ElCap Report 11/01/11

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!
1)  Tommy off the climb.






























2)  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.

3)  Alex Honnold and Hans Florine about to start the climb.






























4)  Hans doing the splits to get over to the ramp up to Sickle.






























5)  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!!?





























6)  Hans jamming in the mega classic Stoveleg crack.





























7)  Hans going for Dolt Tower.





























8)  Hondo, chalking while making a strong move under the Great Roof.



























9)  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!






























10)  Alex leading the pitch above Camp 6.





























11)  Clipping the bolt to change corners.





























12)  Hondo yarding in line to short fix Hans above the Changing Corners.




























13)  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!
Tom Evans



Thanks Tom
Those pictures of me and Darrel on the Trip are amazing.
Best souvenoir possible.
Have a good winter and see ya next summer
Ranger Matt


Thanks for the great reports this season Tom .
Great images
Makes me want to come over next season from the UK and look at that great big hunk of rock for real ,


Many thanks for another great season Tom. Looking forward to 2012.



Tom is da man

Yo thanks tom for all the work you do. Not too bad for an old guy. Too bad a little weather is scaring you away! see you in the spring.

Mike Brown

Thanks Tom!

Your reporting is Historic and your photos are in a class of their own.

Thanks for doing what you do.


Great Job

Thanks Tom for your dedication to the site! This season you captured my first ascent of El Capitan on Mescalito. It was an experience I will never forget and you were right there to record the whole thing. The pictures I received will let me revisit this experience for the rest of my life. Thanks!!!

-Mike Nicholson

Speed Climbing is the Fountain of Youth?

Hans doesn't even look remotely close to a guy creeping up on the big five-0 and having 21 years head start on young Honnold. Badass.

Many thanks for the reports Tom, all of us in lurking-land get an incredible enjoyment out of these whilst sitting behind our desks.



I never knew such a website existed. This is incredible photography work. I wish I had known about you when I was in Yosemite National Park.

Glad I got someone to share this link with me. Thank you!

Thanks for another season

Tom, I really enjoy the photos and reading your summary every day.

Thanks for all your efforts.


Proud work for the season

Proud work for the season Tom. Thanks.
-New York Neal

Thanks for all the great

Thanks for all the great reports Tom!

Thanks for all the photos. As

Thanks for all the photos. As always, great work. Safe travels!

So amazing

Fantastic as always!!

Thanks for another fantastic season of THE El Cap Report!!!

-The Fet

Thanks for all your hard work!

Thanks for a great season Tom, and thanks for all the photos and stories for those of us that can only get to the ditch once a year. Have a great winter and I'll see you at the bridge in June.


Awesome reports this season!

Great reports, thoroughly enjoyed them from the East Coast. Sad not to have made it out to the Valley this fall, but your reports really inspire desire for the big walls. Thanks!!

Hans and Hondo

Where is their rack?

Thanks for all the great

Thanks for all the great photos and commentary, Tom, I know I'll miss the Report everyday till you start up again next spring.

Happy Trails,


Thanks for a great season, Tom!

Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!! I typed in the URL before it was even posted on McTopo.

Geez, a caver like me oughta give a climber like Hans a few lessons in jugging. Get him fixed up with the right gear, and he'll shave all sorts of time, assuming jugging is in any way a rate-determining step anywhere except the final pitch. Even so ...

Anyway, thanks for all your work and photos, Tommy. Can't believe you're bailing before those guys go for the record time.

See you in the spring, and thanks for the photos, eh?

"Pass the Pitons" Pete

Dave Turner is not a bad jugger

Seems Dave can do a bit of jugging himself. First filming at the Pancake and than at the very end.

Thanks for the great pics Tom!


Thanks for a great 2011 reporting season!

Hey Tom,

Thanks for another great season of reporting. Always a pleasure to see you when I'm lucky enough to be in the valley, and always great to have the report when I'm not there.