El Cap Report 10/19/08

ElCap Report 10/19/08 By Tom Evans

 Yo... Man was it the best day of the season or what? Perfectamoondo pukes!! As a result the rock was nearly empty!! Does that make sense? It doesn't to me. Anyway the weather looks solid for the rest of the week so don't head for Josh, or Bishop, or Red Rocks. Stay here!!!!!!!

Today's report is brought to you by the ElCap Bear and her cub who swam across the river right in front of the bridge crew this morning!

Funny thing was that a flock of ducks swam circles around them as they crossed the river! Guess the bears don't eat many ducks!

So cast off the gloom, gulp down 5 Red Bulls, grab the rack, and call your best partner because you are coming with me to the Big Stone to watch them lunge and plunge... right now on the ElCap Report...

Pressure Cooker: Well the lads, Nicki and Alik, are about half way up the route now and ran into some real fun stuff today. When I arrived Nicki was out on the lead on the aptly named "Panic Zone" pitch. The lad was moving cautiously and far from fast. After some time he reached the arch the started some even more sketchy aiding than he had used to get there... nasty hooking and thin stuff that groaned even under his waif like body weight. A couple of placements under the arch went well and then he took a plunge of about 35 feet. Fortunately he was on overhanging terrain and was not injured. He regained his high point and continued on into the afternoon. He was 5 hours into the lead and just going over the arch when I departed. I wouldn't have changed places with him for the world!!

Nicki starting the fun "panic zone"

Nicki at the arch

The plunge. Notice how the Screamer extended.

The route crosses the arch and goes up from where Nicki is. I see hooking in his future!

Trip: These two got right back in gear after a slow 7th pitch yesterday and had made it to the bolt ladders as I left. Hell they could be off by now. They put on a clinic!!!

Nice flakes on the Trip

Heading toward the bolt ladders on the Trip

Nose: I did see a team of 3, including a woman, heading into the Stove Legs (aka the Legs) this afternoon. Above them was an empty route. What a great day it would have been for any NIAD... but no one went for it.

Salathe: I did see one team climb past the Block, Sous le Toit, and make the belay at the base of the headwall as I left. The other team from yesterday vanished to who knows where.

Roof complex around the Salathe Roof

Dihedral: I went down in the morning and watched the three person team do the 4th pitch and then in the afternoon saw them doing the Black Arch pitch. Only one of them had any good colors on while the rest blended into the rock. Lower down, in the afternoon, I saw 4 people sitting on the ledge at the top of the first pitch and there was a leader with a cool looking pair of pants almost at the belay on two. They had no bags and by the composition of the group it appeared they were just out for some practice aiding. Nice pants Bro!!

The "Practice crew?" Dihedral wall

The Black Arch pitch. Which person caught your eye first?


In other news: There are several teams, including a solo female going on Zodiac, who are poised to leave on voyages up the vertical desert. I find that many who plan don't actually end up on the rock, so I just wait to see who hoses and who poses. The weather is wonderful and the light terrific for photography. Now is the time. The leaves have really started turning colorful in the past two days. So come on out to look if nothing else. We, Bridge Rats, could use some food and drink too if you feel like doing a good deed!!

So that's the way it is for this the 19th day of October 2008.

later ECP's