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|Submitted by Tom Evans on Thu, 05/20/2010 - 03:50|
ElCap Report 5/19/10
By Tom Evans
Yo… Ok listen up Pukes… big day here in the Valley. The weather was primo and the action on the Captain was just as good. So I am going to get right to it with out the usual stalling tactics.
Today’s ElCap Report… written just for you…unique in all the world!
Zodiac: Bob’s team of three got on the route today after fixing two yesterday. They were last seen leading on the 4th after taking some time with the third. On the third, the leader wielded a big cheater stick and after a time got to the belay.
Stickin it to the third on Zodiac.
Bob leading the 4th while the guys hauled the bags.
A solo quickly climbed the first two late in the afternoon. Who is that guy?
ZM: A team of two Swiss, Lars and Martin, fixed and hauled the first by the time I left today. I love shooting this route as the pitches have some really cool features.
Trip: The recent parties are gone and a new team of what appeared to be 4 guys climbed to the corner of the roof and sent a leader out on the 5th as I departed. I saw no bags… so… what’s up with that?
The Black Cat looks for some lunch on the Trips 3rd pitch.
The crew at the corner of the big roof on the Trip.
Genesis: EE and Kate moved up a couple more pitches by the time I was finished today.
EE cleaning while Kate muscles up the pigs. Kate is the black mass under the yellow helmet. Damned black shirts!!
Tribal Rite: This recently popular route has a good team enjoying its beauties. The Mammoth guys, Josh and Brett, climbed the famous Carrot pitch and above and I was able to get some nice shots of them as the day progressed.
Climbing the Carrot on Tribal Rite.
Last light on Tribal Rite.
Nose: Yesterday the route was empty and today the action was intense on this center piece of ElCap climbing. There were three NIAD ascents and several traditional teams as well as a gaggle of climbers who came over from the west after abandoning their plans for the Muir. For a time the pitch below the Roof was jammed to the breaking point and a couple of fisticuffs broke out when Hoof Arted gassed the confined climbers. By 2pm the area cleared out in time for a NIAD team of three to pass through without incident.
NIAD team climbing above Dolt Tower.
Traffic at the Great Roof caused Alex and Uli to seek higher ground. Hoof Arted??
The big news of the day was Alex Honnold and Uli Steck teaming up to make a run at the Nose record, set last year by Hans and Yuji at 2:37:05. The two met last night for the first time and were on the route by 8:20am. Alex lead the parts that I could see, wearing a pack no less, as he had done the route several times and Uli climbed second, never having been on the route. National Geographic is filming the event and the local boys are getting the manual labor done. Ropes are strung down the face to the Great Roof for the film crew. Local Mikie Schafer is working on the filming and directing.
Anyway the lads were out for a familiarization run today and looked to have learned a lot of what not to do! They passed a horde of climbers along the way with no difficulties. They threw down an impressive 4:45 for their first climb together. They are going tomorrow for another run and then we will see what their schedule will be.
Alex doing the King Swing while Uli counter weights him on the swing.
Alex cranking the moves on the wet, slimy Roof pitch.
Another party high steppin on the Pancake Flake.
Several teams are fixed to Sickle and await the final weather report.
Ryan and Bill are fixing on the lower Muir, and I predict will bail.
Golden Gate: Cedar and Nick worked on the upper part above the Golden Desert while another team worked on the lower section.
Salathe: The Austrian team of two men and a woman climbed to Hollow Flake this afternoon. This team is lead by Stefan Brunner, who you may recall had a great season here last fall. His girl friend and another friend are on the route with him.
Out west…. I didn’t get out there today.
In other news: Very quiet at the bridge today even though the Valley was jammed with Touron and their vehicles were parked everywhere.
We are looking forward to the climbing on the Nose and I will keep you posted as to the schedule when I find out for myself.
Alex and Uli came by the Bridge to chat for a time and get some beta for the coming climbs. They are getting in touch with Hans Florine to get his beta too.
I took this candid shot before I left today.
“Look kids, this is what you need to do!” Jimmy Chin dishes it straight to youngsters, Alex and Uli, at the ElCap line up.
So that’s the way it is for this the 19th day of May, 2010.
Your man on the scene… Captain Tom signing off.