El Cap Report 05/30/08

Yo.. worker rats on the treadmill of consumerism... you missed another good one here in the Ditch. Sunny skies, cool temps, mild breezes here at the bridge. Up on the Big Stone the climbers were raging! All the way from the East Butt to Lurking Fear the routes are filling up... we counted 18 parties we could see and that didn't include anything "out West". So it takes a man at the scene who knows the rock and what is important on each route, and not some wantabe bridge rat who gets all his dope from the shuttlebus driver who talked to the bus boy in the cafe after he overheard a cafe rat after a Joint Chiefs of Staff meeting at the Office. You have come to the home of information and misinformation. Brought to you today by my man Erik "Nanook" Sloan, who took some time today to hang at the bridge and go over how to post pictures on the report. This will add to your enjoyment of the report and serve as a more factual accounting of my gross extrapolations! Remember I am in command of the gateway to adventure. So without further fanfare... hang on tight, cinch up your harness, tie in tight because you are in for a rough ride on the Captain itself....

Today's ElCap Report. Zodiac: Team Muse was slow firing its guns today and as a result Steve didn't begin jugging until almost 1 pm. But T squared did get two linked and when I left, admittedly early, at 2pm they were all installed at the start of the Black Tower pitch.

Lost in America: Got down to my spot across from the manure pile picnic area early so as to capture that morning cross lighting I love to shoot. These guys were just in the right spot as you can see in the pics just below. They are on ZM now and will most likely get off the route in early afternoon tomorrow. Take a lesson from the way these guys dressed!

Trip: That lesson you just took goes doubly for the Italian team of three on this route. Who dressed these guys?! I hope their women are reading this... your men look like dumpster cleaners in NYC. Get an outfit!! The Koreans make you guys look bad, as they are usually the best dressed on the stone. However the awful dress on these guys didn't seem to hinder their movement up the rock and they are now in the central corners of this route. Look at the picture below... their leader at the belay this morning... help!! Lower down a team of three was hanging around the start of the third pitch with bags and all.

ElNino: The great Austrian climber, what’s his name, who Nicki sings the praises of, polished off the famous, roof pitch, without too much sweat this afternoon and blitzed up to the Cyclops eye shortly there after. Dressed in black he blended perfectly with the black cave and thus you will not see a picture of this great climber. Please talk to the Hubers! They finally got the message!

North American Wall: There are presently 3 other parties on this route, now becoming a very popular route on the SE Face. They are all moving right along and are enjoying the excellent weather for their climbs.

South Seas to Pacific Ocean: Pete and Mark got up at the usual hour of 11 am and Pete lead the pitch after the Rubber Band Man Pendulum. I didn't see the finish as I was only there 3 hours after he started. They seem quite content on the route.

Mescalito: I did see Lambone finish up the Seagull pitch and Shipman clean it. They are on the route now and I expect them to get a move on it. Picture below.

New Dawn to Tribal: The lads made Lay Lady ledge this morning and seemed ready to lounge around a bit on this, one of the largest ledges on the Cap. They are doing well and can afford a little time to relax.

Nose: 8 parties on this route, that I could see. Who knows how many are lower fighting it out for a place in line. Mark Synott and friend are at the head of the line and I was fortunate to get to the shooting area just in time to see him do a masterful, one run, king swing. He went over and turned on the burners and was at the Eagle ledge in nothing flat. They look strong and arrived at camp 4 early into the afternoon.

However someone cut the line by coming in from the west on the 3D traverse and got ahead of everyone. They had no baggage really and are most likely a one day climb.

Lower down there was a swarm of teams bunched above Dolt. A wise move was made by a party of three who went on the Jardine traverse to free themselves of traffic. They managed to jump ahead of 3 other parties with some fast climbing.

Down below ... well.... it was hell down there! Unsortable chaos ruled. But all are going upward and the bailers are few. Several pics of this route as most climbers are on it.

Jardine Traverse

Salathe: I did see a crew go to Hollow flake and higher. Up above the Cossey Brothers are rumored to be working on the headwall and part of freerider. Ben wants Freerider and Lee is having a look at the Salathe... should be interesting. Another Aussie team is going to have a look see from the deck and maybe give the "real Salathe" a shot.

Also Leo Holding did a drive by and seemed to have intentions of something over there too... so the action is heating up and if you are thinking of bagging that coveted Salathe free ascent then you better get your shoes on and get walking.

In other news: Nicki was surprizingly back from Queen of Spades... the aggressive bears climbed a 5.10 squeeze chimney and got his 14 day food supply! He is looking for a ride to Oakhurst to restock. Rumors are flying that TC and JS are going for a one day free ascent of MM but the exact day remains a secret. I am out of the loop with these heroes of the rock so it is anybody's guess. Double E was hanging at the bridge today taking a couple of days off from a project he is working on... also in evidence was the regular contingent of KY posse members and Nicki along with heretofore mentioned Nanook. It was a nice time at the bridge as the tourons were thinly represented and the bridge rats got some lounging in the sun time. Some interested in the Muse ascent wandered in and out from time to time. One time climber Adam Stack made a rare appearance in the cafe this morning and was talking about anything but climbing. He has fallen into the black hole of rewarding work, and racing cars... sounds like there is still a little of old Warren Harding floating around in the ether. Well, enjoy the pics and that’s the way it is on this the 30th day of May 2008. Live well, live long, I'm gone... Ansel Evans