El Cap Report 10/25/08

ElCap Report 10/25/08

 By Tom Evans

Yo... so.. yeah... I know, it was tough wasn't it? No report yesterday and you were starting to get the DT's right?! Well maybe you will start to appreciate me a little more and bump these great reports along like they deserve. Do you know that I have posted over 600 photos on the Report this year? 600!!  Now you can go to the pitiful number of photos from the other photographers in the photo collection on the Supertopo site. What do you get? 15 or 20 shots... Ha ... that's such a punk amount. And too soon I will be gone for the season and you will have to endure the long, cold, winter without your ElCap Reports to keep your heart warm... God I feel sorry for you Cubicle Pukes out there in the World. So today's report is brought to you by me... ElCap-pics, over worked and under appreciated. So evacuate the building, turn off that cell phone, and pay attention Pukes because there won't be many more of these reports as I am getting old and feeble and will too soon be just a memory...

 So here it is... today's ElCap Report, right now...

 Zodiac: Well, Kevin and Renee made the top today around 2pm and it appeared that someone was up there waiting for them to top out. Maybe a porter or two to help with the East Ledges carry down. Lower down I spotted Althea leading the Mark of Zorro pitch around 10 this morning. She is moving very well now and it seems that all the slow is gone from this young woman. Later she did the pitch above in good time with all systems on go. Peanut ledge tomorrow and maybe even off the route late if she wants to do three instead of her normal two pitches a day. Nice climbing girl!!

Althea leading the Mark of Zorro pitch in the morning.

Althea lowering the kit out at the top of  the White Circle on Zodiac.

Lower Down yet, a team of three guys, Ryan, Eli, and (?) started the route from the ground today and were at the start of the Black Tower pitch when I left this afternoon late. They are using the three man system of always having a leader out. It seems to be working for them.

Three man team starting the third on Zodiac. Looks like the guy in the black shirt (yuck!) has his headlamp on.

First pitch: I did see someone down there headed up but didn't pay much attention.

Mescalito: Formerly famous Montana Girl, Emily, and her buddy Skyler fixed 4 on this classic route today. It should be a great route for both of them as it is on probably the most aesthetic part of the wall. I will be watching and shooting them and they know what colors to wear too!!

Nose: It looked to me like my buddy Mash was above Camp 4 with his partner this morning. Might not be him but it sure looked like him. The partner free climbed some of the roof and most of the Pancake Flake, except the 11c upper part. I last saw Mash leading onto camp 5 late in the day.

Cranking free moves on the Great Roof.

Climbing Pancake Flake free on the Nose.

Below I saw a team of two, Amanda with some serious dreads, who lead the Boot free. The KS, done by Scott, went after a time and I last saw them in the Gray bands.

Scott stopping to give the ElCap salute on the King Swing.

Muir: A three man Italian team is doing the lower Muir to the Nose with the intention of doing some free climbing. Fabio, Martino and (?) have fixed to Mammoth and are headed back up tomorrow to stay on the route, having climbed the lower 10 of the route.

The Albatross: A  YOSAR team has taken up the challenge of doing this route in a day. I talked to Gleason, Montana Nate, and Ben in the cafe last night and true to their word they were on the route this morning early. I picked them up on top of Mammoth Terrace in the morning and shot them all the way to above the Red Bullet. I hear the plan was for Jon to lead the freeblast, a route he has done countless times, and then Nate was to do the aid section to the headwall where Ben was to take over. They have a long night ahead of them. Andy came by late in the day to check on their progress.

Nate leads while Jon belays and Ben brings up the rear cleaning gear.

In other news: As you may recall, I took yesterday off and climbed the Arches with local posse members. There were 8 of us on the climb (Aaron, Dan, Dave, Alik, Nicki, Blake, Charlie, and I) and it went down in just over 3 hours 45 minutes. KFC was my rope gun and all the rest of the gang free soloed it with kudos going to Nicki and Alik who on sighted the 10b left of the pendulum and a variation on the pitch above. 10 Cobras were brought along as it was a warm day and the monkeys needed a little refreshment from time to time. I haven't been on a free climb of more than 3 pitches in .... forever, so this was a stretch for me. After thrashing my way up the chimney on the first pitch I got the hang of things and had a great time doing the cracks and face climbing above. We did all the harder variations too. I scraped my way across the pendulum pitch and ran out of gas at the end of the last pitch. The endless raps went without incident and we were all on the deck by 5pm.

 What a super day to be hanging out with the gang on a classic Yosemite moderate! A day to remember for all of us and a good time was had by all. The leaves are definitely at their peak now and if you wait any longer to come out then you will miss the best Fall in a long time.

Jay and Jeanette stopped by with goodies for all the Bridge rats. What a great couple they are. Mike Ousley came by on his way with partner to do the WFLT tonight! Avoid all the daylight traffic was the plan. Later in the afternoon a ton of Monkey's came by and hung out, swapping stories about skydiving and climbing. It was a good day in spite of the horrendous vehicle traffic at the bridge. Climbing Ranger Jesse even made a drive-by. Most of the Tourons were siphoned off by a dude (Jerry Miller) in the meadow with a huge Celestron telescope that resembled a 55 gallon drum, under the shade of an easy-up. Nice!!

Mike, Jeanette, Jay, Dave, Aaron, and Blake hanging out in the morning.

T-shirt weather in late October... it doesn't get much better than this folks!!

So that's the way it is for this the 25th day of October 2008.

Bye Bye... ECP's