ElCap Report 10/09/09

ElCap Report 10/09/09
By Tom Evans                 

Yo… Killer day, just like yesterday!  More parties starting out on the big trades!  My man, ES, says that the weather may be questionable next week some time… so we will keep that in mind as the days go by.  But that doesn’t diminish one bit the excellence of the day!  Hell, even Jody showed up today, on his way to the East side to shoot the fall colors!  I could have done a few more moon shots but the climbers were not in the right place and the moon was an hour later, when I needed to be shooting elsewhere.
However, there were so many climbers on the routes that it was all I could do to keep up with the action.

Today’s report is brought to you be the Crew at the Bridge.  Who are these people?  They are climbers and people who are interested in climbing.  They are by no means a static group and the members come and go.  No matter though, when they return they will be welcomed back as members of proud community, who have come home.
Bridge Rats!!  Here, here!!!
Today’s ElCap Report.. written just for you…unique in all the world!

Zodiac:  The infestation has hit this route.  Fortunately, famous photographer, world traveler, and local boy, Karl Baba and his buddy Kevin have cleared the masses below and are sailing in smooth waters.  They climbed into the White Circle this afternoon with Karl on the sharp end.  Nipple pitch in the morning I think.
Karl at the Jaws of Death, White Circle on Zodiac.

























Below them, Solo Mike suddenly had the realization that his life didn’t need an EC ascent to be fulfilled.  He retired from the route in the morning and didn’t look back. 

Lower down the team of rangers returned to the fray and climbed smartly up the face.  I last saw they were hauling to the Black Tower.  I guess they didn’t get cited for abandoning equipment on the wall yesterday.
Ranger Kevin leader on the third of Zodiac.

























 Lower down yet, there were two parties, one on the standard start and one on the other start.  So Zodiac is getting the business.

Trip:  Matt and Grover went over the top after dark yesterday and left today, as Grover had to be at work in the morning.
The Gray team made the bolt ladders this afternoon and will be off some time tomorrow.
Below them Regan climbed the 8th and 9th today and may have fixed higher in the late afternoon.  The man is a relentless machine.
Regan on the Trips 9th pitch. 























Below him the team of 4, not 5 as previously stated, Koreans are moving up the face with their, two men lead, two men haul, system.  That is the way Robbins and the boys climbed the early walls here.  The Koreans seem competent enough for this route and have made a good showing in recent months on ElCap.  Unfortunately two of them are wearing black shirts… guess they don’t know everything do they?  Koreans!!  Make yourselves visible!!
Last Korean jugging up.
























Korean Team on the Slab pitch.

























Below them Little Biscuit rapped off in the morning and is uncertain about her future plans.  Can you say, sloooooow?

Nose:  A NIAD team of who I think are Fins, was spotted around the KS this morning and by 1pm were past the Great Roof.  Nice!  Above them, around the Alcove, I saw a wall style team near the last pitch as I was leaving around 4pm.  Probably a group from yesterday. 
The Stovelegs were jammed all day.  One team did make Dolt in early afternoon but the other 4 or 5 parties were practically immobile and as the afternoon wore on they started bailing like Army Jump School candidates, at Fort Benning, Georgia.  I could hear the Captain laughing from a mile away.  So much gear, so little experience!  Oh, the humanity!!

Muir:  Nicki and Allisyn moved off the so called “ledge for one” at the start of the great dihedral early this morning.  They are in the sweetness of this climb now.  Off in a couple of days.
Nicki way up in the Muir Dihedral.

























Shield:  Three parties are on this route at present.  The lead party has pulled away from the other two and made Chickenhead Ledge early this afternoon.
The two teams below are playing tag up the route and one may have passed the other… hard to tell.  One thing I could tell was that the wind was unmerciful and the cold penetrating.  They were the focus of many Touron questions this afternoon.
Morning on the Shield, waiting at the belay.




















Close quarters on the Shield.

























Salathe:  Several teams were seen above the Block this afternoon… not sure who they are but they were moving along in good time.  Below a couple of teams were climbing to the Ear and seemed to gather at its top before climbing the pitch above.  I didn’t see any action on the monster crack.

Name that feature, it’s an easy one:  (Last times feature was the Continental Shelf, PO Wall.)
























In other news:  There was a nice gathering of climbers this afternoon at the bridge… Erik even stayed a few minutes longer than required today.  Ivo Ninov showed up at the Bridge this afternoon, after long absence.  Lots of stories told and friendships renewed.  It was a good time.
Just a few of Crew at the Bridge today.





















So that’s the way it is for this the 9th day of October, 2009.
I’m gone,


The Nose

My partner Matt and I started the Nose on the 8th and slept in the Stovelegs... The bivy sucked, but we stayed ahead of the traffic that you mention. I was belaying on Texas Flake around dark when most of a rack flew about 20 ft behind me and landed on El Cap Tower. It may have been the Fins on there NIAD push. We then stayed at Camp V and topped out yesterday. Seems like we got a perfect four day window of weather between the storms.
You met my fiance, Katie, at the bridge.
Thanks for the report and great pics!

Prod Sez.

Thanks again.


Thanks for the Cobras!

Hey Tom,
Thanks for the Cobras and good company yesterday! I realized Ipolished off almost your whole six pack...owe ya one man! Anyway, we made it home safe at about 2am.

aka lambone

ps. Good luck Regan!

Little Biscuit on Tangerine Trip

I hope I'm not losing my bet; though it is not looking good for me. If she bails, I owe you $10; if she perseveres, I get an El Cap at night poster.

Calcutta Andrew.

Just Dandy

Hi, Tom.....Whoa, high population on just a few routes.
Lots more to do out there, folks.......Thanks, Skully