El Cap Report 05/26/08

Ok.. I'm back. Was gone a couple days when my girlfriend Mara, Queen of the Bridge, suffered a heart attack. Fortunately there was no real damage done and we went to Modesto to get her about 12,000 tests. Most were good and not to worry.. the grill has its commander back today! Still wet weather here and the rats have swarmed inside to the warmth and protection of the Cafe, where much leering at attractive members of the opposite sex was taking place along with a healthy dose of slander directed toward all not present and some that were. I managed to extricate myself and head for the bridge before things got too physical between James and Lucho who were fighting over a swooped half eaten piece of toast.

It was cold and cloudy at the Cap today with clouds obscuring the face on and off all morning. There was a respectable representation of Bridge rats present along with some actual climbers who posed for pictures whenever the Tourons got off the shuttle bus. The Australian contingent was in particular evidence as they were out to support Lee and Ben Cossey who were giving the famous Nipple pitch their undivided attention. Others came and went and much to my horror there was no excess food to be had. Oh my god... these people are taking this diet thing imposed on me far too seriously. I did manage to wrangle a bagel off Amamda, Lee's fiancé. Anyway here is the report brought to you by the best driver in the fleet, Chuck, on his way back from the ElCap run.

Zodiac: The Cossey brothers were still at it in spite of the weather and had climbed free to the Nipple pitch where Lee was throwing himself at the tricky 13c pitch with little regard for the gravity of the situation. Many frequent flier miles logged there. It looked cold and uncomfortable but the lads were pushing on and on. When I left they were in a downward spiral back to the belay.

Lower down several teams were hanging around the first pitch including T squared who is involved in an upcoming ascent on which more details will be soon released. Another party was doing the direct start.

ZM: A large gathering of climbers assembled to cheer on the fearless leader on the first pitch of this timeless Bridwell classic. The leader was dressed to the nines with a smart red/black shirt and snappy brown pants topped with a yellow helmet. Oh if only others had this lads fashion sense! He was still on the first when I departed at an early hour.

Lost in America: Did see a team going up the 2nd pitch of this recently more popular route most likely on a fixing mission.

Sea of Dreams: No sign of Ian and Josh on this route and they will soon be fixed so high that they will have to jug more pitches than lead when the push begins. I hear Ian is having trouble dealing with the cloudy weather and that Josh is working on dragging him out from under a tent in Curry, where he has found refuge among a group of raccoons. Looking for love in all the wrong places Ian?

South Seas to PO: Brenda reported that PTPP and Mark did climb to the top of 4 yesterday. Today I spotted them there, as bulges in the bottom of their portaledges. Around noon a blue Smirf appeared on the crab ledge and quickly sported a yellow jacket of some kind. The CF wasn't up to Pete's normal standard causing some concern that he may have gotten tired of all the clutter. Very Un-Pete like. They looked like they were going to remain there for the duration of the day.

Salathe: Yep, one of the new Aussie Bridge rats spotted someone over on lung ledge taking large pieces of gear out of a haulbag. I zoomed in and there they were, a sporty red outfit and a pitiful dark blue pullover, racking for the hollow flake pitch. They are at the head of what appears to be a long line of Salathier's and Freerider's. I assume they are fixing high to get ahead when the weather clears.

In other news: This is memorial day and I want to remember my college room mate Jefferson Scott Dotson, fighter pilot extraordinar, who was killed in action on 9 Aug. 69 while flying a mission over Laos. He was a great guy and family man who left a young wife and 3 month old daughter... he will always be remembered and sadly will always be 25. Also remembering all the other classmates and friends at the Virginia Military Institute who did their duty at all cost and paid the ultimate price no matter what their personal views might have been. Rest in peace guys. The climbing situation here is kind of up for grabs at the moment with the uncertain weather. The Cap is looking cold and forbidding draped in swirling clouds. The SE face is looking good if you are just starting out as the overhang is sheltering everyone. The southwest face is a different matter and you go there at your own risk. So that's the way it is on this the 26th day of May 2008.

Take a moment to remember those who have given their lives so that you can do with yours as you please.

Later Tom Evans