ElCap Report 10/23/12

ElCap Report 10/23/12

Special Late Season Storm Report

By Tom Evans

Yo… The storm came, as predicted, and was stronger than expected.  In this report you will get the latest climbing news and get to see scenic shots I took today.  Many teams finished just before the storm and a few didn’t and are still up there.

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

Zodiac:  The solo climber, Ted Baker, is still on the route, after weathering two difficult nights of driving snow, wind, and cold.  I spotted him today under the overhang at the end of the pitch off Peanut Ledge.  I assume he will climb off today, during a break in the weather.  You can just see his ledge in the photo below.  But you have to know where to look!

Native Son:  Marek stayed at the top of the 2nd bolt ladder throughout both nights of the storm.  I yelled up to him

 thismorning to see if he was ok and he gave a call  indicating  he was.  As I was departing, he broke camp and

continued upward.  It is 3pm and the storm is over now.  The Valley is sparkling in its newly cleaned exterior.

Marek is in the ledge in the left center of the shot.  The protruding branch is pointing right at him.

Update 10/25/12  8am... Marek had breakfast in the Cafe this morning and we talked about his climb.  He climbed off last night just after dark and came down the East ledges.  His is back in camp and sleeping this morning.  He said the climb was the best he has ever done.


























The Muir:  The Canadian team had a grave misadventure on the last pitch two days ago.  The leader lead the last pitch as darkness fell and then a series of difficulties occurred.  When the leader got to the top the tag line jammed so he was unable to bring up the haul line.  The last pitch is very traversing and difficult to lower down or follow in difficult conditions.  As a result the leader fixed the lead line and told the second to jug out and leave the gear until they could come back and get it after the storm.  The second didn’t want to do that.  So he stayed with the kit.  The leader went down to Camp 4, as he had no bivy or rain gear, and thus couldn’t stay on top.

Yesterday, around 2pm, YOSAR was called and organized a rescue.  The weather made it impossible for a chopper to fly, so the 3 man team of Aaron Smith, Ben Doyle, and Matt Othmer went up from the ground.  The storm was raging by the time they left to climb the east ledges.  Late in the evening the rescuers’ arrived at the top of the Muir. The stranded climber was hypothermic and wanted off as soon as possible.  He was hauled to the top, in conditions so bad the kit had to be left.  The descent was difficult as everyone was soaked and the snow was full on.   In the end everything worked out for the best and the rescue was a success.  I suppose only the climbers and, perhaps John Dill, know all the details of this bizarre event.  Another YOSAR success goes in the books!

Here is a link to the official report...  http://www.nps.gov/yose/parknews/elcapsar1012.htm


On a lighter note, below are some scenic shots from earlier today.

South Side Drive this morning.



























The view from Cook's meadow this morning.



























 Cathedral gully with the Spires on the left and Higher rock on the right.




























The Three Brothers.





























 Eagle Peak.















































































 Lost Arrow and Yosemite Point in the distance.




























 Buddies to the end.




























 The end!




















































So that’s the way it is, for this Tuesday, the 23rd day of October, 2012.

Later, Tom


rescue; also scenic end-of-season photos

I'm glad the rescue was a success. Your account was pithy. The photos of the end-of-season Yosemite Valley from the floor up superb. Tom, thanks! ~Richard Thompson, back in San Diego
P.S. Enjoy your cruise(s)!

I see your posts all the

I see your posts all the time, Tom, and I don't always comment but today I have to say WOW! Thank you for sharing as always, you are a unique gift to those of us that hold this place dear to our hearts.

Thanks for the update and the

Thanks for the update and the reports this season, Tom!


Tom, you are so awesome

These photos are wonderful. It felt like I was there.


Phenomenal pictures all around. The Valley certainly is beautiful right now!
- Stuck on the east coast

Holy frig, Doug!

What the heck you doing up there, falling out of your ledge? Sheesh. Glad to hear you're OK, at least.

Your neighbour from down the way, eh?

Glad to read your raports, Tom.

Glad to read your raports, Tom.
 I start few hours ago first time this seson :( and cant stop until finish. Im also glad the Canadian climber from Muir is OK.
If they know Muir Direct Finish is perfect for such condition like comming storm, that first night both of them will be an the way down.
Together with their gear. Say hello to Marek
Jacek Czyz
Jacek... great to hear from you... I tell people about your direct finish all the time as the best line to do but I think the A4 rating scares people off.
Hope you are doing well... Regards Tom

Yes, Tom, Im much better

Yes, Tom, Im much better then last few years. I start thinking again about my old projects :)…..it is sick ;) maybe not. I still have my gear :). The more destructive to my calm retire was Mark’s TR Iron Hawk- Solo. If he can climb again and again, while not me?

About Muir direct
This is definitely no A4. Max A3, maybe A2+ if have few fixed beaks plus must do 3-4 moves on hooks. All on sloppy rock, just below overhang. A4 or A4+ is a rating of my entire route. If somebody climb the Muir using many pitons (mainly last dihedral) this var will be spicy for them but still OK. If they try clean and used vary few pitons, this finish be piece of cake.

Try put small topo of the finish here, but was not able.

Thanks again

Great stuff, as usual, Tom. Really appreciated!!!


cool pics tom... and also the

cool pics tom... and also the report...

Great report and pix Tom.

Great report and pix Tom. Thanks for following me on the Straw.

Thanks for the update, Tom,

Thanks for the update, Tom, glad to hear everyone is doing okay.