ElCap Report 5/15/13

ElCap Report 5/15/13

By Tom Evans


Yo… I know you have been going crazy, patiently awaiting the start of the ElCap Report, for 2013.  Relax, all you Cubicle Pukes, your salvation is at hand!  I have been here a week, getting things set up and figured out, and I have been shooting some too.  As you old timers know, I don’t pull any punches when it comes to telling you about the Contenders and the Pretenders.  If you haven’t, then be sure to read the “disclaimer” on the home page!!  So drop what you are doing, saddle up, and catch all the action on ElCap.  Brought to you by your man, at the famous “ElCap Bridge,” Captain Tom!


Today the weather has been sweet, but it seems that any time they call for ANY chance of rain… it rains!!  Just afternoon showers, but two this week have been among the most violent I have ever seen….. So… a word to the wise… pay attention to the forecast and pack your rain gear!   The Big Stone is pretty empty these days, so I am going to review the past few days to give you a feel for the scene here.


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


Zodiac:  This classic, Charley Porter route, sits empty but has seen a lot of action in the past week.  A solo and three teams of two have done the route.  Here are some shots of the recent action.

1)  Solo climber, Jonathan Reinig, earlier this past week, packing up his kit, after a bivy on the mega-classic, Peanut Ledge.

































2)  Team of two Montanan’s, I think, finishing up the spectacular Nipple pitch.




























3)  Mixed team of Austrian’s topping out.






























Tangerine Trip:  I arrived last Wed. to find Kennan Waechle, sitting out a storm at the start of the 9th pitch.  He climbed smartly along after that and topped out a few days later.

4)  Keenan in the upper middle of the route.































There have just been some route closures put out by NPS that I will post in more detail soon.  New Dawn to …. Maybe PO.  I’ll check it for you later.  The first 10 pitches of these routes are, however, open.


The Nose Route:  The “King”, as I sometimes call this route, due to its’ popularity, is, once again, drawing climbers from all over the world.  Today there is but one party, above the Great Roof.  Another dragged into the Legs late but I don’t hold out much hope for these guys.

5)  A 3D party, making the stretch to pass the corner of the Great Roof.






























6)  Colorado Girls, Jes Meiris and Quinn Brett, climbing above the “Glowering Spot“, on a NIAD, a couple of days ago.






























7)  Random climber, close up, climbing the Great Roof.





























The Muir:  A couple of teams are heading up this route.  One team is, Mason and Mark, who had to bail from the base of the Dihedral Wall a few days ago, after Ranger Ben Doyle told them the route was closed, including all the  routes west from there, to Peter Pan.

The other team is Chris and Cole.  I am not sure which team is first but I did spot a team headed toward Gray Ledges this morning.



The Shield:  The team of Aaron Liebling and Shaun Lindsay , topping out today, put this route behind them with solid, efficient climbing. 

8)  The team, finishing the pitch to the start of the Groove.






























9)  Leading the Triple Cracks, on a fine but cold afternoon, high on the route.































Golden Gate:  There is a Norwegian team working up the route, after a weather delay of a few days.



Salathe/Freerider:  The usual contingent of free climbers is working on sending this route, the easiest free one on the Cap, and its’ parent route, the Salathe. 


Here are a few Scenic shots from the past few days.


10) Late evening shot of Yosemite Falls, after a thunderstorm.































11) View of Half Dome late in the evening.






























12) Having some fun on the Merced River, near the ElCap Bridge.




























In other news:  The geezer team, of Donini and Lowe, are in town taking a hard look at what would be the oldest NIAD team to ever do the route… should be interesting, as these “old guys” (70 AND 69) are among the best, most experienced, and highly revered, climbers in the entire country!


Alex Honnold has been around, working on a Whiskey commercial that will be sure to fill his coffers, when all is done.  He and Dave Allfrey are looking for some “low hanging fruit” to munch on in the next few days, weather permitting.  


Many of the YOSAR team are back and living the life that most of us can only fantasize about.  Foreign climbers are showing up for the season and Camp 4 is full on weekends, but not yet on the weekdays.


I want to thank those of you who have, and will in the future, make a donation to the website… any amount is greatly appreciated and put to use to keep the site and the report going!


On a very sad note…. Fernando Motta, an excellent climber and a super guy, was killed several days ago, in a base jumping accident.  He had many friends and will be sorely missed by all of us.

13) Fernando Motta at the ElCap Bridge.






























So that’s the way it is, for this Wednesday, the 15th day of May, 2013.

Later, Capt. Tom








Steve Murray and Brad S.

Hey Tom, Brad and I (steve) are the 3rd party you took pictures of on the great roof picture 5.15.13
. We climbed Muir wall to the grey band and then traversed over to the nose on the triple direct traverse (we assumed, no topo of the traverse or the nose). If you have any more pictures I would love to see some more from the valley perspective
. thank you for all of your work. Brad is also in the great roof picture a few pictures below the third party picture. thank you for you great work!
Steve M.
From Tom... send me a mailing address via email and I will send the shots your way!

mailing address


Thanks for getting back to me. email is swilliamm90@hotmail.com


Very nice pics, Tom. Do you

Very nice pics, Tom. Do you know if Tribal Rite is closed? See you soon!
From Tom:  Tribal is not on the banned list... it is open!


Glad to see you back in action for new season, Capt. Tom!


Hey Tom - Unfortunately I won't be out until October. See you then. Until then, THANKS for the stoke!!

Paul Gagner

New dawn / mescalito

mmmm closed I do have a couple of friends more than half way
 I think started Monday maybe - I do not think they know its closed ....
From Tom,  Yeah Dave they bailed a couple of days ago from pretty high up... guess they found out somehow.  too bad, as they had done
lots of good climbing until then. 
Edit... I heard they dropped all their big cams so had to bail....

Welcome back!

We missed you by just a day or two by topping out too son on Zodiac. Really too bad given the great pics you got of Kennan.

another summer season is here luckily also with E.C.R !!

great to see you are back !!

you wouldn't know names of any of the norwegians on golden gate ??

(maybe we'll see a brigde shot of them later)

keep up the good work Tom !!


Knut E Johansen
Norwegian ;-)

The norwegian team

Answer to Knut Johansen:

The norwegians on Golden Gate is Sindre Sæther and Martin Olslund.

Bjørn O.

Game On!

Stellar work Tom. Looking forward to not just reading but being part of the action in early June up on Lurking Fear with Hudon.

See you around.

Scott Jett

Amazing photos!!

Tom, these photos are incredible. Blows me away how clear and what they show. You are a master of the craft!

Tripple Cracks

That is the most amazing picture of the Triple Cracks!

Thanks Tom!


Woohoo ECR is back! See you soon Tom


Hyung.. Hope to see you


Hope to see you soon


Thanks Tom!

Glad to hear ya back

Welcome back!

It's great to see the El Cap Report kick off a new season!

Cheers, Tom, see ya soon,


Yay Capt. Tom

Good to have you back great stuff as always see you Fri.