West Face 5.11c

  • Currently 3.0/5

El Capitan

Yosemite Valley, California USA

Trip Report
A waterless West Face, a frightening Fairview, a crazy Crest Jewel, a solitary Snake Dike, and a hungry Hulk with the kids.
Sunday July 22, 2012 5:58pm

Good times with the little ones!



Credit: Jim Herson

  Trip Report Views: 4,629
Jim Herson
About the Author
Jim Herson is a climber from Emerald Hills, CA.

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Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
  Jul 22, 2012 - 06:04pm PT
Good on you, Jim!!!

A FAMILY that Plays together, stays together!!!!

  Jul 22, 2012 - 06:06pm PT
Oh sweet, def old school "E" ticket!
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
  Jul 22, 2012 - 06:46pm PT


Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Jul 22, 2012 - 06:46pm PT
I'm absolutely speechless by the difficulty and yardage your kids put in. Simply beyond normal man. Your kids are mutants.

I TR'd with my nine year old this weekend, and he barely made it to the top of a 5.8 slab at Wishon. I probably could've been a better dad by actually remembering to bring his climbing shoes. Barefoot worked well, though the rock was probably 104 degrees in the afternoon sun. He's from Fresno. He should have been able to deal.

Thanks for the trip report. It belongs in the "good ones" stack. P.S. Please don't pass us with your kids in tow on Mathes Crest when we head up there this August. My fragile ego would not do well.

  Jul 22, 2012 - 06:51pm PT
No child left behind.

Always fun to read your TRs.

Social climber
  Jul 22, 2012 - 07:29pm PT
a really cool trip. you gotta love it that your kids climb that well
Dick Erb

June Lake, CA
  Jul 22, 2012 - 08:19pm PT
Good to see that you have children who will never be normal.

SF bay area
  Jul 22, 2012 - 08:32pm PT
Best family climbing trip report ever.
Tan Slacks

Joshua Tree
  Jul 22, 2012 - 08:46pm PT
^^^^^^^ AGREED!!!
Peter Amend

Visalia, CA
  Jul 22, 2012 - 08:58pm PT

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Jul 22, 2012 - 09:29pm PT
Ultra dad! Tfpu!

  Jul 22, 2012 - 10:21pm PT
Feeling like kind of a light-duty Dad, sigh...
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jul 22, 2012 - 11:01pm PT
Great write up and sense of humor, thanks!!!

Trad climber
  Jul 23, 2012 - 12:34am PT
Looks like a great family. Keep the fun alive

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
  Jul 23, 2012 - 04:59am PT
I have to say, I continue to be amazed by your adventures!


  Jul 23, 2012 - 08:05am PT
Geez, your kids' climbing resumes are amazing!!! I really love the pictures looking down at your crew coming up the rock as a team -- all smiles.

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
  Jul 23, 2012 - 08:10am PT
Yep, pretty amazing...

right here, right now
  Jul 23, 2012 - 11:30am PT
Really ... flat out Jaw-Dropping.
Inner City

Trad climber
East Bay
  Jul 23, 2012 - 11:52am PT
I think this is the most amazing thing I can recall seeing on this site. These kids (and their parents!) are unbelievable!

Congratulations on raising the bar, it can't go higher? The Hulk too, Jeez...gob-smacked!

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
  Jul 23, 2012 - 12:27pm PT
Ummmmm....don't know what to say, those kids are amazing!

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
  Jul 23, 2012 - 12:51pm PT
Doubled up on the birth canal on the hulk! Yeah!!
Dos XX

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
  Jul 23, 2012 - 01:04pm PT
Familia Herson rocks!

Big Wall climber
The Bear State
  Jul 23, 2012 - 01:09pm PT
Very COOL! Im still dreaming of getting up The Hulk. But 3 routes in a few days is awesome. good work on the trip reports. i spent all morning looking through them. such an inspiration.

Trad climber
  Jul 23, 2012 - 02:25pm PT
I can see the situation in a few years:
Dad: "Want to go climbing?"
Kids: " No Dad you will just slow us down"

Looks like good rope gun potential when you get older

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Jul 23, 2012 - 02:29pm PT
Thank you for sharing the good life! And for fighting the good fight against the pandemic of inactivity:

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Jul 23, 2012 - 02:33pm PT
Great TR. Your family amazes me, and your writing both inspires and entertains. Couple all that with some all-time classics, and the result is flawless and wonderful. Thank you very much!


jamais, jamais pays
  Jul 23, 2012 - 04:17pm PT
It is truly amazing what you can do with Photo Shop!
Way to get 'er done.

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
  Jul 23, 2012 - 04:35pm PT
also the triple leg flag on RD is priceless

  Jul 23, 2012 - 05:14pm PT
Dude - yer killin' me! I love these awesome TRs and promise I won't report you. It's all about family time!!!

Trad climber
  Jul 23, 2012 - 05:55pm PT

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
  Jul 23, 2012 - 06:17pm PT
Wow this is amazing! RAD family!

Trad climber
  Jul 23, 2012 - 08:15pm PT

Will you take my kid climbing, lest his beta-spraying outpace his skills?

Jim,  <br/>
Will you take my kid climbing, lest his beta-spraying outpace ...
Will you take my kid climbing, lest his beta-spraying outpace his skills?
Credit: Emon


Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
  Jul 23, 2012 - 09:22pm PT
Those smiles look pretty easy.. beautiful

Woot you guys are awesome. Was just wondering the other day what you guys were up to this year. Have always been blown away by your TRS. Half-dome and such.

So glad to see the saga continue.

The next generation will think doing amazing sierra climbs we all dream of as your average day in the park. What will they do for a real challenge?

Lolz.. what a way to raise the bar!

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  Jul 23, 2012 - 09:19pm PT
You gotta be kidding me!!!
Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!
All smiles here, that was EPIC!!!

Trad climber
Fort Collins, CO
  Jul 23, 2012 - 09:40pm PT
Don't know what to say. . . . except I wish you were my dad - and I am probably as old as your are :)

  Jul 23, 2012 - 10:07pm PT
can I hire one of your kids to haul me up freerider, say, 18 months from now?
Some Random Guy

  Jul 23, 2012 - 10:13pm PT

some eastside hovel
  Jul 23, 2012 - 10:28pm PT
Awesome! I feel really small right now.

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
  Jul 31, 2012 - 02:32pm PT
ll keep this as evidence to present to child protective services when they come to see me. Glad to see that you also believe in an outdoor and survivsl skill sessions for kids.


Trad climber
it's all turtles, all the way dooowwwwwnn!!!!!
  Jul 31, 2012 - 03:42pm PT
way to keep them outta the snow this time jimmy!

that's great that you are all 4 getting after it now, congrats!

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Jul 31, 2012 - 03:49pm PT
madness, terribly good madness

Trad climber
Tampa, FL
  Jul 31, 2012 - 05:12pm PT
Cheered me up no end.

bay area
  Jul 31, 2012 - 09:36pm PT

what a inspiring, funny, and generally kickass TR. amazing.

Gym climber
  Jul 31, 2012 - 10:49pm PT
I wanna be a kid and climb that stuff !!!

(Heck, I want to be an adult and climb that suff!)
john hansen

  Jul 31, 2012 - 11:10pm PT
So,,,, what did you do this summer?
em kn0t

Trad climber
isle of wyde
  Aug 1, 2012 - 02:45am PT
mind-bogglingly awesome

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
  Nov 5, 2012 - 08:06pm PT
TRs cant really get any better
Johnny K.

  Jul 16, 2013 - 07:32pm PT

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
  Mar 16, 2015 - 03:45pm PT
Amazing and awesome!

Social climber
your mom's house
  Mar 16, 2015 - 05:07pm PT
Right on! Great pictures and stories, thanks!!!

  Mar 17, 2015 - 09:03am PT

Everyone read's these great TR's Jim. It's that no one knows what to say which explains why the comments don't go for 2000 posts, but are an absurdly low count. I can assure you that the readers heads are all shaking and their mouths are all open.

And that's all I have. (my mouth is open and head still shaking of course). Thanks for sharing!

KP Ariza

  Mar 17, 2015 - 08:14am PT
Living the life Jim!
Relax, Guy

Social climber
Not Burchey, LOL
  Mar 17, 2015 - 08:23am PT
Wow, Jim's reports are always too fantastic. What a way to grow up, eh? Wish we all had such a childhood.

We need to clone Jim and his family, and then cull about 90% of the rest of us, as we'll be holding the Herson climbing army back ;)

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Mar 17, 2015 - 08:38am PT

Love, love, love your TRs!!!

The only reporting you have to do is to the Dad Hall of Fame!!

Larry Nelson

Social climber
  Mar 17, 2015 - 11:03am PT
Dang, your kids have done climbs still on my list.
I am humbled, but you have every right to be proud.
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El Capitan - West Face 5.11c - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Photo: Chris McNamara
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