Trip Report
Solstice at Tom's Thumb
Thursday June 27, 2013 12:26pm
Dates: June 20 and 21, 2013. To Thompson Peak, Tom's Thumb (Cannabis Crag).

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1918955&tn=0

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/flashback/107941746

T Hocking suggested this trip in November of last year after our pappies both passed within a month of one another. We were hoping Ron Anderson could come along, but he’s recovering from an “owie.”

You can visit the place sometime on your own with a partner, Ron. Sorry you could not make this one.

It was a rewarding trip for both Tad and myself. We accomplished our minimalist goals, his to lead and mine to clean the same climb he and Mitch did last year in this stage of our climbing resurgence at the ages of mid-fifties and mid-sixties, respectively.

I was sure delighted with my results using La Sportiva approach boots, not my “worn-out Fires “ which CosmicCragsman made mocs of. They were all sorts of secure, whether climbing on the crag itself or in the boulder piles laying about.

A few notes on this place: it’s all decomposing granite around the place, and the east side of the crag is melting/crumbling away. There is a third class way to the summit, but we never went to the top of the crag because we are lazy old farts, plain as I can say. We thought about rapping down from the top to check out the “backside” but only had one rope and I said we are lazy old farts.

We came in on Hwy 44 and Hwy 395 from Redding to Janesville, (Tad MADE AN EXCELLENT JOB OF DRIVING THE GREAT GUZZLING BEAST, BTW), then up what’s called the Janesville Grade. It isn’t too hard to find the way in on the logging roads. We are able to give directions that will get you there, so Personal Messages or emails about this are OK with me, if anyone’s interested. There is a fire lookout on Thompson Peak, the main peak of the Diamond Mts., where this place is located (Plumas NF).

The WIND was nasty cold Thursday night. I used a one-person shelter Tad provided. It was toasty in there, so thanks for the use of it. I was traveling light. I'd gotten on the road in a fit of pique about the elevator in my Middle Earth home having gone blooey the third time this year. I arrived a day early, but Tad and Maureen just shrugged and we went with the flow. I got a solid rest on a really cushy futon and was full of energy the next morning.

After we parked the truck at the base of the crag, short approaches being de rigeur for the both of us old wheezers, we set up camp and sat around breathing the sweet air of the Nevada side of the Sierra Nevada. We were pretty stoked about getting on the rock, but we took our time and savored the moment, as you must while in a Safety Meeting. We discussed my use of an BD belay device and twist-lock biner I had purchased earlier that day in Redding. It really opened my eyes: the old-schooler finally gets religion, Saul at Damascus, that sort of thing.

Tad led the 5.6/5.7 pitch which Mitch had led on their trip last year. I followed and cleaned it with no technical trouble, though the moves off the ground were different for me than Tad, who’s taller. I needed to rest a couple of times because of asthma--I had allowed no time to become used to the altitude, which I figure is @ 6,500-7,000 feet. I spent a lot of time on enjoying being where I was, and the moves just kind of came like they used to do, when I got ready to move. Tad was as patient as CosmicCragsman had been at Alesandria in the desert.

Tad’s not lost his touch with his old school trad rack. Two very solid placements of hexcentrics come to mind, in unusual attitudes, but easy to remove and well-slung.

We both rapped on the doubled line and came back the next day to TR the pitch one more time. It was plenty of exercise, as I had been up early to photograph the Solstice sunsight and had been scrambling all over in a boulder pile, just having a good old time in my La Sportivas, becoming more and more amazed at what modern rubber can do for your ability.

Likewise, in lowering Big Tad from his high point, I had no trouble, he came down like a snowflake, no jerks, no sudden slippage, just a glide down to the ground. I liked what the Belay Device allows you to do. I can see using a bloody glove, too, as does the very light and lithe JustMadeInTheShade. (That recent Mister E shot of her at Sespe comes immediately to mind).

We packed up and began the drive out around one o'clock. Straightaway we met two quads driven by locals, including two grand-kids, one of whom got out to show up as a climber. What a brilliant little child and can you imagine how lucky he is to get to live in that paradise in the sky?

Tad and Maureen, thanks for the hospitality, and hope to have you visit here soon for a trip to the Ditch. And bring Mitch.

These pix are in reverse, just to be perverse.--Helter and Skelter.

The NEVERMORE Tad didn't see over his shoulder but Mouse thought was a...
The NEVERMORE Tad didn't see over his shoulder but Mouse thought was an eagle until shown otherwise by PROFESSIONAL BIRDERS! Cheez!
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced

Cannabis Crag in the center.
Cannabis Crag in the center.
Credit: mouse from merced
A match for Camila?
A match for Camila?
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced

Is top-roping trad?  Who cares, let's just get it on!
Is top-roping trad? Who cares, let's just get it on!
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
This is the route, northside of the crag, no sun till midday.
This is the route, northside of the crag, no sun till midday.
Credit: mouse from merced

Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Looking serenely to the sun yet again.  Not a breath of wind.
Looking serenely to the sun yet again. Not a breath of wind.
Credit: mouse from merced
Solstice Tree.
Solstice Tree.
Credit: mouse from merced
Toiletry.
Toiletry.
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
The moon was a ghostly galleon, a-swim on a silver sea....The effects ...
The moon was a ghostly galleon, a-swim on a silver sea....The effects of the wind on Solstice Eve.
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Over the top.
Over the top.
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
Credit: mouse from merced
You called for a belayer?  My name is Tommy and I cannot be distracted...
You called for a belayer? My name is Tommy and I cannot be distracted while belaying. Trust me.
Credit: mouse from merced
Okay, on belay, Mouse.  Think you can hold me?
Okay, on belay, Mouse. Think you can hold me?
Credit: mouse from merced
A short approach, as advertised.  Can you say Shangri-La?
A short approach, as advertised. Can you say Shangri-La?
Credit: mouse from merced
This is just for show.  There's an ugly slash pile between me and thos...
This is just for show. There's an ugly slash pile between me and those lovely trees.
Credit: mouse from merced
Pigeon Cliffs at Susanville.
Pigeon Cliffs at Susanville.
Credit: mouse from merced
Your operator:  Safe, Courteous, Reliable.  Well, definitely SAFE!  Fo...
Your operator: Safe, Courteous, Reliable. Well, definitely SAFE! Following a Navigation and Safety Seminar of some length at a rest stop. A THREE-HOUR TOUR...the Behemoth was tossed...
Credit: mouse from merced
the Lassen volcanoes from close to Tad's pad.
the Lassen volcanoes from close to Tad's pad.
Credit: mouse from merced
Twilight on the road, nearing Red Bluffington.
Twilight on the road, nearing Red Bluffington.
Credit: mouse from merced

  Trip Report Views: 947
mouse from merced
About the Author
mouse from merced is a trad climber from merced, california.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Jun 27, 2013 - 12:32pm PT
You guys rock! Awesome TR!!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Jun 27, 2013 - 12:37pm PT
Credit: Ron Anderson


Dang NICE JOB fellas! Had i not been stuck with the boob above, i would have been there. Silly boob anyhow...


Rain check is in order.


Regretfully, the silly boob..
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Jun 27, 2013 - 01:37pm PT
Thanks for the post Mouse. Looks like nice little crag, at least to have in your back yard.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
  Jun 27, 2013 - 02:12pm PT
exceptionally nice report and activity!

That is a raven not an eagle
Timid TopRope

Social climber
the land of Pale Ale
  Jun 27, 2013 - 10:01pm PT
Nice tr but Ron's turned it in to a boob thread.

I saw that spade tail in the first photo and thought......nevermore
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Jun 27, 2013 - 02:49pm PT
Glad to see that you gents had fun & thanks for sharing.

(Ron! Thank you NOT! for sharing that boob shot. Did you put it in a wringer?)
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Jun 27, 2013 - 02:51pm PT
Fun trip report, Mouse. Thanks much.

John
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Jun 27, 2013 - 02:58pm PT
wellllllll,, i realize i was dangerously close to certain cyber demise in posting the BOOB shot, although i thought the colours would sufficiently distract from the nip..


Fritz,, just a broken rib and torn pectoral tendon. I had always heard the expression,, "t*t in a wringer" sos i just HAD to see if that actually was factually. it IS!;-)


oh,, and a BBST!!;-) Mouse and Tad went up the hill for reasons we wonder why.

They braved the cold the altitude and even hills so dry.


They climbed upon the stone - even cold as a bone

Nothing could stop these guys from the line

No matter the bowls, ciggys or wine

Trad daddys they are and climbers they be

but they done gotter done without the likes of me

Sad i missed this prestigious event

Setting in the shop wanting to vent

Ill make it up for sure one day

To Tad and Mouse, and rocky ol ways..

T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Jun 27, 2013 - 08:16pm PT
Nice trip report and pics Mouse!

Only a couple of corrections from my end,
The first link posted was not the Toms Thumb climb I did with Mitch
(which I led) that TR is here:
http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Toms-Thumb-10-19-2012-My-first-lead-after-a-30-year-climbing-hiatus-Many-pics/t11722n.html

And the route we did was Thumbelina, not Flashback on the Mtn.Project
link you shared.

The rest of yer story is spot on.

It was great fun trippin, climbin and just hangin with The Mouse!!!
The moonshine on the face of the rock that night was mystical, enhanced of course by booze and bowls.

Sorry Ron and DMT couldn't join us, we'll get you guys up there
eventually.

Thanks for your friendship, photos and belays Mouse,
Tad
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Jun 27, 2013 - 09:50pm PT
hey there say, mouse! and tad! oh this is sooooo very special!!!

you have conquered great strides across the ol' lands, here, since
your dad died...

you and tad, surely have an extra special bond, now, as to this
new part of life--with your beloved father-mentors, not by your home-life-side, anymore...


not all the pics have shown yet... will wait for them...

say, golf-ball moon and sunset... good 'memory' markers, i must say...




happy happy, so happy to see this trip!
also--sure love that one really happy smile, in that one pic, as you are moving up the rock...


god bless with more great adventures, yep, sorry ron could not
join you....

:)


not sure why, as, i did not see all the pics, but there seems to
be some story going on, that i missed, according to the comments...
:)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Author's Reply  Jun 28, 2013 - 12:09pm PT
I can't weasel out of a mis-identification of a raven for an eagle.

Thanks for the straight skinny on the routes, Tad. I'm looking to do more stuff with you maybe in the Valley, but hope it's someplace with a short approach again!

Ron, thanks for even considering climbing with me. You, and good old Cosmic, too.

neebee, thanks for noticing my big smile. I believe that is the happiest I recall looking in I don't know how long.

Edit: Ron,I'm the one guy who "liked" this on Facebook. I'm such a "classy gent!" HA!

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Jun 28, 2013 - 11:44am PT
Mouse it is i who thanks YOU and TAd for YOUR consideration- Classy gents to the core. Thanks for this marvelous trip report man!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jun 30, 2013 - 02:36pm PT
Good climbing with a life long friend, it doesn't get any better!!!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Jul 8, 2013 - 10:14am PT
Mouse climbing bump.
2 thumbs up!
The Mouse approves with a thumb up if he could.
The Mouse approves with a thumb up if he could.
Credit: Mouse from Merced
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