El Cap Report 06/03/08

ElCap Report 6/3/08

By Tom Evans

Yo… geeeeezzzzeeee.. So much going on today. Lots of climbers on the major routes with the exception of the Nose. Perfect day most of the time with high clouds and comfortable temps. The bridge was deserted for half the day and then was so crowded that you could hardly find a place to stand. Mostly it was climbers but quite a few Tourons came by too. This report is brought to you today by Gene who was up from Modesto late in the day sporting a limp from a fall he took on the trail serving as a crash pad for Steve Muse! Anyway I have so many images to process tonight I may never get to bed so I figure I had better get this Report done now, so here it is!

Zodiac: Steve’s party was bivied on Peanut ledge when I came down early to shoot them in the first light. Pics below. They were headed for the last pitch when I left and will most likely be off by 5 if all goes well. Nicely done lads! Lower down Steve, Heather, friend were putting on a clinic. They jugged 6 pitches, and then climbed to bivy at the end of the Mark of Zorro pitch yesterday! Today Steve made it look easy, of course, and they caught up to the Museman’s team just above the next to last pitch.. Zodiac is like Nutcracker to Steve! Lower down my man Matt Thomsen climbed to the Black Tower pitch this afternoon but I had to get out of there before he got on it.. He seemed busy all day and only headed upward.

T2 leads the pitch above Peanut ledge early in the morning.

Pitch above Peanut Ledge bivy.

Steve Schneider leads pitch above Peanut ledge in the afternoon.

Matt Thomsen leads the 5th pitch Zodiac

Trip: The two man, brightly attired, team was nearing the top as I left today. They made a business like climb of the route and I suspect that they are not new to the task. Thanks for the photo-ops guys! Lower down the two man team with the super colorful bags and clothing was not there today… Damn I was really looking forward to getting some shots of those guys too.

Aurora, Ken Bokelund, solo climber on this route, was getting it done today… I picked him up as he was cleaning the long traverse pitch from the Tangerine Trip Junction. He was smooth and I got some sweet shots of him later as he climbed out of the Bat Cave and onto the wall above. I can see why the posts are saying he will not be bailing!! Go Ken!

Ken Bokelund leads the pitch out of the Bat Cave, Aurora

ElNino: Spaz and the crew suddenly appeared in red shirts this morning! Guess they got the message from somewhere! They were already crossing the traverse to the Black Dihedral when I left. Making some good time the lads, hope the climbing is going as they anticipated.

Working on El Nino early morning

SSPO: Pete and Mark spent the day lounging on the Island in the Sky.

Mescalito: Matt Lambert (Lambone) and Grover Shipman continued up the route today. They climbed the Bismarck yesterday and fixed. Today there were up and at it early and are high on the face now. Looks to me like they will get off the route in the afternoon tomorrow. This has been an efficient team that was fun to shoot as they had some great colors going for them… thanks guys and congrats!

Team Lambone off the Bismarck

Lower down the team of two were hot on the heals of team Lambone. They are faster than most teams and are usually up early and in the business quickly. Not sure who they are but they are doing well up there.

They could get off very late tomorrow if they keep up the pace.

Lower down: Ollie and Chris passed the solo and are around pitch 8 by now. They seem to be having a good time. Lower down yet:

The solo, Simon, did the Seagull pitch this morning and was starting up the next section as I left. He seems confident.

Nose: A very fast NIAD was heading to Texas flake as I arrived but got schooled on the King Swing for 35 minutes. After that they flashed up to the Great Roof and were last seen heading above camp 5 when I left. Lower down a team with orange and red shirts took some time in the stove legs but made Dolt Tower as I left. Nice shirts… mmmm .. Maybe I gave them to them. Otherwise the route is empty… now is the time lads if you have been jonesin for the Nose!

Nose in a Day team on the Great Roof pitch

Triple Direct. I did see a team come across the Muir traverse this morning headed toward camp 4. I thought they were going for the Shield when I saw them yesterday as I had heard rumors that the super girls team of Holly and Lorna had been thinking of doing that classic line.

Salathe: The route is absolutely packed at the moment. I counted 6 parties below the spire today and I think there are a couple above it too. Free climbers are in the majority giving it a go and FR also. Mook is on it now and was seen climbing the Monster crack from its bottom so as to avoid the two guys in red above them on the pitch above the ear. There is a team of three below Mook and a team of two below them. Hope you can work it out guys!

Leading the much dreaded Ear Pitch, Salathe Wall route

I’ll take the left crack and you can have the right. Just below the Ear

Out West: I hear from my sensors placed on the trail and in the trees out there, that several parties are out and about Lurking Fear … no solid proof but seems reasonable to me!!

In other news: Lots of folks here today at the bridge, far too many to name. Much attention to the Muse ascent. I have never seen the Salathe so crowded. The bridge was filled to capacity. So bad was the congestion that my “special parking spot” was even taken before I could get there! I did get some sweet shots in the early morning light as I left the café very early today. The café was devoid of climbers, with the exception of some “Montana girl” using the computer. That is good, as it shows that the monkeys are out sending. BTW I have reduced these pictures so small screen users can see them in full. I am not wild about the idea as it does take away from the impact but if that’s what you want then that’s what I will do… let me know what you think. Anyway I have too much work to do tonight as it is so I will have to cut this short.

So that’s the way it is here in the Glory Hole, for this the 3rd day of June, 2008.

Try to relax and don’t let life’s little problems ruin your days!

So long, Tom