Trip Report
Toms Thumb 10/19/2012, My first lead after a 30 year climbing hiatus . Many pics.
Saturday October 20, 2012 6:31pm
Well being relatively new here and just in the past month started climbing again
after a 30 year hiatus, I thought I would post my first trip report and share it with those of you that have encouraged me to start climbing again and the rest of the Taco community.

This may set a ST record for the shortest climb given a trip report but it was
monumental for me and my family so here goes.

Backstory:
35 years ago while attending Lassen C.C. in Susanville, Ca., Joe Fitschen pointed me in the direction of a granite crag on a ridge to the south of Thompson Peak. Joe had not climbed there or even been there but told me he had seen it from the Janesville Grade Road and that I might want to check the place out for climbing possibilities. A couple buddies that wanted to start climbing and I went and checked the place out. We found a gem of a crag, like
a mini Lovers leap with dike systems and good granite. Better yet, it looked
virgin and previously un-climbed. My buddies bought rock shoes and one purchased another rope to supplement my rope and gear. Over the period of 2 years 77/78 I/we put up many routes, Some I could lead with my trad rack (5.6-5.8's) and others we top roped (5.9-5.10's) because I didn't have a bolt kit or the time to develope them. We called the place Cannabis Crags back in the day, Ho man it was the 70's right, today it's known as Toms Thumb. I/we left the area when college there was done in the summer of 78. My active climbing years ran between 72 and 82 so I hadn't climbed in 30 years,
yesterday the hiatus came to an end.

Some old pics of the place from BITD
west face Toms Thumb
west face Toms Thumb
Credit: T Hocking
Me on west face
Me on west face
Credit: T Hocking
Leading FA "Skateing Away" 5.8 &#40;1977&#41; <br/>
Toms Thumb aka Cannabis Crag <br/>
Leading FA "Skateing Away" 5.8 (1977)
Toms Thumb aka Cannabis Crag

Credit: T Hocking
Leading FA "Skateing Away" 5.8 &#40;1977&#41; <br/>
Toms Thumb aka Cannabis Crag <br/>
Leading FA "Skateing Away" 5.8 (1977)
Toms Thumb aka Cannabis Crag

Credit: T Hocking

So yesterday I returned to the place with my Wife, Daughter and her significant other Mitch who had expressed an interest in learning to climb and recently bought shoes, harness and belay device.
After making the 2.5 hour drive from Redding, Mitch and I took a walk around the
place as I shared stories and routes from BITD and decided to do one of the easier lines a 5.6 that I felt I could still lead and be a good one for Mitch's
first climb. The place has seen alot of development since I was there 35 years ago with many routes now bolted and chained belay/rap stations. I will let the many photos (thanks to my wonderful Wife and Daughter) and captions tell the rest of the story.

Toms Thumb, Thumbelina 5.6 10/19/2012

Tad and Mitch at Toms Thumb <br/>
10/19/12
Tad and Mitch at Toms Thumb
10/19/12
Credit: T Hocking
Teaching Mitch belay device basics
Teaching Mitch belay device basics
Credit: T Hocking
Starting my first lead at Toms Thumb in 35 years
Starting my first lead at Toms Thumb in 35 years
Credit: T Hocking
Love the natural pro
Love the natural pro
Credit: T Hocking
placing a hex, old school style.
placing a hex, old school style.
Credit: T Hocking
Goin up
Goin up
Credit: T Hocking
Clipped a bolt that wasn't there when I did the FA.
Clipped a bolt that wasn't there when I did the FA.
Credit: T Hocking
Cruzin it!
Cruzin it!
Credit: T Hocking
Checkin out the next moves.
Checkin out the next moves.
Credit: T Hocking
Thumbelina Route 5.6
Thumbelina Route 5.6
Credit: T Hocking
Got a good stopper in below.
Got a good stopper in below.
Credit: T Hocking
Gettin close.
Gettin close.
Credit: T Hocking
Runnin it out on nice knobs
Runnin it out on nice knobs
Credit: T Hocking
Don't laugh at my bald spot please.
Don't laugh at my bald spot please.
Credit: T Hocking
Old school trad,slingin a huge knob.
Old school trad,slingin a huge knob.
Credit: T Hocking
Made it, settin up the belay.  <br/>
Double chain anchor made it easier th...
Made it, settin up the belay.
Double chain anchor made it easier than BITD.
Credit: T Hocking
Mitch gives it a go, his first climb.
Mitch gives it a go, his first climb.
Credit: T Hocking
Mitch cruzin.
Mitch cruzin.
Credit: T Hocking
The noob shows good form.
The noob shows good form.
Credit: T Hocking
Mitch cleans the pitch.
Mitch cleans the pitch.
Credit: T Hocking
Sending it family style.
Sending it family style.
Credit: T Hocking
Mitch pullin the knobs.
Mitch pullin the knobs.
Credit: T Hocking
Mitch toppin out.
Mitch toppin out.
Credit: T Hocking
Family victory shot.
Family victory shot.
Credit: T Hocking
Chillin on top, very windy.
Chillin on top, very windy.
Credit: T Hocking
Teaching the rappel, Mitch told me he was comfortable climbing but was...
Teaching the rappel, Mitch told me he was comfortable climbing but was
nervous about the upcoming rappel. Remember your first?
Credit: T Hocking
Rappin off.
Rappin off.
Credit: T Hocking
lookin good, nuthin to it.
lookin good, nuthin to it.
Credit: T Hocking
My turn.
My turn.
Credit: T Hocking
Not too bad for an old fat guy. <br/>
I love this sh!t and regret my 30 ye...
Not too bad for an old fat guy.
I love this sh!t and regret my 30 year hiatus.
Credit: T Hocking

Hope you enjoyed the show,
Tad







  Trip Report Views: 3,549
T Hocking
About the Author
T Hocking is a trad climber from Redding, Ca.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Oct 20, 2012 - 06:37pm PT
Inspiring TR, no need to regret the last 30 yrs u didn't climb. Just be glad that you made a great decision & are getting out climbing now, now is what matters! Thanks!
eKat

Trad climber
  Oct 20, 2012 - 06:40pm PT
Completely, totally and entirely BITCHEN!

:-)

YAY!

TFPU!
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Oct 20, 2012 - 06:42pm PT
Nice!

DMT
10b4me

climber
  Oct 20, 2012 - 06:44pm PT
good job!
Studly

Trad climber
WA
  Oct 20, 2012 - 06:46pm PT
Sweet!
perswig

climber
  Oct 20, 2012 - 07:13pm PT
Nice, esp the family victory shot.
Welcome back to the fold.

Dale
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Oct 20, 2012 - 07:14pm PT
cool beans
scooter

climber
fist clamp
  Oct 20, 2012 - 07:41pm PT
AWESOME!!!!! I love FAs that nobody knows about. I think that is what always happens. Hiatus, You laughed in its face!

SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Oct 20, 2012 - 07:43pm PT
This was excellent! So much fun to see the fast forward!

Susan
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
  Oct 20, 2012 - 07:49pm PT
Very very cool

Jeff Gorris

climber
Not from, Portlandia
  Oct 20, 2012 - 08:08pm PT
Excellent!
KlimbIn

climber
  Oct 20, 2012 - 11:19pm PT
Very nice. Thank you.
Don't stop now.
philo

Trad climber
Is that the light at the end of the tunnel or a tr
  Oct 21, 2012 - 12:11am PT
That was so dang cool. TFPU.
Kudos and congrats on your return.
Captain...or Skully

climber
in the oil patch...Fricken Bakken, that's where
  Oct 21, 2012 - 12:17am PT
This is what "It" is made of, man.
Some folk look for "it".
I can dig it. Slung knobgoodness especially....TFPU!@
T H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
  Oct 21, 2012 - 02:34am PT
An amazing acomplishment ... that you get along with your daughter's boyfriend.
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Big Horns
  Oct 21, 2012 - 03:08am PT
Way to get out there and get some of that goodness!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Oct 21, 2012 - 03:37am PT
Oh yeah, back on the horse. Glad you found your way back and you reconnected with it!

I graduated HS in '74, I can relate to this.
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
  Oct 21, 2012 - 10:54am PT
top notch!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Oct 21, 2012 - 11:36am PT
Thanks for the fun report and photos and welcome back.
matlinb

Trad climber
Albuquerque
  Oct 21, 2012 - 11:56am PT
Congrats. I also stopped climbing for many years, maybe 20 or so, and about sh#t my pants when I started back again. A few years later and I'm back to a respectable level on multi-pitch. Keep the stoke going.
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
  Oct 21, 2012 - 11:59am PT
TFPU
SofCookay

climber
  Oct 21, 2012 - 02:13pm PT
Wonderful - thank you for sharing!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Oct 21, 2012 - 02:45pm PT
Oh yeah, back in the game!!

Congratulations and thanks for sharing!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Oct 21, 2012 - 02:55pm PT
Nice job on the return, not a day to late...:)
karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
  Oct 21, 2012 - 03:17pm PT
Nice return! Just think, if you hadn't quit you would be ripped like Donini. I'm not quitting, till I die.
Jeremy

climber
  Oct 21, 2012 - 07:56pm PT
Dude...that is so cool! Thank-you for getting me pumped and making me smile!

Sincerely,

Jeremy Aslaksen
ABQ, NM
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Oct 21, 2012 - 09:49pm PT
Bump for climbing content!
adventurous one

Trad climber
Truckee Ca.
  Oct 22, 2012 - 01:26am PT
Thanks for the trip report and a great story about who the original climbers at "Toms Thumb" aka "Cannibas Crag" were. Glad that the fa info is finally coming to light before the new regional guidebook is printed. (Where have you been these past 30 years? lol)Still very few climbers and unexplored rock for the next generation in Northeastern California.
Awesome to be able to introduce a new generation of your family to climbing at the same time that you are rediscovering your own previous passion for climbing. Wonderful to see that you are jumping out on "the sharp end" with that old school trad rack of hexes and, first generation? rigid cams on your first day back!!
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
  Oct 22, 2012 - 01:30am PT
Aaaaaaaand that's what it's all about!
Andrew Barnes

Ice climber
Albany, NY
  Oct 22, 2012 - 02:25am PT
Wow, this is great, very inspiring. Thanks for this great trip report.
I've always wondered about routes that were put up a long time ago - what is the author of the route upto these days? Is he climbing? Has he come back to repeat his route? This answers it.
I guess the addition of anchors and selected pieces of hardware is almost inevitable in some highly travelled areas or highly classic lines. If your route is really good and becomes popular/classic, that's your reward - someone is going to try to dumb it down for the masses!!
This is a trip report that just makes me so happy.
MisterE

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
  Oct 22, 2012 - 11:22am PT
30 years is a long time! Congrats on getting back at it - you got some time to make up...

Erik
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
  Oct 22, 2012 - 12:19pm PT
Awesome man! Thanks for taking us along!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Oct 22, 2012 - 12:24pm PT
FECKIN STELLAR JOB MAN! Toms thumb now with its ORIGINAL NAME Cannibis crag!
neversummer

climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
  Oct 22, 2012 - 01:31pm PT
Bump..
splitclimber

climber
Sonoma County
  Oct 22, 2012 - 02:25pm PT
Awesome comeback and nice to see some northeast CA love. tried to get to the thumb this spring, but snow shut us down. patiently waiting for the guide for the region. :)
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Oct 22, 2012 - 03:56pm PT
Bump for mudda-feckin SPIRIT OF THE CLIMBER!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Oct 22, 2012 - 04:06pm PT
Actually a very enjoyable TR. Thank you for posting. Hope you and Mitch will share more pitches together.

PS: after getting a harness, belay device, and some instruction, your partner NEEDS a ST account!
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Oct 22, 2012 - 07:06pm PT
Tad.... Way to go...

Just like riding a bike.

Zander

climber
  Oct 22, 2012 - 07:11pm PT
Oh yeah! Getting it done. Thanks for the TR.
Zander
pbernard02

Trad climber
Chester, CA
  Oct 23, 2012 - 01:06am PT
Tad! Stoked to see you back out there! Wish I could have been up there with you for the historic moment! Maybe next season...

Peace,
Paul


John Butler

Social climber
SLC, Utah
  Oct 23, 2012 - 01:14am PT
Brilliant :-)
Ragz

climber
Tartarus, black hole of the internet
  Oct 23, 2012 - 01:38am PT
F*#king awesome. Makes me feel better about missing the last couple years. (and this is my first post here since 2009)
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
  Oct 23, 2012 - 10:22am PT
You are a spittin' image of my father. Good on ya for getting out there and having that experience, and thanks for sharing :)
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
  Oct 23, 2012 - 12:31pm PT
THAT is a great TR, and a very cool moment to bring us all into! Welcome back to climbing!
john bald

climber
  Oct 23, 2012 - 02:51pm PT
Glad you are back.....feels good doesn't it.
Cheldric

Sport climber
Colorado Springs
  Oct 23, 2012 - 03:07pm PT
Way to get back into the game! We need more of us 70's climbers out here on the rock! :-) (Yes - I still have my Forrest harness somewhere and that classic Edelrid helmet with the leather straps....) Rock on!
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Oct 23, 2012 - 06:03pm PT
Hey Hocking did you place any cams?????

:-)

DMT
matty

Trad climber
under the sea
  Oct 23, 2012 - 07:24pm PT
Way to get after it and teach someone too!
Enthusiast

Sport climber
Port Townsend WA
  Oct 23, 2012 - 07:28pm PT
TFPU!
Looks like a great start to your second climbing career!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Author's Reply  Oct 23, 2012 - 07:40pm PT
Wow, Thanks for all the positive and encouraging replies to my return to climbing and Toms Thumb. Those crags are very special to me and it was great to be climbing again. I very much appreciate the support from this wonderful community!!! Back in the game, not done yet, once a climber-always a climber.
You guys and gals rock,
Tad

"Hey Hocking did you place any cams?????"

:-)

DMT

Nope, all passive pro!
(2 slung knobs, 2 stoppers, 1 hex + that bolt that appeared in the last 35 years)
Have never placed one before, I did pick up a set of rigid friends from DEE EE for a great deal,had em with me but didn't need em.
Gonna have to learn how to use them new fangled contraptions.LOL
Tad
Chugach

Trad climber
Vermont
  Oct 23, 2012 - 09:34pm PT
F*#kin-A. Nice work my man.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Oct 23, 2012 - 11:07pm PT
Lol yeah I noticed them in the pic that's what I asked, but could also see you probably didn't need em for that route. Awesome job man.

DMT
bajaandy

climber
Escondido, CA
  Oct 23, 2012 - 11:18pm PT
Feels good to be back, eh? The rocks, they never change...
EmEl

Trad climber
Montana
  Oct 24, 2012 - 12:38pm PT
Beautiful Keep goping.
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
  Oct 28, 2012 - 09:30pm PT
Nice Tad and Mitch, way to go!

Hey, I think I saw some cam placements on that route!

Remember to pull the trigger when placing those babies. Unlike a certain famous old schooler who placed them like nuts his first time out with friends.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Author's Reply  Oct 29, 2012 - 09:34am PT
dee ee,
Thanks for the deal on the cams, gotta learn how to use them now.

pbernard,
Look forward to meeting/climbing with you next spring.

Adventurous One and pbernard,
Looking forward to the new guidebook you guys have been working hard
on, glad I could help fill in some historical gaps and contribute to the cause.

Thanks again everyone,
Tad
Maysho

climber
Soda Springs, CA
  Oct 29, 2012 - 09:45am PT
Great looking crag Tad! And great meeting you the other day, and thanks again for the loan of the classic slings and carabiners. We will have to check out Tom's Thumb..

Peter
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Oct 29, 2012 - 12:28pm PT
Looks like the perfect place to get back into it. Thanks for sharing.
jstn

Trad climber
monrovia, ca
  Oct 29, 2012 - 01:38pm PT
Right on, man!! Keep it up !
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Oct 29, 2012 - 03:37pm PT
What an attractive climb! Thanks much.

John
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
  Oct 29, 2012 - 03:39pm PT
Mr. Hocking;
Come to Vegas.
I'll climb with you!
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Oct 30, 2012 - 12:44am PT
Nice work sir!! Thanks for the stoke!!!!

Very cool historical content!!

Before long you will wonder why you never used cams before!!!
jdcarpenter

Boulder climber
La Canada, CA
  Oct 30, 2012 - 03:51pm PT
Great Trip Report. Life gets in the way, but the climbing bug remains. We gotta climb for as long as we're able.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Nov 3, 2012 - 06:59am PT
Old man tells young man
Young man follows always
Young man old man soon

Good talking
T hocking

He's slinging the knobs again. In fact,

much pulling on knobs
leads to spouses and jobs
stop pulling yer knobs
splitter

Trad climber
SoCal Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
  Nov 4, 2012 - 12:05pm PT
Great TR, glad that you still got the heart & will (and obviously still have the legs) to get it done. Very inspiring!!

edit: "still have the legs" - that is in reference to "Open Trail" where this trail boss, who is about to go into a town along the trail to haul one of his cowboys out of jail, tells the young cowhand staying behind to hold on to the aging sheep/cattle dog until they are gone because he doesn't want it following them and says, "He still has the heart, but he doesn't have the legs." lol
moosedrool

climber
lost, far away from Poland
  Dec 12, 2012 - 12:34pm PT
Great report Tad! I hope you keep climbing and write many more TRs.
When I was young I climbed trees, bridges, and a little in the mountains, but I never owned any gear. I had 3 or 4 non-locking biners, home-made harness, and sneakers with a rubber sole that I glued to it.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Author's Reply  May 27, 2013 - 11:39pm PT
Bump for Abi,
I know your lurking here now,
this is the rock/climb w/ Mitch I was tellin ya about.
Hope you had fun at the Leap,
you go girl,
Tad
Anonym Astmatiker

Ice climber
Trondheim, Norway
  May 28, 2013 - 05:54pm PT
Dven dtte! Nice!
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
  May 28, 2013 - 07:44pm PT
Where is the picture of Mitch flying off the top?
jabbas

Trad climber
New River, AZ
  May 28, 2013 - 07:52pm PT
Good TR . Had me going at the title as I thought this was to be about Tom's Thumb in the Mcdowell Mtns in Az. Keep crimpin' !
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  May 28, 2013 - 10:42pm PT
Good on ya for steppin' out again!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  May 28, 2013 - 11:22pm PT
Brings back memories and feelings, doesn't it. Got back on the rock last March after a 20 year hiatus. I flailed miserably and whined on .7 & .9 but loved it.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  May 29, 2013 - 08:30am PT
Tom's Thumb.
Tom's Thumb.
Credit: mouse from merced
R2D2, granite.  Tom's Thumb.
R2D2, granite. Tom's Thumb.
Credit: mouse from merced
5-26-13.  He picked up this hitch-hiking mouse, see, and half an hour ...
5-26-13. He picked up this hitch-hiking mouse, see, and half an hour later they arrived at the Pastures of Heaven.
Credit: mouse from merced
Muffin Top, 9,800+/-
Muffin Top, 9,800+/-
Credit: mouse from merced
Looks like Tad's bald spot, doesn't it?

Tad is blessed with (old school trad) skill.

And a long reach and a good 4x4 to shorten the approach to the climb from the camping spot ten yards away...

He's bound to be a little slow. He's in his fifties, for golly sakes. I'm up for mid-June.

Good luck dealing with the empty nest at good old TunahalfacresokeoalalooneysintheShastabooniesnearI-5.
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
  May 29, 2013 - 08:52am PT
guess I missed this so thanks for bumping it.

back when I was living in susanville I use to head up that way to cut wood for the winter.
did a lot of soloing on that crag and never saw any bolts nor chains, butt I guess that has changed.

Still good to hear of the times before me.
glad you made it back and to see you slinging those knobs!

cheers
Gilroy

Social climber
Bolderado
  May 29, 2013 - 08:53am PT
Lovely! Good to see geezers getting some! Much like myself....
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