El Cap Report 06/20/08

ElCap Report 6/20/08

 By Tom Evans

Yo. Was it nice today or what? A lovely day with a nice breeze and clear skies. There was some activity on the wall to keep track of and Tourons to explain things to. Sadly, some of the bridge rats have taken to giving out stupid answers to Touron questions. Stuff like…”The park service puts the portaledges up on the climbs for you if you call in for reservations.” It was kind of funny at first but it just makes things harder for me, as I have to explain that the rats are just joking around… after a time it gets Very old. Plus some of the rats have very limited vocabularies and make use of vulgarities even with children around. Not good. Also the rap music with the “progressive lyrics” is not so enjoyable to most people who come by. So if you happen by please try not to be offensive in manner and speech. Today, however, the Colorado Girls, Joy and Sarah were down here and were talking to the Tourons about their recent climb up the Nose. They were really sweet, answering all the questions with honest, straightforward answers. Thanks girls!!


So today’s report is brought to you by the Colorado Girls, who are a real pleasure to have around… so listen up, and put on your reading glasses, because it starts right now…

Today’s ElCap Report…

Zodiac: Well all of the three parties from yesterday have vanished into the either. There remains a Korean party of SIX…yes that’s SIX. They climbed the direct start today and were seen with 3 at the belay at the top of two and one on the lead sporting a nice cheater stick to reach the bolts on the pitch. I suppose they are not as tall as some of the other climbers and the stick just may be necessary for them. The other two in the party were on the deck with the bags ready to haul.. Sometime… maybe… in the future.

Tribal Rite: Well my man Douglas, a.k.a. Ottawa Doug, knocked off two pitches today and should be on the nice ledge just below the Carrot pitch as I write this. I have been getting some nice shots from my secret spot near MPB that scan across the wall and get the sky in them. Sweet! If only I could get the moon to appear there! Anyway I talked to Doug early this afternoon after he had finished leading a pitch and he is still on schedule and enjoying the climbing. He has plenty of food and water and is in excellent spirits so wife, and kids… worry not… your man is just fine and I watch and talk to him daily.

Doug navigating the huge wall on the South Buttress of El Capitan

Doug reaching high in the thin air of Tribal Rite

Doug about to get the cooling shade this afternoon on Tribal Rite

Nose: Nice stuff to see today. Lee Cossey and his partner Jake, from Australia, threw down a 6:45 on sight of the route. Pretty impressive for climbers who have never been on the route. They were off the top by 12:15pm and had lunch here at the bridge!

Jake cleaning the Great Roof while Lee starts the Pancake Flake in deep shade

The other NIAD team was the Colorado team of Mike and Steve, who are the climbing partners of the Colorado Girls. Turns out that Steve and Sarah are NOT married, but just climbing partners for this trip… sorry about the misinformation in previous posts. Anyway, Steve and Mike were already on the pitch to the Boot when I arrived and had passed the Great Roof by about 12:45pm. So they should be off by now. Nice shirts for the camera too!

Mike and Steve short fix on their NIAD

Steve getting big air on the King Swing

Mike cleaning in the Gray Bands.. Notice the abandoned or perhaps dropped rope left of Mike


Lower down a team of two managed to pass Steve Schneider and friend in the lower Stove Legs when they outflanked Steve by doing the standard pendulum and landing just above him. He had done the free traverse and fixed a few days ago. But Steve was not to be denied and quickly came off the belay and breezed past them to a belay above. He also made Dolt Tower well before them but has decided to stay the night there. So the guys will most likely pass them again on their way to ECT. But, Steve is doing the Jardine in the morning so will most likely pass them as they go to do the King Swing. But they may be able to pass him in the Gray Bands as they have smaller bags… plus… well you get the picture!

Stove Leg Pendulum gives party a jump on Steve’s Team

Not to be outdone, Steve climbs past the pendulum party.

Out West: I didn’t get out West today as it was getting late and I had some other things to do. But there is a party on the lower Muir and at least one on Lurking Fear. I will try to get out there tomorrow.

In other news: It seems the exodus is beginning. Hayden and two others are heading back to Colorado and there seems to be a lack of interest in wall climbing as has been expressed in the café in the mornings. The weather will be getting hotter soon and that always thins out the wall rats. If not for Ottawa Doug and the Nose record attempt I would be tempted to put away the scope and close down my production office for the Report. But Doug is a good friend and I wouldn’t think of leaving him without someone to contact his family with daily reports since his cell phone is out. So I am hanging on here. The light is getting worse every day and ElCap photography is not very satisfying this time of year. The shots are just not that good with the sun so high in the sky. I really look forward to October when every day is a pleasure to work in. Hayden and Dude 2 did get the LT done yesterday before the sun got on them and reported some really nice free climbing on that outrageously steep West Face route. The Australians are leaving tomorrow, and the camp in general is getting more Touron, and less climber, oriented.

Standing BMD Jake, Autumn, Aaron, Matt, Jake, Lee, Thanh, Dude 2 (Corbin) Seated: Mara, Hayden, Amanda

So that’s the way it is for this the 20th of June 2008

. Later ECP’s