ElCap Report 10/12/09

ElCap Report 10/12/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… The weather did change today as predicted but as of 5pm has not crashed.  It was warm this morning with overcast skies and moisture in the air.  I went down to the bridge after breakfast and checked on the parties still on the wall.  Most teams got the word and have bailed or are presently making a run for the top.

I went down to the Captain last night, around 10pm, and saw the lights of the remaining parties high on the Wall.  There were three sets of lights in the vicinity of Camp 5 and we later learned that the team of three had dropped their rack!  I have that rack in my van.  Fortunately, the team of two that was dogging up the route behind them, caught up and the two teams combined and are working together to get off before the storm breaks.  At 4:30pm I saw them reaching the Alcove, which is just a pitch and a half from the top.  So far the storm has held off but is threatening. 
I also saw lights over on the Salathe around the level of the top of ECS.  That would be Skiy and partner who went up yesterday to work on the pitches above the Spire.  They were last seen rappin toward the Ear when I left.
Off to the East I spotted  two sets of lights that turned out to be Karl and Kevin, already established on Peanut Ledge, and SAR Jacob and Montana Kevin who caught and joined them later in the night.  When I checked this morning they were all on Peanut and had a leader out on the next pitch.
























Erik Sloan got a call from them this morning saying that two of the climbers were injured and they would need some help getting down.  Ivo and “Big Fall” James, volunteered to go up and set off late in the morning for the top of the route.  I later saw them on top as the team was starting the last pitch.  They have climbed slowly but cautiously today.  The injuries are not serious, consisting of sprained ankles, thus making hauling the loads down the East Ledges difficult, so the lads are up to help with the carry.

High on the Trip I saw Regan, this morning, lead the first of the two bolt ladders and later this afternoon seemed to have decided to stay put for the storm.  He is the only climber on the wall who does not know the predicted severity of the coming storm.  He is also the only one who will not get off before it hits.  He is a tough, experienced climber and should be able to get through the ordeal..
Regan, leading the first bolt ladder.





















Althea, solo fixing on the Trip did another one today and is at the Top of the 4th.  Maybe VA or reg Trip...undecided
I drove back to the lodge after checking out west, where I could see no one on the routes.  I stopped at my favorite tree, the Sugar Maple across from the Chapel and visited with it for a while.  A wonderful, old tree it is too.  I got some shots of the lower leaves, now in color and headed for the Café to write the report and process images. 









































It is partly sunny here at the lodge and if the storm could hold off a few more hours then all the teams, save solo Regan, should be out of danger and down from the Captain.  There was a cold, stiff breeze this afternoon at the bridge and the sky was quite threatening.

Today’s feature of the day:  Yesterdays was the Tower to the People on Golden Gate, originally on the Heart Route.




















In other news:  Not much other news at the moment.  We are just waiting to see what the weather brings.  I will be out and about checking the Cap for a final time toward dark and paying particular attention to my good friend Regan and hoping he can stay warm and dry.
So that’s the way it is for this the 12th day of October 2009.
Later Tom

Prod Sez.

Hang in there Regan, and kick ass move on the part of Ivo and James!


Feature O.D. = Lightning Bolt Roof on ZM

Regan would be wise to park it at the bottom of that bolt ladder instead of the top...the top of the pitch is in a black streak.


Salathe team

Tony Rousmaniere and his partner were going to the Salathe. They hauled to Heart on Sat and were to blast from the bottom starting Sunday. They knew of the storm but said they were going up and would ride it out. Anyone know if they are still up there?

The Wolf

Salathe team

Tony and his partner came down; they're planning to go back up on Wed night/Thurs. morn. post-storm.

The Partner's Wife


Regan is SOLID! No Worries. Good Spot, Smart Monkey, it's ALL good.
He'll be fine. Thanks for the 1st class report, Mr. Evans.

Love the fiery Maple. Cheers, Skully

PS....Dude, your letter/number thing makes me THINK! It HurtS!(dammit)

Yes For Teamwork!

Way to go guys, helping each other be safe. Thoughts are with Regan tonight!!
Seems Brandon and Jason are on Washington Column and will bivy on either Dinner Ledge or Lunch Ledge tonight. I'm thinking it would be a good night to be by the fireplace... Thanks Tom for all you do!

thanks tom!

I look at your report everyday was supposed to be in the valley today to start a solo bid on the trip but work commitments kept me away , could be a good thing! Thanks for the pics and notes it really is enjoying to watch the progress! I am keeping and eye on the weather and hope for a chance to do a project before winter ! I pray Regan fairs well as it looks like he is in for a little excitement! again thanks for the report your friend on the road !
(I am a over the road driver from Wisconsin / big wall climber ) Eric

Hats off to Ivo and James

good on those guys for pumping it up to the top to help the guys off. Best wishes to Regan. Hook in and hold on bro.

Watching Climbers' Backs

as always. Thanks Tom. Godspeed to Regan. Keep us posted.