ElCap Report 5/21/13

ElCap Report 5/21/13
By Tom Evans
Yo… The beauty of Spring weather continues to intrigue. There was lots of action on just a few of the routes today. Things are settling down a bit now after the terrible Sunday we had a couple of days ago. Erik Sloan is manning the Bridge on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for a while, giving me a much needed break. Some of the shots today are really neat so you are in for a treat… as if you aren’t always in for a treat! The climbing season is going good now and more climbers are expected around the first of June… so hold onto your helmets, big wall freaks!
Today’s ElCap Report…written just for you…unique in all the world!!
Zodiac: This route has lain open for a time but not for long. Parties are plotting their strategy and jockeying for position. Joe Shultz has been fixing for a few days and blasted today. I last saw him hauling kit to the top of the third pitch this afternoon.
1)  Joe seen here with his kit at the top of the 3rd pitch, this afternoon.
Nose: This historic and hyer-classic route saw some serious traffic today. The team I am calling the Spanish team, topped out this afternoon. They just might be German’s I have been told. 
2) The Spanish team finishing the route this afternoon.
There were several teams down in the bowels of the route this afternoon. The dress of one team was highly suspect, with one climber in all black and the other in white… I will be sending a fashion consultant down from the top to meet these guys for a little chat! Another team was nicely dressed so you get to see a shot of one of them.
3) Finn McCann can haul some serious kit, as seen here in the Stovelegs.  He is climbing with his dad, Seamor.
After a very late start, Sonny Trotter and Will Stanhope cruised up the route on a NIAD mission today.  I last spotted them in the Grey Bands around 3pm, going strong. Sonny has never climbed the route before.
4) Sonny following the Jardine corner while a climber, on Texas Flake, sets the belay.
5) Higher up Sonny checks out the end of the King Swing while Will looks on from Eagle Ledge.
6) Later in the afternoon Will is seen cranking hard on the Lynn Hill Traverse.


English climbers, Oli and Chris, lead the NIAD charge today and had clear sailing all the way.
7) Oli leading the, not so nice, pitch into Camp 5, the scene of several epics.
8) I don’t know who these guys are but they are climbing well and are seen here climbing from Texas Flake to the Boot.
Magic Mushroom: Flagstaff hard men, Jim Gaun and Cameron Kern, ElCap vets with many routes under their belts are taking the Freeblast to the start of this well positioned but awkward route. They are hauling kit up the slabs! Oh the humanity!!
9) Jim at the start of the Half Dollar this afternoon.
Salathe: I spotted a team a pitch above the Spire this morning and last saw them approaching the Block. I haven’t seen them before. Seems like this route is a good one for sneaking up the wall without me seeing you! Don’t tell Steve Gerberding!
10) Must be Euro’s, with those color bags!  True! Pavel Dobrinskiy and Alexander Novikov ... Russian's.
Up high on the route I saw a team from Sunday climb over the headwall and later fix a bit above Long Ledge. They moved well when I was shooting them.
11) Letting the bags go, on the Salathe Headwall.
12) A climber is seen fixing a ways above the left end of Long Ledge this afternoon. This pitch has seen several broken ankles and other injuries, and no one I can recall likes the pitch!
In other news: There isn’t much news today. Several climbers have emailed me that they are on their way to the Valley…. So… get ready for some more big wall shots on some interesting routes!
So that’s the way it is, for this Tuesday, the 21st day of May, 2013.
Signing off for tonight.  Your main man, here at the Bridge. 
Captain Tom


oh man.. the light..the contrast.. the action.. what a great set of pics for the day. love #7!!

way to keep it all going tom! you're the man!

there in a month...


Man, Tom. Your photos are spectacular!

Pic 8 is sweet!

Pic 8 is sweet!

Sonnie getting a late start?

Sonnie getting a late start? I'm shocked!


Really cool shots of the nose today. Getting me psyched to climb it! Thanks for the awesome work Tom!

Thanks Tom!

Hey Tom,

Thanks for starting to link the Report back over at the Taco. I'm on a posting hiatus there right now, but I know a lot of people appreciate the direct link even if they don't say anything.

It's awesome to see Oli back in the Valley - I still owe him beers for helping Jon get me off of New Dawn after my seizure last year. Please tell him I said hello!

Keep up the great work - will try to get over to see you in the fall season after we get back from Kilimanjaro.


Thanks Tom!

You 'Rock'! ~