Steck Salathe 5.9

  • Currently 4.0/5

Sentinel Rock

Yosemite Valley, California USA

Trip Report
Half Dome with 3 kids, Steck-Salathe with 4 kids
Tuesday August 15, 2017 5:14am
Valley classics with a bunch of awesome kids:

Half Dome with 3 kids:

Steck-Salathe with 4 kids:


Credit: Jim Herson

  Trip Report Views: 7,420
Jim Herson
About the Author
Jim Herson is a climber from Emerald Hills, CA.

Captain...or Skully

Boise, ID
  Aug 15, 2017 - 05:47am PT
Now THAT'S a TR, or rather 2 TR's. TFPU!!!
Good one.

Social climber
  Aug 15, 2017 - 05:50am PT
Teenagers can be blissfully clueless, but those two TR's were awesome! We have a 16 yo family friend who just got off the Third Pillar of Dana. She is stoked all the time and cluelessly crushes. Kids.......

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
  Aug 15, 2017 - 06:11am PT
As always, tremendous TRs. I don't understand a.) how you move so darn fast on Yosemite walls, and b.) how you keep those great smiles on the faces of your partners. Inspirational, especially to the Dad in me!

So what's next? Being a dad and a teacher, I suggest "A Busload of Kids Climbs The Salathe and Get Home In Time To Finish Their Homework".

  Aug 15, 2017 - 06:18am PT
So awesome. Three climbers Honnolding at once on Thankgod ledge has got to be a first.

Trad climber
  Aug 15, 2017 - 06:57am PT
Great stories. So impressive!!

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
  Aug 15, 2017 - 07:05am PT
Just wow. Incredible!

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Aug 15, 2017 - 07:06am PT
You and the kids continua to amaze!

  Aug 15, 2017 - 07:15am PT
No "climbing" as a qualifier you're a great dad, Jim H., and you have a gift for guiding your teams. It's much more inspiring than hard sends, ropeless antics and other stuff I can't relate to. TFPU!

Trad climber
  Aug 15, 2017 - 07:48am PT
Maybe the market is a bit too nichey, but I think there is room in the space of parenting literature for a new manual. Classic stuff!

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
  Aug 15, 2017 - 08:20am PT
Our kids will inherit the wild country we leave them. Will they be good stewards? Will they make their own adventures and excitement?

Yes to both if they've hung out with Jim Herson :)

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Aug 15, 2017 - 08:28am PT
This is stupid FAKE NEWS!

There is no way this is true. Probably more left wing media controlled propaganda. We all know that people do not SMILE in the narrows.

THIS is what people in the Narrows look like. Miserable, scared, regretful sods who only want to go down at this point.

Your pictures of children smiling and enjoying themselves is a dis-service to this sacred route. Please take down your Trip Report immediately and



Mountain climber
  Aug 15, 2017 - 08:56am PT
What is the maximum number of kids you are legally allowed to take up these walls?

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Aug 15, 2017 - 09:13am PT
I'm gonna call the Dept of Child Protective Services.

They should hire you as their director.
Nick Danger

Ice climber
Arvada, CO
  Aug 15, 2017 - 09:52am PT
Best trip reports in a long time, and there have been some real wonders lately. Thanks.

Your kidz rok!

  Aug 15, 2017 - 10:15am PT
When is Jim opening up a daycare? I'd like to enroll my toddlers.

Trad climber
  Aug 15, 2017 - 11:11am PT
Awesome!!!! Thanks for ruining all future TR's of mine. I just climbed the E Buttress of Whitney with my son car to car but now I feel like a total loser. Thanks a lot. Lol
Jim Herson

Emerald Hills, CA
Author's Reply  Aug 15, 2017 - 11:18am PT
Batrock, congratulations to you and your son. Whitney car-to-car is a huge day! Great job.


ps, Sorry Micronut, for soiling the Narrows with smiles. Won't happen again.
the goat

Mazama, WA
  Aug 15, 2017 - 11:29am PT
Great TR, always fun to follow the Herson family exploits. Big fun on big rocks!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Aug 15, 2017 - 01:53pm PT
Great trip reports. SS looks so cool.

  Aug 15, 2017 - 03:17pm PT
wow, awesome trip report. And awesome climbing from all of you!
Larry Nelson

Social climber
  Aug 15, 2017 - 04:22pm PT
What fun TR's both of those were.
Hat tip to a good man.

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
  Aug 15, 2017 - 05:01pm PT
WOW! Awsome!

Just livin' the dream
  Aug 15, 2017 - 05:43pm PT
Absolutely loved these TRs!
Even Kara's (spoiler alert!!!) spilled red stuff didn't change my enjoyment of your chronicle. :-)
Thank you for sharing your gift of writing and call to adventure with us!

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Aug 15, 2017 - 07:44pm PT
can't wait to read! be back in a bit. hold my beer.

  Aug 16, 2017 - 01:30am PT
As a parent and a climber, always enjoy reading your trip reports. Thanks and keep posting.

Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Aug 16, 2017 - 02:51am PT
Very impressive!
Thanks for the inspiration.

Social climber
Southern Arizona
  Aug 16, 2017 - 06:48am PT

. . . do I like your attitude about young people! Im with you. There is much to be optimistic about.

Excellent, Jim. TFPU.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
  Aug 16, 2017 - 07:25am PT
I'm always amazed at how you pull off these things. Fantastic. Kara's close call on the slabs is a good reminder to keep a helmet ON for the slabs and whenever below the face. Stuff comes off!


PS: I gotta admit that I'm a little confused at how you seem to simul-belay three, even four followers. How the hell does that work?

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
  Aug 16, 2017 - 08:33am PT
As usual, when I read Jim's TR's, I feel like we are seeing a new branch form on the human genome tree.

Inspiring and entertaining as always!

Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
  Aug 16, 2017 - 09:35am PT
So good.

Big Wall climber
Bend, OR
  Aug 16, 2017 - 10:13am PT
I know one of these girls. She is not a "child" she is a phenom. She won the lady's dyno comp for several years in a row. Still amazing!
scuffy b

heading slowly NNW
  Aug 17, 2017 - 01:54pm PT
This is awesome. I am very much encouraged by kids.
Scalp wounds are amazing.
Thanks much!

Trad climber
Ontario, Canada
  Aug 17, 2017 - 09:45pm PT
Brilliant and hilarious. Truly awesome!
Bit o luck/bad luck on the descent...

  Aug 17, 2017 - 09:57pm PT
What an attitude!!

Good for all!!

See opportunities instead of obstacles !!

Oakland, CA
  Aug 18, 2017 - 08:13am PT
Yep amazing, everyone already said it and everyone is right. Hot damn.

I notice on the Steck-Sal you made 'em do the 5.9 squeeze instead of leading out right on the easy flake - I find that hilarious. Cold-hearted!

Social climber
North Conway, NH
  Aug 18, 2017 - 09:53am PT
Jim is God.

Thank you
the Fet

  Aug 18, 2017 - 12:44pm PT

Trad climber
  Aug 22, 2017 - 10:36am PT
Jesse Wees

Trad climber
  Aug 22, 2017 - 02:08pm PT

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Aug 22, 2017 - 07:32pm PT
One more time: Thanks Jim!

Trad climber
Punter, Little Rock
  Aug 22, 2017 - 08:31pm PT
Can't put into words how great it is what you are doing. The TR was funny, inspirational and just plain bad ***.

Social climber
Corvallis, Oregon
  Aug 24, 2017 - 07:45am PT
OK, so my husband has dreams of taking our girls up climbs in the area -- Tenaya Peak, for example. Or Snake Dike, having just done the HD cables with five girls (two families, ages 6-15), and thinking about options for another day. It's fun to see what you're doing; it's entertaining, inspiring, and technically useful. Thx for posting.

Trad climber
BayArea, CA
  Aug 27, 2017 - 10:07pm PT
The links seem to be broken. :(

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Aug 28, 2017 - 06:13am PT
Nice! Maybe I missed it, but how long do the SS take?

Social climber
  Aug 28, 2017 - 06:47am PT
I was in Bozeman and HJ shared on of your TR's with me--we were dying! This is my chance to say it in person. Thanks
Jim Herson

Emerald Hills, CA
Author's Reply  Sep 24, 2017 - 09:29pm PT

The links seem to be broken. :(

Sorry about that. New security policies at work limited all external access and it was tough to argue my trip reports were mission critical requiring an access exception. So I rehosted my climbing stuff to and adjusted the links above.


Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
  Sep 24, 2017 - 10:06pm PT
Jim, I love your trip reports, but I think when two climbers mate, genetic mutation occurs. Your middle school boy has lizard DNA mixed in. That's why he can go without water and still smile.

bay area
  Sep 26, 2017 - 08:49pm PT

I somehow missed this the first time around. Another A++++ from the Herson clan. Holy jesus.
Inner City

Trad climber
Portland, OR
  Sep 26, 2017 - 09:34pm PT
Ho man!
What a stunning series of TRs coming out of this family.
I am beyond amazed...flabbergasted? Gob-smacked?

Who does this? Holy phu

Mountain climber
San Francisco, CA
  Oct 4, 2017 - 08:00am PT
Freaking hard core and glad Kara is ok! It is awe-inspiring watching all these guys (and girl) float up the hardest boulder problems at the gyms. The shoe fits! Props.
Sentinel Rock - Steck Salathe 5.9 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The long and demanding Steck-Salathe.
Photo: Randy Spurrier
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