Trip Report
Big Mike Goes to Shuteye
Saturday August 2, 2014 10:53am
Shuteye South
Shuteye South
Credit: this just in
Warning: Meeting people on the Internet is inherently dangerous. Especially Canadians, but us climbers need to feel alive and since it is no longer the all or nothing days, we seek out risks to subdue this need.
Obligatory Warning: Rock Climbing is inherently fun.

It's May and Mike is at the end of his Yosemite trip. After a hard night of drinking and posting on the Taco, I find Mike laying on a practicer's pad in Camp 4. Kind of hard to spot the tallest guy in C4 when he is laying down, but after a couple passes I find him at his site.
"You's Bike Mike?' the Canadian Giant rises slowly and grabs his chalk belt.
"Depends, who's asking?" He replies. I watch his hand perched and ready to chalk up. I put up my hands and reply,
"Whoa, now simmer down, it's me This Just In" A big sigh of relief on both sides and he drops his chalk.

My memory isn't the best, but I'm pretty sure this is how it went down. The usual awkwardness of meeting someone new wasn't a big deal, cause we have come to know each other over the years on this site. Plus, we had a ton of climbing to talk about. After a stop at South Gate Brewery in Oakhurst, we were at my house Sunday evening and ready for climbing.

I figured the best way to start was to run up The Big Sleep. 900' of mellow climbing we did Moonlight Madness, 5.9. I made sure to set Mike up for the crux and best pitch, so I had P1.

Mike at P2 belay


Mike through the crux on P4 and into the chickenheads of Shuteye. He gave a yell after pulling the roof and feeling the jugs. After tying his first slipknot he said it was one of his most unique pitches he had done. A little bit of everything.

Mike taking a pic

P5 is very mellow. After untying he was set on reaching the true summit and when I told him I hadn't ever actually walked up to it, he shook his head and said we had to.

Most parties rap the dome, but I prefer to use it to access other formations. Walking down towards the pass will get you to Crocodile and we did just this. Crocodile is mostly a single pitch formation with some awesome sport routes on perfect granite, but it also has some really good trad climbs.

Willy Nilly is a route (not root) that is an obvious gem, corner/crack climb on less than vertical rock. 35 meters will get you to the anchors or you can do another 15 to the top. At 5.8 and scoping it from the ground you think it is going to be a cake walk. Well after being humbled by it and really happy I made it through the struggle and back on the ground I untied and handed the rope to Mike. He joked about me struggling on it and I laughed cause I thought it looked a lot easier. I laughed more to myself when I heard him grunting and struggling up it too. HA!
Warning Buttshots!

Mike finding the gear isn't as great as it looks from the ground. I hate when that happens.

Out of the awkward corner and into the better crack

Into the wider upper corner

Sh#t Yeah! My ego felt better, even though Mike climbed smoother and placed less gear, I told him I was glad to hear him have to work.

Rapping the Will Crlljenko, Herb and Eve Laeger Classic. Cold beers met our arrival back at the truck.

I had always wanted to climb day 2s agenda and I brought in reinforcements to handle the Canadian threat.

Jeremy starts up Wing Feather, 5.8. Mike Photo

Mike Photo

Mike Photo

Mike Photo and I'm tired of writing this so pretty much all photos without Mike in them are Mike Photos. Sh#t,

P1 is too cool.

Mike coming up

Soyo gym climbing

Jeremy taking P2

Myself, relieved after the crux. P3.

It got dark quick

Mike got P4 and did a OW that Jeremy and I said "F*#k That", but if we were leading would have had to.
We were approaching the time we needed to be in the car to reach our indoor soccer game in Fresno, so we hiked as fast as we could and showed mike the beauty of Shuteye bushwacking. Halfway down, most people are livid and want to kill us for taking them through the sh#t of the bush, but Mike simply smiled, took a deep breath, and said thanks. Huh? As most know Mike has had an incredible recovery from a spinal cord injury and he was thanking his ability to being able to walk down through tough terrian on his own. He said he was Independent again and to me this was the coolest part of the trip.

Day 3
Sport Climbing. We had to show Mike some Sport or that Ryan D fella might have scolded us. We arrived at High Eagle, opened some approach beers and made our way to the base with my two crag dogs. Unfortunately, we forgot the Boom Box, but I did manage to insult a climber upon arriving at the base. Bad Climber had been saying he would be in the area and I saw a truck that he described at the 2wd lot. I asked the guy with his girl if he was Bad Climber. Immediately, I felt stupid with the look of "what the f*#k did you just call me" on his face.
"What??? No I'm not a bad climber" I quickly backpedaled and explained Bad Climber from the Taco.
Don't think he ever understood what I was asking. Sorry. But, besides the lack of Boom Box we were representing the Sport Climbers Guild quite perfectly.

Mike on the Dan McDevitt route Not Afraid. I made it 2/3s up and took a whipper and called it early. In my defense I was off the couch, but I also wanted to be true to the Guild and just sit at the base and spray.

Mike asked to not post the Talon pics from that day, so hopefully he will add them to his TR or to this one, but Day 3 was full of laughs and bullshitting. What everyday should be.

  Trip Report Views: 1,955
this just in
About the Author
this just in is a climber from north fork.

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looks easy from here

Ben Lomond, CA
  Aug 2, 2014 - 11:06am PT
Awesome! Thanks for sharing the pics. Wing Feather is one of the lines I've been coveting most at Shuteye lately; I wonder if I can squeeze it in this season after the smoke clears...
Big Mike

Trad climber
  Aug 2, 2014 - 11:12am PT
Nice Justin!! As i said to you while i was there, it was very cool to feel that instant connection that we had thanks to our banter here. Your hospitality was simply out of this world! I couldn't have asked for a better trip!!!


Sport climber
  Aug 2, 2014 - 11:21am PT

Phenomenal TR. Great fun to see some bolts and seeing U2 turning a 5.8 from a cake walk into a meditation... ^^^^
Big Mike

Trad climber
  Aug 2, 2014 - 12:27pm PT
Here's some pics from the Talon!

Adu and the Talon

Jeremy starting up Harvey Birdman 10b

Jer getting his heel hook on.

Of course i had to try it....

Jeremy Ross Photo

But i didn't have enough mojo left...

Jeremy Ross Photo

Trad climber
  Aug 2, 2014 - 11:33am PT
Big Mike is my hero

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Aug 2, 2014 - 11:55am PT

pretty inspiring fellow... who I would love to meet face to face some day

Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
  Aug 2, 2014 - 12:01pm PT
Big Mike, lots of sweet pics, and lots of stoke...I can dig it! nice work, yo!
this just in

Justin Ross from North Fork
Author's Reply  Aug 2, 2014 - 01:00pm PT
Looks easy, definitely get on it, I can't think of a better all around 5.8 on the ridge. One you could do over and over again.

Even though I don't like saying Inspiration or inspired, Mike truly is an inspiration. He was handed a nightmare and faced it and prevailed. Look forward to next trip buddy.
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
  Aug 2, 2014 - 03:19pm PT
Climbing with Mike is BIG fun!!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Aug 2, 2014 - 03:24pm PT
Sweet TR!

Trad climber
  Aug 2, 2014 - 04:06pm PT
Hey Jeremy and Justin! How are you guys up there?
The 5.8 on Crocodile is very cool....did it with Leo a few years back.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
  Aug 2, 2014 - 04:27pm PT
Fun rock. Fun guy. There's fungus amounga us.

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
  Aug 2, 2014 - 04:33pm PT
Great TR.

I want to get there someday.

And,try out a McDevitt route.The Talon looks wild.

Good Stuff.
Big Mike

Trad climber
  Aug 2, 2014 - 04:47pm PT
Even though I don't like saying Inspiration or inspired, Mike truly is an inspiration. He was handed a nightmare and faced it and prevailed. Look forward to next trip buddy.

Thanks Justin.. I would say i'm an average guy who was dealt a bad hand and i somehow managed to bluff my way into winning. I worked hard to get where i am at but i am also very lucky my injury was minor in terms of a spinal cord injury and my first aid was well handled by Blackcomb ski patrol!

I somehow managed to avoid getting sick (besides a small cold) in my three month stay in the hospital/rehab and that in and of itself was a miracle!!

Thanks for helping with my journey to recovery!

Social climber
  Aug 2, 2014 - 04:55pm PT
Awesome TR. Thanks for postin' it up. Great pix.

Social climber
  Aug 2, 2014 - 06:07pm PT
Looks and sounds like a fun time. Hope you can do the same for me some time.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Aug 2, 2014 - 06:28pm PT
Does anybody in Kanada work?
this just in

Justin Ross from North Fork
Author's Reply  Aug 2, 2014 - 06:40pm PT
Haha Reilly good one.

Doing good Gerry, hopefully you are getting some climbing in and I'll bring that Sierra Nevada that I borrowed a couple years ago to faceoff this year.

Chappy if you need a partner one of these weekends, let me know.

Thanks for all the comments.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Aug 3, 2014 - 02:53am PT
Nice boys. Real nice!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Aug 3, 2014 - 06:13am PT
You guys make it look easy from here.
I need some sleep now.
33 pictures, TJI, if you lost count.
Enjoyed each one, too!

Very large living, Big Mike.

  Aug 3, 2014 - 10:35am PT
Looks like a fun few days of climbing!
Wing Feather's on my to-do list as well.

Bummed about the fire.

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
  Aug 3, 2014 - 11:14am PT
Fun stuff. Thanks for taking the time to post this - greatly enjoyed it!
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
  Aug 3, 2014 - 11:42am PT
Disgusting, now you both should be banned. How dare you go climbing and post a great TR, and then stoop to loading it with plenty of inspiring photos. The Taco is going downhill thanks the the likes of you ... climbers!

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Aug 3, 2014 - 11:45am PT
Awesomeness is upon you!!

Thanks for sharing boys!
this just in

Justin Ross from North Fork
Author's Reply  Aug 3, 2014 - 06:06pm PT
Thanks Ezra, Rincon, Mouse, Little Z, Crimper, and Bruce.

Hope to be banned soon.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Aug 3, 2014 - 09:40pm PT
Nice job on the TR and tour for Big Mike.

Never gets old looking at the chicken heads.

That whole area is going through a big change with that fire.

Access to that side of the ridge (Grey eagle etc.) may be impossible when the smoke clears.

Man, times are a changing.

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Aug 3, 2014 - 11:24pm PT
cool stuff

Balcarce, Argentina
  Aug 4, 2014 - 06:17am PT
Great looking knobs.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
  Aug 4, 2014 - 06:19am PT
Hey, Justin:

Thanks for the TR and a reminder of the classic run in with not "Bad Climber"! Heh, heh.

Hope we get to meet some day.

Climb on.


Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
  Aug 4, 2014 - 07:01am PT
I confess, my last climbing was one month ago.

Justin and Mike climbing together, how cool is that!

Great TR.


East Bay, CA
  Aug 4, 2014 - 11:44am PT
Good on ya - enjoyed your TR & photos! TFPU!
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