ElCap Report 5/31/13


ElCap Report 5/31/13

By Tom Evans

Yo… Wow!  Great Spring days have arrived, to tempt and permit wall climbers, from all over the world, to get it up…. their wall kit that is!  Now is the time to hit your stride on ElCap.  So where are you Pukes?  If you are reading this, you are, most likely, NOT in Yosemite.  So man-up or woman-up, whichever the case may be, and get your kit to the Valley.  Take advantage of the conditions and the fact that “Old Tom” is still alive and here to immortalize you through your digital image!  I ain’t going to live forever you know! 

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

Zodiac:  You may recall yesterday, I mentioned some climbers messing around on the first part of the route and that I didn’t pay much attention to them.  Well, I was wrong about them, and arrived today to find Chris and Apple in their bivy, at the start of the Black Tower pitch.  They were in the White Circle when I departed.

1)  Black Tower bivy. 




























Tangerine Trip:  The “invisible team” was pushing hard for the top this afternoon and should be off a bit before dark.  Their lovely wives and children came down, this afternoon, to have a look.  I put the team in the scope, but the women could not find their husbands.  However, they did ID the Poop bag!  Promises were made concerning the future attire of the boys!

2)  Not sure who is leading here but he is a short distance below the first bolt ladder this morning.




























The Nose:  The King has seen a marked improvement in numbers of late.  There were a few NIAD’s on the route today.  There was already a NIAD crew on the Great Roof at 9am and I saw very little of them after they left Camp 5.  I later learned, from my spy's, who inhabit the deepest recesses of the Puzzle Palace (Admin HQ), that these speedy climbers were climbing ranger Ben Doyle, the ranger who climbs the most difficult routes on ElCap, and Sam Pipper, a former vet of YOSAR.  They knocked down a 7 hour, and change, NIAD and then trotted over to Half Dome and climbed it, all in under 21 hours!!.  I should have known...having seen them, and the Trip crew, dredging through the dumpster, behind YOSAR HQ, the other day, looking for clothing to climb in!!

3)  YOSAR NIADer’s, Sam and Ben leaving Camp 5 this morning.




























Lower down I noticed a mixed party, in blue, climbing rapidly past everyone on the route.  Turns out it was, head LEO, Jack Hoeflick and, the not often seen, Holly Beck Webb, the most prolific female ElCap climber in recent memory.  Now living in Grand Canyon NP, we don’t see her, and husband Jeff, very often anymore.

4)  Here we see Jack leading the easy climbing to ElCap Tower.




























5)  Jack threw down a nice King Swing and this shot shows how to take the “low way” across to Eagle Ledge.  I last saw them climbing into Camp 5.





























6)  There was a massive traffic jam around the area of the King Swing and Grey Bands, as several parties converged.  The logistics were interesting and the rope management….. well…. memorable!  "OMG, what have we done?!"





























There were parties all over the route.  Too many climbers to all have shots on the Report.

PreMuir:  I did see Joe and Madaleine working the pitches above Grey Ledges this afternoon.  It looked none too cool for such hard climbing.

7)  Madaleine Sorkin, working on some tricky climbing, above Grey Ledges, this afternoon.



























Salathe:  The Salathe/Freerider were busy all day.  So many teams were on the routes that I have no idea of who any of them are!  So here are some random shots I got this afternoon.

8)  The belay at the end of the pitch above the Spire.




























9)  Random dudes laying back on Hollow Flake Ledge, in considerable heat, this afternoon.





























10)  West Buttress:  Got a shot of Pete leading while JP and Mark tended the belay, a couple of pitches above their encampment.


























11)  Never Never Land:  Kenny and Dillon were seen high on the route this afternoon.  Maybe off in a couple of days.





























12)  Yeah, yeah, I know, I know…. This is a shot of the belay at the top of the 6th (?) pitch of Lurking Fear I got this

afternoon.  Kinda like this shot, so I stuck it in here.  I told you yesterday not to count on ever seeing another shot of the route… I didn’t say I would, absolutely, never post one!



























In other news:  I want to comment about the three Rangers on the Captain today.  I know these guys from shooting them on various rescues around the Valley, in the last several years.  They are all at the top of my list of people I admire and respect the most, here in Yosemite.  Jack Hoeflick, Chris Bellino, and Dave Pope have risked their lives on many occasions to rescue desperate climbers who would not have made it, otherwise.  I like to give them some crap about anything I can find to whine about so they won’t have a free pass around here!  It is all in good fun!

Mark Hudon arrived today, looking very fit…. for a sawed off, old guy!  He and, hot dog, Cheyne Lempe, are heading over to do Sunkist… one of the coolest and most beautiful routes on the rock.  I can’t wait to shoot that climb!  Max Jones is soon to arrive to do Lost in America, with a friend.  Ottawa Doug is coming in soon too, for a solo shot at perhaps, South Seas to PO!  As mentioned yesterday, the wildly popular, Korean group, Team Extreme Riders, is due in a couple of days too.  Let the fun begin!

Nice today at the Bridge.   Lots of climbers going in and out and even the Tourons were interested and attentive to my talks about climbing El Capitan.

13)  Tourons, eating it up!
























14)  Climbers hanging at the Bridge.

























So that’s the way it is, for this Friday, the last day of May, 2013.

Later,  Tom







Thanks Tom! The Tourons pointing shot is good fun.

Nice work Tom

Great reports so far! Wake up every day and check out the beautiful shots. I'll be in the valley in just over a week to join the masses on the king. Sent it last year as noobs and helped with the rescue of the climber that had a nasty fall on the pancake flake. End of may or June I think! Stoked to get on some free climbing! I missed you this April for a solo on zod...cold beers are on the way soon!

Great reports this year so far -


there are vans of climbers

there are vans of climbers all over America headed your way as we speak...no shit..

Tom never disappoints

Lurking Fear shot is a real beauty. Crisp.

Thanks Tom for the work you do, always inspires.