ElCap Report 6/10/09

ElCap Report 6/10/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Brilliant (as the English like to say) climbing day here in the Trench.  Cool temps, with mostly overcast skies, make for good climbing and good photography.  This weather is far from normal and has been for weeks on end…. But that said, wall climbers are a persistent crew and not put off for long when they see a way to get the job done.  Several teams sallied forth to the big routes on the SW face of the Captain.  The Salathe still sits idle but several other routes on the face are getting some attention.  The Tourons have shown great interest in the Major Phil story and many came back today asking how his ascent was going.  More on that below.

Today’s report is brought to you by one of the real gentlemen of climbing who also happens to be at the top of many aspects of the sport.  Still crazy after all these years, and still hitting it hard, is our man Conrad Anker, who showed up today to put in his yearly ElCap route.
Thanks for all the inspiration and leadership you have shown over the years Conrad…. This one is for you…. Today’s ElCap Report…

Zodiac:  The big story of the week was drawn to a conclusion today as Major Phil Packer completed his climb of Zodiac, a little after 2 pm today.  The man did it with style and grace.  He was not a climber but learned the ropes and met what must have been some serious fear, hanging far out from the great pitches of this super route.  He met the challenges, not only of the mountain, but those particular to his condition and circumstance.
Hats off too, to the support team of Andy, Ian, Ben and Paul who managed the climbing and logistics with great skill and efficiency.  It was a great show for a great cause.
1)  Major Phil, climbing above Peanut ledge on the last morning of the climb.




























2)  Major Phil, climbing the last few feet of the route as Ben, Andy, and Ian record the event.
























3)  The full climbing team on top waving to the crowds below.



























Lower down the elderly Korean team from yesterday thought better of it and retired from the route.  The two man team that fixed yesterday went forward and were last seen heading to the Black Tower ledge late in the afternoon.

Lost in America:  This two man Korean team is climbing rather slowly but don’t seem to have any quit in them thus far.  Hopefully they have the provisions to keep going as this moderately hard route doesn’t let up much as you go higher.
4)  Korean team on Lost in America.
























Tangerine Trip:  Pete and Leo climbed another one today with Leo on the sharp end of the rope.

Lower down Ranger Roger, from previous EC climbs and Alex Baker moved quickly up the route and were last seen heading to the thin ledge at the top of the 7th pitch. 

Nose:  I saw a party in the Stovelegs who were not making much progress, after the pendulum to get there.  Higher up the team of two, from the 3D yesterday, was seen climbing to C5 late in the morning and are most likely near the top by now.  Word from the lower part of the route is that there are many seekers but we know that few the price will pay!  Teams are still bailing from this route like the 82nd airborne at Normandy.  So get up there! The weak get sloughed off, clearing the way for you! 

The Shield:  The party that appeared yesterday, Markus and Robert from Austria, are moving right along in very windy and cold conditions.  They were on the pitch above the Triple Cracks in mid afternoon and looking pretty cold. 
5)  First light reaching the climbers on the Shield.

























Another team, Bob and Ryan, were on the lower approach pitches to the route and they have been well warned about the cold.  You may remember them from a fall report where they were heroes of the Captain and got their mugs posted in a bridge shot.

Albatross: Ian and Pierre are on the Mushroom approaching pitches to this seldom done route.  They are decked out in warm clothing and are hard to see.  Headed for the Pole boys?! 

El Corazon:  Young gun, Alex Honnold and the elderly, Conrad Anker, have saddled up to free climb this difficult Huber invention on the SW Face of the Cap.  Both are psyched to be on it after recent adventures in Borneo!  Always great to have Conrad back in the Valley and always fun to watch the “Amazing Kid” do his thing.

Blast from the Past:
6)  Dave Turner’s junk show on “Block Party” a few years ago.  What ever happened to that guy anyway?!
























In other news:  Major Phil is due down at the MPB in a few minutes and will most likely face an interested foreign press.  His PR people, Kitty and Dave, have learned a lot about Yosemite on this their first and probably last visit.  I had fun teaching them about the Valley and its brand of climbing.  I feel pretty sure Major Phil has had his fill of big wall climbing by now too!
This strange season continues to roll along with its early spring weather.  A few warm, sunny days would be greatly appreciated.
The Korean teams from the Trip and the Straw came by the bridge this afternoon to enjoy the view and hang out for a while.  They are part of a climbing school called “Team Extreme Riders” … sounded like a motorcycle club name to me but they swagged me some sweet, colorful shirts with their logo on them. 
7)  Korean teams on the Bridge.























So that’s the way it is for this the 10th day of June 2009.
Later Tom….  the man with the biggest unit in the Valley.



Nice, Thanks.


Still Groovin'

Love that FRO!

nice to see that

nice to see that international climbers have been sending some of the harder routes so far this spring. just goes to show yosemite is a place that different people from all over the world can come together and share a common positive goal.

the photo last photo had a strange effect on me, its like i recognize those guys on the bridge, yet i've never met them at all. it makes me challenge my own way of thinking, my california-centrism. they could be from my hometown, but they are not, they are from towns and cities in korea. good job team extreme rider, may you continue to find peace and truth climbing the walls of the world.

i invite anyone from anywhere to climb yosemite's walls and challenge themselves.

youth vs experience

look forward to seeing what honnold and ankor get done this week, it should be a hell of a show.

Love that Blast From the Past

Thanks as always for the great stories and pics. It has been busy week with the Koreana racking up one route after another and the good Major sending Zodiac. Icons both young and old heading up too.



From Korean Climbing Club

Thanks Tom



Dave Turner's Dog

I just heard back from Dave. He was in Baffin where he met the Swedish bikini team. Apparently, the five women search the cold and dark corners of Canada to find strapping young men. Turner provided directions to Camp 4 to the ladies. Watch out Tom, the ladies are gunning for you. I hear they're bringing a twister set with them too.


Good stuff Tom

Hey there...say..... Is Leo that dudes real name? hmmmmmm....... what happened to Scott?


Wow, Tom, I would'a tried to get "K-Fro" out in the limelight a bit.
We're great afro-appreciators around here.
Awesome pics......Skully