ElCap Report 5/28/2015

ElCap Report 5/28/15

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Just in today, nice clouds and cool weather for your climbing enjoyment.  Things are subdued here at the ElCap Meadow because of the tragedy we had on the Nose yesterday.  I talked with the two partners of the deceased climber today and the resulting analysis is presented below.  Be sure to read what happened.

Today’s ElCap Report..written just for you..unique in all the world!

1)  ElCap and the unusual cloud cover that came in this morning.  It made for a mild day and excellent climbing conditions.




























Zodiac:  Andy Kirkpatrick and Charles Sherwood hoofed a couple of loads up to this classic Charley Porter track.  They start tomorrow.

2)  Shortest Straw:  John Selove blasted on the route today and is seen here on the “Journey Through the Brain” pitch.  It’s hard to see him among all the confusing rock.





























3)  Tangerine Trip:  Solo Australian climber, Cameron, continues to move along in good order.  Here he is cleaning one of the pitches in the center of the route.





























4)  Higher up Kitty and Karen continue to move along on the route.  They should be at the bolt ladders later this afternoon.






























5)  Mescalito:  Lorna and Hiroki were Bismarck Ledge bound this afternoon.  Here Lorna is finishing the pitch that puts them two away from that great ledge.





























6)  On the Nose Phil and Helen are moving along and will be at Camp 4 tonight.  Here they are moving up after the King Swing.





























7)  NIAD King Swinger gave it several tries before he made the lunge to grab the crack leading to Eagle Ledge.






























8)  NIAD team climbing the notorious pitch into Camp 5.  They made excellent time all day.





























9)  The Project:  Brad and Mason are putting a lot of time and effort into the project they have been working on this spring.  Here they are in the nice corner above the left side of the Heart.






























10)  Mason higher in the corner mentioned above.





























11)  Golden Gate:  Emily Harrington worked the first section of the climb off the Salathe this morning.  The down climb is quite difficult and she made several tries at it before getting the send.  They later returned to the Alcove to get all their bivy gear and move up onto the route.




























12)  Chris Bevins and friends are seen here below the Ear on the Salathe/Freerider route.  Several other parties are on the route too.





























13)  Out West I spotted Pete moving up on Lost World.  I think Anita will have to get a move on as she is supposed to fly out tomorrow!  I didn’t get out west to get a better view this afternoon so this is the only shot of them I got.






























Further out west, on Lurking Fear, Skot, Fabio, and Tow Joe finished the route and were hanging in the meadow this afternoon.


As mentioned above, I spoke with the two men, Cletis and Ryan, about the tragedy that befell their partner, Tyler, on the Nose yesterday.  They were all at Camp 6 when Tyler decided to rappel down thoward Camp 5, some 200+ feet, to retrieve gear that had been dropped.  Tyler tied into the end of the rope so as not to rap off it.  He prepared to go down and soon leaned back off the ledge.  He then fell all the way to the end of the rope and impacted the highest ledge at Camp 5.  When Ryan rappelled down to him he noticed that Tyler was not connected to his grigri or any other rappel device and thus free fell the length of the rope.  The end of the rope was a couple feet above the ledge and Ryan cut Tyler free, laid him on the ledge, and called YOSAR for help.

YOSAR responded quickly and decided to raise Tyler and the other climbers to the top of the mountain and chopper them down.  All of that was accomplished that evening.  I was wrong in yesterday’s report when I said I thought they would get the men off in the morning.  Sadly, the lesson here is to check and double check your set up whenever you commit yourself to the rope.  Also, all members of the team should look to see that anyone going on a rope is properly attached to it.  It is always a good policy to check, even if just an informal look, each other’s knots and attachments at every belay.. it only takes a moment to look and it could save a life.  No matter how much fun you are having a tragedy is just a careless moment away.  Our deepest sympathy and condolences go out to Tyler’s family and loved ones.  He was 22 years old.

This is the link to the NPS climbing website covering the accident. http://www.climbingyosemite.com/portfolio/accident-report-nose-el-cap/


So that’s the way it is, on this Thursday, the 28th day of May, 2015.

Later, Capt. Tom



Tom, my skin gets goosebumps

Tom, my skin gets goosebumps reading about this. I too was a young hopefull trying my way up on the capitan. Sucks to have such a adventurous person have such an accident. Thanks for your reporting and keep well on the bridge. Your reports are awesome and I read them every day I can!

-Jordan Webster

the nose tragedy

Thank you for the report. I am very sadden about this tragedy. I meet those 3 on Sunday and spent some time with them on Monday on the nose. The loss of Tyler is very heart breaking...My deepest condolences to his family and to Cletis and Ryan. Armando