El Cap Report 06/17/08

ElCap Report 6/17/08

 By Tom Evans

Yo! Not to bad down here in the rats nest at the bridge today. I had the place to myself for most of the morning as the monkeys were doing other things. The day was a little on the warm side here and it was reflected in the number of parties on the Captain. Those on the Great Rock were moving nicely upward and I didn’t see anyone bailing, so it must have been pretty bearable. Today’s report is brought to you by the Colorado Girls husbands who came by in the afternoon for a look see at their wives and inquire as to their progress. So listen up Pukes and don’t think that you can get this stuff anywhere else, because there is only one man on the scene who is in the know…. That’s right... and you know that man is ....ECP’s. Many come seeking knowledge but few the price will pay. Even though your ignorance is profound I will take pity on you and allow you to read …… Today’s ElCap Report….

New Dawn to Tribal Rite: Yep, my man Ottawa Doug is smoking the pitches and although he was just hoping to make ECT by dark today I saw him standing on that legendary ledge at a mere 2pm this afternoon. The man has only one gear, fast! It must be those lime green pants he is wearing. They are survivors of his solo of Mescalito last year and look none the worse for wear. I have radio communication with him but can’t reach him as he is moving faster than the radio waves! Go Doug!

Ottawa Doug cruising on the New Dawn part of Tribal Rite no clusterfuck here.

Ottawa Doug placing a big cam high in the corner below ECT

The Nose: Well all was not sugar and spice up there today. The Colorado Girls, Joy and Sarah, got a nice start from ECT this morning and were heading to the Boot when I arrived at 10am. Joy lead the Boot very nicely and Sarah was soon at her side on the top of that very temporary feature. I predict it will fall from the face within the next 25,000 years.

Joy leads off Texas Flake on the bolt ladder

Joy leads the Boot Flake Nose route


Anyway, things looked good when Joy went down to do the infamous King Swing. As you may know, the ladies have a little more difficulty, than the men, with this run, due to their light weight and commonly held misconception that you really don’t have to run all that hard to get it done. Joy was no exception and trotted out a few times to see what it was about but was way short of the mark. Finally it sank in and she threw herself into the effort making some spectacular dives and leaps ….but no dice. So, she shed her rack of gear onto the haul line to enable her to gain some extra mo. We, here at the rats nest, shouted encouragement but it seemed it was not going to get done and after a time we just sat in silence, watching her use up her energy …..to no avail. Then, unexpectedly, she uncorked a beauty and flew across the face much faster than before and nailed it cold! Why didn’t she do that 45 minutes ago, we asked each other? Still the schooling continued as she was in the right place but couldn’t move. After a time she dialed it in and was soon leading up to the ledge across from the top of the Boot.

Joy reaching hard for the flakes on the King Swing

Sarah trying to flip the stuck rope out of the Boot crack.

Well, although they had lost some time, they were still in the game. Unfortunately, when Sarah came down things really went south and the lower out was not good, not good at all. It seemed the old Captain was conspiring against them with a short rope situation and then a stuck lead line pull down etc. etc… it was a total of three hours before they were on the ledge together ready to go on the next pitch. Sometimes things just go way South no matter what you do. I had talked to them before the climb and told them to expect that something would happen just when things were seemingly going great and not to let it turn them around or get them down. They are determined young women and this blip would not in any way discourage them. After a short rest, Sarah lead off on the next pitch doing some sweet free climbing up into the Gray Bands. So they may be a little behind schedule but not enough to cause any real problems. Adversity builds character and that is one of the things climbers develop in spades. You go girls!!

Sarah cranking the free moves into the Gray Bands notice the top of the Boot in lower right corner

Lower down two teams of men were seen moving up the Stove Legs all morning, making pretty good time. I shot the lead team on Dolt Tower from out west to get a nice angle on them. I expect both teams will try for ECT this evening.

Hauling to Dolt Tower on the Nose of El Capitan

Lurking Fear. I saw Dave Mital on the traverse at the end of the traverse on the 7th pitch this afternoon by the merest of chance as that view is only possible for a few moments from my position. He looked like he was moving right along. I couldn’t see anyone higher as the West Butt blocks those pitches from view. I can say that there was no one on the first 4 pitches this afternoon at 4pm.

Dave Mital on the 7th pitch traverse on Lurking Fear

In other news: I did speak with Emily and Pat this morning in the café and they looked pretty good and had a story to tell about their recent climb of Zodiac. They were happy to be down and had a positive experience. I looked for the Dihedral team when I was out west but didn’t see a trace. I assume they are off. Wonder if they did the last 4, often neglected, pitches of this early route. One of them parked their car in “My Spot” and I have been dodging around for the last 5 days making due with other spots. It was quiet this morning here at the Bridge but later in the day the hordes descended and I left around 3 to go out west to shoot. Hope to see other teams getting out and about within the next few days so I will have something to shoot at!

So that’s the way it is for this the 17th day of June 2008.

Remember, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I wonder if that applies to fast food?

Later ECP’s