ElCap Report 10/04/09

ElCap Report 10/04/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Well, it turns out that Mars and Jupiter were in alignment after all and Sloan, the level 22 Astrologer, was right on, with his Charts and Darts!  It started raining in the middle of the night and has been on and off all day with sometimes heavy hail and sleet mixed in.  It is cold too.  All the high roads out of the Valley are closed.  Camp 4 is an empty tent city and is certainly one of the most miserable places on the planet when it is cold and wet.  Turns out the occupants of Camp 4 are all in the Café, which has been jammed all day and has taken on the peculiar odor of wet clothing and dirty feet.

1 The misery that is Camp 4 in the rain.




















2 Hanging in the Café on a rainy day.
















I drove down and checked the climbers out on ElCap and all are looking snug in their portaledges.  There is snow on the ledges of ElCap and no one is moving up.
3 Steve, Benji, Soren, ?, and Mike checking the wall for teams.






















3a El Capitan in storm.





















4 Stevie G. is settled in a few pitches from the top and the women on Eagles Way, off to his left, are looking warm and dry.






















Saylors team, on Zodiac, is installed on the small ledge at the end of the Black Tower pitch.  They have their ledge and fly up and are doing fine.
No other teams are left on the route.
5 Waiting it out below the White Circle on Zodiac.























Regan is at the end of the first pitch on the Trip where he could easily come down, but he doesn’t come down once he starts on a route!  So there he sits! The guys next to him, fixing on Virginia, left their ropes secured to the top of two and came down yesterday.

Tom and Brian are set up and waiting it out on the lower NA section of El Nino.

It looks like some climbers are on Dolt, Koreans perhaps, but they are not visible save the top of some kind of tarp.  I can’t really say for sure about them.
Higher up Chris Bevins is staying on the upper level of El Cap Tower and does not have a rainfly for his ledge but does have a bivy sack, which should be just fine.
There is a party ledged up on the top of Texas Flake.  They probably were the team fixing above Dolt yesterday afternoon.
6 El Cap Tower Complex where the team is on Texas Flake and Chris is on the ledge just below and right of them.























While I didn’t see Nicki and Allyson on the Muir, my spies saw them ledged up a couple of pitches above Mammoth Terrace.  Newly weds they, and certain to generate enough heat to remain comfortable.

I did talk with Stephane and Peewee, who nighted on ElCap Spire, and they said they were going to wait it out but the rain and eventually snow, made it unfeasible to remain.  They encountered a team of two who were rappin from higher on the route and they all came off together in good order.  They said all the ledges were covered with snow. 
I was having lunch with them in the Café, discussing the climb and conditions on ElCap, when the manager came over to the table and angrily told us we would have to leave so that other customers could have our seats.  He told this was not a meeting place or a library.  We were sitting there with the food we had just purchased right there on our plates!  We started to mention that fact when he said he would have security come and remove us.  We said “ok”  got up, quickly gagged down the rest of the food, packed up and left.  By then there were many open tables.  But experience says, there is no need to provoke an angry, over worked manager!  I guess by that time the place had seen a lot of climbers and, although most had left, we made convenient  targets to vent frustrations on.

Anyway… I digress.  I looked out west and saw the ledges of Kate and Pete high on Never, Never Land with the Show in good order.  They probably ordered this storm just to extend their time on the Wall!!
7 Kate and Pete way out west.





















That pretty much accounts for everyone I was watching yesterday.  I don’t know about anyone far out west however.
Here at the Lodge the sun has just come out from a huge hole in the clouds  and the mist hanging on the higher rocks is quite lovely.  The forecast is calling for clearing with a slight chance of showers, but be warned… Sloan says we haven’t seen the last of the rain.  Someone saw him checking the weather on his computer!… a mix of the old and the new age, that man.
So that’s the way it is for this the 4th day of October, 2009.
Later Tom

Too Bad for the Stuck

Thanks fo rthe update Tom.

From the cubical puke!

Thanks Tom

Mike and I hightailed it out of the Valley early Sunday after checking out things from the bridge...all the little TeePees up there looked snug and secure. I am glad to hear that your later reports confirmed all was well given the snotty conditions. Sorry about the dust up in the Cafe...our tax dollars at work and all that. Mike spent the evening going over the big wall route book...I'm convinced he has it in him to do it again...but what will it be like without the smell of wet wool?..wet Gore Tex just doesn't cut it. Loved reading about your GTO...I cried like a baby in high school when my dad would't buy a "GOaT" because he "will not drive something that small" and I learned to drive in a Bonneville! Hope to see you soon...Susan

Zodiak Pictures?

Anymore reports of Saylor and Zach on the Zodiak Route?
Hopefully the weather has cleared now like it has in Calaveras COunty.
Rodger Orman

Zodiak report

Thanks Tom for the great and fun reports
It was a great entertainment for us here, in Ottawa
Congratulation Canadian Mafia!!!!

Thanks Tom! Unfortunate

Thanks Tom! Unfortunate about the cafe. Like you said you gagged down the rest of your food...
how true! They need to learn how to cook in those places. The food is awful!
Great pictures and cool report :)

The princess of the El Cap Bridge!


Cool Tom, I love shot 3a.

Prod Sez

Thanks Tom.



Right on, Tom. I wondered how the report would go in the Weather.
Thanks, Bro.