Up Close: Hans Florine On Climbing The Nose With His Son

Not long ago, Hans Florine was climbing the Nose route on El Capitan for his 100th time. Yes, you heard that right: hundredth. It wasn't long after he set the speed record for the Nose with Alex Honnold. Since then, he released his new book On The Nose, cowritten with Jayme Moye. But he hasn't been so busy promoting it that he's lost track of his old friend the Nose—in fact, this spring, he took his 14-year-old son Pierce up the route for the first time, a special father-son trip. It's not every kid that gets an experience like that, so we reached out to Hans to get the full story. Here's what he had to say:

On sharing the special climb with his son:

The most exciting thing [about taking Pierce up the route] is that I got to team with my son on the hardest physical two days of his life. I think he will realize that the physical effort he is capable of is far greater than he would have imagined. That’s a life lesson/metaphor he can use on other things. He was super psyched to share with tourist and climbing rangers his knowledge of being a big wall veteran, right there in El Cap meadow. He even asked me how he might go about becoming a park ranger! - goose pumps! - I love that.

The most challenging thing on the climb was trying to impress upon him to enjoy the present, stay safely clipped in multiple times—despite his father’s comfort level—and realize how rare his adventure is. (I think I made it too easy for him.) 

On parents taking their kids out climbing:

Let them figure tough parts out before you jump in to help them. THE most rewarding part of climbing is: hitting a trouble spot, a barrier, working on it, failing, trying again, fail, working on it, and succeeding! So simple, yet so rewarding for a person of any age to find a problem and work through it. Basically doing something you thought you couldn’t do.

On the importance of climbing ambassadors in Yosemite, and what the role means:

Me being an ambassador is as important as having a biologist, a hiker, a fishing person, or any different type user of the park being an ambassador. It is the public’s park, the various users should help spread the joys of using the park to “city folk” and others who don’t currently use the park. Not to overcrowd the park, but to keep the park being enjoyed and keep the awareness up that we need to protect them for future generations to enjoy. I pitch in my comment and presence on “official pomp and circumstance” events that the park puts on and I’ll provide content for them to post, and or check other’s post for credibility.

On what's next for him:

Turning my book into audio format. I have had many folks request that I do the reading, which I’ll do the bulk of, but I want some guest contributors to make it fun. I am fortunate that I have a Grammy Award winning editor and friend, Peter Darmi, working with me on the project. I hope to have it out by late fall in time for the holiday buying spree. I am working on a visit to Europe in late November to do a few shows that will focus on the book.

On his favorite new gear from Outdoor Research:

The Ascendent Hoody is way more durable rubbing on rocks and the outdoors than I imagined. I intended to have it as a city layer. Always get compliments when I wear it—people ask to touch it to see how soft it is.

The Equinox Convertible Pant. I use if for its light weight, and sun protection benefits. And if it gets too darn hot, you just zip off the bottom and there ya go: a little Vitamin D on the lower legs!

Activeice Sun Sleeves and Gloves. These are great for biking and hiking with poles where your forearms are up in perfect orientation to receive too much sun.

You can read Hans's post about climbing the Nose with his son on his blog, here. And nab a copy of his book here—or, stop by Diablo Rock Gym and get your copy from Hans in person.