El Cap Report 06/25/08

ElCap Report 6/25/08

 By Tom Evans

Yo! It was another nasty day here at the Bridge and in Yosemite in general. The smoke was so thick I could barely even make out the Cap much less focus the camera on climbers. But I do all I can because I know that the climbers up there want to have something to see from their climb and with image processing programs I was able to salvage a few shots of each team. All the climbing images below looked like the following one before I processed them. It is a frigging miracle I got such good results.

How ElCap looked through my scope today. Andy on 3rd pitch of ZM


The Bridge was way quiet today with the few Tourons who did stop complaining about the smoke ruining their little time here. I was able to show them climbers through the scope but it was pretty grim. Yuji did wander by early in the day and we chatted briefly as he was heading out for some meadow time. I shook his hand as he departed and was amazed how soft the skin is. I thought he would have tough as leather hands but that was not the case as mine were rougher than his and as you know I do very little here. Today’s report is brought to you by the Ken Bokelund family who stopped to say good bye on their way up to the high country. Ken is talking about possible adventures in the fall with his wife, the lovely, Maureen.

Today’s ElCap Report…

Zodiac: I saw the speedy, “Team of Six”, Koreans make the top this morning after putting on a clinic about how to move a large party up the wall rapidly and efficiently. Very nice folks. Plus the local speculation is rampant about the equipment you folks deemed necessary for wall climbing!

Korean team moving off Peanut Ledge on Zodiac

Korean team heading for the top of Zodiac

Lower down the “Team of Four” made some progress today but are not at the level of the Korean team. I see from a post below that they are the "Cane Family Crew". Jean-Paul, Maureen, Capt Matt and a friend of JP's. They seem to be sharing the work and having a good time. They didn’t move very far today, spent most of the time dealing with freight hauling. Hopefully they are well supplied.

“Zodiac Four” bivy at top of pitch 4

Zenyatta Mondatta: Andy and Skyler were moving right along today working on the lower part of the route. They were on the 4th pitch as I left and passerby Jon Gleason said they might just do “two a day” as they have plenty of food and water and are in no hurry. Haven’t seen the lovely Clara here at the Bridge yet. We await her arrival with great anticipation. Fortunately, “The Bone” is not here to work his magic, so Andy may still have a girlfriend upon his return!

Andy leading Skyler on the 3rd pitch of ZM.. this taken at almost the same time as the unprocessed one above!!

The Nose: I did catch just a fleeting glimpse of Wigball Zak and Holly as they climbed out of Camp 5 this morning. They are most likely off or close to it as I write this. It is impossible to see anyone high on the face at this time, so this is just speculation. You know how I hate to speculate!

Triple Direct: I did see the three woman team of Locals, Holly, Lorna, and Saco climb the Free Blast portion of this route today. They are planning on a push to Camp 4 today, no matter how long it takes, and then off tomorrow. Pretty bold in this heat and smoke. I did manage a few shots of them through very dense smoke but the quality is unsuitable for posting here. Maybe tomorrow things will be clearer.

In other news: Legendary Yosemite hanger-around, Stew, took the plunge while riding his bike on the trail back from Mecca yesterday, and was found in a pile, covered with blood, by members of his climbing party. Fortunately for the debonair “old timer” they were all YOSAR members and were able to extricate him from the path, stop the bleeding from a nasty head wound, and get him to the clinic for extended treatment, including twenty some stitches in his highly reflective, hairless skull! He looked good this morning in the café and has the wound nicely concealed by his “OJ Simpson” watch cap. Carry on Stew!!

Stew, after the fall. "He went down hard, like Billy the Kid"( from a Tom Petty song)


In other news: I didn’t get out west at all and know nothing about the MM party starting today. Did hear that “Team Celtic” left the court yesterday. Remember tomorrow is the Hans Yuji speed climb of the Nose. They say it is a run-up to the big push Sunday but you never know about these things. EP is in town with his ropes and cameras and he doesn’t show up just to hang out! He must be way out of the loop as he was overheard saying something about this climb being on the “Hush hush!” Hello! Eric?! Are you there? Check out Hans website sometime! Anyway, the event is scheduled for a 6am start and most likely that is when it will happen. So come on out and support the team and get to see some great climbing by two of the best in the world at this kind of climbing! I will be at the bridge. Of course the big news of today was the return of Ottawa Doug, after his 10 day solo climb of Tribal Rite. I got some of the local youth, Chris and Ozzie, to go up top and help bring his gear down as he is on a time constraint. He looked fabulous and his abs even made the young lads envious. The ElCap diet and exercise plan always produces the best results, eat your heart out Jenny Craig!! Welcome back Doug. He will most likely be hanging at the Bridge all day tomorrow to bask in the Glory!! Chris, Ozzie, PTPP, Ottawa Doug at the bridge today

Best of friends, Tom and Doug

Ottawa Doug Basking in the Glory!

So that’s the way it is for this the 25th day of June 2008.

See you tomorrow for the Hans Yuji climb!