ElCap Report 10/15/11

ElCap Report 10/15/11
By Tom Evans

Yo… Continued good weather is making for a great Fall climbing season on ElCap.  Still a little too warm to suit most, but high clouds kept things cool until late afternoon.  Climbing teams are getting onto the higher environs of the rock and we will be needing replacements soon.  The Salathe area is getting most of the action but the other, less traveled routes are looking good too.

Today’s ElCap Report…written just for you…unique in all the world!

Zenyatta Mondatta:  Regan climbed the Lightning Bolt Roofs this morning and was racking to do the pitch into the circle as I departed today.
Regan, climbing the LBR’s.



























 Lost in America:  Josh and Brett bailed from the start of the mandatory free pitch this morning.

Nico/Sean project:  The boys climbed the traverse above the GFF yesterday and were on Iron Hawk this morning.  They were three from the top, with the two mandatory 5.9R pitches ahead of them, as I left this afternoon.  It must have been some fun to wander at will across the steep and intimidating SE Face of ElCap, looking for features to free climb!  Unfortunately the free climbing ran out but hey, aid climbing on great rock is not all that bad either!
Sean doing the Iron Hawk Crawl.



























NA Wall:  Gedas and Saule are making excellent time up this historic route.  They bivied at the Cyclops Eye ledge and Saule lead the scary traverse pitch out this morning


























Later in the afternoon, Gedas lead the traverse above the abyss pitch back across the lip of the Cyclops Eye.



























Lower down the Mike’s climbed over the Roof and were headed to the CE as I left.
Mike leading the Roof pitch.



























SSPO:  Mark and Max climbed onto the Island in the Sky first thing this morning and continued on past the Black Tower as I left.  Off Monday night perhaps.
Mark returning the favor of shooting me for a change!



























Mescalito:  Christian and Mike are putting the pitches behind them a lot faster than I had estimated.  They were on the Bismarck by early afternoon and will top out tomorrow at this pace.
The bag always gets stuck here.



























New Dawn:  The teams diverged yesterday on this route and Reticent only to converge this afternoon.  Fortunately, Callum lead the interesting corner pitch just in time for Neil to depart the common belay, so Tommy and Jenn could set up unhindered.
The two teams about to collide.  



























Callum leading on some great rock.




























Nose:  Several teams were headed up the Nose today, most doing NIADs.  However they all got jammed in the Gray Bands as a team came over from the 3D.  This congestion caused a lot of time to be lost and one team bailed rather than deal with the shit.
Lower down a team climbed to Dolt and I saw, for the first time the solo, Dan Janus, at Dolt Hole.  While the Nose is not a technically difficult climb, it is long and traversing and thus a difficult solo.  Dan has his work cut out for him and we wish him the best.
Dan at Dolt Hole.

























Shield:  The three local boys climbed off in late afternoon today.  Nice job boys!
Lower down Pete and Ian stayed at the start of the Groove and fixed one higher late in the evening yesterday.  Today they were up and moving by 11am, almost a record for Pete!  After hauling kit, Ian lead the Triple Cracks as I departed.  Pete seems to have found a strong partner who likes leading and most importantly …. Hauling!!
Ian leading off the belay on the Triple Cracks.



























El Corazon:  I finally got out west and got a look into the long chimney’s that make this route so much fun!  There in the middle of that section I spotted Petter and Stefan, ledged up for the afternoon in warm, windless conditions.  Below them, the three man team I figured was going to Sunkist, actually is on the route with the Swedes.   Two parties on this route at the same time is rare.
Petter and Stefan ledged up and feet dangling.


























Golden Gate:  Two parties are on this route, as another came up from the Spire this morning.  Two parties on this route is also rare and they are head to butt.  One party is Luka and girlfriend Nastja who I shot a couple of days ago hauling kit to the Alcove.  The other party?
Golden Gate parties converging.



























Salathe:  There were a couple of parties high and a couple low on the route today.  The most popular route on the rock at the moment.

In other news:  I did get to check on the Dihedral wall route but, as I guessed, the team was gone from the route.  The “Ask a Climber” program ended today after a very successful 6 months run at the Bridge.  Many thanks to all who made it possible and supported out efforts.
I stopped by my favorite tree on the way back to town today and saw that it has suddenly has gotten some serious color on it.  That tree is really special to me and I get cloaked up every time I look at it… something about a beautiful tree that goes straight to the heart.
Leaves on The Tree.




























 So that's the way it is, for this Saturday, the 15th day of October, 2011.

Come on by the bridge to hang out as I will be shooting until the 1st of Nov.















Mark and Max

Hey Mark and Max... you guys ROCK! Especially for being a thousand years old. Speaking of which, Mark, did you wish me a happy 60th yesterday on that climb.. I am sure you had nothing else to think about. Maya and I are checking out the pics this morning. Happy climbing!!!!
Mike and Maya

Beautiful shots. That one up

Beautiful shots.

That one up high on the Dawn is super!

Yeah tree!

Yeah tree!