|Submitted by Tom Evans on Fri, 10/09/2009 - 04:20|
ElCap Report 10/08/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Wow… the weather, the wonderful weather! It is impossible for it to be any nicer. The rock is crawling with climbers.
TODAY WAS MOON DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! The one day of the year when the Moon is far enough north, and just 3 days after full, that it can be lined up with the Nose of ElCap. It happens from 9 to 10am and that’s it! Well, I was there and so were the climbers on the Nose! Boot Flake had a climber, and so did Texas Flake. I ran around in the woods like a crazy man and even fell into a hole because I was not looking at the ground! I think I got the shots, but am writing the report first and processing later… so I am psyched to get this done!!!
The Moon over the Nose of ElCap this morning.
Today’s ElCap Report brought to you by the Moon, our wonderful Moon, without which we would most likely not have evolved!
Today’s ElCap Report… written just for you… unique in all the world!!!
Zodiac: Karl and Kevin passed Solo Mike and took off toward the Black Tower, later in the afternoon.
Kevin climbing the 5th on Zodiac while Karl belays.
The SAR team never showed up to get on the route, after fixing two yesterday. Do we now consider this equipment abandoned? Should they get a ticket?
The Trip: The multitudes continue to grind this route into dust. Matt and Grover are way above the turbulence of the lower parties and were last seen dusting off the bolt ladders late in the day. Off tomorrow. Nice ascent lads… except for the fashion faux pas by Grover wearing black the entire ascent.. You’ll be sorry Grover, very sorry! The fashionista will come for you, late at night, when you least expect it.
Below them the team of two, dressed in ugly, Confederate uniforms, left over from the battle of Gettysburg, picked up the pace today and with a solid day tomorrow could be off the next day. Don’t even ask for pics guys, even though I am a Virginia boy myself and Bobby Lee was a childhood hero of mine.
Below them, Regan continues to whittle away the pitches in his relentless, methodical style. He finished and hauled the Slab pitch as I left.
The team of 4 Koreans were spread out over three pitches today and two of the lads spend considerable time with Cute Little Biscuit, Anna, and the language barrier didn’t seen to dull their enthusiasm for her company!
Their leader was on the 5th pitch as I left and the minions in the team were down a couple, hauling kit. Anna finished the third and was moving onto the 4th as I departed. She had a nice little bounce off the start of the third earlier in the day. Stay away from the Trip, stay far away!
Anna, in Green, on the Sombero, and her newfound Korean buddies.
The Nose: There were just two teams on the upper part of this route. One, a NIAD, moved smartly along all day and should be off a bit after dark.
NIAD team climbing out of camp 5 on the Nose.
The other was the surviving team from yesterday when the Licra boys were casually swept from the route by its length and difficulty.
Lower down there were several teams spotted past Sickle ledge and low in the legs. Looks to me like they are just fixing parties using Steve’s fixed lines to get off and back for a head start on the unfortunates proceeding from Sickle in the morning. There was a team of 3 higher in the Legs who were doing some free climbing. I think they are Dolt bivy candidates.
Muir: Nicki and Allisyn moved up the thin crack above the slab and are headed to the so called “bivy for one” later in the day. Smooth going up there for them.
Shield: Three parties are presently lined up a pitch apart from the Triple cracks down to the roof. Stout wind up there, with ropes heading east in a hurry, all day. Great shooting these guys.
Over the Roof on the Shield.
Morning on the Shield.
Salathe: Several parties are strung out on this route from the Alcove to the HF. Above, the solo from yesterday climbed the roof in the late morning and dusted off the Headwall later in the afternoon. Who was that guy? He is pretty good, whoever he is. Behind him, I spotted a team of two casting off the Block and headed to the Roof, unless of course, they are Freeriders.
Taking a break after hauling on the Salathe Wall route.
Aquarian: The solo from yesterday was in fact a team of two smartly dressed guys, one in orange and the other red… I like these guys! Who are they?
In other news: Rescue today off the base of EC. Some dude took a whipper on a base climb and complained of back pain. He was wheeled out and choppered to Fresno. It went smoothly, as it is just chump change, for our YOSAR team.
Ottawa Doug showed up with family at the bridge this afternoon. His lovely daughter got a lot of attention from the grovellers at the Bridge.
Ottawa Doug and daughter Elyse at the Bridge.
We had a nice afternoon, as the Tourons have thinned out and a lot of the monkey’s were hanging out watching the climbers, bathed in spectacular light, all afternoon. Total sweetness!
So that’s the way it is for this the 8th day of October, 2009
Bye for now… Tom