ElCap Report 5/26/09

ElCap Report 5/26/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Nice day if you like great weather until about 4pm and then a busting thunderstorm!  Or, nice weather until 1:25pm and then a roaring avalanche over on the West side of the Captain.  It was too far west to hit any climbs but Alex Honnold saw it up close from the Headwall of the Salathe and said it was raging!  The dust cloud rose up to the height of the Cap.  Patty got a video, as Sean’s dog alerted her to it!  I called it in, as did others I’m sure.  Our Jr. climbing ranger Max came down to get the details.

1)  ElCap rock fall this afternoon.



























Today’s report is brought to you by Ken Yager who got me set up with a big sign at the bridge to advertise the “Ask A Climber” program. 
Thanks Ken for all you have done for me and all climbers you meet.  You are THE man!!
Today’s ElCap Report just for you…

Zodiac:  Whoa … if you thought those two from a few days ago were kicking butt then you would really like to watch the guys on it now… they climbed from the start of the Nipple pitch to Peanut Ledge by 5pm and are most likely off now… Nice!!!  Who are you guys?
2)  Nipple pitch on Zodiac before the sun arrived.
























NA Wall:  I picked up this team, of Brian and John, around the 7th pitch and when I left they were at Big Sur Ledge.  Nicely dressed in red shirts too…. Take note earth tone pukes!  Looking forward to seeing them cross the traverse to the black dihedral tomorrow.

South Seas to PO:  There are two teams on this climb.  The first is wearing bright blue shirts and are looking very stylish with sweet red haulbags too!  The second is a team of Germans, Marc and Markos I think.  They have waited for the blue team to get three pitches up and now they are on the route too.  We should be seeing some great pics from these ascents!!

Mescalito:  The lads were headed up the last pitch when I spotted them early this morning.  These guys can go at any pace they want too… unlike some others recently on the routes.
3)  Last pitch, Mescalito.





























Tribal Rite:  Ian and Pierre spent last night on Lay Lady Ledge and by the time I left around 5pm were climbing above the Boot in threatening weather.
4)  Pierre hauling and Ian cleaning on the Boot Flake.



























Nose:  The French team was seen climbing off camp 5 this morning and I never caught sight of them the rest of the day.
Another team of three from yesterday stayed at camp 4 last night and were seen climbing the GR and on to camp 5 as the weather deteriorated.
5)  Morning on the Great Roof.



























Down below another team of three climbed off their Bivy at Dolt and climbed to ECT by afternoon.  They sent a member to the Boot later in the day and I think the weather will hold them close to ECT tonight.
Gosh I must be getting senile man, I can’t remember if anyone was in the Stovelegs today!!  Yikes!  Update... ok my memory returned... there was a team of three who made good time all day.  I actually got some great shots of them.  Another team of three bailed from the start of the Legs early in the day.

Sunkist:  I did see Charlie's and Trevors rainfly on Mammoth terrace this afternoon when the brief shower came up.  They are now going onto the Mushroom connector to the start of the upper wall.  It will be nice to see a team on that route again.  Go Guys!

Salathe:  I watched two three teams strung together headed for the Ear in the afternoon.  They stayed close and soon a race developed to get to the Alcove.  The last in line was still close on the other’s tail as they did parallel pitches above the ear.
6)  Racing on the Salathe.




























Earlier in the day I watched Alex Honnold and Sean Leary climb the route in just a little over 6 hours with Alex freeing it all via the Monster variation.  They came by the bridge for a quick lunch and they headed off to do the Reg on the Dome in the afternoon and were last going into the teeth of the storm.

In other news:  Many Bridge Rats were in evidence today.  The Aussie team of Ivan, Matt, and Bill were down from the Shield and hung out this afternoon to tell their tale.  Clay and Mason were around trying to stretch their Glory Day into two! 
7)  Aussie Shield Team at the Bridge.

























8)  Bridge rats.
















So that’s the way it is for this the 26th day of May 2009.
Remember:  Never fight fair with a stranger!
Later ECP’s



now I know why it's called Boot Flake...great pics!

We heard the thunder of the rockfall!

And saw it from Kor-Beck where I was climbing with my wife Megan, and Parker Davis. Pretty awe-inspiring sight, glad I wasn't on the West Face for that kinda scare. We called it in and I guess dispatch sent Rookie Max to check it out.

We still don't know exactly where it came from, but assuming somewhere further West than the West Face.
Greg is going to take a look today.
Keep the reports coming Tom!

Ranger Jesse

Careful Pete..................................remember that last

line in todays' report. Never fight fair with a stranger. Tom might be a lot tougher on you than with a stranger. : )

Hope you're heading (pun intended) back up on a wall soon.



She's laughing her ass off!

"Ask a climber? Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!" says Brenda. "You see all these sloths lying around, you're supposed to ASK them something?!"

Poor girl, nearly pissed herself laughing. I told her Tom was a climber... and she laughed even harder.

Oh, the humanity.

"PTP Pete" and B Brenda and Josh


That foul weather light made for some good pics eh?
Awesome report Tom!
Hope to see you soon as we make another effort up the stone.... Provided the darn work thing dosent mess it up for me.

Jay Renneberg

Holy rockfall Batman!

Wow is all I can say. Was that off of West Face/Lurking Fear area? And about the riff-raff on the bridge - Lovegasoline and I are just jealous it's not us who are there slouched against the railing with a beer in hand. to be part of that crowd is what a trip to the valley is all about.

Cheers from Ottawa,



It is painful for me to gaze upon such sordid drunkeness. In all honesty, is this the best this generation can muster...a bunch of unemployable, layabout, drunken windbags? Shameful!

The neighborhood is gentrifying nicely with the new signage...is that a precursor to a ranger kiosk on the bridge and a visiter center in the meadow? I certainly hope so. Just need to get rid of the drunken riff-raff laying about in the gutter. What a blight on our great National Park!

The Bridge is looking more like NYC every day. Street advertising and Bowery bums. Weegee and Ansel Adams.

-New York Neal aka Lovegasoline

PS: Shameful. Shameful!


Never fails to get my psyche goin'.........awesome stuff, Tom.
Where'd the rockfall come off at, any word?