El Cap Report 06/05/08

ElCap Report 6/5/08

 By Tom Evans

Yo.. Nice day here today, low winds and clear skies. Unfortunately, for me and the Tourons, the Park Service has decided this is a good day for a controlled burn and by noon the ElCap area was filled with smoke and thus the visibility so reduced that pics were impossible to take. So I left early. Today’s report is brought to you by Steve Muse and entourage, who were here at the bridge to take in the sweet taste of victory! Nice going gang.

Steve’s Mom T2 Steve Muse Steve’s Wife Gene

Today’s report follows.

Zodiac: Matt got the long corner, in the white circle, done last evening, cleaned and hauled it this morning and was most of the way up the Nipple pitch when I left around 1:30 today. Looks like he is going to do it!

Matt clearing the belay at start of corner pitch White Circle, Zodiac

Matt starting to clean corner pitch White Circle, Zodiac

Matt leading Nipple pitch Zodiac

Matt leading Nipple pitch Zodiac

Aurora: Ken Bokelund was up and at it early and was closing in on the Finger of Fate when I left. He was looking a little cold at the belay but the day has warmed nicely and he is moving steadily upward.

El Nino: Spaz and the guys were camped a pitch below the Cyclopes Eye last night and were seen moving camp up to the Eye this morning. I did notice that they were sheathing the portaledges before hauling them up! Are they taking on the phone at night?

SSPO: I did see Pete and Mark high on the face moving camp up to within striking distance of the top tomorrow.

Mescalito: The two man French team, below team Lambone, did make it off yesterday as I suspected they would. They never did catch Shipman and Lambert. Ollie and Chris were up and at it early and may make the Bismarck if they step on the gas. Lower down the solo, Simon, did the pitch to the Molar traverse and was leading toward the pendulum when I left this afternoon. Man that guy hauls the bags really fast!

Simon cleaning pitch to the Molar Traverse Mescalito

Nose: There is a single party on the Nose at the moment. I picked them out in the Stove Legs and left as they were heading to Dolt Tower. They look strong and with the nice weather give every indication of making a good ascent. One of the climbers in this team, Alexy, a Russian ,came by yesterday and asked me to tell his wife, who is not in communication with him, but a frequent Report reader, that he is going on the route. He also said to tell her that he loves her and thinks of her every day and will return safely to her. So wife, if you are reading this, know that your man, loves you, is on the route and doing well and that I will keep an eye on him. His partner is named Jim. Good luck guys!

 Salathe: I did see a team of three go over the headwall to Long ledge this morning. Looked like two more were on the ledge too. I saw Lucho and Chilli basking in the sun of ElCap Spire late into the morning. They departed upward as I was leaving. Lower down two teams of two were around the Ear. Lower yet the “gang of four” was hauling the pitch above hollow flake. The sport coat was off and the pink shirt was seen in all its glory! They are grinding it out!

Gang of Four hauling to Hollow Flake ledge Salathe Wall Route

Leading to Long Ledge early morning. Notice crowd on the ledge! Salathe Wall Route

Cleaning the Headwall in the afternoon, Salathe Wall Route

In other news: Lambert and Shipman were down at the bridge to hang out and tell the tale of their climb. They left, with Blake in tow, around noon for home. Also Steve Muse and family and friends were at the bridge for pictures and talk of the climb. The controlled burn closed me down early, which is good for me and bad for the climbers who want pics this afternoon. Adam Stack and his friend Will were in the café this morning getting ready to head out to CO after coming up short on the Nose the other day. Adam had eaten some bad food and got sick, so they came down from ECT. Adam has another life away from climbing now and is quite happy with it. He does do some cragging from time to time but his work and the race car scene have his attention at the moment. He is a contractor designing and building high end houses and judging from his sales materials is quite good at it. Best of luck to you Adam. There are other things in life and your run in climbing was a very good one. Hope to see you in the Valley again sometime! Nicki is down from the Dome, having dislodged a large flake that crushed one of his hands which I hear is a real mess of broken bones and swelling. Go to the doctor Nicki…. that’s an order!! I was busy in the café getting come computer work done but there was a good contingent of monkeys outside on the patio at breakfast. Nice to have so many around again. Winkey is back from Spain where he spent most of the time in the rain.

So that’s the way it is for this the 5th day of June 2008, be safe and come on out when you can. The weather is super and the Nose almost empty. Life is good!

Later Ansel Evans