Trip Report
The Very Big and The Very Small: A Humble 2012 Year in Review Trip Report
Thursday January 10, 2013 8:44pm
I am a blessed man. I am not a great climber by any means, but man I love it. I love the mountains. I love the smell of granite. I love zipping up my puffy, cinching down my harness laden with rack and Nalgene on a cold backcountry morning and stuffing my chilly hands into the first moves of a long route. I love bouldering. I like thinking about and talking about and dreaming about climbing and I especially dig meeting and fostering friendship borne out of shared love for the alpine lifestyle.

So here's my 2012 weekend warrior trip report synopsis. From ten foot boulders, to alpine extravaganzas, from 30 foot gym routes to bigtime Big Wall bail action. It shows a bit of where we've been, what we've climbed and what I got out of it all. I often envy the lifestyle of the "real" climber and wish I could get out more than a weekend here or there. But when I look back and add it all up, it kinda startles me how much fun and adventure we manage to cram into one year. Especially considering I'm a devoted husband and dad who has a full time job running a busy company. Behind all these trips is a supportive and caring wife who lets me feed my soul with all this nonsense and a savagely motivated climbing partner who's always stoked and ready to fan the flame. Thank you Kristie. Thank You Adam.

Ok, so here we go.....this is what a file containing the "Best of 2012" looks like.
Credit: micronut

WINTER 2012 DAY ONE
January One. Startin' out right. Top of Half Dome after a chilly New Years ascent of Snake Dike. The whole backcountry to ourselves. A one day frost fest. A real gift.
Credit: micronut

Credit: micronut

Credit: micronut

Credit: micronut

Credit: micronut

Credit: micronut

Credit: micronut

Credit: micronut

Credit: micronut
Frozen waterfalls, winter backcountry silence, bluebird skies, leg cramps, dehydration, loco runouts and a day in the sky with a great partner on an iconic route. 2012 is gonna be a great year.


Here's the day in detail.
http://www.supertopo.com/tr/The-Gift-New-Years-Eve-and-A-Long-Day-on-Half-Dome/t11321n.html

MID WINTER:
Nice days climbing above the Fresno fog up at Tollhouse Rock and Squarenail. The rock sits just below snow line, so winter days can be moody and chilly, or bluebell and tshirts. Some of the best routes there are the iconic Tollhouse Traverse 5.5, Elephant Walk 5.7, Nuts and Bolts (An old Mark Haymond route) and Falling Star, a handsomely runout 5.8 on golden sierra granite. All of these routes are 4-5 pitches of great stone and position above the sleepy town of Tollhouse. We often wear Mullets when we climb at Tollhouse. I have no idea why.
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut

Credit: micronut

2012 is gonna be the year of the Bigwall for us. We are committed to climbing El Capitan before we both get out of our fortieth year, so preparations and committments are made. We start reading and practicing and gettin' our bigwall on in the gym. Early mornings at Metalkmark. Belay clusters and hauling snafus evolve to become streamlined systems of absolute perfection and big stone efficiency.
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
We train like madmen. We hone our bodies into bronzen figures as if shaped by the gods. Here's macronut running laps on a .10d with a 25lb lead vest.
Credit: micronut
Lowerouts, penjis, backcleaning, shortfixing, longfixing, topsteppin', beakin' rurpin'....childsplay. We are basically wall veterans by the time springtime and our date with Washington Column comes around.




SPRING
The South Face of The Column won't know what hit it. We'll probably send it in a day.
Here we are above the Kor roof on day two. Thanks Paul Souza for hiking up and getting some rad shots of us sending the gnar.
Credit: Paul Souza

Here's Adam shredding the Kor Roof in style. And various other shots.
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut



Um....yeah....and here we are bailing on day three.

Credit: micronut
Its a long story. You can read about it here in this TR if you want.
http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Mark-Hudon-is-a-Liar-A-South-Face-of-The-Column-Trip-Report/t11551n.htmlBut all was going well until I DROPPED, yes, dropped, my aiders and jugs while rearranging things all nice and tidy at a hanging belay up in the alcove. What a pure, unadulterated drag. Such a failure. But we learned a lot and had a fun few days goin' big up on the steep steep stone.

Credit: Paul Souza
Credit: micronut

There's even success in the failure sometimes
Sittin at the pizza deck with a hot slice in your belly, a cold root beer in yer hand and a bail on your mind is still better than a stick in the eye.
Credit: micronut


Summertime hits Fresno hard, so we head to the hills for a father and son's church campout up at Wishon Reservoir. WHile there, we spy an amazing little line that looks untrodden by the sheer moss and lichen of it. We revel in our first first ascent. Its a proud day. But when I get on Supertopo to spray about or sick FA, we find out it's been climbed by Scott Loomis and others...in lycra in the 80s most likely. The pain, ridicule and humility of it stings worse than the bail on The Column. We are still not first ascentionists. But it was fun that day thinking we were. It was rad heading out on new terrain, not knowing with guidebook asurity that there was a route there for sure. For a couple hours we were pioneers and heores in our own minds.
Credit: micronut

Next time I'll keep my mouth shut and brag about it only to non climbers.
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut

HIGH SUMMER: Family Mountainfest 2012
My wife is a non climber. Yes, its true. She has a bona fide fear of heights and has the finger strength of a six month old. But she loves the hills and has always wanted to climb Mt. Whitney. I've always steered clear of the ol 14494 due to crowds, permits and packed trails. But Kristie loved the idea of a family assault so to the Eastside we went.

We scored a permit first day there and took four fun days to cruise it in style.
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Day one. Destination Lone Pine Lake. Heaven if you are six years old.
Credit: micronut
Open startlight bivy and morning coffee in the alpine with your boys. Heaven if you're a dad.
Credit: micronut
Bek(6) "Dad....when I'm old and carry a big pack like you, can we bring Legos back up here....that would be awesome....to have Legos up here by our camp fire."

Day Two: Outpost Camp. Yeah, we're averaging about 2.5 miles a day. So what? Hangin' out in God's country is the whole point isn't it?
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Rad waterfall just above Outpost Camp.
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Proud of my old lady and two daughters who went to high camp by themselves and then to the summit and back the next day.
Sierra (13) "Don't worry Dad, I'll keep an eye on mom and make sure she stays hydrated and full of snacks. That's what she always tells you to do when you take me climbing."
Credit: micronut
Summit Glory.

Me and the boys headed down and played in The Alabama Hills a bit before picking up the girls on the last day.

Gabriel (10) "Dad, I'm glad we came down and did some real rock climbing. Mt. Whitney is just a walk up anyway."
Credit: micronut


Fall 2012
We have been scratchin an itch for a couple years now. Its a deep, hard to reach, itchiness somewhere way down inside both of us. No, its not exczema, poison oak or ghonnorea. Its called The Matthes Crest and it's shut us down twice. This year is different though.

After a day of chillin in The Meadows and gettin' our vibe all straightened out by the cool waters of the river, we are ready to send.
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Game On!!

Matthes Falls like a house of cards.
Summy Summy Summy!!!
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
You can read more about it here.
http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Matthes-Crest-in-Technicolor-A-Trip-Report-Brought-To-You-By-Instagram/t11650n.html

What a fantastic place. Splendid. Truly a one of a kind route. Bullet stone. Liver turning exposure. The unknown is just around every corner. Spicy but not too spicy. Like a good enchilada. Just keeps you wanting more.
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
We finished our plates and left the summit with full bellies.

Credit: micronut
We'll be pickin' pieces of that trip out of our teeth for quite a while.

Late Fall:

Still high on the success of our Tuolumne mission, I call an old buddy from high school who used to spend a lot of time in the hills but has now grown all citified and is now a venture capitalist in Pasadena. I tell him we're only gettin' older and that he needs to get up to Fresno asap and that we need to go climb something or risk dying the sedentary old death of men who's dreams have become dull visions of yesteryear.

He calls me back and we are soon northbound. Headed back to Tuolumne. We crash at Ron's magic camp by the river and are gettin' our chi back in no time.
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut

Jason does great and gets back on the pony like a champ. He's stayed fit enough over the years to enjoy the day and he keeps shaking his head at each belay....."man...its been too long...I'll never stay away this long again. Thank for the call Jett...man I needed this..."
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
I know, its only 5.5....not really worthy to many climbers and it gets soloed daily, but a summits a summit. And they don't get much better than when you've not tied into a rope for nearly ten years. It was an epic free day on a great alpine face with one of my best childhood friends.
A good day out for sure. And man....how good does it feel to soak your feet in Tenaya Lake after that descent. Blissful is the only word that comes to mind right now.
Credit: micronut

So with the first snows looming and the kids heading back to school, one might think the climbing season of an old weekender would be just about over. Well, my kids are homeschooled and California's in a drought, so the show must go on. SO I rally Jason (the Tenaya Peak buddy) and Kal (my once alpine hero and hardman gone soft and civilianized and boring.....fallen prey to a somewhat sedentary lifestyle of wine tasting and insurance sales). We grew up backpacking together and it was in the cards to get back together and climb a peak. We had always had our eyes on Mt. Hooper, a pretty and seldom climbed summit East of the Florence Lake drainage. Three days of humping big packs, nice meals, fine trout and happy hour nightly.
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut

So that's it pretty much. Not bad when I look back on it. Our first Big Wall attempt. Our first FA....kind of. A vendetta on Matthes realized and put to bed. Some fun cragging, some alpine action with my children, a summit for my wife and rekindling the mountain stoke with two old friends.

So yeah, I've got a mortgage, a lawn that needs to be mowed and a business that keeps me working after hours when I'd often be climbing, but hey, it suits me fine. I don't think I'm full on dirt bag material anyway. I like coming home to the wife and kids and bragging about my hardcore adventures. They always seem impressed and they don't really know 5.8 isn't the top of the grade scale. They love the fact that Dad's training for El Cap this Spring and they ask me every few days what it's gonna be like. With fans like that who needs 5.12.

Well, 2013 is upon us, and look what just showed up in the mail from Mark Hudon.
Credit: micronut

An hour later this text comes in from Hood River.
Credit: micronut

Yeah, 2013 is gonna rock. What are your plans? See you out there. Be bold, be safe, and may your days on the stone be many this year.

Micronut, out.



Oh yeah, here's a sneak peak at my winter project for this month......I found this thing across three closed gates on a lead by my little brother who is a hunter and a motocross racer. Its big. And 20 minutes from my mom's house. We hiked out there with the kids on Christmas Day. ANd yeah...it goes. Cool eh?
Full TR to come soon.
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut











  Trip Report Views: 1,803
micronut
About the Author
micronut is a trad climber from fresno, ca.

Comments
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Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
  Jan 10, 2013 - 09:08pm PT
im really hoping this
year that a spanish lady
comes to me and lays
upon me this rose.
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Jan 11, 2013 - 01:05pm PT
Great stuff, you're a blessed dude!

Yeah, 2013 is gonna rock. What are your plans? See you out there. Be bold, be safe, and may your days on the stone be many this year.
This year I hope to not suck so bad at crack climbing, climb a new line in Kings Canyon, be a dad for my first time, and finish my masters. Should be a good one!

Edit: Also, boulder with micronut at his secret spot
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jan 10, 2013 - 09:09pm PT
Nice summation of a fun filled year on the rocks. You're a lucky dude, stable life with a great family and a fine partner to help you fulfill your climbing dreams. You have an obvious love and enthusiasim for climbing.
Ah....but all is not golden, you do live in Fresno.
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
  Jan 10, 2013 - 09:23pm PT
Nice year Micro . . . you should really get in some preparatory walls before you attempt El Cap. Think Prow, WFLT, RNWF. You really need a focused list of routes that must be climbed before the Big Bang. You need some more steep technical mileage under your belt.

Good on you for sharing the mountains with your family.

Look me up for some Black Canyon adventure if you find yourself in SW CO.

Kudos to your 2013.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
  Jan 10, 2013 - 10:34pm PT
Gold, as always.
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
  Jan 10, 2013 - 10:48pm PT
Nice 2012 TR. Here's to more fine adventures in 2013 Dr J!
lars johansen

Trad climber
West Marin, CA
  Jan 10, 2013 - 10:54pm PT
Funloads, have a great 2013.

lars
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jan 10, 2013 - 10:55pm PT
Thanks for all your contributions,

Looks like a great year with a great family!!!

martygarrison

Trad climber
Washington DC
  Jan 10, 2013 - 11:02pm PT
Really nice
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Jan 10, 2013 - 11:05pm PT
Sweet 2012 in review,
look forward to your 2013 TR's
Thanks for taking us along,
Tad
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  Jan 11, 2013 - 01:21am PT
Nice.
There are some really great photos in there.
I especially like the one of your boys by the lake.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Jan 11, 2013 - 01:27am PT
Got me jealous of all of those classic routes.

TMJesse

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
  Jan 11, 2013 - 02:13am PT
Livin the life! Great TR and summation of the year. Makes me homesick for Fresno (if that is even possible) and how living there can be a huge asset for easy and real access to Yosemite and the best of the Sierra. Great job!
harryhotdog

Social climber
north vancouver, B.C.
  Jan 11, 2013 - 02:27am PT

Fantastic trip report, what a great year. California has way too much quality rock for it's own good with the weather to go with it.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
  Jan 11, 2013 - 03:18am PT
+1 for a bitchin' TR!
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Jan 11, 2013 - 04:16am PT
Dude! Thanks so much! Amazing TR, pretty all time actually. That boulder you found is so cool! Can't wait for more, please report back when there's some chalk on that rig!
sullly

Gym climber
  Jan 11, 2013 - 08:05am PT
Muy bien.
Reeotch

climber
4 Corners Area
  Jan 11, 2013 - 08:21am PT
Very nice. Thanks for that!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Jan 11, 2013 - 09:15am PT
Mullets and octane and manzanita. Great movie.

http://ownamulletfresno.com
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Jan 11, 2013 - 11:55am PT
So cool, Micro!! Loved the family shots the most - you and your crew are an inspiration. Bringing the family into the mountains is the worthiest of pursuits!

Nice year Micro . . . you should really get in some preparatory walls before you attempt El Cap.

If I'm reading that text right, sounds like Micro has got an ace in the pocket on this go... You men are going to have a blast.
briham89

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
  Jan 11, 2013 - 12:08pm PT
Sweet, looking forward to 2013 reports! Just keeping going up on the captain!
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Jan 11, 2013 - 12:26pm PT
Hey, thanks so much for putting this together! This was a wonderful retrospective and took some real time. I loved your reference to your personal fan club....I bet they really do love hearing about your adventures...and mighty adventures they are. The pics were really good..Good on you! Really, a life well lived ... Enjoying each moment of the journey and the destination will tak care of itself!

Susan

this just in

climber
north fork
  Jan 11, 2013 - 12:47pm PT
Good work micro. Hope you get more climbing in this year, if you can get up to tollhouse after 10:00 am, let's do some climbing.
moosedrool

climber
lost, far away from Poland
  Jan 11, 2013 - 01:34pm PT
Micro, great year and great TR; may your 2013 be as good or better!

You lot your jugs but not your balls!

PS. You know that aid is cheating, right ;)

Edit: I meant NUTS, of course.

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Jan 11, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
with a year like that,, perhaps MAGNUMNUT would be more appropriate.. Nice goin doooood!
J. Werlin

Social climber
Cedaredge, CO
  Jan 11, 2013 - 03:53pm PT
You da man Micro! (Take a few more days off for 2013 buddy--the world will survive with a few less teeth.)
T H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
  Jan 11, 2013 - 04:37pm PT
that alien face boulder (* _ *)
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Big Horns
  Jan 11, 2013 - 04:49pm PT
Strong work! Looks like a great year.
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
  Jan 11, 2013 - 05:42pm PT
Micro,

thanks for the example of a life well lived. Good luck on El Cap.
robfritz

Trad climber
Pollock Pines, CA
  Jan 17, 2013 - 11:55pm PT
awesome!
tahoe523

Trad climber
Station Wagon, USA
  Jan 18, 2013 - 12:11am PT
Thanks for sharing. That Whitney trip with the entire family is definitely a memory to cherish.
jstn

Trad climber
monrovia, ca
  Jan 18, 2013 - 12:20am PT
Cool, man. Fun post!
jfailing

Trad climber
PDX, North Slope, The Open Road
  Jan 18, 2013 - 04:24pm PT
Dude, I hope I run into you climbing some day. Just to meet you. Because you're awesome.
Gal

Trad climber
going big air to fakie
  Jan 18, 2013 - 05:12pm PT
Great year in review-looks like you had an awesome year! Thanks for the pics... fun-makes me want to go climb right now :-)
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Jan 18, 2013 - 07:28pm PT
Way to get on it, mate - make the most of everything you have!

You are truly blessed.

In Him,
PTL and PTP Pete
thekidcormier

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
  Jan 18, 2013 - 08:53pm PT
Excellent year micro.

your passion for adventure and you sence of humour definatley shines through in your photos and trip reports. keep it up.

and remember if ya cant be safe at least be careful.

TKC
JSpencerV

Trad climber
Santa Monica, CA
  Jan 20, 2013 - 02:50am PT
Hell yeah man! Keep after it. Inspiring.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Jan 20, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
A Graneticly Gneiss gathering of fine adventures!

Keep having that climbing fun and keep kicking out your fine

Trip Reports!
Leggs

Sport climber
Made in California
  Jan 20, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
THIS is fantastic! Great year in review with words, humor, and awesome photos.
Thanks for sharing.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
  Jan 21, 2013 - 07:57pm PT
Awesome stuff! Thanks for the TR.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
  Jan 22, 2013 - 09:34am PT
Bump for cone heads.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
  Jan 22, 2013 - 10:52am PT
What a year! I've always enjoyed spending some of it with your TRs!
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