|Submitted by Tom Evans on Wed, 11/02/2011 - 01:41|
ElCap Report 11/01/11
By Tom Evans
Yo… Spectacular weather continues unabated. Solid blue sky for all the climbing going on today. This will be the last report as I am leaving soon and the weather is supposed to cave in later in the week, which will most likely end the season for most climbers.
Donations are greatly appreciated folks and if you have enjoyed all the zillions of great climbing shots and the report itself then please consider donating whatever you find reasonable.
I want to thank Ken Yager for his untiring efforts in the many areas he works to benefit climbers and the park.
Thanks to Jesse McGahey for all he has done to make it possible for me to stay in the park and do what I do here.
Special thanks to my fellow “Ask a Climber” program workers. Thanks to Friends of YOSAR for the high speed internet connection. Thanks to Merry and Werner Braun for putting up with me all those evenings when I was writing the Report and processing images!
Also thanks to my photo buddy Jerry Miller for all the help he has given me with the technical aspects of my camera and shooting in general.
And last but surely not least, a very special thanks to all of you who have supported the Report and my photography. I appreciate every one of you more than you can know.
Today’s ElCap Report… one last time…written just for you…unique in all the world!
Prophet: I did see Will and Sonnie working on the upper part of the route today. With the rain coming Thursday, and Will having to fly out on the 8th it is doubtful if the team will have a decent shot at the send. Hope they will but it doesn’t look good for them. Talked to them in the Cafe this evening... cautiously optimistic....
Zodiac: The Solo, Alex Buisse, bailed from the top of 8 today.
Walker and Jenny bailed from the top of 4 today. All the bails are due to the approaching bad weather and are wise moves this time of year!
NA Wall: The ranger team finished late yesterday.
Salathe: Nate and Mandy bailed from just above the Block today.
TC project: Tommy has climbed the first 9 all free thus far. I went down early this morning to get some shots of him on the 14a 10 pitch. He took a few falls on the pitch. Seems there is a seep that runs in the morning that is being troublesome for him.
He is planning on staying up for the storms and hoping they are cold ones with snow rather than rain. We wish him all the best!
Tommy off the climb.
Tommy passing the slime on the 10th with Lincoln Else shooting.
Nose: Today was the speed attempt by Hans Florine and Alex Honnold. Hans arrived around 9am but it was not until after 11 that they got on the route. By then it was already warm in the bright sunlight. Hondo shed his shirt immediately. They climbed rapidly and smoothly to the Boot, with Hans leading the first half of the climb. Above there Hondo took the lead.
They were always flirting with the time line that would get the record and by the time the last pitch was reached they were 7 minutes from the record. Hondo powered up the bolts without aiders, just pulling on quick draws and biners. He was soon at the top. Hans had 4 minutes from the start of the pitch to get the record. Hans says he is faster climbing that pitch than jugging, so he was soon racing up the 10b crack to the start of the bolts. He didn’t hit those perfectly and had just a smidge of delay, a few seconds at most, with his aid slings on the bolts. I had a rough idea of the time line to about one minute accuracy. It was nail biting time for all the spectators below.
It was going to be really close… really close. Soon, Hans disappeared over the top heading for the tree. They were to come to the lip of the top, and wave, if they got the record. We waited … and waited…and waited… finally the word came down… they missed the record by a mere 45 seconds in recording the third fastest time ever done. Amazing really, when you consider they have only climbed the route 3 times together. I figured they should do at least 4 or 5 to really get it dialed. Anyway, it was a grand day to watch one of the greatest climbing spectacles on the planet and we were all rewarded by a memorable climb.
Alex Honnold and Hans Florine about to start the climb.
Hans doing the splits to get over to the ramp up to Sickle.
Hondo carrying loops of rope in his hand, while he climbs, to keep them from catching on flakes below. Is that really a belay system!!?
Hans jamming in the mega classic Stoveleg crack.
Hans going for Dolt Tower.
Hondo, chalking while making a strong move under the Great Roof.
Alex leading the 11c upper part of Pancake Flake as big wall legend, Dave Turner films. Hondo had one piece of gear on the whole pitch!
Alex leading the pitch above Camp 6.
Clipping the bolt to change corners.
Hondo yarding in line to short fix Hans above the Changing Corners.
Hans starting the last pitch. Dave Turner again,shooting video.
In other news: The wall is empty at the moment, save for Tommy’s team.
Mike and Aaron are fixing some more tomorrow on the NA but will wait to see what the weather does before blasting. Good luck to them.
So it is time or me to head back home for the long winter. I hope to do some road tripping and perhaps some over seas travel. It has been a great fall season. I am humbled by the honor I have, of being in a position to tell the stories and post pictures, of climbers, famous, infamous, and obscure! They are a great asset to the sport and I thank each and every one for their efforts to reach their dreams.
So that’s the way it is, for this Tuesday, the first day of November, 2011.
Back into the World!