ElCap Report 6/09/09

ElCap Report 6/9/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Sweet day here, with cool temps and no rain for a change.  The Cap was pretty busy and more teams are mounting up.  The Korean teams are doing well on the SE Face of the Captain.  The Trip and Straw teams topped out early in the day after good climbing on the routes.  We are hoping for continued good weather, as several new teams are striking out on the SW Face.

So saddle up and grab the reigns, because you are going for a ride on the Big Daddy of all the big Yosemite stones!
Today’s report is brought to you by the man himself, Dave Turner, just in from Baffin Island!  Great to have him back after a long absence. 
Today’s ElCap Report … just for you… from the man with the biggest lens in the park…

Zodiac:  Major Phil Packer is continuing to put on a clinic up there.  I have to admit that I only gave him a 30% chance of getting up the thing when I first saw the man.  But little did I know about his determination and desire to do the climb for a great cause.  He had no experience in climbing and has ascended the Captain like a veteran.  The team tells me that they are planning on staying on Peanut ledge tonight and climbing off in the early afternoon tomorrow.  Way to go Phil!!  It has been cool being part of your trip and feeling your energy!
1)  Major Packer jugging by the famous Nipple pitch on Zodiac.
























2)  Major Packer climbing to the belay at the start of the Mark of Zorro as Andy Kirkpatrick leads the next pitch.


























Lower down the elderly Korean team was having some difficulty with the climbing on the third pitch late in the afternoon.  But Koreans have the drive and determination to get the job done, so I am not counting them out.
Lower down yet a team of two was seen to fix the first two for a blast off tomorrow.

Shortest Straw:  This team of three made short work of the pitches on Zodiac that finish this route and were off by Noon.
3)  The third man on the Straw team gets to jug free with the bags above Peanut ledge.  I did that one time and I was terrified!

























Lost in America:  Another of the Korean teams climbing a difficult route.  They had some real delays on the so called “mandatory” free pitch that crosses the Trip at the traverse.  After a time the leader worked out an aiding solution and they were soon on their way again.  For a time I thought they might get shut down on that pitch but successful EC climbers have to be resourceful and they were.

The Trip:  The four man Korean team went over the top early in the morning after a pretty standard ascent.
Lower down the party of two, who passed Pete and Leo yesterday, were headed to the bolt ladders late in the day.  Pretty routine ascent for these guys.

Virginia to the Trip:  Pete and Leo did another pitch after an early afternoon start.  Pete is climbing with his highly vaunted “Russian Aiders” and seems to be making good time.  The Tourons still gasp when they view his junk show.  The lads seem to have the show under control and are moving along as planned.
4)  Pete leading with his new fangled Russian aiders on the Trip section of the climb.
























The Nose:  The Kansas boys camped at C4 last night and climbed over the Great Roof this morning and were last seen heading to C5 in the afternoon.
Lower down a team of two women from Italy who dragged up the stove legs yesterday were still at it this morning.  They climbed to ECT and after a time retired.  A fast team of what appeared to be NIAD climbers bogged down past Dolt and retired from the top of the Boot.  Both teams made the right decisions as they were way behind, what I image was, their schedules.
5)  Climbing to Dolt Tower on the Nose.
























I did see a team come across the 3D traverse and climb to the Great Roof as I was leaving around 4pm.

Shield:  A team appeared over the roof and lead the long C1 pitch to the start of the notorious “Groove” pitch.  The wind was whistling along at a good clip and the ropes were doing the snake dance all day.  They looked cold… beware Shield aspirants, the cold and wind are the major problems on this fairly oft done route.
6)  Climbing on the long C1 pitch above the roof on the Shield.
























Blast from the Past.
7)  Tom Evans leading the Pancake Flake on the Nose in 1971. 


























In other news:  Parties are going on the Albatross, Shield and Muir in the next couple of days… what is up with the Salathe?  Empty!
Most of the action still continues to be on the big Trades but the next few days should produce some interesting climbing.  We expect Major Phil to top out tomorrow… the climb has been big news in the UK as they are having some kind of political scandal at the moment and this is a welcome relief from the muck.  Right on Major… you have proven yourself to be The Man!! 
So that’s the way it is for this the 9th day of June 2009.
Remember:  Feeling good is good enough!
Later “Ansel” Evans


Tom, Thanks for the


Thanks for the report.

Jody's evil twin

Three cheers for Major Phil Packer!!!

Awesome pics and great to see a guy fighting his way to the top of the Captain. I believe I saw the major featured in the news finishing the London marathon. I think it took him ages, but he hung in there and got the job done. (kind of what the Captain requires of you).

I'm counting on that geriatric team on Zodiac to fully send the route. If they can send it, guys like Skully and myself who are not even old enough yet to be considered for that team, still have hope! Thanks Tom for the great reports.




Right on, Tom.