El Cap Report 07/01/08

ElCap Report 7/1/08

By Tom Evans

Yo!..  Really sweet here today.  Finally a clear day with no smoke for a change.  Unfortunately there was not much action on the Cap but I will share what there was with you.  I stayed late in the Café this morning as I had some images to do and my buddies Winky and Nicki showed up.  Winky gave me all the pertinent dope on digital processing and how to clean up my images.  That is one of the things I really like about Yosemite.  My fellow photographers are always so helpful and ready to share knowledge with me.  I don’t have much to contribute to them but that doesn’t matter here.  We are a tight group and it is a pleasure to know we all hold each in the highest regard.

So today’s Report is brought to you by Winky, even though he holds ST in the very lowest regard!

Today’s ElCap Report…

Born Under a Bad Sign.  I did actually see Pete out on the lead today.  He was high up on some pitch doing a lot of gardening.  Earlier he was doing what I guess was some exploratory drilling for oil(?) on the pitch, in hopes, I suppose, of supplementing our depleted oil reserves!  Always thinking of others that PTPP!

PTPP doing some gardening on Bad Sign


Zodiac:  The route is now empty once again.  I did talk with the NC boys who put on a clinic these past two days.  They fixed to two and had one bivy and were off last evening.  Nice stuff….

Nathan Mlot and Peyton Hassinger after Zodiac


Mescalito:  Team Tophie and Seth were up and at the Molar traverse when I arrived this morning.  They were just finishing up.  Interestingly enough, when one of them let out the bags he decided, after about 20 ft. of lowering, that he wanted them back!!  So he set up an ascender on the lower out line and tried to haul them back by hand… of course it was a futile endeavor!  He did get them pretty close to the belay but those last few feet generate a lot of load on the system and he was not strong enough to turn the trick.  They finished the pitch and were on the 5.9 section of the next pitch when I left.  They are moving along smartly now.

Molar Traverse SE Face of ElCap Mescalito


Trying to get the bags back!


Climbing at the end of the Molar Traverse Mescalito


New Dawn to Tribal Rite:  I did see Wigball, Zak, hiding from the afternoon heat at the top of the third.  He was laid up under a shade on his ledge waiting for the shade.

Zak shading up early on ND to TR


Nose:  I heard from a guy at the bridge yesterday that two of his buddies from Wisconsin were on the route.  I didn’t see them so I sort of let it pass thinking they probably were bailers as it was their very first wall of any kind.  Well surprise, surprise!!  They were seen this morning climbing off Dolt Tower and heading for ECT.  The woman, Rachael Melville, and her partner, Eddy Avalone seemed to have everything under control.  She was doing some nice free climbing above Dolt and they did do a sort of “space haul” for the freight.  In reality they both got on the other end of the haul line and pushed down with all they had, bare feet and all.  They quickly climbed to ECT but took an extended lunch there and were still lounging when I departed.  Hopefully they will be aware of the happenings tomorrow morning and will stay out of the way.

Rachael helping with the bags off Dolt Tower Nose route


Barefoot hauling above Dolt Tower notice the difference the colorful shirt makes!


Rachael leading to ECT Nose route


Long lunch on ECT Nose route ElCapitan


Salathe:  I did spot the elusive couple that many have seen on the route these past days.  They were a pitch above Long Ledge this morning and were gone by afternoon.  Mook had reported them as below Sous le Toit ledge when he was working the headwall pitches yesterday.  Guess they make it!

In other news:  There was a nice gathering last night in honor of Jon Gleason’s 35 Bday.  It was nice to see a lot of the folks I don’t get around to see enough.  Stew was lapping up the attention from the young hotties who were concerned about his recovery from the recent plunge off the bike.  As you recall… “He went down like Billy the Kid”.  He is milking it for all it is worth of course!  The bridge was really quiet today for most of the time I was there.  Nicki came down and lounged around as he was just back from some of the so called “quality time” with his master…. Errrr… girlfriend, I mean.  Later Greg came by and a lot of the SAR pukes showed up for a lazy river day.  Nathan and Peyton spent a while here too.  Scotty V. showed up and I understand he is taking on the task of being an undercover agent, posing as a climbing partner to, so called, “crazy Sean”.  This way we have an inside man who can keep the route from getting out of hand… he in fact works for me and will radio me every evening for instructions.  The “Sea Horse” is about to be ridden!

The big news is, of course, tomorrows attempt on the Nose speed record by the very able team of Hans and Yuji.  They have been in consultation with a tea leaf reader and several psychics who have assured them that whatever happens will occur.  With that solid information how can they miss?!  There is a building media frenzy developing and I have it from the MAN himself that our own, Ken Yager, will be doing a hold by hold, live commentary for Public Radio.  

Well “Balderdash” I say to that!  Yager?  Who the hell is he???  Is he posting up some pics of the climb too??  I don’t think so!!!  You know where the real analysis will be now don’t you?!  Yes!  Your man ElCap-Pics will the there to decipher every lieback, pendulum, and short fixed pitch.  Nothing will evade my eagle eye.  So don’t let the hype suck you in Bro… the standard is still the standard and no new whipper snapper, upstart, washed up guide can even come close to the high level of reporting you have come to expect and deserve!!  Anyway, please tune in if you can!  Good luck with the broadcast Ken!

So be there tomorrow at 6ish and see the whole through your own eyes!!

That’s the way it is for this the 1st day of July 2008.  

Tune in again tomorrow… ECP’s