ElCap Reports from May 2009

ElCap Report 6/01/09

ElCap Report 6/1/09
By Tom Evans
Yo.. Wow, two nice days in a row for climbing on the big stone!!  The crews have responded by heading up on the routes.  Three parties now on Zodiac, one on Virginia, 7 on the Nose, one on Mescalito, the old dads on the PO,  a team fixed on the NA, one on the Shield, and some more staging on the Salathe.  I think everyone is sick of just sitting around when it only rains a few minutes of the day.  It was great for the photography as the high clouds kept the shadows off the Captain and I could get all the rock details and climbers, normally deep shadows… Sweet!!
So put the kids to bed, tell the spouse you will be there in a minute, turn up some favorite tunes and settle down for today’s report.  The ECR is brought to you by Heinz Zak, noted photographer and climber who told me years ago to ditch the telescopes and buy some big glass… boy was he right!  Thanks Heinz!!

ElCap Report 5/31/09

ElCap Report 5/31/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… well there was no rain all day while I was at the bridge and strangely there were no climbers either.  The only action was people who were already on the wall.  There was one party on the Nose and one on SSPO.  A couple of teams with high powered climbers are headed to the Shield.  The bridge was really quiet all day.  We were expecting rain but it never came.
Today’s report is brought to you by Doug and Melissa who hung out all day. 
Today’s ECR just for you

ElCap Report 5/30/09

ElCap Report 5/30/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… special day here at the gateway to adventure.  Several old timers and young hot dogs were around today for interviews with the Autry Museum staff for the exhibit being prepared there under the auspices of the Yosemite Climbing Association.  Nice weather for shooting with moderate cloud cover until there was a ripping thunderstorm and torrential down pour!  Seems as though there is a low pressure from down south to the east of us and it is sending lots of moisture our way.  These are not the normal, causal showers we come to expect at this time of year… so…. If you are thinking of a run at the Captain be warned.

ElCap Report 5/29/09

ElCap Reports 5/29/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Well it was an interesting day… he weather was unsettled but not really wet.  Around 11:30am a cloud came over and released a very mild drizzle that lasted for several hours but amounted to little accumulation.  The Bridge was quiet but things picked up when Jay and Jeanette showed up with killer CCC’s and Cobras!  Things only got better.  I left early as various teams were in not so photogenic places.  I still say this weather is nothing to worry about but there is this lingering California fear of rain.  Even the most hardened Patagonia or Himalayan veteran cowers in fear at the mere suggestion that there is a 20% chance of rain!!

ElCap Report 5/28/09

ElCap Report 5/28/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Well it was really nice today… lots of clouds to keep the sun off the Captain and make my shooting so nice!!  Right up until the pouring rain at about 1:13 pm.  But as advertised in previous reports these summer storms are just a quick flash and then they are gone.  This one was pretty hard but was over in 8 minutes 46 seconds.  Then the storm blew out and everyone started climbing again, with the exception of the guys on the Shield and South Seas, as they don’t get rain on the part of the route they were climbing at the time.  Late this evening another storm came up but went off to the west without depositing any rain.  Everyone climbed on and we got the pollen washed out of the air!
So it is on and you need to be here to get it on with the rest of the Big Wall Pukes.
Today’s report is brought by the clouds blocking out the sun so I could get killer shots of the climbers on the Captain today!!  CLOUDS!!!  We love you!!
Today’s ElCap Report…

ElCap Report 5/27/09

ElCap Report 5/27/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Pretty quiet here at the bridge today.  Nice overcast sky kept the heat down and the glare at bay for my shooting.  Few Tourons and climbers around today.  A little thunder boomed from time to time but no rain fell.
The wall east of the NA is empty now and awaits your team to get in there and look good.  In fact there are relatively few climbers on the Captain at the moment. 
I have some other business to attend to so the report will come at you right now… Today’s ElCap Report…

ElCap Report 5/26/09

ElCap Report 5/26/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Nice day if you like great weather until about 4pm and then a busting thunderstorm!  Or, nice weather until 1:25pm and then a roaring avalanche over on the West side of the Captain.  It was too far west to hit any climbs but Alex Honnold saw it up close from the Headwall of the Salathe and said it was raging!  The dust cloud rose up to the height of the Cap.  Patty got a video, as Sean’s dog alerted her to it!  I called it in, as did others I’m sure.  Our Jr. climbing ranger Max came down to get the details.

ElCap Report 5/25/09

ElCap Report 5/25/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Wow!!  Gorgeous day here in the Valley.  Warm sun, cool breeze and an almost empty Captain!  The crowds vanished yesterday so today was vacant.  No traffic jams, no Tourons, and no climbers either! 
1)  Today’s report is brought to you by Mason and Clay who were down from sending Golden Gate over the past several days.  Nice send lads.

ElCap Report 5/24/09

ElCap Report 5/24/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… well here I sit in my van at the Bridge.  The great shadow of the South Buttress has worked its way across the magnificent South East Face of El Capitan as it has done for all of recorded history.  The climbers on Zodiac have finally gotten the shade they’ve sought all day long.  Various teams are just a few minutes from the top and the end of a journey that will remain in their lives for as long as they live.  The ElCap meadow is awash in the warm light of the evening and a cooling breeze is sweeping the grasses from the west.  I would be gone by now but the traffic in the east end of the valley is jammed, so I thought I would just sit here and write the report at the bridge.  Ivo, Ammon, and Corbin just wandered past seeking a sunny spot to watch the evening unfold. 

ElCap Report 5/23/09

ElCap Report 5/23/09
By Tom Evans
Yo…. Whoa!!  Really great weather today with sunny skies and cool breezes.  Lots of action up on the Big Stone with most of it on the Nose and Salathe.  Yeah I know, tell you something you don’t already know!!  The traffic today was as to be expected with huge lines of cars trying to get out of the park late in the day.  The shuttle was bringing the Tourons as fast as it could drive the loop.  Lots of people looking through the scope today but not many climbers in evidence.  Maybe everyone went climbing?!!  There were some high clouds building up behind the Dome but that’s not unusual. 
The action on the rock is picking up now, so you pukes and punters need to get it together and make some plans to take advantage of the fine late spring weather!  So lock yourself in the garage, turn up the tunes, settle down on that smelly old sofa and get your laptop cranking because you are one of the lucky people who know about the ECR and get to live the good life, if only vicariously!

ElCap Report 5/22/09

ElCap Report 5/22/09
By Tom Evans

ElCap Report 5/21/09

ElCap Report 5/21/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… really a sweet day here, even out in the meadow with the sun beating down.  The Nose still commands most of the teams on the mighty ElCap.  I hear that several teams are about to pounce but I will believe it when I see it.  SE face will be devoid of climbers east of Mescalito tomorrow…. Where are the Zodiac masses we usually see lined up on the route?  MIA. 
But not to worry because in spite of everything I am still here, hopefully at the Bridge itself tomorrow, to record all the action on the big stone Trades or not.  Mostly the Trades these days.

ElCap Report 5/20/09

ElCap Report 5/20/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… what a sweet today in the EC Meadow.  Sunny but not too warm with a nice breeze from the west all day.  The big Trades were getting most of the action with the Nose by far the most busy.  The Salathe is getting some traffic but not much.  Everything from Mescalito to the East Butt is open.  So where are you my dedicated readers…sitting at home, wasting away, living the dream through the ECR?  Well get a life and bring it to Yosemite.

ElCap Report 5/19/09

ElCap Report 5/19/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Much cooler today but with a touch of humidity.  Nice clouds drifting by all day but never developed into a storm, much to the delight of various wives and mothers who happened by to see their boys on the wall.  I hung out with Jerry Miller, a guy who also takes shots of climbers from the meadow but has a super duper telescope and various computer items that put my little rig to shame.  You can contact him for shots if you were climbing on the wall recently.  We had a nice time comparing notes and swapping photography stories.  The Bridge was way closed today and I couldn’t even get close to it but had a good time hanging with Jerry.
 

ElCap Report 5/18/09

ElCap Report 5/18/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… you know how I said there was no way it would rain today?  Well, I was wrong, really wrong!!  It started out nice enough with some high clouds and cooler temperatures.  Then some rumblings were heard from the vicinity of the Dome.  Matt got a cell message, around 1pm, from KFC and Josh as they were coming down from their 6 hr ascent of the RegNWFace of the Dome.  They said to hold on tight because the storm was a wild one and was headed down valley.  Very dark clouds with much lightning and loud thunder were soon upon us here at the Bridge.  Torrential rains burst upon us and we were in the shit for sure!  Immediately Horse Tail Falls, heretofore dry as a bone, was a torrent pouring over the rim.  Even Middle Cathedral Rx had a waterfall coming down it about 100 ft west of the Central Pillar of Frenzy.  Portaledges went up fast for those with them and the rest just suffered.  It was quite a show for those of us here watching from the meadow.  By 4pm it was all over.

ElCap Report 5/17/09

Elcap Report 5/17/09
By Tom Evans
Yo.. Well it was hot today, as advertised, but that didn’t seem to deter the serious climbers from giving it a go on the Captain.  They, of course, are all volunteers, and theirs is a journey who’s conclusion is uncertain.  Improvements in the weather are just a couple of days away so be ready when the heat breaks.
Today’s ECR is brought to you by one Scott Stowe, guide extraordinaire, last seen climbing toward Dolt Tower in the blinding glare and heat, client Michael in tow.  Lori brought the girls down to see their dad hauling the freight and they got to see him close up through the telescope. 
So turn off the ball game, finish that last cheese burger, swill down the dregs of that beer and settle in to read today’s ElCap Report written just for you, Pukes of all kinds….. Here it is….

ElCap Report 5/16/09

ElCap Report 5/16/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Pretty freakin hot today in the Ditch.  As a result of the heat there were not many takers stepping up on the Big Stone.  You may have noticed in recent days the pictures were not as sharp as the ones from the Fall.  The sun is very high in the sky now and most of the light is not reflected back to my camera and the view is kind of stark.  Also, the air is hazy with water vapor from the falls and pollen from the pines.  Plus… who dresses these pukes anyway?!!  Fall is the time to shoot ElCap but what the hell… I am here anyway because my band of followers, that’s you guys, would not make it to fall without  the ElCap Report.  So here I am suffering in silence as I always do!

ElCap Report 5/15/09

ElCap Report 5/15/09
By Tom Evans

Yo… man was it hot today, and they say it will get hotter by the weekend.  So if you can stand the heat then put a few cold ones in your pack, tell your loved one that you have important business on the internet, close the door and step into my world here at the world’s most famous and influential Bridge.  Even though the Bridge is closed until late next week for repaving, I was still there, at the west end in the blazing sun, to shoot pics and inform the woefully ignorant Tourons about how those ropes got up there so the climbers could climb up them.  Today was the first day of the YCA’s new program, “Ask a climber”.  I happen to be the man with the answers to all questions, good or bad ones included.  I devote two hours a day to set up the telescope and have equipment out so that the Tourons can really understand what is going on up there on the Captain.  It seems like I have been doing that for many years in the past but 8 hours a day!

El Cap Report 05/14/09

ElCap Report 5/14/09

 By Tom Evans

Yo.. Well here we are at last… your man is finally here on the scene! Nice, warm day here in the Valley. Must have been pretty hot up on the Cap today! The usual routes were getting the action today with most of it on the Nose as you could have guessed. So Cubicle Pukes, put down any “real” work you are doing and act busy but by all means come along with me to the fabled El Capitan, where the bailers bailed and the senders sent. Today’s ElCap Report is here right now.

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