Trip Report
Bribes, Adventures, and Climbing With Our Heros.
Thursday April 25, 2013 9:22pm
For a little background on Cory and I, and how we met, see thread:

This past Sunday Cory and I headed up to Yosemite to meet up with my buddy Ted, who was kind enough to rope-gun for us. I've bribed a couple friends into rope-gunning for us and in return they get a free ride with us. Cory is now 11 years old and on a steep learning curve. He's been a sponge for knowledge and has been diligently reading his Freedom of The Hills book. He can't get enough of it all. "So Cory….learn any cool stuff in school lately?"…."Yeah…learning about weather." "Oh yeah? What did you learn?" He started talking about positive and negative charges and that's when he lost me. He's a smart young lad. "Guess what?" "What's that dude?"…"I'm doing better in math now." "Oh yeah?" "yeah, I'm getting a 'B' this semester." "Rock on dude!" For the rest of the drive we talked about climbing, training, and adventures for the summer.

We met up with Ted and racked up for a day of adventure. The objective for the day was to climb Sunnyside Bench, then scramble up to the base of Upper Yosemite Falls. Cory racked up with his gear, courtesy of generous SuperTopo members. We scrambled up the start, Ted led, and I had Cory belay Ted while being tied to me. He quickly learned that climbing is not always easy as he was muscling the rope through his belay and was quickly wearing out his arms. But, he kept going for the whole first pitch. I was tied into the end of the rope with Cory tied in short about 10' above me. It was a gorgeous day and he could not get enough of the views. He loves being up high and the exposure. The bouldery headwall at the 1st belay was really tricky for him and he ended up aiding it with the use of my hand for a step. On the second pitch, he had a tricky time with getting up the pinnacle. After that he made steady progress to the end.

Cory shoeing up. Brand new Mythos courtesy of Mark Hudon!
Cory shoeing up. Brand new Mythos courtesy of Mark Hudon!


Nuts courtesy of Andy, Cam from Ralphy, and the helmet from Gene.


Belay, slings, and biners courtesy of Mareko.

We then ditched the climbing gear and were on our way up to the base of Upper Falls. There are only a few 3rd class sections on the way up. The 3rd class slab section was a good warm up for the endless slabs on Snake Dike, which is on Cory's tick list for this summer. Fortunately, Cory rocks a pair of LS Boulder X approach shoes, courtesy of Blair. I kept close behind, keeping him on his toes (literally) as we motored up the slabs. It wasn't too much longer until we got near the Upper Falls. Ted found shelter behind an overhanging boulder and we chowed down on lunch. The wind and mist from the falls was quite refreshing. Fortunately, Johnny donated a rain jacket to Cory. We snapped a few photos and were on our way back down.


After finding people on Jamcrack, we headed over to MPB so Cory could train for his first big goal: After Six. We've been working on setting realistic goals and emphasize that he has to "earn his pitches." We decided to just toprope the first pitch. I wasn't sure if we could do it with a single rope. As I went to ask the people just around the buttress if they had a guide book I could check out, who turns around? Ron Kauk! "Cory! You wanted to meet someone famous right?" Ron is a super cool dude and offered the end of his rope to Cory. "Dude, you're getting to climb with my heroes before me!" Cory made short work of a 5.8 face climb as I belayed Ted on After Six. It's funny, Cory climbs better on the harder climbs, like he did on Sherry's Crack, than the easier ones. He then jumped on After Six and cleaned the pitch. "I can't do it! It's too big for my hands!" "Can you fist jam it?" "Nope!" Meanwhile Tony, who I met a couple years ago and an awesome dude, was watching and explained how to do a double hand stack. "I got it!" It's funny, when he says "I can't," he ends up doing the moves flawlessly after a little encouragement. It's more like he just doesn't want to try. But, that's quickly changing. He does climb better when I'm motoring up behind him and not letting him have enough time to doubt himself.

Cory got to climb with my hero, the legendary Ron Kauk.
Cory got to climb with my hero, the legendary Ron Kauk.

Cory working his way up with double hand stacks
Cory working his way up with double hand stacks

We called it a day, drove to Oakhurst, and grabbed some awesome food at a BBQ place. It was a great day and we're all looking forward to our next trip. Once we get a little more crack training in I think he will be ready for After Six. He's also eying the Royal Arches, Snake Dike, Cathedral Peak, and Tenaya Peak.

  Trip Report Views: 3,196
About the Author
PAUL SOUZA is a trad climber and mountaineer from Clovis, CA.

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  Apr 25, 2013 - 09:24pm PT
Cool stuff, bright future for that little buddy! Thanks!

  Apr 25, 2013 - 09:25pm PT

What a team!



Trad climber
Mammoth and SLO.....Life is Good!!!
  Apr 25, 2013 - 09:32pm PT
I knew there was something special about you,'re the real deal, and EXACTLY what this world needs!

I hope I get to meet Cory real soon! Bring that lad on over here!!!!
I've got some gear for him!


Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Apr 25, 2013 - 09:36pm PT
Thanks Dean!

BTW, this was his 4th day climbing outside!

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Apr 26, 2013 - 02:33pm PT
Nice adventure guys!

Social climber
Lida Junction
  Apr 26, 2013 - 02:36pm PT
so awesome. wish I started climbing when I was that young

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
  Apr 26, 2013 - 03:06pm PT
GOOD on you, for being such an awesome Big Brother to, Cory!
With someone like you behind him, I know he will be a very
successful, and caring person thru his life.

The world needs more people like you to shape the
the next generation of young adults.

Keep up the good work!

Erik Sloan

Big Wall climber
Yosemite Big Wall
  Apr 26, 2013 - 03:10pm PT

Trad climber
Fresno, CA
  Apr 26, 2013 - 03:15pm PT
I was at a belay on Commitment over at Five Books looking at the Regular route on Sunnyside. I saw a party over there and was thinking to myself, “I hope they’re having a great day too”
I’m glad to see you guys were!

Trad climber
Las Vegas
  Apr 26, 2013 - 03:35pm PT
Fantastic ;)

Way cool that your friendship has helped Cory find a sport he loves, that is physically/mentally challenging and will take him to glorious outdoor settings. It appears that Cory has scored a fantastic mentor !
"So Cory….learn any cool stuff in school lately?"…."Yeah…learning about weather."
It's pretty difficult to not take an interest in things like weather, natural history and basic physics/engineering when your big brother has you out climbing in a place like Yosemite valley
(not to mention climbing with the likes of Kauk).

I'd love to read about your adventures/TR's, in Cory's words/writing.

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Apr 26, 2013 - 03:39pm PT
I knew there was something special about you,'re the real deal, and EXACTLY what this world needs!

Amen, Paul! Thanks for posting such a delightful trip report -- and for the climbing about which you reported.


Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
  Apr 26, 2013 - 03:48pm PT
Awesome stuff, thanks for sharing! I am really enjoying watching this young man get after it, you are making a real difference in his life and I am grateful there are still people like you around.

Trad climber
Fresno, Ca
  Apr 26, 2013 - 07:20pm PT
Inspiring and heart felt. Thanks and great job!
adam d

  Apr 26, 2013 - 08:04pm PT
Right on!

Sport climber
Made in California, living in The Old Pueblo
  Apr 26, 2013 - 08:07pm PT
This is so damn awesome...
Way to make a difference!


Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
  Apr 26, 2013 - 09:35pm PT
Now that is one heck of a wonderful TR! Kudos to all.

  Apr 26, 2013 - 11:22pm PT

Awesome! Warms my heart & brings a smile to my face. Best wishes to you both for a great season!


Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Apr 27, 2013 - 01:48am PT
Really awesome!

The only way to make a bigger difference in someone's life is to argue with them on the internet until they change their mind, but this is a close second.

God bless, it's great to see stuff like this!

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Apr 27, 2013 - 11:34am PT
Thank you all for the kind words. We're having fun and going to have a blast this summer. It is a privilege to introduce Cory to such an awesome and generous community. Cheers!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Apr 30, 2013 - 11:17pm PT
Awesome, looks good,
Way to mentor a nice Kid paul!!

Oakland, CA
  May 1, 2013 - 01:04pm PT
Cory, if you're reading this, nice work. On my 4th day of climbing I wasn't sending Valley 5.8...

Doing it right, Paul. Big respect to you.

Hudon, Mareko, Blair, Johnny, Andy, Cam, Ralphy, Gene, everybody else who set Cory up - proud.

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  May 1, 2013 - 01:33pm PT

That was funny brah.

Big Wall climber
Brooklyn Park, MD
  May 1, 2013 - 03:54pm PT
Paul, thanks for posting an update. As you may remember, your previous thread inspired me to volunteer as a big brother. I've gone through the training and interview process and it looks like I may be meeting my little this week. I'm told his name is Jaiden and he is looking forward to trying rock climbing. Sweet!

I look forward to future updates.


Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Author's Reply  May 1, 2013 - 04:03pm PT
Nice man! Glad to hear!
Johnny K.

  May 5, 2013 - 02:55pm PT
Great stuff Paul and Cory,fun adventures and very awesome you guys got to rope up with Kauk.

Mountain climber
The Ocean
  May 19, 2013 - 11:10pm PT
Hi Cory and Paul it was nice to meet you guys yesterday. Thanks for the oldschool toproping. Keep up the great times!

mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  May 19, 2013 - 11:13pm PT

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
  Jun 5, 2013 - 09:14pm PT

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jun 5, 2013 - 10:17pm PT
Good job Paul! Sign me up for a session.

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Jun 5, 2013 - 11:08pm PT
Paul that's such an awesome day. Good for you man

Meeting Kauk and now Mr. Blue Camalot himself is in line....

what an inspiring welcome to the climbing community for Cory!

people giving gear, their time...warms the heart : )

Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Jun 5, 2013 - 11:23pm PT
This is awesome! TYFP.

Just my two cents, go up Snake dike or Cathedral. Doing Tenaya roped would be a big drag. Royal arches would also be very long as a roped climb. Snake dike has it all including good easy climbing, great views, and an awesome summit. Cathedral is awesome too. Make sure to teach him how to rappell properly before though. Good luck!Guy will be running circles around all of us very soon.

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 6, 2013 - 11:29am PT
...and now Mr. Blue Camalot himself is in line....

Who's that?

Trad climber
prather, california
  Jan 4, 2014 - 12:19am PT
thank you all paul is a good person thank you paul

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
  Jan 4, 2014 - 12:41am PT
Way to go, Paul. Good to hear from you, Cory.
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