|Submitted by Tom Evans on Sat, 10/06/2012 - 03:00|
ElCap Report 10/05/12
By Tom Evans
Yo.. Changing weather is upon us. High clouds, lower temps, cold winds, looks like Fall to me! My favorite Sugar Maple is changing fast but not in the usual way. The tips of the leaves get some color and then the rest of the leaf turns brown and the leaf falls off. Not what I wanted to see! The dry conditions have pretty much killed any hope of nice Fall colors. So there will not be many leaf shots on the report this season.
Activity on the Cap seems to be inversely proportional to the temperature.
The Big Trades are drawing them in but spitting them out too.
Today’s ElCap Report…written just for you…unique in all the world!
Zodiac: At the moment, Alice Ng is the story. Everyone who stops by wants to see her and hear how she is doing. She is doing well and will make the top in a couple more days I predict.
Alice leading off from the end of the MOZ pitch this morning.
Later in the day, Alice is seen about done cleaning the pitch. She could push on to Peanut Ledge … but… I don’t think so. Maybe fix to there but not move the kit up.
The three man team, who passed Alice yesterday, bivied on Peanut and finished early in the afternoon.
Climbing above Peanut this morning.
Lower down yet… see I told you the Trades are getting a lot of attention.. The Spanish solo, Luis, continues to climb smartly and just might catch Alice at the end of the route.
Black Tower pitch, with its’ interesting white dikes.
LA: Mark and Max are in the center of the route now. Unfortunately, this section of the route goes over some confusing, but interesting, rock and it is difficult to see the line from the Bridge.
Mark leading off on the first pitch of the day.
Max cleaning in some weird, but beautiful rock. Probably not very solid stuff.
Reticent: Seems like the bombardment from above has ceased! Dave Allfrey got to lead the difficult pitch above Wino Tower this morning. It didn’t look too bad from the Bridge… maybe because he cruised it like it was C1!
Later he lead the next pitch which looked to be over unusual rock for the location on the Wall.
The Nose: From the bottom, the Nose looks crowded, but if you look above Dolt there aren’t many teams. Of the 4 teams I saw in the Legs today I only saw one cross Dolt and go higher. Lots of bailers there.
A NIAD team blew past everyone and they didn’t even have a pack! Who the hell were those guys? Somehow the guy in green had a familiar look and the other guy was dressed poorly for photos. They were blazing up the route and I thought… yeah … I know those guys… Sean Leary, who is on a tear of late and …. Pardon me but that sure looked like the Big Fall guy himself… yep! James Lucas! James hit the King Swing and kept on going to Camp 5 where that block changed leaders. Since I have never seen him on the Nose I am going to show some “hero” shots of the lad! They threw down a 6:13 and the smoke is still in the air!
James stretching it out to nail the King Swing.
James steppin through on the Lynn Hill Traverse.
James looking cool and collected on the most famous roof on the planet.
Lower down the Legs were beset with some teams grinding up and other teams bailing.
Real Nose: Schneider and Zabrok are starting on this route. Pete manned up with a stiff dose of contrition and we are glad to have him back in the fold. I will let you know when they get above the trees.
Shield: The ranger honcho crew has made respectable, if not fast, time up the headwall and I have a feeling they will stay climbing until they hit Chickenhead Ledge, no matter how late. They were climbing in the thin stuff above the Groove when I spotted them.
The sun catches the crew and they are happy to see it. It was cold and windy up there all day and they huddled at the belays.
Ed leading up on the big lonely, passing the Canoe but not seeing it.
Jack got to jug the haul line after the bags went out… he was spinning like a top for a long time as the wind twirled the bags around and around. Chris was at the belay.
A couple of other teams are head to the route, including the “Mike’s” you may remember from their climb of Mescalito last season, or maybe it was the NA, ah the memory of an old man is never to be trusted. Other teams are shooting for the 3D. They need to install a passing lane up there!
Salathe/Freerider: The Fins are moving right along with the Salathe bag boys far ahead of the Freerider team. Lower down, two teams ventured above Lung ledge but the Alcove is many hours ahead. They’re gonna die!
The infamous “Sewer pitch”. In Spring and most Falls, this pitch is a wet, slimy, goo… but not now… it is all dry!
In other news: Rain in the distant forecast but maybe not. The percent forecast is low. Sure felt like it today. Tomorrow should see some interesting climbing… so stay tuned.
So that’s the way it is, for this Friday, the 5th day of October, 2012.
Until then, I’m outa here!