El Cap Report 10/08/08

ElCap Report 10/08/08

By Tom Evans

Yo... Whoa what a busy day here in the Valley. Lots of things going on with all the EC stuff and the rock fall at Curry Village. The weather was great, the climbing was great, the human interest was great too... more below about all that stuff. Today's report is brought to you by Assistant Supt. Shackelton who showed up in the afternoon to check on the retrieval of one Dr. Rock (Greg Stock) from Mescalito. So flick that cig away, down the last of the cool one you have in your hand, lock the doors and bar the windows because it is quite a trip you are goin on with me to the steep sides of the greatest climbing rock in the USA. Today's Report....

 Eagles Way: I did see Nico and Sean working the upper part of this route today... how it went? I couldn't tell you but will find out tomorrow.

Zodiac: Well, Alex and Katie were working the Nipple pitch early this morning when I got there... it turns out it was a practice run and it looked like it. The lad took a 40 footer off the Nipple and about squeezed little Katie through the GriGri!! There was traffic waiting to get on the pitch so they took off for the top pretty early and topped out in the afternoon. I think it is probably not a good time of year to work the route as it is always crowded these days but it is sure fun to watch great climbers doing great things. EDIT...Alex told me at breakfast that it was just too hot in the sun to climb at that level. Lower down Andrew and Catalin did the Nipple pitch and then the Mark of Zorro pitch in the afternoon. Lower than that was a team of two who climbed into the White Circle in the afternoon. Lower than that was a team at the BT ledge who bailed in the afternoon.

Alex and Katie on the Nipple pitch early today.

Reticent: The solo, Davito, made the nice ledge at the base of the final section this afternoon. He is climbing well. Far below him is a team of two who made lay lady ledge in the late morning.

Mescalito: The men were up early on what would turn out to be a strange day for the team. Jessie lead the 15 pitch, considered by some to be the crux, early in the day. After a time the word came down that the Geologist, Dr. Rock (Greg Stock), was needed down on the ground to view the rock fall area. The Supt. tried to get the real expert on the subject from Berkley but it turns out the man has dementia and doesn't know a rock from a hard place... so.... SAR threw down a full on retrieval and came in from the top in late afternoon and lowered Scott Ring on his last ever rescue, down from the dawn wall and plucked the somewhat petrified rock man right off the cliff and continued downward to the ground. The operation went off without a hitch and the geologist was soon in Curry where he announced to the world, via mass media, that "yes there was indeed a rock fall", and quickly retired to the mountain room for a stiff drink! The two climbing rangers continued up the route at a pretty good clip and should be basking in the spacious confines of the Bismarck ledge as I type these words. They should be off tomorrow. Jessie leading out on the cruxy 15th pitch of Mescalito

Is there a geologist in the house??!

Nose: Yes, there was some action on this uberclassic route today. There were the usual wall rat wantabees infesting the middle and upper environs of the route and almost as many camera men at just the right spots to get a good record of the latest version of the Hans and Yuji show. A good show it was too as the lads were in fine form but a series of little glitches put them off the mark by just a few minutes as they hit a 2:48:30 in the crisp morning air. More importantly they had a good time doing the now customary 360 degree spin to start the King Swing. They are on for Sunday if the weather holds and perhaps Monday if it does not. It was a good show and they gave it a really good effort. Others on the route included a mob of much lesser-known’s who tried like hell to look good but the great cliff battered them pretty badly. I would venture a guess that there are about 5 parties on the route but most are soon to depart by starvation or summitting.... SAR took one look at this scurvy crew and left miles of rope on top ...just in cast!! Welcome to Yosemite Pukes!!

Yuji in the Stove legs

Yuji pulling off a 360 on the King Swing

The pitch above Dolt Tower

Shield: The two man team, from what I hear is Colorado, pushed rapidly on to Chicken Head ledge this morning and were headed for the top later in the day. My man Narek, the solo, had the pleasure of spending several hours on the horror show of the route ...the notorious "Groove pitch". He was carrying his lead line with him instead of using the so called "Continuous Loop". It didn't look like fun to me but he started up the triple cracks at afternoons end seemingly unphased by the mornings work. Up is now down for him.

Having fun in the Groove

Salathe: This route has suddenly become quite popular and there were several parties lined up high on the route heading for the top. I had breakfast in the cafe with my man Gleason and his young rope gun Will and over a breakfast burrito they told me of their plans to climb to ECS and come down at days end. Sure enough I saw them a pitch above Hollow Flake, the 5.7 chimney that was to be Gleasons contribution to the effort. He looked a little large to fit in there and the persistant rumors of his recent pregnancy might just have some credence! He looked a bit winded and I expect the spire was but a distant dream.

Dihedral: A team consisting of a father and daughter were at the top of the 2nd pitch around 3 today and, of couse, I have managed to forget their names. It looked a tad warm over there.

Never Never Land: I did notice, from my palacial holdings at the Bridge, that this team was ledged up on the slab several pitches above the ground and was spending considerable time doing nothing but sitting around. I saw them pulling lines a pitch off the deck later in the day... they looked happy to be down.

In other news; A nice crowd gathered to watch the Hans and Yuji show this morning and lingered to see the retreval of Dr. Rock later in the afternoon. We got to watch some good free climbing on the Upper East Side of the rock as the day progessed. I did see youngsters Alex and Katie walking down the road toward the bridge around 4pm looking a little dirty but none the worse for wear. There are rumors circulating about these delightful youngin's but, as you know, fabrication is my forte so take it as you will.....

Another great day is in the books and hopefully, many more are to come...

So that's the way it is for this the 8th day of October 2008...

Bye Bye ECP's