El Cap Report 09/28/08

ElCap Report  9/28/08
By Tom Evans                  

Yo.. A very nice day here at the bridge but lurking up behind the Dome was a mass of very dark clouds.  The weather forecast is calling for some bad weather in the next few days so the monkey’s are a little jumpy.  Parts of the morning were downright quiet here and the view suggested that the wall climbers were calmly going about their business.
Today’s report is brought to you by Beth, who broke out the left over pizza from a big feed last night in El Portal.

So park the car, put on the emergency brake, turn up the tunes and get ready for some adventure in your sorry existence because here it comes to you… hot from the oven… Today’s ElCap report.

Zodiac:  This recently neglected route has two teams on it as of today.  The lead team of two is nicely decked out in Blue and Orange shirts…. Must be foreigners as it seems the Americans have fallen back onto old habits with white shirts or dull ones at best.  Not good… not good at all.  These guys climbed to the top of 3 with bag in tow so I assume they are on the route.
The other team was just finishing leading the first pitch when I departed.

Kaos:  I did talk to Pete and Kate on the radio this morning and everything is fine with them.  Pete apologized about the white shirt and said it was because of the heat… funny that Kate is sporting a sweet red shirt in the same heat as Pete.  Kate lead the pitch that skirts the 9 o’clock roof and I got a couple of cool shots of her looking as smooth as an ice skater.  They only have a pitch to go on this route until the merge with ZM.
Kate leading off the belay on Kaos as Pete looks on.

Kate Robertson smoothly skating along on Kaos.

The Ranch:  Alec is so high on this route that is difficult to photography him due to the drastic foreshortening.  He should be off tomorrow.

The Sea of Dreams:  This team could use some new T-shirts but will not of course get them.  They climber the three pitches to Easy Street and spent the last part of the day looking at the Hook or Book pitch but not venturing out to do it.  Big SAR Andy, who recently climbed the route with Skyler, reports that the hooks have gotten very enhanced by now and the danger of this pitch is quite reduced compared to the “old days”.

Atlantis:  Well Manly stepped up and lead the team down the steep raps as Richie was favoring his injured ankle.  They took a gamble and it paid off as they had just enough rope to hit the belay at the top of the 5th pitch.  It appeared that they would get the job done, perhaps by dark. 
Nice descent guys as you earned the “Bail of the Day”.  See you in the Café tomorrow!!

Mescalito:  This two man team was heading up to the start of the Bismarck ramp on the pitch with a lot of rivets as I left.  Anyone know who these guys are?

Reticent:  It appears that the solo who climbed to Lay Lady Ledge yesterday is heading off to do Reticent as I spotted him on the first pitch of that route in the afternoon.

Nose:  A team of three was seen heading up the final pitch to the top this afternoon.  A team of two, one guy sporting a nice orange shirt, climbed the pitch to camp 4 as I left at 4:30pm.  Below them Jay and Jeanette climbed to ECT in the late morning and set up camp there, figuring I suppose, that they would be hard pressed to make Camp 4 in the remaining daylight.  Plus they pushed hard yesterday and I think they may have need to recharge the batteries!
Lower down in the Stove Legs the team of three who came down from Texas Flake yesterday to bivy at ECT bailed this morning in an orderly manner passing by a team of three who were headed up the Stove Legs.  The 3 going up made Dolt later in the afternoon.  I suspect they may be heading for ECT where Jay and Jeanette are well entrenched.
Aiding the Stove Legs Nose Route.

Afternoon arrivals on Dolt Tower Nose Route

Jay and Jeanette setting up camp on ECT.

Pitch above Eagle Ledge on the Nose Route

Crossing the Tan Band heading to camp 4 Nose Route

Salathe/Freerider:  I did see Stephan and his wife climb the Ear and then he took a shot at the Monster crack where he slipped off on the reachy traverse.  But he was soon back across it and on up the strenuous crack with apparent ease.  They rapped down to a lower level and might have just been up there for a quick run at the lower section.   You may recall that he freed a rope solo of Freerider last year, the first person to do so.
Stephan off the traverse to the Monster Crack.

I didn’t get out west as it was getting late and I got a report that there was no one to be seen over there anyway as the Dihedral hopeful’s have not shown up.

In other news:  We had a nice time at the bridge today and for a Sunday it was quite nice.  The traffic was busting but mostly just noise pollution.
A pretty large collection of climbers drifted in and out and most ended up in the meadow.  Ammon and Cheryl have arrived and he is staying for a time to do some climbing with his brother, Gabe and Son Austin.  Maybe Mediteranio will get a 3rd ascent?  Also I hear he may be going up the trip with Timmy O and brother Sean.  Not sure about that.  I did see Yuji at the dinner tonight and we chatted about the Nose and when their next run will be.  Perhaps, if the weather holds, they will be up on it tomorrow for some practice.  OK Tony and Colorado Kevin are here to do the Half Dome-Nose link-up. 
So that’s the way it is for this the 28th day of September 2008.
Bye Bye ECP’s