|Submitted by Tom Evans on Wed, 10/27/2010 - 02:14|
ElCap Report 10/26/10
By Tom Evans
Yo… Today was quite nice and the action on the Cap reflected the improved weather. Most of the action was on the Nose with some on the Salathe, Mescalito, and the Prophet. The season is definitely winding down, amidst the burgeoning waterfalls and colorful fall leaves. A lot of climbers are departing at the end of the week, leaving the place to the locals, who are breathing a sigh of relief, that they have their Valley back! See shots of Leo Houlding and Jason Pickles climbing the crux pitch below.
Today’s ElCap Report…written just for you…unique in all the world!
The Prophet: Leo and Jason moved up to the start of the cruxy, A1 Beauty pitch this morning and hung everything out to dry for most of the day. On toward 2pm Leo emerged from the portaledge, to give the last obstacle on the route, a go. Jason stayed in the ledge for a time but soon emerged as the climbing intensified. A small gathering assembled in the meadow, where I was shooting, to watch the climb. Jake and Libby, Logan, Sabine, and a couple others, watched through the scope and binos as Leo meticulously worked his way up the pitch. He looked smooth, even though he had done no warm up. The first section went very well and he stopped about half way up the pitch to rest and shake out. The protection was marginal to that point, but he climbed on with confidence.
He made some spectacular moves and soon had the very difficult rounded arête to climb past. In a quick and contortionist series of moves he moving off the arête, to the wet looking gray rock off to the left. I couldn’t believe how anyone could stay on in those positions! However, he soon came off for a 30 footer that looked like it crunched his ankles. He recovered and after a time worked the pitch some more. But the send didn’t happen and you could tell he was upset by his screaming, after being so close to getting it. He does have the rest of today and tomorrow to work it, so we will see what happens.
Leo starting on the A1 Beauty. Love the shirt!!
Leo making some sweet moves.
Leo off the pitch.
Mescalito: Kevin and Tommy climbed 8 pitches up to the regular Mescalito route today. They were mostly trying to get higher and not spending much time working on free climbing. I guess they are headed toward Wino Tower.
Cold afternoon as the sun moves around the corner. Tommy still at it.
Nose: I spotted a NIAD team climbing to Dolt this morning, and I watched they cross the Jardine and Gray Bands as the day wore on. I last saw them on the Great Roof around 3pm… so they have a long cold night ahead of them, as it gets dark pretty early these days.
The place where NIADs lose time... Great Roof pitch.
Below them Mash and Xander climbed from the top of Sickle to the Stove Legs but languished when Xander lead the first of the Stoveleg pitches but returned to the belay just short of the anchor. They stayed at the belay for ages and finally Mash went up to get the gear and I assume they bailed after I left.
Xander short ropped himself off Sickle's top.
Below them a team of two Swiss climbed off Sickle and slowly worked their way up the Legs. Sabine said they were out to climb as far up as they could and then bail.
Golden Gate: Brad and Mason rapped the entire route today, picking up their kit, left a couple of weeks ago, on the way by. They are done for the season.
Salathe: A team of two, Russians, climbed the Hollow Flake and slowly slugged up the pitches above and were miles from the Ear when I departed. They will most likely bail, as they look too slow to me.
Russian climber taking a breather on the Hollow Flake.
In other news: The season is closing out now but the weather is good for a few more days. Tomorrow Logan and Dave Allfrey are making a push up Zodiac. Dave has done the route but Logan hasn’t and is psyched to do it fast. I am out of here soon and tomorrow will be the last report. If you have enjoyed the reporting and all the photographs I post then do consider sending a donation to the site, as I could use the financial help to keep the site going. All donations are greatly appreciated.
So that’s the way it is, for this the 26th day of October, 2010.
Chow… ugh.. that’s where I’m headed… later Tom