ElCap Report 10/9/21


ElCap Report 10/9/2021   First Report of the Fall season.  

By Tom Evans

All right folks, the ElCap Report is back, after 2 years of no reports amid the covid 19 restrictions. So, wake up Cubicle Pukes, and pay attention because cool things are happening and more are planned... So, where the hell are you???  I arrived in Yosemite Valley around 8am on October 6th after a drive of 7.5 hours, from my home in SoCal.  The driving was easy at night and I arrived to find ElCap with climbers on some really good routes… some I don’t usually see.  The Nose has been empty for the past two days.  The weather has been ok but the smoke has been a constant problem this season.  I am planning on being here until the end of the month, and am staying at site 36 in Camp 4.  I didn’t shoot on the 6th as I was pretty tired from the trip up and hit the sack around 6:30pm.  This report is a compilation of the past couple of days.

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

1)  Some of the former “view points” from many years ago have been cleared of unwanted overgrown trees.  This was one of my favorites from 1967 that has been cleared of undesirable growth and once again, offers a nice view of ElCap.


2)  Zodiac:  The three-man team of Skyler Cranton, Emilio Santanamaria, and Ray Hunter were seen finishing up on the route on Thursday.  Here the Skyler is lowering out the bags from Peanut Ledge.


3)   Soon Skyler jugged the free hanging line to join the rest of the team at the start of the slab pitch.  They were soon on their way to the top.


4)  Kaos:  A two-person team is active on this, not often done, route. I think this was shot on the second pitch.  They are Sam Stuckey and Alex Abrams.


5)  Disorderly Conduct:  Neil Chelton and Keiko Tanaka are high on this route now.  Here is a shot of them on the 7th hauling kit on the upper headwall. The route has only had two ascents I recall.  Some great looking rock high up there.


6)  Salathe/Freerider saw a lot of action yesterday with several teams high on the route… probably racing to get away from the storm predicted on the on the 8th.  The “Green Bag” team consisted of Chad Heying, Kaegan Recher, and Ian Brennan.





























7)  Later I caught Ian making the last few moves to Sous Le Toit Ledge high on the route.






























8)  The storm arrived at 2:30am with some scattered showers of low intensity.  After a while, the intensity increased and it was raining fairly hard when a large rockfall was heard pounding down, what I think was the Camp 4 wall, at 4:35am.  By 7:30am I was headed to the Café in a very light rain.  While the forecast was for about .5 inches, I don’t think we got nearly that much and by the time I got going and headed down to the Captain at 10am, the rain was gone and the clouds were clearing off the Cap, as seen in this shot.






























9)  Disorderly Conduct:  The team was exposed to some water but looked to have things under control.  I left around noon on the 8th as they were readying to lead the next pitch.







10)  As I have arrived much later than usual for the Fall season, I was wondering how the trees looked in their fall colors.  Funny, but the Maples that would normally be busting a nice yellow color were still mostly green and my favorite Maple has passed its prime which is normally a week from this date!  So… things are different this year, due in large part to the extreme drought conditions in the Sierra.






























11)  Sugar Maple Tree.





























12)  Maple Branch.




























In other news.  Camp 4 is “full” but not really.  Due to covid restrictions they only have 2 or so tents in most sites and that includes the “new” east part of Camp 4…. The part with the showers!!  Yeah dude… we now have real showers here at Camp 4.  It is getting almost civilized here in dirtbag heaven!

Several things to keep an eye on…

Paraclimber, Rand Abbott has assembled a crew of climbers in support of his effort to ascend the Nose by leading some pitches.  Plaidman was in charge of the hauling operations, moving the nearly 1,000 pounds of kit up the route.  Unfortunately, his enthusiasm, caused him to bust out a hernia, which was a serious one, requiring immediate hospitalization and surgery.  He is recovering and will be out of action for the foreseeable future.  Jerry Greenleaf is also helping and Joe Marlay is honchoing the climbing but is unable to help with the hauling as he is still recovering from a bad car crash some time ago.  The meadow crew is wondering why the Nose was chosen instead of a steeper, shorter route like Zodiac.  The team is blasting Saturday and I will keep you posted on their progress.  We wish them all the best for a successful and safe climb.

13)  Update:  Rand Abbott has abandoned the Nose climb after having a health issue just 300 feet off the deck.  YOSAR and the medical team were called and responded to Rand’s condition. This shot is of the carry-out by YOSAR.  Tomorrow the team is set to haul all the ropes and kit off the wall.  Earl Bates photo.































Skot Richards and Mark Hudon are teeing it up on the Sea of Dreams starting on the weekend.

Nicola Martinez, Timmy O’Neil along with 2 others just topped out on the Salathe route.

Aimee (Aucoin) Anderson (aka “Big Wall Amyee” from the 90’s) stopped by for a short visit with her son Charlie in tow, after almost 20 years of absence.  She has found a few old timer friends to chat with here.  Great to visit with her again!

Also in evidence are Stevie G and Steve Schneider (recovering from inflamed appendix surgery). I hear Erik Eriksson is around too. I will have more news when I get a few days behind me.  Really, there are a lot of the crew here now and I will be reporting on their activities related to the Big Stone in the coming days.  We miss our foreign climbing friends who normally are here for the season.

So that’s the way it is on this Saturday, the 9th of October 2021.

Capt. Tom is back in the EC Meadow… just for your pleasure!



Glad to see this. Thanks.

Glad to see this. Thanks.

Welcome back!

Great that you’re back doing this!!!


Tom: It's so good to have you back on the job!
Sorry to hear about Rand.
Keep up the good work.

Hey Tom!

Hoping you have a good stay, glad you’re back in the Valley. Have fun, be safe!
Ron Gomez