El Cap Report 09/18/09

ElCap Report 9/18/09
By Tom Evans
Yo.. Another killer day at the bridge!  Pretty quiet in the morning but by afternoon lots of climbers showed up to hang out and enjoy watching the teams climbing on the Captain.  As you can imagine the Bridge Crew is a pretty tough audience and not much gets by them.  So the slander and humor were freely flowing.  The big Trades are getting all the action and they are far from full.  More and more of the regulars are coming in for the Fall season and if this weather is any indication then we should have many good days to bask in the glory of the Captains light.

Today’s ECR is brought to you by the Crew at the Bridge.  Love them or hate them, they are the chosen ones who are occupying the spot that you, Cubicle Pukes and working stiffs can only dream about!  So pause from your labors, clear your cluttered mind, take some down time to release all the tension you have built up throughout the drudgery of the day.  Because you are coming with me, ElCap-pics, to the towering battlements of El Capitan itself, to fight it out on the greatest rock climbs in the world.
So take a deep breath because here we go… today’s ElCap Report… unique in all the world… just for you…

Zodiac:  The Korean university team of two climbed out of the center of the route today and were last seen on the pitch above Peanut Ledge around 4pm.  They climbed well and could be off today but I hear from their fearless leader, at the bridge, that they will most likely bivy at the base of the last pitch.  Sadly they wore mostly black clothing the entire climb and thus the pics were something less than spectacular.
1)  Korean leader climbing to Peanut Ledge.




























Lower down the two teams pressed the attack and caught up with the lead team at the belay for 13.  These teams did the classic nipple pitch and will most likely bivy at Peanut but one just might push for the top.  Nice climbing and good fun for all the teams on this sweet climb.
2)  Japanese Leader on the Nipple pitch.

























3)  British team on the pitch above the Mark of Zorro.



























4)  Japanese team finishing  the Nipple pitch on Zodiac.




























Tangerine Trip:  The Norwegians are moving up but slowly they spent most of the day on the 9th and 10th pitches…. They may get one more done before dark.

Lower down Ottawa Doug and Mike blasted today and were last seen heading for the top of the 4th pitch via the VA start.  The men looked right smart in their orange and red shirts and drew the attention of the Tourons all day.

The Nose:  Well… the Nose… yep.. the good old Nose.  The teams from yesterday who made camp 5 in the evening were seen going over the top around 4ish this afternoon.
Lower down a smartly dressed team in red from yesterday climbed from ECT to the top of the Boot taking forever to get there.  Then, much to the delight of the Crew, they sent down a man to give the King Swing a go… it was ugly and may still be ugly.  Maybe their beta sucked or maybe they were just clueless but the swinger tried it from every place except one that would work.  This of course peaked the interest of the Crew and much amusement was garnered at the expense of the climbing team.  After trying as low as the top of Texas Flake, the unfortunate leader seemed to have run out of strength and went back up the Boot.  I was way past my departure time so I don’t know what happened next.  It didn’t look good as I drove away at 4:40.  I did look at the shots from today and noticed the swinger had on tennis shoes!!!!  He should have had on his best climbing shoes… Lesson!  My spies tell me they were on Eagle ledge at 8pm, so they got it done and didn't have to bail... good for you guys... hope the rest goes better!!
5)  Great shirt, shitty shoes, King Swing.

























The team of three who scraped up the Legs yesterday did bivy on Dolt but didn’t start until after 10am and were just getting to ECT as I left.  Could be they are a party crew just taking their sweet time … I hope so because they are a long way from anywhere.  They appear to be a Korean team.

Lower down a team dressed in nice red shirts climbed from Sickle Ledge and after the pendulum promptly bailed.
6)  Dude, we got here first so we get to bail first!!  Checking the topo on Sickle ledge.

























Shield:  The two Brits were climbing to Chickenhead ledge as I departed.  They seemed to have some difficulties with the pitch above the Triple Cracks taking several plunges in the process.  The leader seemed to be just fine and continued with determination to finish the pitch… you aren’t going down from there that’s for sure!  Off tomorrow for these lads.
7)  Brits passing the Canoe on the Shield.


























Lower down Chris Chan climbed over the roof in the afternoon and to my dismay is wearing some of the drabbest clothing ever seen on ElCap.  Too bad as it would have been nice to get some cool looking shots of her.  Oh well… her choice.  She climbed with confidence and was cleaning the roof as I left.  Go Chris.. You can do it!!  Didn't she climb the Dihedral with a partner a while back?
8)  Chris coming back to the belay on the Roof Pitch.



























Salathe:  I did see a gang of 5 climbers climb over the roof and go to Long Ledge this afternoon.  They looked like they were having fun to me.

Lower down a team of two from Flagstaff, I hear, were seen climbing the Ear and the pitch above in late afternoon.

Below them a French mixed team was seen climbing the Hollow Flake and were a couple of pitches higher as I left around 4:30pm.

9)  Blast from the Past:  The best King Swing I ever saw!!

























In other news:  Erik Sloan took a turn at bridge ambassador today, as he does two days a week, but it seems, like a mother hen, I don’t relinquish my turf very easily and it was difficult not to want to explain things to the Tourons!  I need to learn to relax and let him to his thing instead of trying to fine tune the information. 
We are waiting with bated breath, (cough, cough) the arrival of PTPP who is due at any moment to begin another Batan Death March up the Captain.  Handsome Mike, showed up today as did Sean Leary (Stanley), Chris Falkinstein, and even the “Boss” Ken Yager.  Lots of others came by or just stayed around.  Always a great day when the monkeys get to hang out and spew the spew!  Ken says the Face Lift will be bigger and better than ever with nearly unlimited gratis mass consumables!  So come on out of your Cubicles, houses, cars, tents, caves, whatever rock you hide under and join us for good fun and good cheer all for a great cause!
So that’s the way it is for this the 18th day of September, 2009.
I’m out of here…

nice shot of Chris on the Shield Roof!


Thanks for sharing your great photos and the stories of how folks are doing on the climbs.
Chris did a clean ascent of the Dihedral Wall in '08 with Bob Steed. One of the stories from that climb was that she took a 50-foot leader fall when some C4 gear pulled; it was long because a fixed pin and fixed head broke during the fall. She went back up and finished the lead without replacing the fixed gear that broke - I guess it wasn't needed!
Chris did the Salathe' with me in '07. I remember she said she was a little disappointed that the aid wasn't very hard. You got some nice photos of us hauling to Hollow Flake Ledge that time - thanks!
So, on to bigger challenges this year!
Go Chris!

- Clint Cummins


Thank you Tom!

f my life.

i wish i was there right now...

p.s. no more math problems! whoohoo!!

Let's hear it for

CHRIS CHAN on the Shield!!! YeeHaw!

Thanks Tom!!!! Go Doug, Go

Thanks Tom!!!!

Go Doug, Go Mike

Hey Tom,

Thanks for the cubicle puke buzz!

Life is much better with the daily EC Report and you on the bridge.

Go Ottawa Doug and Mike.



I wish I still lived under a rock.
T'was a good, weird life.
This town shizz is weird in a worse way, I think.
Thanks, Tom. You are the EYE.
You see.