ElCap Report 5/16/13

ElCap Report 5/16/13
By Tom Evans
Yo … I awakened, around 6:15 this morning, to find the sky a solid mass of high gray clouds. The forecast was for rain today… well 30% anyway. I motored down to the Cap around 9am and immediately went out west. With no deep shadows on cloudy days, I am able to shoot any face or feature without the harsh contrast of a sunny day. I was psyched! All the action was on the South West Face, from the Nose to the Salathe route.  
Stop browsing those other sites and stay here for a day of chilly, drab conditions but  good climbing on the Captain!
Today’s ElCap Report…. Written just for you…. Unique in all the world!
Closure update: The Dawn Wall closure goes from New Dawn, above ElCap Tower, east to left of the PO wall but not including it. The other SE Face closure is cancelled!
 Nose: Not much action on the King today as one party was going off, one was coming on and one was bailing.
The colorful party from yesterday was spotted climbing to Camp 6 and above.
1)    Climbers leaving Camp 6, shot from near Bridalveil Falls.
The party that was dragging up the Stoveleg Crack yesterday bailed from Dolt this morning.
2)     BAIL OF THE DAY!!!!!!!
The party heading up consists of Preston and Phillip. I spotted then at the top of Sickle Ledge and they were on Dolt Tower when I departed a bit after 2pm.
3)     The guys at the top of Sickle Ledge early this morning.
4)     The leader leaving the belay in the middle of the Stovelegs.
Grey Ledges: There were 5 parties of climbers on or around this set of ledges, in the middle of the 2nd part of the Muir.  These ledges are a crossing point for several routes and thus get pretty crowded sometimes.
5)     No vacancy’s at the Hotel de Grey Ledges!
Muir: Chris and Cole escaped the mob on Grey Ledges and were soon crossing the tricky bit of free climbing across the grey rock and up toward the start of the last, and best, part of the route.
6)     I’m not sure who is leading here but it took some work to pass this section.
Golden Gate: The Norwegians, Sindre Saether and Martin Olslund, were spotted working on the Vertical Desert pitch this morning. They set up a top rope and dogged it pretty hard.  Turns out that one of the lads did free the entire route, while the other came pretty close
7)     Working the Vertical Desert pitch.
Salathe:   I did see a team, whose bags I had seen earlier in the week, climb to and over, the Roof pitch late in the morning.   They are Kieran and Luke from Canada.  Another team was at Sous le Toit ledge and it looked like they retreated to the Block as the weather worsened.  This team is Chris and Oli, a couple of Brits who have climbed here a bunch and have often been featured on the Report.
8)     Climbing over the Roof, on the Salathe route.
9)     Scenic shot of Half Dome from a couple of days ago.
I posted the shot below of Fernando Motta on yesterday’s report, but too late for many readers to see, so I am reposting it today. Fernando was a good friend and a great guy. He has climbed the Nose in a day a couple of times and did the Nose/Half Dome link-up too. An outstanding climber who’s skills enabled him to work at climbing gyms, setting routes. He was also an internationally known Base Jumper. We will miss his psyche and his eagerness to find adventure. He was recently killed Base Jumping.
10)      Fernando Motta, taken at the ElCap Bridge in 2005.
In other news: Most teams of climbers are sitting these next two days out as rain is in the forecast and Yosemite rock is not good for climbing in the rain. Thus far today we have had a few sprinkles but nothing like the blasters of the past week.  I would like to thank Derek Roland for his contribution of beer at the Bridge today.  We didn't drink any, as it was pretty cold at the Bridge.  So come on down and partake, next time you swing by!
Cheyne Lempe took a shot of me, a few days ago, hanging out at his tent cabin in the SAR site (Yosemite Search and Rescue campsite on the west end of Camp 4).
11)              The old man and his cigar.
So that’s the way it is, on this Thursday, the 16th day of May, 2013.
“ Ansel” Evans