|Submitted by Tom Evans on Fri, 10/12/2012 - 02:11|
ElCap Report 10/11/12
By Tom Evans
Yo… The weather is the story here… storm threatened… storm came … barely a drizzle for only a couple of hours. We haven’t had any rain all season, so we needed a good one to settle the dust and clean my van. When I arrived at the Bridge, around 9am, the sky looked like the world was going to end… but nothing happened until about 11. Then, a few periods of light drizzle ended with partly cloudy skies around 2pm. That said, the teams on the wall were ledged up, ready for the worst. The whole thing is supposed to pass by mid day tomorrow. Rats! I needed a day off! It could still pour tonight!
Today’s ElCap Report…written just for you…unique in all the world!
Zodiac: The team from yesterday turned out to be a serious team and climbed 2 and 3 while I was there. They are a mixed team… anyone know them?
Leader on the third of Zodiac, this afternoon.
Native Son: I arrived to find Cheyne Lempe cleaning the last part of the Coral Sea pitch. I suppose they were up early and on the lead. Shortly thereafter Mark Hudon started out on the long traverse pitch to the belay at the start of the Wing. Mark, "Old Sawed Off" is a pretty speedy aid climber and dispatched the pitch rather quickly. Soon it was Cheyne out front on the steep and intimidating Wing Pitch. He did well after a few difficult placements off the belay. He was nearly finished with it as I left around 3:20 this afternoon.
Mark leading the traverse pitch, while Cheyne takes a nap.
The Big Lower Out!
Cheyne catching the sun, after the clouds cleared a bit, on the Wing.
The young fella sure can reach!
Marek Raganowicz, climbing solo is a couple of pitches behind the team above. Here he climbs the roof to the belay at the end of the first pitch.
Mescalito: Max and Pete were ledged up when I arrived but when the weather cleared they were out on lead. Looked a little chilly up there.
Nose: I didn’t get out west to look back into the upper dihedral, but I think the 3D women, Jen and Jackie were at the end of the line yesterday and didn’t make it out. I spotted them on the last pitch as the sun came on.
Muir: The Ninja boy climbed the first pitch of the final dihedral before the drizzle came on and retired to the comfort of his ledge for the duration of the day.
Shield: The Mike’s broke down the bivy as I arrived and one of them climbed to yesterday’s high point just 40ft from Chicken Head Ledge. I figured they would press on quickly. However the drizzle came on and they promptly set everything back up and ledged out for the rest of the day.
Salathe: I did see two guys climbing above Hollow Flake yesterday but they were drably dressed and I forgot about them. I saw them on EC Spire this morning with a leader out. I don't know about these guys.
Far West: I could just see a couple of ledges out there and there was no sign of movement while I was watching.
A few scenic shots for your pleasure.
My favorite tree in the Valley is not so bold this year but still is a lovely thing in the Fall.
Early light in Cook’s Meadow a couple of days ago.
The big rock scar at the base of the SE Face of ElCap. The thing blew out in 1985 as I recall and destroyed a couple of routes including the a variation of the ElCap Tree route and Gulf Stream’s first few pitches. Still a scary place to walk past on the way to the upper east side.
Blast from the Past: Parking lot girls from 1997. These two Venezuelan beauties ruled the lot that summer. They had would be suitors for any activity they wanted. After that summer, I never saw them again.
In other news: Tomorrow night, starting at 6:30pm, in the East Auditorium, Hans Florine will give a talk and show about the history of Yosemite climbing.
On the 20th the YCA is sponsoring a program, same time and place as above, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of the Dihedral Wall. Ed Cooper will be there and I assume, but can’t confirm, that Glen Denny will also attend. I have a feeling many Golden Age climbers will attend. Be there to meet the pioneers of American big wall climbing.
So that’s the way it is, for this Thursday, the 11th day of October, 2012.