El Cap Report 06/28/08

ElCap Report 6/28/08
By Tom Evans

Yo.. Well I wish I could tell you that the air is fresh and clear like it usually is this time of year… but the fires keep making the smoke that the west wind keeps blowing into the valley.  It was very smoky most of the day with short spells of fair visibility.  For a Saturday the place was pretty dead.  Some action on the big stone and several new teams getting ready to depart. 
Today’s report is brought to you by Hollywood Hans himself as he drifted by with the kids for a little down by the river time this afternoon.  Nice to see him out and about with the kids for a little relaxation.

Today’s Report….

Bad Sign.  I did see Kate lead a pitch and Pete clean it this afternoon.  They have a pretty good junk show going and it sure did look hot over there on that black rock.

Zodiac:  Team Cane moved the show up to Peanut late in the afternoon after getting two pitches done today thus far.  They looked like they were just having a good old time hanging out and having fun.  Ranger Jesse and partner (?) stayed at the middle of the circle last night and were able to catch the Team of Four at the belay for the pitch to Peanut.  They were clear to do that pitch as the higher team was off the pitch and moving up but they decided to hitch hike to Peanut on the other teams rope.  Done in the best Chongo tradition!  Jesse’s partner (?) was leading the pitch off Peanut ledge when I left.
Jesse’s partner finishing the Nipple pitch on Zodiac

Climbing Ranger Jesse McGhaey cleans the Nipple pitch

Maureen jugging out past Devil’s Eyebrow on Zodiac

Team Cane heading for Peanut ledge

Team Cane departs the belay as Jesse arrives

Zenyatta Mondatta:  Andy and Skyler made good time today and are within striking distance of the top in early afternoon tomorrow.  They climbed through some really pretty rock this morning and did the arch as I was leaving.
ZM’s big and smooth upper wall await’s the lads

Skyler leads out on Zenyatta

Andy Hoeckel tends the rope from the comfort of his ledge

Mescalito:  I did see a two man team going up the ropes to the top of the 4th pitch which they fixed sometime in the past few days.  Who are they I wonder?

Nose:  I saw some bags on Sickle this afternoon but that’s it.  Hans and Yuji are going for the record in the morning at, hopefully, 6am.  But that is just what they would like and last time it was closer to 7 by the time they got rolling. 

Magic Mushroom:  The two man team was seen on Chiefton ledge today so they must have made really fast progress up the long corner pitches high on the route.  Nice work guys… off by dark maybe!!

Salathe:  I did see a man and woman moving some bags up the chimney above the Hollow flake this afternoon.  Tomorrow Jon Gleason and Dana (Mad dog) are going for the route in a day.

In other news:  Pretty dead around here now that Ottawa Doug has left.  The pesky Tourons are pretty psyched about the record attempt tomorrow.  The quote of the day was from a seemingly knowledgeable one who asked if the record attempt was tomorrow and then asked if the rock in front of us was El Capitan!  So….. Maybe not so in the know!  BMDJake was by later in the day after hauling some stuff down from the LAD which he didn’t particularly take a liking to.  Lance came by for a while too.  A ranger finally cut down the slack line that has been across the river forever.  He came by a few days ago and asked if I would get the word out to remove it before they had to… I couldn’t find the owner…  so down it went today.  Not good, not good at all for us.  We need to keep things in some order around here or “they” will be less and less flexible.  The Korean team stopped by today and told me they had a 71 year old man on the climb.  They also reported that they dropped some things from the climb, such as film and personal effects and would like to have them returned.  So if you were at the base and found some of their stuff then please return it to them in camp 4 or me here at the bridge.
Anyway I have a show tonight at the lodge so I have to get out of here…
So that’s the way it is for this the 28th day of June 2008.
Later TME