By Jim Herson
Jim: "I'm thinking of taking three teens up the Steck-Salathe for Maddie's first long route."
Anne: "Maddie is not ready for the Steck-Salathe."
Jim: "Neither is Jenna but she's game."
Anne: "You can't take three kids up the Steck-Salathe."
Jim: "Yeah, Eric's technically not a kid. But he's more kid like than any of the kids."
Anne: "Eric isn't happy unless he epics."
Jim: "Everyone has their thing."
Anne: "You can't take three inexperienced climbers and Kara up the Steck-Salathe!"
Jim: "Eric read on the internet that we can."
Anne: "Eric reads too much."
Jim: "Way too much."
Anne: "You really miss Rob, don't you?"
Jim: "There will only ever be one Rob. But that doesn't mean Eric isn't an endless source of invaluable trip report material:"
Half Dome with Tim and Ross last month was a blast. But I was wrong when I said the most frightening sight in the backcountry is a bear and a boulderer. That would be Maddie and a bear! Maddie has this thing about trying to put anything with four legs and fur into her pack to take home. Fortunately, and surprisingly, Maddie refrained (for now) from trying to take the bear home with her.
A deluxe van breakfast and the three girls and their favorite groupie were off for the Steck-Salathe!
Taking a 7th grader up El Capitan without jumars as a training run for taking two boulderers up Half Dome as a training run for taking Eric up the Steck-Salathe, tells you all you need to know about the lengths that Eric will go to for a good epic. Fortunately, with the don't-try-this-at-home-kids patented four-followers technique, the girls were able to keep a close eye on Eric and his shenanigans.
The Steck-Salathe is both sought aftered and feared for its relentless wide, full body climbing! I love watching how quickly these kids transfer their phenomenal gym talents to all different styles of climbing, especially the wide. With zero wide technique, they crushed it! They wiggled and squirmed and, to varying degrees, styled it!
The big kid styled it too!
Of course, the prize of the Steck-Salathe is the Narrows!
This gaping maw of granite, and its deservingly fierce reputation, ominously hovers over the entire climb, dominating all conversation and thought as you climb up to it. Getting into the Narrows is a daunting proposition. It requires the rarely used nor discussed "Unbirthing technique". The girls just giggled their way into the Narrows, laughing the entire way:
And once they were in, it was all smiles!
Eric is a "full size" climber relative to the girls. Getting into the Narrows was a bit more challenging and, unfortunately, not suitable for workplace viewing. But this shot, once he eventually got inside, does capture Eric's indomitable spirit:
The reward for surviving the Narrows is, of course, the view!
Rob, I'd be looking over your shoulder. There's a new kid in town! Certainly Rob would have no problem going toe-to-toe with Eric on this:
But not even Rob would bring a 360 degree selfie stick on the Steck-Salathe!
Nevertheless, and despite Eric's best efforts, we enjoyed a gorgeous, daylight, epic-free summit!
After Half Dome with three kids and now the Steck-Salathe with four kids, there is nothing more fun than crushing with the kids! The teenager may be a "riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma." But man, can these kids climb! Outstanding job. Congratulations Tim, Ross, Kara, Maddie, Jenna, and, of course, Eric!
Home / Trip Reports