El Cap Report 05/10/08

Yo... settle down!! Dig in.. get ready... you wanted it... but can you handle it? Direct from the most important structure in the climbing world, the Elcap Bridge... brought to you on the backs of Ian and Josh (you remember these guys from last year... they had the most ingenious ways of dodging the walk of shame!).
I rolled in Thursday evening and took yesterday off to get some things done and hang out with Mara.
Beautiful weather at the Captain and there was not a lack of action on the big stone... You know that you will always get the real dope from ElCap-pics but first you have to understand that this report and all that follow are based on the wildest extrapolations and observations that at best are sketchy... any resemblance to the actual truth is the merest of coincidence and I can't be held responsible for the accuracy of anything I write. If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is! If you are one of the celebrated whiners that infect this site then bail now... read no further!
If you are offended by poor spelling and grammar then now is your time to save yourself much suffering... bail!
All right, with that said, here is the swill straight from the deck of the Iconic ElCap Bridge.

Zodiac: Well I got to the bridge around 10a.m. after hoofing it from cathedral parking with a 125 pound pack strapped to my breaking back.. remember the extrapolation warning? well it has already started! Anyway I quickly scanned the Cap and started shooting. The mark of Zorro pitch had two solo climbers on it at the same time and one passed the other to the belay. Then they sort of did their thing within reach of each other but did not join forces. As I departed one was leading to peanut ledge and the other was at the belay lounging around waiting. Who are these guys?
Lower down on the third I watched a team of two climb the 4th pitch with deliberation and at its end a beautiful yellow portaledge blossomed. The guy with the white shirt (ugh, white sucks as a shirt color... but you already know that don’t you?) lead the pitch taking forever to get to the first bolt of the ladder that makes up that pitch... when I left at 4p.m. he was still at it. So what? They are a little on the slow side but they are up there slugging it out and getting the job done.. keep going guys, you will get faster as you realize that there is no going back after you get to the white circle and then you will be climbing to survive.. good fun!
Lower yet a guy was seen leading the ugly, worthless, so called direct start and he did it pretty well and went do the ground.

Tangerine Trip: Picked up a couple of guys about 11 pitches up who were moving right along and of course were wearing dark shirts! But on the 5th pitch there was a guy leading with a nice red shirt and was slow enough to pose for pictures every now and then. He lead the next pitch too and I got some nice shots of these guys.

Sea Of Dreams: Yes this classic test piece has a new pair of suitors.. Need I say... Ian and Josh in way over their heads.. I have already installed a hot line directly to the SAR cache! Actually they are just moving stuff up and plan to blast soon. I have the Mariposa High school band on retainer if they should have to cross the bridge doing the walk of shame. But you know this is a strong team and they have done some good routes in good time... so just maybe they can pull this one off...

Mescalito: The two guys (names forgotten, sorry :( ) who were on this route for the past several days walked across the bridge this afternoon after making a nice ascent of this great route. They looked fabulous too! Unfortunately I had no Cobras to hand them as my pack was too massive to bring any.
Lower down there was a team of two Swedes who were making good time up to Stork ledge at the end of pitch 5.

Nose: Geezzzzee... where to begin... suffice to say that the Nose is the most popular route in the galaxy at the moment. Seems that today is the day for teams of three. The route was infested with them from the ground to Dolt tower.. they were crawling all over each other, entangled in miles of ropes. It was a sight to behold. I can't sort them out and am waiting for the bailers to bail so I can make some sense of it. My man Erik Sloan was up on the first part fixing a few for his attempt with Chuck Pratt look-alike Logan Talbot who is arriving Monday.. There is a good story about their last attempt in the fall but not enough time at the moment to tell it!
Higher up there was a three man team topping out as I left around 4p.m. Good job guys!

Freeblast: A mob scene over there... enough said.

Shield: Yeah!! Saw a team of two go over the roof pitch this afternoon and were moving higher on this beautiful classic.. should be fun shooting them these next couple of days!

Magic Mushroom: Saw a ledge above the big tan band a little higher than the Shield roof. Rumors say that TC and JS are doing some work up there where Adam Stack left off... should be sick!

Salathe: Did see some guy in red (smart choice) on the pitch above hollow flake taking his time. The Freerider hoards are poised to wage war with that "EZ up" route. God help us!

In other news. Did see all the Posse members and usual suspects in the Cafe the past two days. Everyone is looking good and making big plans. The parking and road situation here in the Valley is chaotic and it would best if all "outsiders" stayed away for two more weeks, as my construction buddy Eric, said that it should all be back to "normal" whatever that means, in that time.
I did meet Jim Orey, first ascent of Eagles Way, 4th of the Muir etc... at the bridge today. He, his wife and other family were out on an excursion and just happened by. We had a nice chat about the "old days".
Interest thing was that after hoofing it down to the bridge and seeing how quiet it was I sort of changed my mind about the road construction.. It was sure nice not to have legions of Tourons pestering me for information and looks through my equipment! No big trucks pounding across the bridge and just climbers and bikers to chat with from time to time... Sweet it was!! But on the downside is the lack of Cobras to get us through the hot part of the day and loosen up the tongue with slightly exaggerated stories! Two more weeks and the madness returns.. But not to worry because I will be here painting a picture of the events so you, lowly slaves to the monetary system, grubbing out a living in the outside world, can for a few moments escape to the Valley and be a part of the scene.
So cheer up Bunkie... we will have the good time you aren't having.
So that’s the way it is here at the ElCap Bridge on this 10th day of May 2008. Another great day that you missed out on!
Later ElCap-pics