El Cap Report 05/25/07

ElCap Report 5/25/07

 By Tom Evans

Yo... kick back, take off the shoes, flop down after a hard day at work, escape to the Valley for a few moments, hang with gang at the epicenter of the center of Yosemite big wall climbing here at the ElCap Bridge. Relax, your man Ansel is here at the scene actually viewing the action directly, no web cam crap here Bro!!! I cover it all... the sailors, the flailers, and the bailers... don't try to pass that story you made up off on me ... I know the real deal and am not afraid to squeal.... Here it comes.... direct from a hat dropped off ElCap tower and floated on the wind to you... The ElCap Report for another great day in the Valley of many great days... from Zodiac to the Salathe...


Zodiac: My boys Ricardo and Dan finished off the Captain this afternoon with the Squids and the Solo close behind. Seems like they all made good friends judging from the radio conversation I had with Ricardo on the route (See the pic posted earlier today by Werner... also direct from Ricardo.." I am Ricardo and I approve this message!) The lad said he was more impressed with his solo of the route last year now that he had done again!! Matt is blasting tomorrow, solo, and took his last load up this afternoon. In the meantime some other guys jumped on the route and hopefully will get a lead on Matt so neither party will be inconvenienced.


Trip... there are signs of the Normandy invasion amassing the troops again at the bottom of the route... maybe the bailers from a few days ago wanted to erase the "walk of shame" they did and get the victory parade to the cafe! The colorful solo... (again see the ElCap Report pictures II posted earlier today to see this sharp dresser on the 5th pitch of the trip) is moving right up the face in good order, so I guess he has figured out the solo system to his own satisfaction. Wish he would climb slower so I can keep getting those great shots... he should open a climbers clothing boutique when he gets down!


Pacific Ocean Wall: The lad struggled a bit on the pendulum to the crack leading to the continental shelf and as I was down by the zodiac pullout at that very mement I yelled up to him to go higher... he paid no attention to me and stuck it on the next try... proving it doesnt always pay to listen to anyone but your inner self! As we converse here he is probably sitting on the Shelf smoking a fat cigar.. and wondering who the dork was yelling at him... remember this guy is the one who was talking to an invisible partner yesterday!


South Seas to PO... Ragan, the Polish guy, was working on the second pitch when I was down at the Zodiac turnout.  That’s the reason I stopped there as I normally don’t... I wanted to get a close up of him as he is a solo and will have few climbing pics of himself.


Mescalito: Ottawa Doug... well you just have to check the pics Posted earlier today...the pants will be legendary... and check out the stork on the ledge behind him... seriously! I have been shooting that ledge for 12 years and this pic was the first time I ever saw the thing... how could I have missed that!!! Anyway, as I knew he would Doug is sailing up the route and was on the molar corner when I left, way ahead of schedule... the guy is make a fricking speed ascent!!


Nose: Man it is always hard to tell what is going on up there ... like watching the Ventura freeway from a bridge overpass and remembering the cars that went by... so many people... at least there is nothing bad to report.. watched a couple of king swingers today and the last had a real time of it but prevailed. That’s about it for the Nose......


Ha Ha got you there didn’t I ... I know, don’t panic, I have deal on the now famous Montana girls.... straight from the Captains Nose itself... I couldn’t see them all day as I think they make camp 5 for the night and were up and gone by the time this reporter arrived at the epicenter of the center... I didn’t see them until I looked up at Gleason and Brandon on the Muir and saw two teams lined up for the last pitch of the nose... looks like they are going over the top this afternoon!! NICE stuff girls... you won this old mans heart... nothing breeds respect like tenacity and determination to succeed!! Stop by the center and get some pics and a cold one...


Muir: Well Jon and Brandon were just finishing the roof pitch with the crazy finishing pitches to go... Rob and Justin were seen climbing around the corner at the Muirs right turn today and Cedar and I got to watch close up as Rob freed that section... Impressive stuff!! They look to be sending so far... sailors not flailers there folks!


El Corazon..  I did spot the pretty little powder blue number that Beth wears and did get a glimpse of TC higher hauling some baggage.. the Lurkers at the bridge decided that Tommy had switched to an outfit that make him look like a flake on the wall... very effective as he was impossible to spot for long... they are not much higher than yesterday so some work is most likely being done up there...


Salathe/Free rider: a couple of fast free rider candidates were seen at the Hollow flake and later going into the ear. Cedar IDed them but I forgot the names as I always do. Another team was higher around the spire hauling a big bag and some one was working on the headwall with a solo device on the long top rope that is there sometimes.


Dihedral: Well I was pushed for time this afternoon and forgot to check on the lads there ... tomorrow... I promise!


In other news:  The center was a busy place this afternoon with lots of folks gathering and just hanging out. Big Wall Kate graced us with her presence and told of her recent climb of LA in nice detail.. and of course she got to sit in the rocking chair and kick back... Mike came up a little later and we all listened to some good beta and stories of the climbing there. I shot a few pics and will post them soon... So now the van is packed and I am done for the day... I am surely the hardest working photographer in this Valley as I never take a day off .. why should I when it is so much fun and there are such good people to talk to?!! The big weekend is upon us and we don't look forward to the increased traffic and Tourons... but Memorial day here is as good as it is anywhere... so come on out to the valley and share it with us... until then I will be your gatekeeper at the gates of adventure here at the ElCap Bridge... and don’t forget... Don’t cross that double yellow line... just honk and honk until the guy fires a shot at you!!!

ElCap Tom