El Cap Report 10/07/08

ElCap Report 10/07/08

By Tom Evans

Yo… Beautiful fall day here in the Valley. The two most popular climbs, the Nose and the Salathe are starting to get loaded up. There are several slow parties strung out on the Nose and the Salathe has a pile of climbers too, so if you are interested in the Cap then a word to the wise is to look around a little for another route besides the “big two”. Today’s report is brought to you by the guy who owns the beater white pickup truck that has been parked in “my spot” for the past several days… Thanks for nothing dude… no shots for you! Ha Ha… anyway here it is just for you … today’s ECR…

Eagles Way: Nico and Sean did some pretty wild looking climbing high on the route today. They tossed some choss and boldly went for it on some pretty scary looking leads… nice job guys!!

Nico cranking hard on Eagles Way.

Zodiac: Alex and Katie worked the center of the circle in the morning with some success and then ledged up for the rest of the time I was there. They don’t look like they have it made yet. Lower down I think Andrew took a 40 footer on the corner that Alex was working on, after of course, he went down to his ledge. Andrew was hanging there but was having a long day for sure. Lower yet the team of two did the BT with some trepidation but got it done. Even lower down the team of two that started from off the ground yesterday was at the 4th as I left today. As the cliff face is still pretty warm over there these guys need to step on the gas or they will be real thirsty later!

Andrew Barnes during a long day on Zodiac

Alex belaying Katie up the center of the White Circle Zodiac

ZM: I did see Lambone leading the last hard pitch, which is above the PTPP junk show and these guys should get off the route later this evening.

Trip: The guys who were on it yesterday climbed to the top of 6 today and promptly bailed off from the end of the 5th pitch. That is one long free rap!! Nice shirt! Ha Ha!

Lowering the bags off the 4th belay on the Trip

Reticent: Davito climbed high on the route today but was in the shade most of the time so I didn’t get many shots of him. He seems quite proficient and will most likely have no difficulty with the rest of the route. Lower down a party of two was seen climbing toward LLL and from there who knows what they will do… maybe this route.

Mescalito: Jessie was on the sharp end of the string today and lead up to the Molar traverse by the time I departed around 3:30. These ranger types are having too much fun up there and are moving just like a team that knows what they are doing!! The freight seems to be moving upward as fast as the cleaner.. Pretty unusual on a route like Mescalito. Got some nice shots of them from out west this afternoon.

Team Mescalito at the start of the Molar Traverse

Nose: Well….. Well…. What to write. Still lots of parties up there with most in the Grey bands and above at this time. None of the wall style parties are moving with much speed but they are hanging in there and getting the pitches behind them. A NIAD team was leading the pack while another NIAD that took the Jardine Chip variation was pretty low pretty late today and they may be in for a long night. There was some activity on the Stove Legs but not much toward DT. The Irish national climbing team was two from the top when I left.

Using the stick on the Jardine Traverse notice the dark clothes

Almost done on Pancake Flake pitch the Nose

A little low on the King Swing

The pitch above the Glowering Spot Nose Route

Shield: The Solo, Narek, let the team of two, Mark and John, pass and they took off at a good pace and were hauling above the triple cracks when I left. Narek was hauling to the base of the really fun “Groove Pitch” you can get your groove on there folks. Ask Stowe or Gerberding to tell you the story of their first time on that section!!

Groove pitch on the Shield

Salathe: There must have been 6 parties of two on the route today and they were all clustered together at the Ear this afternoon. They all went the standard way up to ECS.

Getting ready for the Ear Pitch Salathe Wall

The real pitch above the Ear not the Monster Crack Salathe

Never Never Land: I did see a team of 3 hanging off the 4th pitch all huddled up like it was cold over there…

In other news: Tomorrow the Hans and Yuji show starts around 7:30am. If bored with speed then you can look over and watch the Honnold/ Brown show on Zodiac or the Nico Sean show on Eagles Way or just the rest of the field doing their thing. I did speak with Chris Sharma for a few moments as he was about to depart for some meadow time with two friends. He was up on the Nose for several pitches yesterday and wasn’t feeling the love so they are hanging in the meadow and just enjoying the view for a while. I have no idea what the plans are. His reputation as a really nice guy precedes him and we are all wishing him the best of luck in all he does. It is really great when outstanding climbers come to the Captain to have some fun, and this is a really good week for us ElCap watchers!!

Choppers flying around a lot today…. I don’t know if it is all related to the rock fall over at Curry this afternoon or if some rescue was in progress. Lazy day at the bridge with some Tourons and several climber/photographer types hanging out. The air was very clear and the photography a lot of fun. Come on out this week and see the best of the best have the best of times on the best old rock around!!

So that’s the way it is for this the 7th day of October 2008.

I’m out of here… ECP’s