|Submitted by Tom Evans on Tue, 10/02/2012 - 02:07|
ElCap Report 10/01/12
By Tom Evans
Yo… Heat alert!!! The temperatures are soaring, and the Cap is a large oven, cooking anyone not fully prepared for the the conditions.
STAY OFF ELCAP FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS!!
The South West Face is almost impossible to climb in the afternoons, as is the upper east side, of the South East Face.
Climbers low on the Rock are mostly fixing and going down to return another day. Smart move! I saw 4 different parties come down today.
Today’s ElCap Report…written just for you…unique in all the world!
Zodiac: The speedy two man team from the last two days topped out in mid afternoon.
Climbing the pitch to Peanut Ledge this morning.
Long shot from out west as they were nearing the top of the route.
Lower down, a team bailed from the White Circle this morning.
Lower down yet, Alice Ng, the solo woman on the route, climbed the 5th and 6th this morning but texted Mark Hudon that the heat was awful and she had thrown up 3 times leading. She smartly went down fixed lines to await better conditions.
Behind her a solo male climbed to the top of the 4th where he conversed with Alice and I think also went down.
Trip: Andy Kirkpatrick and his BBC sponsored expedition made it back to the top of the 4th after what must have been some awesome jugging to the belay. The two leaders, Aldo and Paul, climbed to the start of the 7th in difficult conditions. Andy, Ella, his 13 year old daughter spent the day at the belay. Ben Pritchard is the camera man, in white. Another team, Speck and Grumble, came up and was trying to pass the expedition as I departed.
Andy jugging the long, free hanging, line to the start of the 5th pitch. He works as a rice farmer during the off season and brought his hat along for the climb.
Cleaner doesn’t want to let go because of the swing in the big air. Sometimes you just have to let go!
The team from way out west. Ella is the one with the red neck protector.
New Dawn: Kenny and Tom bivied above the Roof in the shitty corner. I last spotted them around 3pm, one from the top.
The Nose: Several teams from yesterday made their runs for the summit while I shot. I have been up there in these kind of conditions and can tell you the fun is long gone! The Drab Borthers topped out around 3pm.
Running for the top on the Nose.
Lower down there were 4 teams in the Stovelegs for most of the day. They were jammed up a pitch or two below Dolt. Nick Rosen and friend, Caroline, were in the lead to Dolt, with Caroline leading all the way. For a photographer and film maker Nick doesn’t dress well and Caroline was even worse! The king of the route was, of course, Scott Stowe and client, Greg Clark. Scott and Greg weaved through the masses and did Scott’s famous Dolt Tower Trick, where he quickly climbs the pitch above Dolt and hauls the bags around the Tower instead of dragging them up and lowering them off.
The Old Tower trick, sees Greg lowering the kit out while Scott hauls past the three parties, languishing on Dolt in the heat.
To kill some time while waiting for Greg, Scott did some rope twirling tricks to amuse the climbers waiting on Dolt.
Lower down a team fixed to Sickle and another team did a run to the lower part of the legs.
Shield: Ola and Fredrick were on the headwall all day. Normally it is a very cold and windy place but not today! I don’t think they will reach Chickenhead Ledge before dark, if at all today.
First light on the Shield finds the leader giving the ElCap Salute on the notorious Groove pitch.
The route passes the Canoe but a bulge in the face keeps it from their view.
Salathe: I saw a team in the vicinity of the Block for a short time this afternoon.
Lower down a team came up from Hollow Flake and climbed the traditional pitches to the Alcove.
A quiet moment for the belayer, in the Alcove, while his partner climbs the Spire.
In other news: Lots of Tourons out and about today and the, normally cool Bridge, was feeling the lack of the cool breeze.
The next few days are going to be miserable on the wall.
So that’s the way it is, for this Monday, the first day of October, 2012.