ElCap Reports from October 2009

ElCap Report 10/26/09

ElCap Report 10/26/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… today was the last day of Indian Summer, here in the Valley.  It was so nice I set up in the ElCap Meadow to shoot today, as the air was still and the view of the Captain unrestricted.  Several folks stopped by to chat and look and I got to say good-bye to Ivo and Julia who will be moving out of the country soon.  It was a sweet day and I enjoyed it to the fullest.  The wall is pretty empty now and I have done what I can for this season.  I have tried to call them as I saw them and if I made some mistakes …then …well….. Read the disclaimer, Puke!  I never promised accuracy, only entertainment!
Today, I am closing out the ElCap Report for this Fall season, of 2009.  Read it and weep!!  Also I will be around a couple more days and will do some shooting so if you are on the wall contact me about pics of your climb.

ElCap Report 10/25/09

ElCap Report 10/25/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Fall …it continues to enchant all who are here… perfect days and nights… that I hear will soon come to an end.  The last few days of the season are on now and by the weekend it will be over as the snows are supposed to fly on Friday.  Most of the teams on the wall are getting off today or in the next couple of days.  I will soon be out of things to write about and when the herd moves on …. so will I.
Today’s ElCap Report … written just for you…unique in all the world!

ElCap Report 10/24/09

ElCap Report 10/24/09
By Tom Evans
Yo…Still, the great weather persists, with its beautiful lighting and comfortable Fall days.  My Sugar Maple Tree has lost its color now and will soon be a barren trunk and branches.  For just one week a year this tree is the most beautiful in the entire Valley.  The rest of the year it sits unnoticed, in a grove of taller and healthier trees.   I like to think it is like a lot of people we all know.  For most of their lives they go unnoticed and unappreciated, but maybe just one time, they do or contribute something, that so enriches our lives, we suddenly see a beauty in them that out shines all the rest of us.  Sunsets and trees have a way of reminding us that our time here is very short… shorter than many of you readers really know.   There is nothing more precious than your time.  Use it wisely, for you won’t be able to buy a single second of it back.

ElCap Report 10/23/09

ElCap Report 10/23/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… The killer days continue… and the weekend is here.   If you are coming to Yosemite this fall, then this is the time, as the leaves are falling fast and in another week the bleakness of winter will sit upon the land.
Lots of action on the Cap today.  The trades still dominate the scene this fall but we do have some good solo action and climbers on a route not done in a long time.
So without further BS…

ElCap Report 10/22/09

ElCap Report 10/22/09
By Tom Evans
Yo…. It’s impossible here…. Impossible… to imagine a more beautiful fall day.  The Glory that is Fall is at its fullness, as I type these paltry, inadequate lines to try and convey the wonder, to those of you who are far away and will miss the season with us.  Days like today are the reason I come to the Valley in the Fall.  The air is pungent with the smell of fallen leaves.  It’s intoxicating, and I find myself breathing deeply to better sense the aroma of the cool, crisp air, laden with the moist sweetness of Fall.  The light is so pure it is like looking through polarized glasses.  The colors are brilliant and sharp.  The Captain is astonishing in all its detail, seen through the crystal clear air. 

ElCap Report 10/21/09

ElCap Report 10/21/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… OMG what a day!!  The climbing conditions were really nice today and even a little on the warm side.  The fall colors are so good too… I have cajoled you and threatened you and pleaded with you… so I will give up on it now.  This is the time and this is the place… enough said!  The “Ask a Climber” program is over for the year so I have some flexibility in where and when I shoot now.  Nice!  I was getting pretty weary of the endless procession of people with the same 10 questions!  It was a great success as my fellow talking heads and I spread the real dope to zillions of interested spectators who were in dire need of rising from the valley of ignorance onto the hill of knowledge!

ElCap Report 10/20/09

ElCap Report 10/20/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Perfect fall day after yesterdays rain and wind.  Everyone who was on the wall yesterday was going up today, with the exception of the ECT team who bailed late in the day, yesterday.  Both of the Valley’s roads, North and South Side Drives are on fire with beautiful Maples lining the roads.  Very nice.  My tree is fading fast and will be bare in just a few more days… next year my old friend, next year.  It was cold and clear this morning with temps in the low 60’s all day.  Conditions on the Captain are just right.  Do it now, or suffer the melancholy of regret all winter long!

ElCap Report 10/19/09

ElCap Report 10/19/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Heavy weather has rolled into the valley now and I am waiting it out here in the café with all the other people who are afraid to get wet!  It was partly cloudy this morning, so I went out and shot a few trees and such, then  went down to the Bridge to see what was up on the Captain.  Progress was being made and it looked like it might be just another day on the Big Stone. 
However as Scott Stowe, Billy Russell, and I were watching the proceedings, a nasty rain squall drove down on us, hard from the west.  A harbinger of Doom!  It seemed to be a surprise to everyone on the Wall.  The details are found below.

ElCap Report 10/18/09

ElCap Report 10/18/09
By Tom Evans
Yo.. Great day here but late in the afternoon the wind came up and some rather sinister clouds scudded in, low from the west.  Very quiet at the Bridge and on the Captain too.  The Fall colors continue to amaze and it seems like they have lots of life in them too… so get here!  My tree is at max power now and every leaf is a beautiful red/orange.  Sweet!!

ElCap Report 10/17/09

ElCap Report 10/17/09
By Tom Evans
Yo.. Killer day, in a long string of killer days this past week.  Lots of visitors here in the park this weekend to see the Fall colors in combination with the renewed waterfalls.  Climbing conditions are great, if not a bit too warm.  If not now? When?

ElCap Report 10/16/09

ElCap Report 10/16/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Whoa!… Another sweet one is in the books here.  Perfectamondo!!  Spectacular weather and lots to talk about too.  The Big Trades are being flogged mercilessly by battalions of fresh meat.  The Captain is showing some mercy with this stellar weather, but in a strange coincidence, threw off two big rock falls this afternoon within a couple of hours of each other.  A large section of the 5th pitch on the Shortest Straw fell to the ground at 12:25 with a thunderous roar that must have scared the hell out of the teams at the base of and on, nearby Zodiac.  Scott  Deputy was at the base of LA and ran, like a flushed quail, for his life into a small depression in the wall, as the rock exploded nearby.  Huge slabs went crashing far down the scree slope in tumbling concussion.  A couple of hours later the west end of the ElCap Tree overhang cut lose with another thundering roar.  I took some after the fact shots that will be interesting to look at later tonight.  I may post some at a later time. 

ElCap Report 10/15/09

ElCap Report 10/15/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Today was probably the most beautiful Fall day I have ever seen in the Valley… you missed it!!  Also it was a great day because Regan showed up in the Café this morning after a super duper epic on the Trip where he was stranded at the start of the last pitch for 2 days in horrendous conditions… I won’t go into it further as he is going to do a report himself.

ElCap Report 10/14/09

ElCap Report 10/14/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… The storm has past and the most wonderful thing has happened… it’s Spring in the Fall!  It poured and poured and poured for 24 hours straight.  I have never seen anything like it here before.  This morning around 8am it cleared off and the sun came out.  Presto, it was Spring again.  Yosemite Falls is in full flow and the Tourons are going wild.  The river is fast and deep.  It was very mild today and everyone was in shorts and shirts. 

ElCap Report 10/13/09

ElCap Report 10/13/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… If this storm was a few weeks later it would be a season ender.  It finally started raining early this morning, thus allowing all the teams who were pushing for the top late yesterday to make it off and get down before the drenching began.  I talked to Ivo just moments ago and he said he had some line up there and could have left it for Regan, on the trip, but the tough Polish ElCap vet has it under control.

ElCap Report 10/12/09

ElCap Report 10/12/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… The weather did change today as predicted but as of 5pm has not crashed.  It was warm this morning with overcast skies and moisture in the air.  I went down to the bridge after breakfast and checked on the parties still on the wall.  Most teams got the word and have bailed or are presently making a run for the top.

ElCap Report 10/11/09

ElCap Report 10/11/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… The weather, my God the Weather!  Still totally sweet.  Today was a slow one on the bridge and the wall.  Seems the teams have delayed starting until after the big storm, forecast to begin late tomorrow.  Some teams are taking these good days to fix and haul to the routes they are interested in.  Good plan!  The teams presently on the face are getting up high and heading off.  There are a couple of parties who will have to face the wrath of the weather in the coming days as there is no way they can get off in time.

ElCap Report 10/10/09

ElCap Report 10/10/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… the weather continues to tame the wild beasts.  Yesterday a ring-tailed cat had the misfortune of getting into a transformer and blew out the power for an hour last night and knocked off the internet until today sometime.  There is a pretty certain early season storm coming late tomorrow night and it may last several days.  I suggest fixing in this good weather the next two days but not going on the wall until the weather sorts itself out.  Lots going on here so without further blah, blah, blah…
Today’s ElCap Report… written just for you… unique in all the world!

ElCap Report 10/09/09

ElCap Report 10/09/09
By Tom Evans                 

Yo… Killer day, just like yesterday!  More parties starting out on the big trades!  My man, ES, says that the weather may be questionable next week some time… so we will keep that in mind as the days go by.  But that doesn’t diminish one bit the excellence of the day!  Hell, even Jody showed up today, on his way to the East side to shoot the fall colors!  I could have done a few more moon shots but the climbers were not in the right place and the moon was an hour later, when I needed to be shooting elsewhere.
However, there were so many climbers on the routes that it was all I could do to keep up with the action.
 

ElCap Report 10/08/09

ElCap Report 10/08/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Wow… the weather, the wonderful weather!  It is impossible for it to be any nicer.  The rock is crawling with climbers.
TODAY WAS MOON DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The one day of the year when the Moon is far enough north, and  just 3 days after full, that it can be lined up with the Nose of ElCap.  It happens from 9 to 10am and that’s it!  Well, I was there and so were the climbers on the Nose!  Boot Flake had a climber, and so did Texas Flake.  I ran around in the woods like a crazy man and even fell into a hole because I was not looking at the ground!  I think I got the shots, but am writing the report first and processing later… so I am psyched to get this done!!!

ElCap Report 10/07/09

ElCap Report 10/07/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… So Sweet here today!!  Climbers are showing up on the routes now that the solid weather is entrenched for the foreseeable future.  The leaves are not poppin yet but get ready for some fine days Autumn days anyway!  The Bridge was as quiet today as it was busy yesterday.  The free shuttle to the bridge is going away on the 12th of this month…so… get ready for that.   This is the quiet time of year with the killer weather, so if it is not in your plans to be here then you screwed the pooch!

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