Royal Arches 5.10b or 5.7 A0

 
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Royal Arches Area


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Kicking Off CrushFest 2015: "Brothers Reunited"
Thursday March 5, 2015 10:56pm
On August 23, 2013, at the age of 31, I had two stents put in my heart. My right coronary artery was 70% blocked and my circumflex artery was 90% blocked. Yet, I was running 3 miles 1-2 times per week. The doctor said that I had "heavy vessel collateralization," meaning that the arteries were bypassing the clots, which was made possible due to my extremely high level of activity in the mountains. The doctor, Dr. Fearon of Stanford, said "that's what saved your life." If I had lived a more sedentary lifestyle, I wouldn't be here today.

E.T. in recovery and waiting to go home.
E.T. in recovery and waiting to go home.
Credit: PAUL SOUZA

Cory, the young 11 year old lad that I mentored through Big Brothers Big Sisters, and I had been climbing a lot that summer and once I had my heart operation, I had to take a break from climbing to recuperate. Grad school was beginning to take its toll and I had to decide whether to recommit to another year with BBBS. The following semester was going to be difficult given that I would be starting my clinical internship and would have little time for myself, let alone climbing with Cory. When November rolled around, I had to make the tough decision to not recommit.

Hero shot!!
Hero shot!!
Credit: PAUL SOUZA

Graduate school throughout 2014 was difficult and I was in school from Spring, through the summer and Fall. I always thought about our adventures together. It was always a humbling feeling to see a young boy latch onto something with all of his heart and energy. I missed going on trips with him and hearing about the things he was learning in school.

In January of 2015, Cory tracked me down on the SuperTopo and sent me an e-mail. Him and his mom had moved back into town from up the hill, which would make it easier for us to get together. I picked Cory up one day and we went straight to the gym. Cory will be 13 this Saturday. He sure has grown and matured. He was climbing stronger than he ever has after a year and a half of not. So we did the next logical thing…..agree to attempt to cut our Royal Arches time in half! Royal Arches in January?! Oh yeah! The perks of being only 2 hours from Yosemite during this dry season!

Here is the TR from our first time on the Arches when Cory was 11: http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Goals-Heroes-and-Digging-Deep-on-the-Royal-Arches/t11990n.html

Credit: PAUL SOUZA

Credit: PAUL SOUZA

Cory climbed solid on our second go and he didn't feel the need to puke either! :) It was a gorgeous and unusually WARM day on route. I had worn jeans and was wishing I had worn shorts. I quickly realized that school had made me sluggish, but it was too gorgeous of a day to rush things. We did the route in 8 hours and took us 4 hours to rappel in the dark. Even at night and only wear t-shirts and a windbreaker, we were sweating on the rappel. It wasn't until we were back down on terra firma that we were freezing cold due to the temperature inversion.

Credit: PAUL SOUZA

Credit: PAUL SOUZA

Credit: PAUL SOUZA

Credit: PAUL SOUZA

Credit: PAUL SOUZA

Credit: PAUL SOUZA

Credit: PAUL SOUZA

Credit: PAUL SOUZA

Credit: PAUL SOUZA

Credit: PAUL SOUZA


Our time was 12 hours car-2-car instead of the 15 hours when he was 11 years old. Considering that this was Cory's first climb in a year and a half, I was pretty impressed. Since then we have just been gym climbing and Cory is climbing harder than I do. Kids….pfft! We have some pretty big plans for the summer as Cory is not just my young mentee, but my climbing partner.

I hope that our adventures will inspire others to become mentors. There is nothing more humbling than hearing a young boy say, "thank you for changing my life and inspiring me." This experience has been my greatest honor and privilege.

Cheers,

Paul Souza

  Trip Report Views: 1,691
PAUL SOUZA
About the Author
PAUL SOUZA is a trad climber, big waller, and Big Brother from the Central Valley, CA.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
The real McCoy from the inside of my van.
  Mar 6, 2015 - 01:40am PT
worthy. damn. good on you.
eKat

climber
  Mar 6, 2015 - 05:24am PT
This is BEAUTIFUL!

Thank you, so much, for postin' up!

T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Mar 6, 2015 - 05:28am PT
Way to go Paul and Cory!
Congrats to both of you,
Tad
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
  Mar 6, 2015 - 05:43am PT
Very cool indeed! Put smile on my face this morning.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
  Mar 6, 2015 - 06:20am PT
Very good ! Thanks for the sights and words to remind that we all should pay it forward as well as giving back.
True inspiration is found and works magic let it be .
And
big howdy cheers (this is for Cory and you )
Continue...
Jones in LA

Mountain climber
Tarzana, California
  Mar 6, 2015 - 06:21am PT
Fantastic! Thank you for sharing this.

Rich Jones
WBraun

climber
  Mar 6, 2015 - 07:33am PT
Keep up the good work Paul.

You're a very special person ......
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Mar 6, 2015 - 07:43am PT
Fascinating stuff, keep on keepin on!
crankster

Trad climber
No. Tahoe
  Mar 6, 2015 - 08:01am PT
Nice work!
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
  Mar 6, 2015 - 08:10am PT
One of the best TRs on here IMHO. Great work Paul. Glad you have healed up and can hang out with Corey again. Have some great adventures this summer!!
elcap-pics

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
  Mar 6, 2015 - 08:19am PT
gotta like that report!! You are looking great Paul and it was a pleasure to hang in the meadow during the Dawn Wall climb! Thanks for giving to the younger generation... no telling how your gift of time and love will benefit the young man.
W.L.

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
  Mar 6, 2015 - 08:39am PT
fantastic! glad you're still with us and still giving back to the community, awesome to see.
Easy Wind

Trad climber
Oakland, California
  Mar 6, 2015 - 11:15am PT
Awesome Paul. Glad you're still here with us and sharing your love for the mountains.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
  Mar 6, 2015 - 12:42pm PT
Good stuff
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Mar 6, 2015 - 01:31pm PT
You're a very special person

Those of use lucky enough to know you know the truth of Werner's comment. Thanks for the inspiring work you've done with Cory, and for your wonderful trip reports.

John
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Mar 6, 2015 - 01:57pm PT
Nice to see you both last week! Also glad to see that you're giving that bike a rest and getting back on rock :)
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Mar 7, 2015 - 04:17am PT
Thanks Paul, that's what's its all about!
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
  Mar 7, 2015 - 07:45am PT
That's wonderful Paul, you're a great mentor for Cory and for all of us here on ST.

Charlie D.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Mar 7, 2015 - 07:48am PT
Very Very Cool!

Thanks for sharing this Paul!
enjoimx

Trad climber
Yosemite
  Mar 7, 2015 - 08:31am PT
Funny you mentioned he didnt feel the need to puke. I was also climbing with a 13 year old kid last summer who puked once he topped out on Swan Slab. Granted it was about 90 degrees outside and he was wearing black skinny jeans.
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 7, 2015 - 10:16am PT
When we did the Arches for the first time when he was 11, he was pushing himself HARD. He wouldn't give up because "then we would have to leave gear and don't have 2 ropes." Hahaha. I have trained him well. ;)
GARY Owen

Trad climber
Lexington
  Mar 7, 2015 - 07:22pm PT
That is awesome! You are lucky to have each other
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
  Mar 7, 2015 - 10:39pm PT
Wonderful TR Paul!

I will be surprised if you two don't get up some big objectives together in the years ahead.

Berg Heil!
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
  Mar 7, 2015 - 11:16pm PT
Paul Wow! So glad you guys reconnected and that you are doing well.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Mar 8, 2015 - 09:56am PT
You're a better man than I, Paul. Good on you for going through what you did AND changing a young boy's life forever probably.

You have character, sir. God bless ya!
L

climber
And I'm searchin' for waterspouts...
  Mar 8, 2015 - 01:22pm PT
What a great TR, Paul!

Sorry to hear about your health issues...especially at 31! But you appear to be making the best of the hand you were dealt, and, on top of that, giving incredible gifts to those who were truly in need of your presence.

This just made my day...week...year. :-) Thanks!


PS. Lovvvvvvved the ET photo!
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Author's Reply  Mar 8, 2015 - 04:48pm PT
Yesterday was Cory's big 13th birthday....officially a TEEN! We were supposed to climb yesterday, but he needed to reschedule that so he could hang out with his new lady friend....ppffft! Where are the priorities these days!! Sheesh!! LOL :)

So we went to Tollhouse Rock today. Cory got to experience some 4x4 action in the Tacoma as we made our way up the heavily rutted-out road on the steep south slope. It was a casual day up the infamous and difficult Tollhouse Traverse, 5.4....

Credit: PAUL SOUZA


After a stellar day of climbing for Cory's 13th birthday, I offered to take Cory home on either the Ducati 749s or the BMW R1100R. ...there was no question about it. If only you could see the ear-to-ear grin on his face. Of course, with mom's permission.

Credit: PAUL SOUZA
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