ElCap Report 6/11/13

ElCap Report 6/11/13
By Tom Evans
Yo…Early in the morning we had some pretty cool clouds over ElCap but as the day progressed a thick layer developed. I loved it!! Those clouds made for some cool shooting and it was my day off, so I could give my full attention to the scene. The Nose was a nightmare and will continue to be so for a couple more days. I took a lot of shots so it is getting late and I need to get this Report on the books.
Today’s ElCap Report…written just for you…unique in all the world!
Zodiac: This excellent route is experiencing some traffic but it seems to be under control.
The highest group is the three man team from TER and they have moved along well considering their lack of any real wall experience.
1) One reason for the team’s success, thus far, is that they all do their jobs well and with speed. Here they are on the first pitch into the Circle this morning. Toe Hong Um is leading this team.
2) I put my 300mm lens on for a time today and got this shot of the entire bottom of the White Circle.
3) Lower down the second TER team is also moving along well. They climbed into the Circle after the lead team moved higher.
This shot shows them doing the Black Tower this morning. Lead by Myung Jong Baek.
4) Here is the team climbing into the Circle this afternoon.
5) The third TER team ran into the Oregonians, who were really moving slowly today, and ground to a halt. The Oregonians
hadn’t hauled their kit and took most of the morning to raise it 4 pitches and then took forever to do the bolt ladder pitch. Scott, lead off on the 5th pitch while everyone else waited.  If you are fixing high on the route, then
haul your kit before you blast.
6) Lost in America: Jean Redle and partner Jonas, are moving right along. Here they are this morning, cleaning to the belay. Jean lead the next pitch, later in the day. 
7) Tangerine Trip: Dan and Mike topped out this afternoon after a seemingly trouble free ascent, not counting the blistering heat and water shortage! Good work men!
8) South Seas to PO: Ottawa Doug, after fixing one yesterday, climbed two more today, on the is steep, excellent route. Here he is cleaning the unbelievably steep first pitch.
9) Here is a long shot, with the 300mm lens, of Doug leading the second pitch. The shot gives one a feeling for the immense size of the Alcove.
10) Later in the afternoon Doug lead the third pitch, with its’ crazy, steep, sidewalk ramp.  I got this shot just before I departed around 4pm.
11) Nose: The Nose was a nightmare today as a three man team held up everyone while they frightened us with their ineptitude.  Here the leader tries the pendulum into the Legs but couldn’t get it done for a long time. Notice the member of the team to the left and his lack of being tied to the belay!  This team, aka "The Death Squad" is not Korean!
A short time later their haulbag became detached, and plunged to the end of the haul rope, just missing two climbers, Doug and John, from Jackson WY, coming up from below!  Then the bag became jammed and the hours came and went. Several teams below them bailed, because of the roadblock. I wouldn’t want to climb beneath those guys either! Better to bail than risk injury or worse!
12) Here is the back of the line today on Sickle Ledge. Yes, you counted correctly… 9 climbers there!
The mixed team above ECT, weren’t setting any records either, but climbed safely and were into the Grey Bands when I departed.
Salathe: Several teams climbed rapidly up the route today. The last team past Hollow Flake was the “elderly” team of Todd and Elaine who moved along well.  In front of them was Edwin Sheppard and Asher March who had recently climbed the Nose.
13) This shot is of Bronson Hovnanian, who was climbing with Corbin Usinger, on a run as high as they could go. Here Bronson is following the Hollow Flake.
14) Interesting clouds over the Captain this morning.
So that’s the way it is for this Tuesday, the 11th day of June, 2013.
Bye, Capt. Tom

How the hell?

That shot of Doug on the ramp is a definite keeper.

And how the hell did the shot of Doug cleaning the first of South Seas come about?
It looks to me that you are higher than the climber or looking across at the climber.

I guess its just that magic the only Tom has.



Great shots!

Hi Tom, Thanks for another great day of shots and reporting.
I'm so glad to see her back on El Cap after all these years!
John Rich

Love that sidewalk shot of

Love that sidewalk shot of Doug. Great shots today Tom!

Incredible photos today Tom.

Incredible photos today Tom. I have been a devoted follower of the El Cap Report from the beginning and today's shots had some extra magic in them. The 300mm shot of the lower white circle takes my breath away and makes my palms sweat all at the same time.


If I were a team on Sickle I

If I were a team on Sickle I would've heckled those punters right off the route. As my old boss used to say, "What I need from you right now...is to stop f*cking up".


I was leading off I sickle ledge at the time this happened. Luckily I was not in the kill zone, but all of us up there were saying "WTF?" We then ran into the guys as they bailed on our fixed lines the next day from the bottom of the stovelegs. None of them would tell me for sure what "really" happened. The best I got was that the teeth of the mini-trax didn't catch.

bullhorn needed for nose pile-ups

Aside from Nose jam, amazing rock formation shots. Hope the Koreans stop by the Bridge. A few years back Tom took a fine after pic of them, fashionable and fit. How old was the elderly team? Were they paleolithic like J-Do and G-Lo?
Can't wait for this season's STICK OF THE DAY!!!

Nose Junk Show

WOW...what is going on the NOSE these days! Pray for safe minds and technique!! Looking forward to SS-PO wall progress. The real deal!!!

Anchor Test

There is a reason that guy on the nose team wasn't connected to the anchor. He anticipated the dropped haulbags.