ElCap Report 10/26/11

ElCap Report 10/26/11
By Tom Evans

Yo… Well it looks like Fall is really here, brought in yesterday by a cold, hard wind from the west that continues to blow.  The prow of the Nose had another day of strong gusts and very cool temperatures.  The SE Face showed little evidence of wind today, but by late afternoon climbers were reaching for hoodies and puffy’s.  As I type these words, low clouds and fog have unexpectedly moved into the Valley.   It was cold and windy at the Bridge all day and not many people hung around for long…except me of course!

I did spend an enjoyable morning talking with Terry and Mike Caldwell, Tommy’s parents.  They are here because Tommy is going for the send on his long standing project, on the Dawn Wall.  Mike is going up, at the age of 61, to handle the belaying duties for his son.  Mom and other family members will be around  for support and encouragement.  The climb will start on Saturday and the plan is to take 12 days of kit.
Today’s ElCap Report…written just for you…unique in all the world!

Zodiac:  There are two teams on the route.  The lead team is a mixed team from Montana and the other is a British couple, from BC.  The lead team is moving more rapidly so there will be no passing problems.
The Montana couple climbed from the top of 7 and were on the Nipple pitch around 3pm when I left.  Any time you can climb the three pitches of the White Circle in a day, especially a short Fall day, you are doing well.
1)  Starting into the White Circle this morning.





























2) Slip sliding away.





























3)  The classic Nipple pitch.





























The lower team jugged to their high fixed point at the top of three and were dragging toward the Black Tower when I left.

Tangerine Trip:  Matt and Daryl blasted today from the top of the 3rd after hauling kit there.  They were finishing the 4th when I left.
4)  “Come on up boys, I need some lunch” said the Black Cat, sitting on top of the Sombrero, to the climbers.






























5)  Cleaning the 4th pitch on the trip.

























Below, the solo from the 3D last week, Mason Robison, hiked kit and will start tomorrow.

PO Wall:  The Montana Boys, Nate, Nick, and Noah are basking in the relative luxury of the Continental Shelf this evening.  They are moving along very well.  After making considerable effort to do the pendulum, which I recorded in hidef for them, they were soon at the Continental Shelf.
6)  Reachy move among the Nothing Atolls.  Some interesting looking rock there!






























7)  Climbing the Pacific Crest below the Continental Shelf, which bears a remarkable resemblance to an Egyptian Pharaoh’s head.





























Tempest:  Alik Berg continues to flow up the route in his smooth and seemingly effortless style.  He climbed the Quinllin(sp?) Corner as the sun was moving off the wall this evening.  
8)  Alik climbing the Quinllin Corner in the cool of the evening.





























New Dawn:  Paul and Tom spent the night on Wino Tower, as expected.  They climbed two above it while I was shooting.
9)  Paul sorting ropes on Wino Tower before the days climbing commenced.





























10)  Tom leading above Wino.  The blue line is one of Tommy’s fixed lines.





























Nose:  Wes, Quinn, and Prairie stayed on Dolt last night and took the Jardine Traverse to Eagle ledge, on the way to the Great Roof where I last observed them.
11)  Hauling kit up the long sloping pitch to Eagle ledge.






























12)  The well dressed team, climbing off Eagle Ledge.






























The mixed team of two, Meg and Glen, in the lead yesterday, started from ECT, did the King Swing, which I recorded on HiDef video, and were heading into the Gray bands as I departed today.  They are now well behind the team of three. Meg is still wearing that bulky yellow pack when she seconds.  She did lead the Boot and got some respite from the bag.  Seems strange to me, as they are also hauling a bag…maybe a larger bag would be wise next trip?!
13)  The yellow pack, with Meg strapped to it, lowering off the Boot.




























Way down below, gusty winds played havoc with ropes in the Stovelegs.  
14)  A man could make a good profit selling rope bags at the start of the Legs!




























In other news:  I didn’t see anyone west of the Nose today.  I got an email from Hans Florine, who predicts a shot at the speed record on the Nose around the middle of next week.  Tomorrow a team of three is going to take a shot at Scorched Earth in a day.  It has never seen a one day ascent…in fact I have never even seen it climbed!  Dave Allfrey, Skiy Detray, and Ammon McNeeley are a strong team with solid credentials.  Should be interesting!   I predict they will climb the route!  Best of luck guys!
I was planning on leaving the Valley, for home, this coming Tuesday, but instead will soldier on at the Bridge, shooting these important climbs.
So that’s the way it is, for this Wednesday, the 26th day of October, 2011.
Stay warm…


Dave Allfrey and Ammon have

Dave Allfrey and Ammon have certainly been having their way with El Cap this year!

Walls in a PUSH

30 gu packets and a liter of water!!! Get it boys!!

Rough'n it

Thanks for toughing it out on the bridge for us desk pukes Tom! I'll be following T.C.'s attempt everyday!

Greg from Utah

You are just out there

You are just out there toiling Tom. We all envy you.