El Cap Report 10/11/08

ElCap Report 10/11/08

By Tom Evans

Yo... windy and cold here at the bridge and it was even more so on the cliff. The weather is supposed to improve tomorrow and for the next several days. The Hans and Yuji show is on for the morning, but due to the cold may not start as early. I am thinking around 8:30 or so. Best of luck, climb well and safely guys. Today’s report is brought to you by the McNeeley clan who arrived here at the bridge this afternoon. Gabe and Janie, Ammon and son Austin arrived to a cold day but their great warmth and humor cheered us bridge rats up. Welcome back folks!! Today's report is on...

Zodiac: I don't think I have ever seen a team quite like the one that has been staying at the start of the Mark of Zorro pitch for the past 3 days! Yep, they are just ledged up there and only venture out briefly. They seem to be ok and rumor has it that they have planned to do it in PTPP style (hopefully that will not catch on!) and party hard the whole way. Another party was climbing to the third this afternoon and another yet headed for the base to start themselves.

Zodiac boys waiting something out but what?

NA Wall: You recall that the team of three bailed yesterday? Well another team stopped by this morning and asked if I got shots of them. Who were they? I never saw them on the route! I rarely miss a team and I guess I was focused on the one below and never looked higher on the route. So I missed them! I felt bad about it but if you don't tell me when and where you are climbing then don't expect to get your pics.

Pacific Ocean: Janet and Holly climbed several pitches in obviously cold conditions and Janet was leading toward the continental shelf when I departed. The ladies are making good time and this long, classic Bridwell route.

Holly cleans while Janet hauls the bag PO Wall

Holly Beck leads out on a cold afternoon on the PO Wall

Nose: I did see Steve Schneider and friend doing a NIAD (hopefully) today. They were at camp 5 by about 3 and I guess they will finish in the cold darkness. Lower down the team of three, all in striking red shirts, climbed from ECT to camp 4 today and late in the cold day they seemed content to stay there for the night.

Legendary climber Steve Schneider crossing the Jardine traverse

Shield: Narek climbed above Chicken Head ledge today and will stay at Chieftain tonight and off tomorrow. He looked frozen!

Golden Gate: I did see Sean Leary and Alex Honnold climb this route today. I picked them up in the morning as they traversed onto the route and watched them when the arrangement of the corners allowed.

Sean Leary at the Alcove

Sean Leary stepping out on Golden Gate's entry pitch while a Salathe team passes by

Alex Honnold leading on the Golden Desert pitch

Salathe: I saw a team go over the roof and onto the headwall this afternoon with what I assume will a long ledge bivy. There was a team below them a few pitches, destined to stay on the block. Below them was a team of three Montana boys, or so says, formerly famous Montana Girl, Emily. Bob, Ty and Travis made it to the Ear by late in the afternoon with some climbing left to do if they are to stay in the Alcove tonight. Below them a team of two was lurking a couple of pitches behind.

Montana boys at the Ear on the Salathe Wall Route

Climbing the windy, cold Salathe Headwall in the late afternoon

Never Never Land: I didn't get out west today but I understand that the 3 person team of Paul, Tim, and "local" girl Lori Butz has started on this route. Stay warm!

In other news: Really nice to see a good number of climbing friends at the bridge today in spite of the weather. Conditions are supposed to improve soon and I am looking to an Indian Summer to take us out of the month. The leaves are turning now and it is looking good here. The traffic is really thick and gets pretty annoying as the drivers use the short section by the bridge as a race track. Someone is going to get hurt. Where are the LEO's when you need them?! Plus some drivers have a bad habit of backing up into one way traffic to get a parking spot or to avoid having to go around the loop.

There is still time for you guys and gals to come on out and get in the last EC route before the season closes out... so come on down!! On a personal note: Scott and Cam Ring left the valley this morning for a new life in LV Nevada. They are just about the best people I have ever known and they will be sorely missed here in the Valley as they have made many friends. But life goes on and they have a bun in the oven so we all give them our best wishes for continued happiness. We love you guys!!!

So that's the way it is for this the 11th day of October 2008.

So long, ECP's