ElCap Report 10/13/09

ElCap Report 10/13/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… If this storm was a few weeks later it would be a season ender.  It finally started raining early this morning, thus allowing all the teams who were pushing for the top late yesterday to make it off and get down before the drenching began.  I talked to Ivo just moments ago and he said he had some line up there and could have left it for Regan, on the trip, but the tough Polish ElCap vet has it under control.

Ivo, James and Graham were up on the top of Zodiac when the combined team of 4 got off late in the afternoon.  They were a big help to the injured climbers and all were safely down just after dark.  I went down to the Cap around 10:30 this morning and took a hard look and didn’t see Regan’s ledge, but caught a glimpse of something near the final corner.  Ivo updated me and said he saw him, for sure, climbing off the route.  Regan was the last climber that we know of left on the face.
My Binos are trashed now, so I couldn’t get a good look through the clouds and mist.  I haven’t been out west to check on Lurking Fear and am planning on that check later in the afternoon.  I hope no one is left up there, as the great wall has waterfalls pouring down all over it.  This storm could have been a disaster but the advanced weather warning and word of mouth from climbers, served us all well.
Sorry there are no pics today, but there is nothing to shoot on ElCap!!
So that’s the way it is for this the 13th day of October, 2009.
Stay warm and dry and enjoy a day inside if you are getting rain where you are…
Later Tom
Update 6:40pm from the Mt Room Bar, NW corner.   I went back to the Cap, in the afternoon, on my way to Crane Flat for some gas.  Ribbon falls is pouring water, Bridalvail is a torrent, ElCap is running water off evey watermark.  The falls on the Upper East Side of the Cap are just roaring.  It has relentlessly poured all day and the winds are screaming on the face.  Anyone up there tonight is in a life and death struggle and I sure hope everyone is off by now.  The mist and clouds are so thick that it is impossible to see any details on the face.  I did my best to look hard at the west flank and I was unable to see anyone, but that doesn't mean there is no one up there.  I hope there isn't.  Camp 4 is a swamp with streams of water flowing through tents... the parking lot had about 12 cars in it late this afternoon.  Anyone spending the night out is going to be in big trouble.  I hope the cavemen are able to keep dry.  It is getting cold now and the rain is getting tropical in intensity.  I dred going back to my tent later tonight.  Here I sit in the warm comfort of the Bar, and soon a big fire will be roaring in the fireplace and I will have some more hot chocolate to warm the body.  So that's the latest from the most miserable place in CA at the moment.  Stay warm friends and by all means stay dry...
Bye Bye  Tom "The Captain" Evans

Promotion to Captain

Yo ... actually I was a Captain in the Army!  I was on active duty from May 67 to May 69 and was in the inactive reserve until 74.  I was glad to finish my time in the service as I didn't want to do the war thing.

On the far west side...

Hey Tom,

Thanks for checking on the parties on the far west side in the afternoons! We must have just missed each other, but there was one party on Lurking Fear. We started up w/o fixing on Saturday morning and topped out Monday evening and reached the summit cairns just after dark when the storm moved in. We were able to hunker down for the night and took the Yosemite Falls trail this morning...about 4 miles in the snow and 4 in the rain. Wish you could have been there to catch the beauty of the snowfall in the forest! We were concerned about other climbers on the Cap. Glad they all got the word and are down safe! Special thanks to YOSAR's advice this morning on how to get down safely!

Send some this way

Hey Tom,
Despite some half-decent spring rains the water storages down here in Melbourne are only 34% full, please send some of that lovely rain southwards across the Pacific if you can.

When you get the chance some foul-weather shots of The Captain would also be insightful.
- Steve, a cubicle somewhere, Melbourne, Australia


Mr. Evans got a promtion.

Thank You

Glad everyone is off safe! Hope Reagan's ok!

Kudos to Tom

Your report and focus probably saved some lives this time round Tom. good on ya.

Better here than there

Very grateful to get my gimpy ass off that stone last night! Many thanks to Moosie, Erik Sloan, and Monkeys, Ivo and James for arrangements and meat power to get our bags off the top cause I hyperextended my achilles tendon taking a whip on pitch one. I could sort of manage to get up the route favoring one leg but could barely hobble down without a load. It was weird, a jumar of mine got left in one of the loads on the hike up so I basically had to climb El Cap with one foot and one jug! I was grateful that my partner had loads of fortitude. I nicknamed Kevin H "Nappy" or "Nappy on El Cappy" Nappy is a acrocymn that stands for "Not a Pansy" (or something quite similar) Very grateful to Tom E, whose report gives us not only a view to so many routes and people, but helps us track our loved ones, manage traffic in our route choices, and is a bridge for communications that serve our community. My living room floor is a disaster of gear that all feels like soiled underwear to me now that I'm off the stone. I guess I'll have to get my hands dirty and put it away today. Peace Karl

The Empty Stone

It's just as well.
Rainin' & Windy here, too.
Thanks, Tom.