El Cap Report 10/05/08

ElCap Report 10/05/08

 By Tom Evans

Yo… The storm has vanished as quickly at it came in and today was cool and sunny. The wall rats scurried up on the cliff with most of the action on the Nose. The wind was blowing pretty hard on all the exposed parts of the great cliff and most climbers were in jackets huddled at the belays. The air was clear and the photography excellent. The leaves are starting to turn on the North Side Drive and the air has the crispness of Fall now. The forecast is good way into the future so if you have any plans you had better put them into practice as the time has arrived to fish or cut bait. Today’s report is brought to you by Hans and Yuji who came by this afternoon on their way to do a tune up run up the Nose around 2pm. Imagine doing an afternoon ascent of the great climb! I did a many afternoons, and mornings ascent of the route myself!! So ditch the bags, trim the rack, start short fixing, and chalk up fast because we are going up on the Cap right now on Today’s ElCap Report… Zodiac: The team of two that had fixed to the top of three were back and headed upward today.

Starting the 4th pitch on Zodiac.

Zenyatta Mondatta: Matt and Brian did one of the most photogenic sections of the route today and you are going to benefit by getting to see a load of pics of their day. I did get an Email from Matt’s wife, Chrysten, in Peru, who said she really appreciates being able to see her man up on the route via my shots and gauge his progress from the report. You Bet!! I left around 4 as Brian was finishing the 9 O’clock Roof pitch.

Matt Lambert leads out on the Lightning bolt roof pitch.

Matt moving up on the LBR’s pitch. Zenyatta

Brian leaves the belay on Zenyatta

 Brian leads out on the 9 O’clock roof pitch on Zenyatta

Brian getting to the roof.

Matt relaxing while Brian climbs the roof above. Taken from way out west.

Mescalito: After a good start the Polish team decided to bail from the top of the 7th pitch today. As those in the know, know, reversing the Seagull pitch is a daunting prospect and the lads spent most of the entire day getting back to Stork ledge. What up dudes???

Reticent: Davito lead one of the crux pitches of the route today as he climbed above Wine Tower on a time consuming lead today.

Nose: I spotted Mash and Chantela a couple pitches above camp 6 this afternoon and they should be off by now on their climb of the 3D. Lower down there were several parties slugging up the Stove Legs and a very lightly equipped one moved over to ECT in the mid afternoon. The rest were in a conga line to Dolt Tower. None were going down but it is not decided yet!!

Hans and Yuji went off for an afternoon climb in preparation for their speed run on Wed morning. If that run doesn't do the trick then they are going next Sunday. I didn’t see them climbing but they had a pile of folks below Sickle to get through and of course the multitudes higher up.

3D:  I did see a team of three on Grey ledges leading up to the traverse this afternoon. Where are they headed? Just in front of them was Narek, the polish climber who is headed to the Shield.

Magic Mushroom: This team moved up smoothly today and are now out of the awkward flaring corners that infest the upper part of the route. They are dressed in rock cammo clothing and were not showing up in the shots… their loss!

Out west the team was nearing the top of their route this afternoon.

In other News: Wednesday and Thursday will be big days here. Of course Hans and Yuji are trying for some record insurance and will go again on the weekend if things don’t suit them.

Chris Sharma is going to take a run at on sighting the Nose free those two days. Should be interesting! Come on out!! Other routes are about to get some action too so the rock will be crowded soon!

The bridge was a little chilly today but a nice group of climbers hung out and had a good time.

Lance Alec Aaron Kate share a good time at the bridge.

Aaron and Kate enjoying a laugh at the bridge

Pete and Kate compare guns and Pete’s expression tells the tale!

I mentioned the other day that we have a problem we need to deal with on the Nose and also most likely the Salathe. Very sadly these wonderful, mega-classic routes are turning into open sewers once again and it is not just at camp 6 on the Nose. Camp 5 is a disgusting out house as some climbers are using the ledges to defecate and urinate on. I see teams go out daily with no poop tubes. So I am suggesting that climbers stop disrespecting the very rock that they idolize… man up and get that solid waste packed away and off the route. It is not difficult to do. The urine problem has gotten to be epidemic. Camp 5 is coated in a layer of greasy human excrement. We figure that if you drink a gallon of water then you generate about a third of a gallon of urine. So I am asking you to, ON THESE TWO ROUTES ONLY, but it would be nice if it became widespread, urinate in one of your used gallon water bottles and:

1) Carry it to the top and empty it out a good distance from the edge of the cliff in the sandy soil that acts like a filter to cleanse the waste when it rains or snows up there.

2) To me, even though it is not “legal”, if you can’t carry it up, (and you should carry it up) then take the bottle and huck it over the side away from the route so that it hit’s the wall a ways down. It should break and discharge the urine on the rock where it can be washed away by rains.

Then you or someone interested in helping, can pick up the empty plastic container. I know, I know… it is like heaving a bomb over the side and if someone below was hit with a gallon of urine it could be very bad. So I don’t recommend this really and the boys in green would be very upset ….but something has to be done. Option 1 is the best. Some of our climbers don’t seem to think it is a problem but I assure you it is and if we climbers don’t take some action then you can bet the authorities will and once they get involved there is no telling where that will lead. So we need to rededicate ourselves to the “clean climbing” ethic. Most routes are ok as people urinate over the side without much problem, as the wall is steep on many routes, so this request is just for the Nose and Salathe. None of us want to bivy in such filth and the problem needs to be addressed right now!!! Your ideas would be appreciated and debated as mine are going to be. I am asking all of you to do more to keep this wonderful resource, and inspiration for many of us, in as pristine condition as possible. What is going on now is totally unacceptable. Enough said?

So that’s the way it is for this the 5th day of October 2008 Thanks for reading my rantings and do something positive please!

Later ECP’s