. REI used gear sale in Fresno usually has a good selection too.
The Lisa

Trad climber
Da Bronx, NY
Mar 3, 2013 - 10:24pm PT
Wonderful to see the opportunities you are giving Cory! Are you referring to a men's or women's shoe size? I would love to help with climbing shoes and running shoes. None of mine are at all girly, I promise ;)

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 3, 2013 - 10:26pm PT
Nice story! Good karma!
When he grows into men's 8 or so gimme a shout!

Trad climber
pacific beach, ca
Mar 3, 2013 - 10:42pm PT

If you like, i will buy him some new shoes.
Maybe you can take him to REI and find out what fits and what he likes, and let me know.


Social climber
Mar 3, 2013 - 11:29pm PT
hey there say, paul.... very nice to see this share...

big brother, big sister... this is how life should be...
folks working together with the younger folks, ...

oure 'self', does a lot more, as to giving life, when it is 'self'less...

keep up the good work, and sharing life...

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