|Submitted by Tom Evans on Fri, 10/16/2009 - 04:22|
ElCap Report 10/15/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Today was probably the most beautiful Fall day I have ever seen in the Valley… you missed it!! Also it was a great day because Regan showed up in the Café this morning after a super duper epic on the Trip where he was stranded at the start of the last pitch for 2 days in horrendous conditions… I won’t go into it further as he is going to do a report himself.
The Captain is once again crawling with climbers and they couldn’t have had a better day for it. Perfect temps, little or no wind, crystal clear air!
So the climbing is back on and we are having Spring in the Fall with all the waterfalls still going strong. But that will only last a few more days so if you want to see it then you had better get up here.
Today’s report is brought to you by the Man himself… Regan… survivor of the big storm with a sense of humor to see the lighter side of the experience!
Pukes!! Pay attention…
Today’s ElCap Report… written just for you… unique in all the world!
Zodiac: A fast team went right off the ground without fixing. They looked pretty good and it wasn’t long before I recognized Lorna from SAR, a very experienced woman climber and her partner, Graham. They were doing the 5th when I left a little before 4pm.
Graham leading Zodiacs classic second pitch.
Lorna near the end of Zodiacs third pitch.
Trip: A team of two was on the early pitches for most of the day… fixing I suppose.
The Nose: Spectacular day and only one party, Seth and Bryan, were on the route. Where are all the people I told to fix that day before the storm? PUKES!! You missed the best day of the season!! Seth and Bryan are planning on a two day ascent, but Bryan looks a bit weak in his jugging technique and they were running a bit behind schedule. I last saw them at the top of Texas Flake around 4pm.
Bryan getting a little help in the hard section of the Stovelegs.
Seth setting the belay on top of Texas Flake, in late afternoon light.
Shield: Mark Hudon and partner John Fine hauled from the ground to Heart ledge on the fixed lines this morning, doing what has become a popular way up to some of the higher routes on the SW face. You just climb the good stuff higher up and avoid the first thousand feet. Anyway, they had plans to go all the way to Grey Ledges which I felt was overly ambitious… but they were on it today and I last saw them around 4pm with just two to go the Grey. They were motoring along well. On the Shield headwall tomorrow!!
As you may know, Mark was a free climbing ace from BITD and is on the Captain after over twenty years absence! Sweet!
Mark belaying on the nice ledge a pitch above Mammoth.
Salathe/Freerider: The strong Swedish team of Petter and Stefan are at the front of the line on this popular route. They are going for a free ascent of the Salathe, via the Monster variation, and were seen several days ago working the Headwall. They cruised the Monster and were last seen on ECS.
The big Swede Petter making the traverse to the Monster crack look too easy.
Below them a team of two, Tony and Morri, are doing a wall style ascent of the route. Looks like they got hold of the Confederate Uniforms the Trip team from last week were using. They made good time to the Alcove.
Morri on the pitch above the Ear on the original Salathe Wall Route
Below them is a three man European team of two Swiss, Andy and Adrian, and a German, Tom. I picked them up hauling loads to Lung Ledge this morning. Tom had previously climbed the Hollow Flake and left a line so they didn't have to deal with that pitch again. They spent most of the day hauling. I last saw them a couple of pitches below the Ear, hauling bags.
Hauling bags to Hollow Flake Ledge.
Lurking Fear: I did get out west to shoot some this afternoon and noticed a team of two at the top of the first pitch… I wouldn’t normally bother with shooting that route or even reporting on it but one of the guys had a red shirt I couldn’t resist!
Feature of the day: Last times feature was the Lightning Bolt Roofs on ZM.
In other news: The ElCap Shuttle bus has stopped running now so the Touron population has fallen off exponentially! Dave Turner and Anna Phaff hung out most of the day and Libby showed up later with the popcorn!! Joe Link made a brief appearance as did Pattie and Stanley’s dog.
It was a nice quiet day, save two groups of 8th grade YI kids who stopped to look through the telescope and play childish pranks on each other… glad I survived those years!!
I did some shooting at Valley View and visited my tree, which is presently at it’s peak. The falls are still going strong but are slowly fading. Spring in the Fall… love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
View from Valley view toward Cathedral Rocks on the left and Leaning Tower on the right with Bridal Vail falls going nicely between.
So that’s the was it is for this the 15th day of October, 2009.
Bye now… Ansel Evans