East Buttress 5.10b

  • Currently 3.0/5

El Capitan

Yosemite Valley, California USA

Trip Report
The East Buttress of El Cap with the little ones
Tuesday October 22, 2013 10:09am
The little ones having a blast in the Valley:



Credit: Jim Herson

  Trip Report Views: 7,098
Jim Herson
About the Author
Jim Herson is a climber from Emerald Hills, CA.

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  Oct 22, 2013 - 10:15am PT
Two Cool!
Johnny K.

  Oct 22, 2013 - 10:21am PT
Never have two climbers had so much fun on a climb where the climbing was so completely incidental to the fun! Listening to those two little munchkins, and their astonishing yap-a-thon, was hilarious. (Says the guy who gets agitated having his mountain solitude disturbed by anything more than the bare essential of belay grunts.) You just can't find better big wall partners than this

Jim,your TR's are the best. Just pure awesome fun,sucks about the pack again, nonetheless awesome fun. One day those munchkins will be taking you up all the amazing classic routes =D

Mountain climber
The Ocean
  Oct 22, 2013 - 10:53am PT
Why do I come away from Herson's TRs feeling completely inferior and daydreaming about moving somewhere warm and flat playing kanasta and shuffleboard?

Not really.. well maybe a little bit.. but mostly I am just wonderstruck and happily in awe.

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Oct 22, 2013 - 11:02am PT
Inspiring with a capital 'I'!!!!


Trad climber
Hustle City
  Oct 22, 2013 - 11:17am PT

Social climber
Lida Junction
  Oct 22, 2013 - 11:23am PT
Why do I come away from Herson's TRs feeling completely inferior


Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Oct 22, 2013 - 11:52am PT
I think of your trip reports every time I ask a parent to do something and they say something like "I have kids now so I don't do that anymore, you just don't understand."


I hope my little 4 month old learns to love the mountains like your fam.

Thanks for another great TR!

  Oct 22, 2013 - 11:55am PT
Is she wearing 80's Sportiva Megas?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Oct 22, 2013 - 12:29pm PT
very cool,
and an adventure on a whole different level

Mountain climber
  Oct 22, 2013 - 12:39pm PT
This is so inspiring, I cannot wait till my daughter is older.
David Plotnikoff

Mountain climber
Emerald Hills, CA
  Oct 22, 2013 - 12:40pm PT
Is she wearing 80's Sportiva Megas?


  Oct 22, 2013 - 12:45pm PT
Holy sh!t !!!!

Those kids did all that!!

Mind blower!!

Those kids are bad to the bone, badass .....

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
  Oct 22, 2013 - 01:37pm PT

As always, Jim delivers! TFPU!

Trad climber
Washington DC
  Oct 22, 2013 - 01:43pm PT
Check the guys on the little girl!

Trad climber
The Range of Light
  Oct 22, 2013 - 01:44pm PT

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
  Oct 22, 2013 - 02:16pm PT

  Oct 22, 2013 - 02:44pm PT
Sweet trip report! I cant wait to start doing this type of thing with my boy. Got a while to wait......he's only 3 months right now.

Trad climber
  Oct 22, 2013 - 02:48pm PT
Will you adopt me?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Oct 22, 2013 - 02:53pm PT
Ribbet!! :-)

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Oct 22, 2013 - 02:54pm PT
Dude, while yer writing is exemplary I must admonish you on yer child-rearing.
These kids clearly have no concept that what they're doing is sposed to
be hard work and taken seriously! ;-)

Trad climber
Erik O. Auburn, CA
  Oct 22, 2013 - 02:55pm PT
Wow! Not sure what to think other than that....

Keep having fun and be safe out there....

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Oct 22, 2013 - 03:19pm PT
Jim, your TR's are a wonderful asset to this site. Thank you so much for extending my concept of the possible so completely.


Trad climber
San Diego, CA
  Oct 22, 2013 - 03:22pm PT
So cool! They are firing!

Hobart, Australia
  Oct 22, 2013 - 03:28pm PT
Good stuff, thanks! So you were leading all those with the pack, I gather. What a blast for those kids! Cheers

Trad climber
Fresno, Ca
  Oct 22, 2013 - 03:32pm PT
Mind if I farm out one of my seven for a babysitting trip promise they don't talk much...TFPU, it was a great read. Got my 11 year old son for his first multi-pitch climb this fall and can't wait to go again.

Social climber
CHC, en zed
  Oct 22, 2013 - 03:41pm PT
Stuff like this makes the Taco great.

Thanks so much for posting up. Loved it

Trad climber
Wolfeboro, NH
  Oct 22, 2013 - 04:16pm PT

I was pretty amazed when you posted the TR of climbing the RNWF of HD with your daughter!

Perhaps dropping your pack on the NEB was a blessing since that was a pretty late start, and wading/climbing thru those bushes at the top would suck in the dark. My favorite route however.

I took my son up a 12 pitch-5.10 route in the Wind Rivers when he was 13. Good character building exercise.

Your kids are pretty lucky to have you as a dad.
KP Ariza

  Oct 22, 2013 - 04:30pm PT
Awesome Jim...you're one hell of a pops!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Oct 22, 2013 - 06:41pm PT
Awesome! I was waiting for this one!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Oct 22, 2013 - 06:47pm PT
Way to go Daddy O!
Trusty Rusty

Tahoe Area
  Oct 22, 2013 - 06:52pm PT
So bitchen, thanks for this inspiring TR!

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Oct 22, 2013 - 06:57pm PT
Super nice!!!
i'm gumby dammit

Sport climber
da ow
  Oct 22, 2013 - 11:29pm PT
That's awesome.
i'm guessing this was sunday the 29th? We were there on the morning of the 30th and the first party mentioned seeing a guy take 2 kids up the day before.
Dick Erb

June Lake, CA
  Oct 22, 2013 - 08:06pm PT
Jim, your trip reports are the absolute best. I love to see the joy you get from both the climbing and the children.

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Oct 22, 2013 - 08:36pm PT
Very well done, Herson!

A tandem belay of the both simultaneously?

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
  Oct 22, 2013 - 09:35pm PT
What a great read! the smiles are worth gold but I guess it was a good idea you didn't include a voice dialogue with this.?

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
  Oct 22, 2013 - 10:05pm PT

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Oct 22, 2013 - 10:24pm PT
It is theorized that frogs place a pot of cold water and slowly heated to a boil will eventually meet an unpleasant end. You, gentle readers, are the frogs. I've been slowly, imperceptibly ratcheting it up on these pages until now a "I climbed the East Butt of El Cap with two 10 years olds" is met with an anesthetized collective shrug from my formally well adjusted readers. Nevertheless, being "belayed" by two distracted 10 year olds did grab my attention. And yet, it could not have been more fun. The kids rocked it!

A chatty nighttime descent of the East Ledges and we were back at the van and then home a good 6 hrs before the Monday morning school bell rang.

This is f-ing priceless. You made an indelible impression on this kids, and I guarantee you they will NEVER forget that.

Some fools would call you irresponsible for this travel. And the adventure given to the kids.

They will NEVER forget this, and for that I think you are awesome. It's not something any schmuck should try, or should be advertised as safe, but I've heard about you and more experienced climbers should get kids into this. WHEN THEY'RE READY!

These two did well. Especially the East Ledges, NIce!!!

These 2 kids are living on Cloud-9er, and I'm sure you are too, Jim.

Well done!!!

bay area
  Oct 22, 2013 - 10:33pm PT

So badass and inspiring!
Bob Harrington

Bishop, California
  Oct 22, 2013 - 10:44pm PT
That is excellent! High standard climbing by any measure. Loved your Crest Jewel report too.
i'm gumby dammit

Sport climber
da ow
  Oct 22, 2013 - 11:37pm PT
If it was the 29th, this is likely a picture of you. Taken from the top of the manure pile
east ledges descent form top of nutcracker
east ledges descent form top of nutcracker
Credit: i'm gumby dammit

  Oct 23, 2013 - 01:02am PT
Jim Herson is my hero
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
  Oct 24, 2013 - 03:40am PT
Blows me away

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Oct 24, 2013 - 11:52am PT
Full of wonder as usual. TFPU!

  Oct 25, 2013 - 11:10am PT
Wow....awesome and inspiring story(s) with your lil pups. Thanks for sharing! Wait, awesome and inspiring were words which were already used. Hmm, we'll - it fits. Anything worth saying once is worth saying again I suppose:-)

The best part about going to a climbing gym anywhere these days seems to the lil ones who are always so stoked, upbeat and happy (and usually climbing so darned good too). Nice to see some of them getting out.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Oct 25, 2013 - 11:40am PT
Got me where I live.

"Serenity, now!"--Mr. Costanza

And don't bother saving anything for later--they'll have done 'em all by the time they're out of HS!
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
  Oct 29, 2013 - 10:15am PT
Leave no classic route in Yosemite unclimbed!

Mountain climber
  Oct 29, 2013 - 12:30pm PT
Wow, for a second there, I thought this was a TR about 2 10 year olds who climbed more cool stuff in Yosemite than I ever did in my life. I almost sold all of my gear on ebay!

Oh, wait. It IS about 2 10 year olds! I am so selling my kit...

Seriously, what an amazing TR! Are you looking to adopt? I can cook...

  Oct 29, 2013 - 12:31pm PT


Just livin' the dream
  Oct 29, 2013 - 12:53pm PT
Totally cool TR!
What an awesome dad you are!

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
  Oct 29, 2013 - 12:57pm PT
Pretty soon they will be your rope gun!!
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
  Oct 29, 2013 - 01:18pm PT
So great to see your kids out there enjoying the mountains, as opposed the many stuck at home in front of a computer playing games. Great work dad!!! Of course the climging at that age is mind-blowing, looks like nothing but some good family fun for you all in the years ahead.

Trad climber
Visalia, CA
  Oct 30, 2013 - 01:05am PT
This is amazing! Thanks for inspiring all the dads out here :)

  Oct 30, 2013 - 11:22am PT
"It is feircely debated among linguists who need to get out more, as to whether the Yupik Eskimos or the Sami Scandinavians have more words to describe snow. Either way, it points to the utter inadequacy of verbal communication. For nothing matches the expansive descriptive powers of non-verbal communication among the oldest of married couples."


Boulder climber
N. Cali under the bridge
  Nov 6, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
So awesome!

  Nov 11, 2013 - 07:26pm PT

(As a reminder = BBST = donini for Bump for a Better SuperTopo)
David Plotnikoff

Mountain climber
Emerald Hills, CA
  Nov 18, 2013 - 04:00am PT
I smile every time I look at these trip reports with the amazing kids. They apparently don't know (or don't care) that they're supposed to be doing (ahem) *serious* climbing. Their smiles -- climbing for the pure joy of it -- say it all.

Way to go, SuperJim.


Social climber
Lida Junction
  Mar 13, 2014 - 06:49pm PT

Social climber
An Oil Field
  Mar 13, 2014 - 10:33pm PT
I don't know any ten year olds with this kind of experience. You are a pretty cool dad.
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