ElCap Report

Welcome to the ElCap Report website.  Below you will find the reports I have written for the past several climbing seasons in Yosemite.  I use a 500mm and a 600mm lens for the images you will see below.  The early reports were written before I had my own website, so don't expect to see images with the early reports.  Originally the reports were done on Supertopo.com so you will find references to that site in the writings.  I started this site in late April of 2009 and have been pleased with the interest you readers have shown.  Website design and operation by Chris Falkenstein of El Portal, CA.  Many thanks Chris!!

IF YOU SEE ANY SPAM IN THE COMMENTS SECTIONS PLEASE DO NOT CLICK ON IT AS IT ONLY ENCOURAGES THEM!

DISCLAIMER: 

THESE REPORTS ARE THE MUSINGS OF AN OBSERVER WHO IS FAR FROM THE ACTION AND ANY RELATION TO THE TRUTH IS THE MEREST OF COINCIDENCE.  A SMALL PORTION OF WHAT IS WRITTEN IS SOMETIMES SIMPLY A FABRICATION, WRITTEN TO MAKE THE STORY "BETTER".  DON'T TAKE THIS STUFF TOO SERIOUSLY.  IT IS MEANT AS LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT, FOR THE MOST PART, ALTHOUGH I DO TRY TO GET THE CLIMBING FACTS RIGHT.  THESE REPORTS ARE WRITTEN FOR CLIMBERS, SO DON'T BE SURPRISED IF YOU, A NON-CLIMBER, DON'T GET THE TERMINOLOGY.  THIS REPORT IS IN NO WAY "OFFICIAL" AND IN NO WAY REFLECTS THE OPINION OF ANY GOVERNMENTAL OR PRIVATE AGENCY.  ALL CONTENT IS STRICTLY MY OPINION.  IF YOU DON'T WISH TO BE MENTIONED IN THE REPORT, OR PHOTOGRAPHED, JUST SEND ME AN EMAIL (CLICK "CONTACT" ABOVE) TO THAT EFFECT, OR COME BY THE BRIDGE, AND LET ME KNOW AND YOUR PRIVACY WILL BE RESPECTED.  NO ONE IS REQUIRED TO READ THE REPORT.. IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT THEN DON'T READ IT.  

Read and enjoy the exploits of the climbers who take on El Capitan.  They are a diverse group with a common bond and each has a unique story to tell.

Many thanks to those who have made a donation to the site... all donations are really appreciated, no matter the amount! The costs of doing all this far exceeds the amount of donations received, but without donations, the photography and Report would not be possible.  It is for all the readers of the report, and the climbers in it, that I spend time and money to keep this thing going.

Best wishes,  Tom Evans

  The "read more" for this section will give you additional information about getting pictures and processing, and comments.

ElCap Report 9/23/17

ElCap Report 9/23/17

By Tom Evans

Yo.. I have been here three days thus far and we have had rain, hail, sleet, snow, and wind…with a couple nice mornings and afternoons thrown in, but not together.  The extended forecast looks promising.  The bad weather has not kept climbers off the wall, unless they were low enough to rap to the deck when the weather came in strong.  The Nose has been pretty loaded but has slacked off a bit with the cold weather.  Some interesting routes are being climbed at the moment, so I will keep you posted.  I haven’t been here long enough to get any scenic shots so this report will be just climbing shots.  If see yourself or anyone in these shots that you know please let me know, in the comments section below, so I can add them in the appropriate shots.  Thanks!

ElCap Report 6/30/17

ElCap Report 6/30/17

By Tom Evans

Yo… This is the last Report for the Spring 2017 ElCap climbing season.  I would like to thank all those who have supported the Report with their donations this season.  If you have not yet gotten the shots I took of your ElCap climb then be sure to send me an email (use the contact button on this page) telling me what climb, when, colors of shirts and bags.  When you get your shots you can use the Donate Button, on this page, to make a donation to the site if you wish.  Many thanks!

This has been a strange season with all the varied weather, crazy road conditions, massive amounts of water raging through the Valley, rockfall closing roads and such.  There was not a lot of crowding on the Cap, as the population of wall climbers was down this Spring, most likely due to the heavy winter snows isolating the Valley until the Tioga Pass opened in late June.  We did have some “firsts”, including the first nude ascent of the Nose, done in a snappy 12 hours, and the first free solo of ElCap via Freerider, done in an awesome 3:49.

ElCap Report 6/13/17

ElCap Report 6/13/17

By Tom Evans

Yo… Strange weather has dominated the last week or so. Storms and cold have kept the Captain pretty empty, but a change in the weather is in progress and teams are heading back up on the great rock.  The hoopla has died down about the free solo of Freerider by Alex Honnold and he is off to Alaska for some serious mountaineering.

ElCap Report 6/3/17 SPECIAL EDITION HONNOLD FREE SOLO OF ELCAP

ElCap Report 6.3.17 SPECIAL EDITION HONNOLD SOLOS ELCAP

By Tom Evans

ElCap Report 5/31/17

ElCap Report 5/31/17

By Tom Evans

Yo.. The horror show of Memorial Weekend has passed and calm has returned to the Valley of Light.  Considering the time of year and the present weather conditions, the Captain is relatively empty.  The Big Three are still the major draws.  A few parties are climbing on some of the more interesting routes, as reflected in some of the photos below.  The Merced River continues to be right at the top of its banks and we get overflow in the ElCap meadow daily.  Wake up Cubicle Pukes!!  The season is now… the place is El Capitan… so where are you today?  You know where you should be!

ElCap Report 5/25/17

ElCap Report 5/25/17

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Great weather is the prime motivator these days.  The traffic is at best discouraging and at worst static.  The season has taken off with the big three still in high demand but other interesting routes are going on too.  In the past my reports have been highly organized which take some time to arrange… so now it will be more random.  I keep reading that the ElCap Report is back... no... I only do a report once a week now, unless something special happends... before I did reports every day... every day...every day was just too much for me to do anymore so I have stopped the daily reports.  Expect one a week about climbing on ElCap.  Thanks for your support!  If you see yourself in any of the shots below make a comment showing the shot number and who you are and how your climb went.  Contact me to get the shots I took of your team.

ElCap Report 5/23/17

ElCap Report 5/23/17

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Great weather abounds as does the traffic here in Yosemite.  Still the Big Three are the scene of most of the action but we have parties on the NA, El Corazon, Muir solo, and Adrift.  So, the season is picking up.  As for the traffic… it is easily the worst I have ever seen.  There is so much construction going on that you can never tell what roads are open or closed when you arrive!  The NPS is doing the best it can with a bad situation and are working night and day to get the roads ready for the summer season.  If you need to go from the ElCap area to the Lodge you best go early in the morning or after 7 pm in the evening… otherwise you will be in lines of cars for hours…HOURS.  I will be writing a climbing Report in the next couple of days but this one will deal with the recent rescue practice, with a few scenic thrown in.

ElCap Report 5/16/17

ElCap Report 5/16/17

By Tom Evans

Yo.. I have been here almost a week and have found the weather to be pretty mixed.  The nice days are really nice and the not so nice days have been windy, cold, and sometimes wet.  The spring climbing season is tuning up now with lots of action on the big trades… you know the ones… Nose, Salathe/Freerider, and Zodiac.  Some pretty strong teams are due in town soon, so there will be some interesting routes for us to see.  I had decided to go back to dirt-bagging, around the valley at night, to save the expense of driving to and from the Ranch each day.  I made it three nights until the banging on the van awoke me at 11pm with the familiar, “Park Ranger, step out of the van please.”  So that was the end of my dirt-bagging at night in the valley! The Valley is a fresh spring green now and the river is higher than it has been in many a year.  Don’t even think about going into the river…or you will die! Any and all donations to the site will be gratefully received as my gas bill alone will be around $700 for this season. Thanks for your continued support.

I will not be writing a daily report, as I did in the past.  I expect to do a much more general report once a week or so.  Don’t be surprised if you don’t see a shot of someone you are following, as there are many shots and few spaces to post them.  I am still photographing all the teams I can see, so come by and get your shots.

Last late season shots for ElCap Report

Really late season photos from ElCap 10/24/16

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Storming in the Valley this week.  Lots of climbers are patiently awaiting the return of good weather but this just might be the end for many.  Interesting things going on, or trying to go on, I should say.  Adam Ondra, the famous CZE climber, is here with entourage, to try to repeat the Free Dawn Wall.  Jorg Verhoeven, is here to try to free Dihedral Wall.  You may remember that this accomplished Dutch climber made the 4th free ascent of the Nose last year.  An Austrian mixed team is working on freeing Zodiac and another European team is working on El Corazon.  Rob Miller is back to work his new route up the Muir, as are several others.  Plus, all the regular wall climbs are going on too.  I am out of here in a couple more days to head home to get ready for a cruise in early Nov.  Here are shots from the last several days.

ElCap Late Season Shots 10/16/16

ElCap Late Season Shots 10/17/16

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Torrential rains, riding a wild west wind, swept into the Valley last night.  The water falls are once again booming!  ElCap is pretty empty, except for two parties on SSPO and a solo on PSD.  I have not had a chance to go down to the Cap since last evening and we now have a thick fog in the valley. So it may be some time before anything more is known about the teams up on the Cap. 

Later...4 in the afternoon... went down to the hill and saw that Regan was under the Devils Brow with a huge waterfall going past him a few feet away... still raining as it has done all day.... it is supposed to go all night too.... too much water!!!

But all this weather gives me a moment to post some shots from the past few days… so here they are..taken just for you…unique in all the world!

ElCap Report 10/8/16

ElCap Report 10/8/16
By Tom Evans
Yo…I have decided, due to time constraints, and my inability to work such long hours, for many days at a time, to end the daily ElCap Reports. The Report has been a path far different from that I had foreseen.  I have had many great moments recording the events on ElCap and have had some of the worst moments of my life.  I want to thank all you readers and supporters who have made the Report possible.  I will continue with my photography, so you can find me, like always, down at the ElCap meadow.  Since I will still be shooting, you can continue to get your photos from me.  The website will remain as a contact point for those of you who need to get in touch about pics or information about past climbs.  I will still be around for special events, important climbs and such that I will be covering.  So you may see things from time to time on the Report but not the daily climbing I once covered.  If you have a special shoot you would like me to do then contact me and we will try to work something out.
My heartfelt thanks to all of you and my best wishes to you for an interesting and productive life.
So that’s the way it is, on this Saturday, the 8th day of October, 2016, the end of the ElCap Report era.
Signing off… Capt. Tom.. still at the epicenter, of the center, of the universe… El Capitan!

 

ElCap Report 10/5/16

ElCap Report 10/5/16

By Tom Evans

Yo.. The great weather us upon us…warm days and crisp nights!  This is it!!  Now or never!  You won’t get a better chance to climb ElCap than now.  I managed to get some time off from Adidas today and got some EC shots for you to see.

ElCap Report 10/4/16

ElCap Report 10/4/16

By Tom Evans

Yo… Ahhh the winds have subsided, the sun is bright and warm, and the race is on to climb ElCap.  The Nose is back to ruling the rock but the Salathe/Freerider is not far behind.  So this just might be the moment you’ve waited for to get off your butt and come on out to get on that route you always wanted to climb.  I am shooting for Adidas tomorrow so there most likely won’t be a Report then.

ElCap Report 10/3/16

ElCap Report 10/3/16

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Mmmm seems the weatherman got it wrong yesterday as it was a day of heavy overcast and some rain.  Fortunately, there was little wind.  Most teams made slow progress in the dreary, cold conditions.  I ran out of energy around one pm and retreated to my tent and slept for 16 hours straight.  Usually this happens at the end of the season but I guess my busy schedule has taken its toll.  Anyway I feel much better now.

ElCap Report 10/2/16

ElCap Report 10/2/16

By Tom Evans

Yo.. A cold wind blew in from the west and temperatures plunged to seasonal lows today.  The big trade routes are getting most of the attention now that recent teams on other routes have topped out or will do so soon.  Let’s get right to the latest from ElCap.

ElCap Report 10/1/16

ElCap Report 10/1/2016

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Cooler weather has arrived, carried here on strong winds this morning. The Nose is essentially empty save some posers struggling around the introductory pitches.  The Salathe/Freerider remains quite popular with several parties vying for the send.  The big aid routes are continuing to be popular.  I have a day off from shooting for Adidas so I did get some shots and news.  Tomorrow is the Hans extravaganza on the Snout Route.  It should be interesting as he plans to rap the Nose instead of hoofin the East Ledges.  Stay tuned…

ElCap Report 9/29/16

ElCap Report 9/29/2016

By Tom Evans

Yo..Great weather is bringing out great numbers of climbers.  Lots of action… but ironically, not on the Nose which is languishing in disuse at the moment.  Salathe/Freerider is the King for the week and maybe longer.  Sunday is going to be interesting as Hans Florine has a project going that will be a real crowd pleaser.  So stay tuned for all the latest happenings on the Cap.

Today’s ElCap Report..written just for you…unique in all the world!

ElCap Report 9/28/16

ElCap Report 9/28/2016

By Tom Evans

Yo… Well it has been pretty warm these past few days and we are looking forward to some better conditions.  The old Cap is filling up.  Not much action on the Nose, but a lot on Salathe/Freerider.  Plus routes we don’t see a lot of are getting done too.  Let’s get to it!!

ElCap Report 9/27/16

ElCap Report 9/27/16

By Tom Evans

Yo… It’s still kinda warm these days but the forecast is for much cooler temps coming soon … so if the heat is your problem, then your salvation is at hand.  I was able to get down to EC to shoot for 4 hours this morning, so I have a better variety of shots for you today.  The teams we have been watching in recent days have moved up the cliff now and some even have topped out. 

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