ElCap Report 5/25 thru 27/13

ElCap Report 5/25 thru 27/13
By Tom Evans
Yo… You wouldn’t believe it unless you were here!  Everyone within 500 miles of Yosemite showed up this weekend! It took 1 hour 45 minutes to drive the 4 miles from the Bridge to the Lodge! Actually, the traffic people and rangers did a pretty good job with the situation, all things considered. Unfortunately for me, the first two days of the weekend, found the Bridge packed with Tourons and I was unable to get away from there until very late … so no reports for those days. The cliff has become nearly deserted today as there is a storm predicted to hit tonight.  Next morning.... the storm was nothing much and weather now solid for a week.
Today’s ElCap Report…written just for you…unique in all the world!
Zodaic: When I last wrote there were two teams of two and a solo, on the route. The teams of two topped out within minutes of each other, yesterday. Joe the solo climbed off today around 2pm.
1) One of the teams finishing the pitch above the Devil’s Brow.
2) The solo, Joe Shultz, in yellow, catches up with the lower of the two man teams, yesterday.
Zenyatta Mondatta:  Kentucky’s big wall ace, Matt Thomsen, has fixed one on this excellent route. He plans to continue this solo climb after the weather clears.
Tangerine Trip:  Sean O'Neil and his band of rogues are going to climb this route very soon.
 Nose: There have been so many parties on the Nose in the last three days it is impossible to keep track of them. Several bailed but most stuck it out. I believe all teams to be off the route, with the exception of a three man British team who were crawling along in the Grey Bands as I departed this afternoon.
3) Kit for one of the three man teams, who eventually bailed from The Grey Bands, being hauled to the top of the Boot. Many bags get stuck right there so these guys were ready with a climber to free them, if needed.
4) Getting ready to haul kit off the top of Texas Flake.
5) Here we see a nicely done mantle, across the corner, leading to Eagle Ledge. 
6) Patiently waiting for a turn at the King Swing.
Some of the excitement this weekend was the attempt by two relics, from the Paleozoic, to be the oldest two man team to ever do a NIAD. Jim Donini at 70 and George Lowe at 69, climbed at a steady pace and looked like the masters of the sport that they are but fell short of their goal by a few hours. However, as expected, they didn’t bail when they saw the NIAD was beyond their reach, but soldiered on to the top.
7) George leading the pitch above Eagle ledge late in the evening yesterday.
The hit of the weekend, however, was Jim Herson and his daughter Kara. They did a NIAD, thus making her, at 14, the youngest female to do so. Jim needs no introduction, being a legend around the entire Sierra. He and Kara climbed the Reg. on the Dome earlier in the year. Yesterday, they climbed the Nose together, doing so without Jumars. She hiked the Legs and threw down a King Swing that put several other parties to shame! People crowded the Bridge to see the youngster do her thing. It was way cool and even some hardened veterans watched with interest.
8) Kara hiking the 10c right side of the Boot Flake! Yep, boys, read it and weep!
9) Kara nailing the King Swing, after just a couple momentum gathering swings.
10) Jim is at the Camp 5 belay, as Kara climbs up.
Muir: Madaleine Sorkin and Joe Mills are making a run at the Premuir. They have climbed the lower part free and did some work higher up earlier in the month. This strong team of excellent climbers has a good chance of sending the route if only the weather will cooperate.
11) Madaleine, leading the long 2nd pitch, above Mammoth Terraces, late yesterday afternoon.
El Corazon: It has been several days since Tobias Wolf and his partner started out to send this route. I was able to follow them for a lot of the route but the long chimneys were obscured from my view, yesterday. Today they climbed off the route, after working the A5 Traverse on their way out. I don’t think they got the send as the weather has cut short their working time.
12) Tobias and partner, working the traverse pitches of the Magic Mushroom which leads to the start of the upper route.
Salathe: Several teams have been working up and down this route , along with its’ son, Freerider.  One team of NFG’s hiked a massive kit to the top and are proceeding to deposit parts of it along the route in preparation for future climbing.
13) NFG’s and their kid down at the start of the Teflon corner yesterday afternoon. They have since rapped to the deck in anticipation of the approaching weather.
14) Out west I spotted a couple of guys on Never, Never Land. Here they are climbing to Timbuktu this morning.
West Buttress: PTPP and fellow crew members, Mark Winey, and JP Brackin, in the company of a couple of local Sherpas, have, over the course of a few days, hauled kit to the base and are two pitches up the route. They have elected to stay on the route, during the storm, as they no place to stay on the deck!  Pete reports there is water at the spring above the start of Lurking Fear.  They are planning 10 days for the route, in protest of the 7 hour 1 minute record time, recently set by Dave Allfrey and Alex Honnold!
In other news: The storm approaching is supposed to produce some high winds but little precipitation in the Valley. Yea, that’s what they told Noah too! I am pretty tuckered out from the long days of working this weekend so I am ready for a couple days off. My partner on the AACP is going to pick up two in a row so I will have some time to catch up on images, CD’s and correspondence.
If you haven’t, please take a moment to think about and silently thank all the thousands of men and women who have served and given their lives for this country and all that it stands for.
Also we want to remember our many friends who have perished in adventures around the world.
So that’s the way it is, for this Monday, the 27th day of May 2013.
2nd Lt. Tom Evans in 1967, signing off for tonight.

great stuff

Nice. More than the climbing pics, I like photos from the Bridge and its characters.


Nothing ventilates the ego like having a 69, 70 and then 13 year old passing you on El Cap. Surely that would have been my predicament had I been on the big stone. Incredible! Thank you for the writeup, Tom!

Thank ya Tom

for your service to your country, and to your fellow men. Great photos, and wish there were more of the George and Jim Show! Hope they are sending again.


Nailing it, bro! Wish I was there. Yarr!

Go get'er Matt! (ZM)

Also, I thought Never Never Land was closed...?

So cool to see the Ancients

So cool to see the Ancients and young Kara on the same stretch of rock.

Thanks Tom!

young and old get it done

Though the 13 year old amazes, J-Do and G-Lo steal the show. Will they attempt again? How close did they get to NIAD? Thanks for the daily laugh, Tom.