Trip Report
The Last Trip Report
Thursday September 1, 2011 6:06pm
Word count: 2,137. A good ratio of insightful to witty sentences, a dash of perversion and a cart load of humility. Two and a half laps on the Rostrum and four hours in front of the computer produced, dare I say, my best TR yet. The old man agreed. A weak nod, a tiny smile and two words finally brought a daughter's unrelenting pursuit of seek her father's approval to an end.

I read the tale of my misadventures up the north face while he inspected my rack. Born before the Hiroshima Nagasaki bombings, my father climbed with self TIG welded pitons, skinned up mountains with real seal skins and used dinosaur teeth to self arrest.*

"I thought I'd see flying cars before I saw climbing gear like this," the man cried in wonderment, inspecting the black blue hybrid alien and #6 camalot.

He was a modest climber; with manic curiosity, he lived for topo-less ascents only to race down eager to discover a different way back up. Since mountaineering was in his blood, it didn't surprise him when I announced plans to establish residency in Station Wagon, USA to embark on my journey, the climber's rite of passage better known as TDR, The Dirtbagger's Roadtrip. I would occasionally phone home with granite, lime and sandstone stories. He would always express relief to hear that I was alive, but would question what exactly was I going to do with that ivy league diploma. Well, if I needed to build a fire for an unplanned bivy, I wouldn't think twice before using it as kindling. Such humor was lost on my father. With the older brother Lieutenant Commander'ing in the US Navy, my reign as black sheep continued.

The dark fur began to blanch when I started to chronicle my adventures with amusing 5th grade reading level TRs. I did, however, make the mistake of sending him direct links to the ones I posted here, which consequently required me to swear on his grave that I would:
a. never again let a complete stranger borrow my car
b. never again try to climb the nose the day before work
c. open up a Roth IRA account, and
d. dammit, stop eating abandoned Yosemite tourist food

He didn't want to know how aid climbing was like sex, nor (God, forbid) did I feel like elaborating. Mistakes were made. Laughter ensued. Lessons on mild censorship learned. Academic papers, report cards and promotion letters floated by his office desk. And yet, nothing brought him joy like reading and seeing pictures of his daughter on the historic routes he read about while growing up. It became my mission to share my mischief with him as he adventured vicariously; I was now climbing for two.

By and large, I kept the news of my father's terminal illness to myself. Physical pain tolerance was high; emotional pain tolerance was low. I found comfort in my ability to compartmentalize my feelings while climbing, utilizing the logical side of my brain while numbing the emotional side. I thought 2011 was going to turn out to be one of the darkest years of my life. Now I suppose it wasn't all bad. I managed to not get injured, arrested, fired or knocked up.** To be fair, this could turn out to be one of the good years. The coveted silver lining was, as grim as it sounds, my father falling ill. It invited the opportunity to spend weeks by his bedside and for me to discover that the way to his heart was through my story telling.

"Aren't you going to be sad that I won't be around to walk you down the aisle?"

"Aisle? Ha! Hmmm, no." I smiled.

"What about a wedding? You don't want a wedding from your mom and I?"

"If I can fool someone into sharing a marriage license with me, I can fool them into eloping, too. One day in a white dress or years in a white van? It's a kind of no brainer opportunity cost, dontcha think? Mom said I could use the bridal fund toward a Sprinter!"

Such pragmatism was lost on my father. Deep fatherly sighs as he beckoned for me to finish reading.

It took every ounce of strength I had to finish reading. This was the last trip report. He will never read about my first El Cap solo, the story behind my very own first ascent, see new summit photos and snowy panoramic views or hear about the countless successes and failures to come. My heart felt like a battered and hollow piņata.

2,137 words later, I cried while he nodded, smiled and whispered, "the best."

Kimitaka Jomoto
June 1940 - September 2011

*I might have made that last one up.
** I'll be sure to post an update if I end up pregnant and in prison with a broken foot over the holidays.

  Trip Report Views: 2,728
About the Author
Shino Jomoto wanted to remind you of the virtues of sharing stories with fellow comrades and loved ones. The art of story telling is not lost on those that want to share your imagination, struggle and passion for living.

scuffy b

heading slowly NNW
  Sep 1, 2011 - 06:14pm PT
I am sorry for your loss. Your writing is a treat. I guess i needed
to cry a little today. Thanks for the trigger.

East Bay, CA
  Sep 1, 2011 - 06:21pm PT
Wow, that was really great :-)

  Sep 1, 2011 - 06:29pm PT
Thank you for opening your heart.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Sep 1, 2011 - 06:34pm PT
Tahoe, you have a beautiful gift in your writing.

Cancer took my father when I was 7 years old, he was a 35-year old vegetarian, in love with the out doors.

It took me 10 years to understand and fully heal from it (with your sense of humor, I'm sure you'll be much faster then me, not that it's a competition).

My sincere condolences, and best wishes.

Trad climber
santa fe
  Sep 1, 2011 - 06:40pm PT
RIP Mr. Jomoto, your daughter's tribute is beautiful.

Trad climber
Being held captive behind the Orange Curtain
  Sep 1, 2011 - 06:57pm PT
Your father was right. This is your best.
I'm sorry for your loss. Cherish the time you has is the everlasting gift.
Through tears,

Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
  Sep 1, 2011 - 06:57pm PT
May you always have those great memories of your dad.
You have my deepest sympathies. And thanks for sharing that.

Las Vegas, NV
  Sep 1, 2011 - 07:10pm PT
Absolutely first rate! thanks . . .

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
  Sep 1, 2011 - 07:13pm PT
Oh. Crushing and beautiful all at once.

Condolences to you and your family.

Trad climber
  Sep 1, 2011 - 07:15pm PT

Trad climber
going big air to fakie
  Sep 1, 2011 - 07:16pm PT
Shino, I'm so so sorry. I love your tribute, it is the best.
Captain...or Skully

Boise, ID
  Sep 1, 2011 - 07:22pm PT
Treasure. TPFU, eh?
Mitch Underhill

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
  Sep 1, 2011 - 07:40pm PT
That was beautiful. Thank you!

Mountain climber
  Sep 1, 2011 - 07:42pm PT
f*#king A, now I'm crying, that was some good reading...he would be proud..
mark miller

Social climber
  Sep 1, 2011 - 07:44pm PT
I'm glad your were able to share this with your father and us.

la la land
  Sep 1, 2011 - 07:46pm PT
How is aid climbing like sex? Maybe sex with lots of toys? Then again you are a female...

Hope you live your dreams!
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
  Sep 1, 2011 - 07:47pm PT
that was beyond beautiful, so sorry for your loss...

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  Sep 1, 2011 - 08:25pm PT

Thanks for another fine piece of writing as well.
David Wilson

  Sep 1, 2011 - 09:19pm PT
shino - that was very moving. i'm sure your dad will be sorely missed. best wishes, david

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
  Sep 1, 2011 - 09:09pm PT
Beatiful, and thanks for sharing!

I can relate all too well. My father was also a climber, and he indulged by climbing by enrolling me in and driving me to take courses from the Yosemite climbing school. After that he'd belay me until I'd found some climbing partners.

I lost him over 4 years ago to cancer. I know cancer is a horrible disease, but it is a hidden blessing knowing you will be loosing someone and having the time to tell them you love them, and to say goodbye.

Gym climber
  Sep 1, 2011 - 09:14pm PT
Shino, thanks for that, and condolences on your loss of a great father.


Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
  Sep 1, 2011 - 09:18pm PT
Straight to the heart-Beautiful.

jamais, jamais pays
  Sep 1, 2011 - 09:54pm PT
Your father must be so proud of you.


Trad climber
New England
  Sep 1, 2011 - 10:21pm PT
Well done, Shino. Very touching. So sorry for your loss...

Jay Wood

Trad climber
Land of God-less fools
  Sep 1, 2011 - 10:42pm PT
So sweet and sad.

The love for your Dad.

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Sep 1, 2011 - 11:48pm PT

Mountain climber
The Ocean
  Sep 1, 2011 - 11:49pm PT
Thank-you for making me proud to be a part of the human race. If it made me feel this way I can only imagine how your dad must have felt about you.

Peace unto you and your family.

Jay Hack

Trad climber
Detroit, Michigan
  Sep 1, 2011 - 11:50pm PT
This was such a beautiful and touching written tribute...I am sorry for your loss.

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Sep 1, 2011 - 11:55pm PT
Thank you for you beautiful writing, and sharing the loss of your father.

Best Wishes!

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
  Sep 2, 2011 - 12:06am PT
Shino, what a great read. Seemed like I was there. What a beautiful transition for you and your father.


Trad climber
San Jose, CA
  Sep 2, 2011 - 12:27am PT
Shino, you are an exceptional human being, thank you for sharing your grace with us. I hope i get to make your acquaintance.
Best to you, sorry for your loss,

Trad climber
Station Wagon, USA
Author's Reply  Sep 2, 2011 - 01:16am PT
Thank you so much for the kind words. My family appreciates your condolences.

Normally, I like to keep things sprightly and fun, but I cannot begin to tell you how therapeutic it was to just start typing away and for once, to not internalize the sorrow.

I look forward to the day when I am finally able to share with you that last trip report I read to my father. Until then, I am eager to read about the personal stories you are willing to share with me and the rest of this supportive community.

Kindest regards,
Shino Jomoto

  Sep 2, 2011 - 01:24am PT
About the Author
Shino Jomoto wanted to remind you of the virtues of sharing stories with fellow comrades and loved ones. The art of story telling is not lost on those that want to share your imagination, struggle and passion for living.

The best thing I've ever read on Supper Taco. Virtual campfires anyone?

Thanks for the TR
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Sep 2, 2011 - 01:51am PT
I had felt there was some kind of missing back story behind your climbs and TRs this spring/summer, and now I understand better.
Losing a parent has got to be rough, but you did get to spend that time with him and he got to experience (via your well crafted TRs) several of his old dream climbs.
I'm glad that telling this side of the story is helping ease the stress back towards normal.
My dad is a climber, too, and I was lucky to do some great climbs with him in my post-college days. He is still doing well at age 85. One of these days he won't be around anymore. I hope I will have made him proud, like you did with your dad.

Trad climber
Portland, OR
  Sep 2, 2011 - 02:12am PT

I'm so sorry for your loss. Writing is therapeutic, I remember writing for days after my dad passed...your story about telling stories to your dad is really wonderful.

Your writing reminded me of telling similar stories to my dad! He loved to hear my travel stories, but I also edited out the parts that would make him worried about me (like his response when I told him I went skydiving)...

When my dad was in the hospital for 9 months, I wrote a 10 page letter about my dad (how he inspired me, what I learned from him, etc.) and then much later, I got to read it to him before he died. It was really special when I read it out to him, I will never forget it.

Thanks for your beautiful writing, it's a gift!
Cain J Waters

Mountain climber
Ithaca, NY
  Sep 2, 2011 - 11:03am PT
Deepest condolences to you and your family. That was a moving tribute- one that many of us climbers can relate to.

I can understand not wanting to publish that last trip report. Wounds run deep and to reread those words would be undeniably difficult. We look forward to the day you are ready. If not, we will be in equal anticipation for your account of the next adventure. We pray that you will heal through the passage of time.

-Cain and Amanda

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Sep 2, 2011 - 11:13am PT
Sorry about your father, Shino.

Glad you got to spend time with him and share your stories.

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
  Sep 2, 2011 - 11:23am PT

As with all hurt, it takes time to heal, and it takes time to mourn.

My father passed away on March 11, 2007. I recall that April going for a hike in the mountains. It was a glorious day, the sun was beaming down, the mountains were blanketed in snow. I found a nice spot on the side of the hill, plopped down and looked all around at the mountains and the water.

Tears rolled down my cheeks as I thought about how my father had instilled a love for these places in me. After absorbing the scene and the sun, I was overcome by a sense of peace. I knew everything would be ok, and that life too has seasons, and all of our generations are apart of those seasons.

Your peace will come in its own time.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
  Sep 2, 2011 - 11:35am PT
Thank You.

Trad climber
Upland, CA
  Sep 2, 2011 - 02:03pm PT
What amazing strength you have within you, to enable you to post this when your grief is so raw. What a beautiful tribute to your father - it brought me to tears. I am so sorry for your and your family's loss.

It is so generous of you to share this story with us.