El Cap Report 05/27/08

Yo.. still the weather threatens here in the valley. Some teams are just going up anyway, especially those on the SE Face of the Captain. I know you have heard various reports of things going on ... the Cap generates a lot of talk and some of it is not quite accurate. So what do you do to find the real dope on all the dopes on the wall? That’s right pukes, you wait for the ElCap report so you can get the real stuff, not second hand information from some puff daddy cafe rat. So here it is right to you straight from the end of the short haul line hanging from the Chopper on today’s Salathe rescue.

Today’s ElCap Report, up to the minute, right now... for you..

Zodiac: The parties from yesterday were tinkering around adjusting things on the fixed pitches for an early start tomorrow... weather permitting. The Cossey Brothers came down yesterday, much to the delight of Lee's fiancé, who was wanting some sweetness from her man. Saw them at the meadow and they were hiking over to the far west side to check it out. Lee said the free climbing on the route was nicer than he expected but they were running behind schedule, which is to be expected on such an outing, and came down to return shortly.

T squared was seen lurking around the base and their ascent will begin in earnest in the next couple of days... more to follow when things are firmed up... stay tuned. A KY climber is lugging stuff to the base... plans unknown at this time.

ZM: I saw the team that started out yesterday finishing up the first pitch this morning before the sky opened up around 1:30 pm. Lots of red clothing to draw my lens over their way.

Lost in America: This two man team was working its way slowly up the 4th pitch this morning and they are not coming back as they have bags and are only looking upward. This once feared route has gotten very popular in recent weeks.

SSPO: Did see the Piton man himself and buddy Mark lounging until late morning at the bivy at the top of 4. As I left they were moving stuff up to the start of five and Mark was cleaning the pitch. Pete was hauling bags and ledges. Thank god the Smirf suit was not in evidence... the general public can only take so much of that thing!

Sea of Dreams: Well, the lads from Curry have bailed from this classic upper level test piece. I was hoping for a walk of shame from this Teflon team but I hear that they came down because of the weather... I can't imagine anyone bailing for such a poor reason as the weather.... Oh ... yes... that's right...I myself recently did the same thing...mmmm so it must be acceptable now!! Good call lads!! Can't be too careful I always say! Ian you can give up the raccoon nest now and come on out!!

Sea Horse: Yes this soon to be worked again route is going to get some action or so I hear. The Korean affectionately known as "Crazy Sean" made a rare appearance at the bridge this past weekend and we had a nice chat about his future plans for this, years in the making, new route. The push will be later, some time in June. Best of luck to Sean, an interesting guy with a great sense of humor. All those stories about miles of bolts are surely an exaggeration. Just in case...."I'll be watching you"

Mescalito: The up north team of Lambone and Shipman came by today on their way to hauling stuff to this great route, surely one of the best on the entire rock. They are blasting tomorrow, weather permitting. This experienced team should have some good days on this long and continuous classic.

Nose: A bag sits on Sickle ledge. There is much cafe chatter about parties ready to charge this, most sought after, route on the Cap. It is also the most bailed from route on ElCap.. which makes for an interesting show for the bridge rats.

Salathe: Yeah my British buds John and Rob had a hard go of this old Robbins/Frost/Pratt mega-classic. You may have read about these lads in earlier reports as they made their way up the route. They were always late reaching the marks they had hoped to hit.. but they kept at it with that Limey tenacity and grit that we so admire here in the Glory Hole. I last picked them up in the scope 4 days ago as they were on Long Ledge that morning. I figured they would soon be off. The weather caved in and I didn't see them again, figuring to see them in the cafe. I had a day of illness and then Mara had the heart problem which kept me gone for more days. Yesterday that side of the wall was a mass of clouds so they would have been obscured by the clouds. But low and behold a Touron called YOSAR and reported an SOS written on a tarp high on the wall. Such reports from Touron’s are generally held in low regard but this one turned out to be true. SAR mobilized and told the lads they would be up to fetch them in the morning. Turns out John had a badly injured ankle and they had spent the last 4 days on Long ledge, riding out the weather. A ground team was sent around 4:30 am to hike to the top and go down to the Brits and see what the problem was and how best to rectify the situation. Around 10 am the chopper flew in and the other YOSAR folks showed up. Ranger Keith Lober was the man with the plan on site and it was decided to have the lads jug up to the top and be plucked off in a short haul from the chopper. The injured climber had some difficulty jugging out and took considerable time. Around noon the chopper with a YOSAR ranger Mike Michener dangling from a long cable went up to do the plucking. It must have been a hell of a ride! Soon enough the chopper returned with the ranger and injured climber, I think it was John, hanging below. John was taken to the ambulance and whisked away. The chopper was released from duty and the rescue was over. But Rob and the ground crew were left to do the hike down as the weather was uncertain and I am guessing they didn't want to risk the chopper any further. I was over at the hospital a few minutes ago and got word that John was doing fine and was taking a shower at that time. Another YOSAR success from the guys who routinely do it right.

In other news. Well there isn't too much "other news" to write about. Thanks for your best wishes for Mara. Unfortunately she is still having problems and the medical folks can't seem to find out why in spite of extensive testing.. so we are racking our brains to find anything that is out of routine that might be causing these attacks. No luck so far. More test results will be available in the next few days so maybe we will know something later. The weather still continues to be unsettled and we all could use some sunshine. The cafe is getting old and the monkeys need to be out scampering about. Coiler is getting married this Saturday and many will participate in that blessed event. Lots of famous faces in the valley these days and out of respect for their privacy will be left out of the report for the time being.

So that's the way it is for this the 27th day of May 2008.

Thanks for reading my simple missive and I am out of here!! Tom "Ansel" Evans