El Cap Report 05/31/08

ElCap Report 5/31/08

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Ok you made it to the Report, so now all you have to do is read it and figure out what is really going on. I will attempt to derail you with typos, bad grammar, poor spelling, and references to "insiders and local situations". If you understand everything they you can consider yourself a "local". Word has filtered through that various records are going to be attempted to be broken. Remember that all records will be reviewed and evaluated by the Bridge Rats Record Committee of which I am the chairman with the only vote! The attempt will be measured against stringent standards that have been arbitrarily set by me! Also be aware that any slander, past, present or even anticipated, directed at the committee or its worthy chairman will be utilized in evaluating your request for a record authentication!! With that thought in mind here is today's report brought you in the sweet 4WD van of Mike Ousley... So splash some water on your face and pinch your cheeks and pay attention because I'm not going to write this twice. Today’s Report

 Zodiac: The Muse team pulled off another pitch after I left yesterday so are back on schedule once again. T2 got out of bed and lead the pitch into the circle this morning. By afternoon the entire team with baggage was at the hang at the start of the long corner pitch. Maybe they will make one more by dark? I don't know their plans. Steve looks strong. See pic of T2 leading into circle and Steve jugging into the circle below. Lower Down Matt Tomson, infamous KY climber, fixed two pitches today and came down. He is having a go at a solo of the route, his first on the Cap.

T2 leads into the white circle

Steve jugging into the Circle

Lost in America: Guess the two sharp dressers got off late yesterday... nice! Trip: The terribly dressed Italian team of 3 is making good progress and have shifted to the rotating 3 man system to make even better time. Lower down a team of three bivied at the end of the spectacular 5th pitch on this route and were on the move when I arrived at the bridge. I hear they are Italians also and thus are setting a record for the most "worst dressed" teams on a route at one time by any nationality. Plus they are a little on the slow side. Thus proving that bad colors do in fact slow you down!

ElNino: The great Austrian climber, what's his name, was seen hang dogging on the pitch above the Cyclops eye this morning. I didn't watch too closely as such tactics are not good for these old eyes. Actually he is very strong and has done quite well on all the pitches I have seen him on, with the exception of this one. I assume he pulled the rope and gave it a fresh start later, a tactic that is acceptable here on the Big Stone. Hope it works out for him....he should be off by now..

North American Wall: Three teams are still working their way up this, the first route on the SE Face of El Capitan. I have learned that the team who bailed off ZM a few days ago is one of these teams.. so there will be no walk of shame for these lads. The other teams are motoring right along on this seemingly wildly popular route... that locals are all asking "what's up with that?"

SSPO: The PTPP dog and pony show continues to move up the wall at a steady if not rapid rate.

Pete leading the pitch connecting to SS to the PO this afternoon.

Mescalito: Team Lambone is making very good time and arrived at the molar traverse a bit after I left for the day. They have time constraints so that keeps them moving I suppose. A two person team charged up to the Stork ledge at the top of 5 and kept going. See pics below. A solo Aussie, Simon, is rumored to be starting out tomorrow on this classic, long and physically demanding route. Good luck!

Lambone leads off in the morning

Shipman takes the team toward the molar traverse late in the day


New Dawn to Tribal Rite: The Aussies hauled up to the ledge above ECT today and took the rest of the day off, while peering into the gaping mouth of Texas Flake. I am not worried about these lads as they did SSPO a couple of weeks ago so they have what it takes in the experience dept.

Nose: Teams of three seem to be back in vogue on this Uber-Classic EC route. There was a big bottleneck at the great roof today and the line was still long when I left. A two person team did the Jardine Traverse and kept going with minimal baggage and rumor has it that it was the illustrious Hans Florine. The team pulled up on Camp 4 and just watched the throngs above... maybe headed down from there. Did see another king swing done, not as well as Mark's yesterday but still acceptable by our tough standards here at the Bridge. A party of three bivied and subsequently bailed from Dolt tower late in the morning, passing through other hopefuls in the stovelegs. Several pictures here of today’s action on the Nose.

Poorly dressed climber leads the boot flake

View across the face in the grey bands

Dolt Tower bivy

Leading the great roof pitch

Magic Mushroom: I heard from one, Adam Stack, that TC and JS were going to give it a go, free but were starting at 4pm and climbing through the night to take advantage of cooler conditions on the wall... we wish them the best of luck on this one day attempt.

Salathe: The lower portions of this route are rumored to be filling up as several strong teams of free climbers are going for some free ascents. Mook, from last fall, is here with that in mind. Most are thinking about the Monster variation but some the real deal. Should be interesting. Chilli and Lucho found the passport that the Englishman, John Beckwith, dropped off Long Ledge before the rescue... hopefully it can get to him before he tries to leave the country.

Out West: I was wondering if team Steve did lurking fear in a push today? The weather seemed right and they are a strong team.... who knows? Post up!

In other news: Mike Ousley showed up at the bridge for an extended hang today, fresh off his solo of Mideast Crisis, which he said was a great route that should have lines of people on it. I think Nanook did a report on it a while back that make it look great too. Karl Baba stopped by for a moment as did Leo Holding later in the day. Scotty Vinchecz (spelling?)arrived from Alaska after a winter of ice climbing and being cold.. he has been a local here for many years working on SAR and climbing some of the best wall routes in the Valley. Scotty Lenox also showed up for a visit... he was active in the 90's and early 2000's. Double E was in evidence today as he is waiting for his partner to show. She is Indy car driver, Danaca Patrick's twin sister I hear!!

By now Brian "Coiler" Kay, is incarcerated in the institution of Holy Matrimony. The party is probably raging out of control out there at Chinese camp. Drive carefully Lads and Lasses. I was stuck in town as a reserve for Tom Frost's program tonight. Best withes to the Newly weds! Several people interested in Steve's ascent stopped by to look through the scope. Speaking of which. My primary shooting scope took the plunge to the ground the other day and was destroyed. So I am using a back-up that is not the best. Spring photos of teams on the wall are difficult as it is with the sun so high in the sky and this development will make things even harder. So be patient. I will not have a scope just for tourons this season and will most likely have to fight them off the camera setup.

So that's the way it is here at the bridge on this last day of May 2008.

See you soon... Tom