ElCap Report 6/17/12

ElCap Report 6/17/12

By Tom Evans

Yo… getting really warm these days. The result is that some of the teams have put off blasting a day or so, hoping for some relief or at least some wind. Big day here in the Valley and I have had to do a lot of work to get this report ready to go. I will not post pics of the other teams in this report but will try to catch up on the other parties shots tomorrow. Bigs go big today! Read all about it below!

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

Zodiac: The Oregon boys climbed from the Devil’s Brow to Peanut Ledge while I was there today. They are doing well and should top out tomorrow in the early afternoon.

Below the Solo climber, an Austrian I am told, let the Oregon boys pass late yesterday but continued to move right along today. He climbed the MOZ and was working the next pitch this afternoon.

The mixed team from lower down yesterday bailed.

Shortest Straw: Mark Hudon and Cheyne Lempe fixed and hauled some kit this afternoon in very warm conditions.

Mescalito: Dan and John climbed above the nasty 5.9 chimney pitch this morning and were working the middle of the route as I departed.

Lower down Dan, Pete, and Steve climbed to the end of the 9th pitch and were heading to the Molar this afternoon.

Lower down yet.. The Spray Brothers, Mike and Aaron, blasted today with two pitches fixed. We sure hope they send the route as the crew would love to hear some new stories from the lads!

New Dawn: Pete, P.J. and Sayar carried kit and fixed on the route today.

 ND to Tribal:  Adam and Jordan are blasting in the morning.

Nose: The team of three from the past several days topped out around 1pm today. Lower down a team of 2, who climbed last night, was seen climbing above the Great Roof this morning.

Salathe: The team of two from the past several days climbed over the Roof and were headed to Long Ledge for the night.


I got up real early, as the day was predicted to be a hot one, and motored down to ElCap at about 5:30am. Fortunately for the climbers and unfortunately for me, they planned to climb completely in the shade for the entire route. That made photography difficult but I figured I could take a stab at it and maybe get lucky with some good shots.

The place was already filling up with spectators hoping to be on hand to watch a new record set on the Nose. They were not to be disappointed! Alex and Hans started at 5:52am as noted by the cheers of a couple dozen of the people who had walked to the base with them.
























1)  Lots of spectators were in evidence to watch the “Greatest spectacle in American sports” unfold.



It was soon evident that the men were hitting all the places at all the right times. No stuck ropes, no dropped gear, everything spot on.



























2)  Hans climbing in his usual smooth and fluid style in the Stovelegs.





























3)  Alex followed along a ways below Hans while managing the belay system they were to trust their lives to. Seems like some loops over the shoulder were key to the system!?





























4)  Hans was soon close to Dolt Tower and short fixed Alex.




























5)  Hans climbed over the tower and made the run to ElCap Tower with scant protection.





























6)  In what seemed like no time at all, they were at the Boot and setting up for the King Swing.


























7)  Hans did the swing first and was closely followed by Alex. They both nailed it and the crowd sent up a hardy cheer.





























8)  Alex took the lead and crossed the Lynn Hill Traverse in cruise mode.





























9)  They were soon on the Great Roof, passing a party who waited to see them pass by. Alex looked strong on the Roof and soon short fixed Hans and continued in the lead.




























10)  Alex climbed Pancake Flake with ease, placing only one piece of gear before the 11C upper part. He walked up that part as Hans jugged past the roof.





























11)  The crowd was getting into it now as it appeared that things were going perfectly for the climbers. Alex lead the awkward 10c entrance into Camp 5 with miles of slack below him. It was impressive to say the least.





























13)  Soon Alex was leading the last pitch as the crowd went wild. We all knew by then that, baring some major screw up, they had the record and it was just a matter of by how much. Hans followed on the last pitch as Alex belayed him from the tree at the top. Hans had worked all winter for this moment and he did not fall short of his goal. In about 5 minutes he did that pitch and was on top!






























14)  They radioed down the time and came to the edge to wave at the crowd.

The official time was 2 hours, 23 minutes, 46 seconds. 13 minutes better than the previous record! We were all really pleased and felt lucky to have been here to see the event unfold.





























15)  Alex and Hans came by the Bridge and hung out, talking to the people there.

I had a shot taken with them as I take many photos but hardly have my picture taken!

So that’s the way it went down and that is the way it is for this Sunday, the 17th day of June, 2012.



Alex and Hans speed climb

Thanks for sharing these great photos - they made me feel part of a great sporting achievement. Well done!
Neil Mansfield

Those are breathtaking photos

Those are breathtaking photos and the people who do those stuff are so strong!

Video: Alex, Hans on the Nose

Hey ya'll - wanted to share a short video my buddy Josh and I created of the record-breaking ascent on June 17th of Hans and Alex on the Nose.




Okay, after dealing with Warner Music Group's block of my last video, I was able to get a version of the video which could be viewed in the United States. The link below will provide those in the US with a couple short videos of Alex and Hans' amazing climb on the 17th.


Look forward to hearing your feedback...

Moorpark, CA

Great web piece! Good job dudes!

Tom, this is the best climbing URL I've seen in quite a while. The regular reports are cool, but the “The greatest spectacle in American Sports” pretty much beats more ordinary days. Really cool that you can do this without advertising, I'm going to donate right now!

That is an awesome feat.

That is an awesome feat. COngratulations to the men who did it. And great pictures too. You captured them very well. 


That was amazing!

Thanks for the story Tom!


Great job Tom, thanks!

Great job Tom, thanks!


Tom thanks for this writeup and pic set. Love it.


Thanks for sharing the pics!


Thanks Tom for the awesome shots and recap. It was a thrill to be there and witness these amazing athletes nail the new record flawlessly. It was also an awesome gathering of the climbing community, from seeing Tom Frost to climber families all cheering on Hans & Alex. What amazes me is how humble Hans and Alex were after the event. It was an honor to be the guy who took that shot of the three of you on the bridge. Glad it came out so well!

Sigi Vogl

Great photos!

Superb photo essay - thanks!

World Record

Way to GO. Could be a LONG time before this one in taken-down.Great shots.Ireland

love the play by play

great pics for their ascent! enjoyed following the play by play!

Thank you!!

What an incredible morning!! Thank you so much Tom! As always, you work your a## off at preserving our successes
And most memorable moments with The Captain!!
Good to see you! xo JR : )


Thanks Tom for the write up!


Very exciting! Thanks for the updates Tom!
From Julia (one of the "SA girls" from Sept last year)

Thank you Tom!

Best regards,

Thanks so much for the photos

Thanks so much for the photos and play by play!


Amazing shots, Tom, on an amazing day. Thanks for sharing your talents with all of us. How many times have you seen The Nose climbed as two pitches with one gear switch?

You Rock!!!!!!!!!!

John Ricco.............

Love to Climb

Pure Inspiration. Thank you Tom for the great job you do for us climbers in the low country. If I can't climb when I want to I sure love reading a good story on some great climbers.

Thanks tom!

This is so cool to see these shots of a historic day. When I saw the photos of the great roof I just had to shake my head to try to grasp what they were doing. Love the shot of you with the decorated climbers. Thanks for posting the photos, Tom.
-John G

Excellent report Tom!

Great pictures too!! Love the top out shot!
Way to go Hans & Alex!!

The Princess of the El Cap Bridge :)

Super climb and photos

"No dropped gear" - ha ha ha. More like just about no gear at all except maybe a couple of biners and a pair of jugs; obviously no belay device. Excellent photos. Shade may not provide the dramatic contrasts but sometimes makes for better photos of the action and positions.


And really love the laurel wreaths. . . who made those?


Very Impressive Send

Really appreciate the photos.
Got a totally different view of my entire morning.
Did not realize that Hans had taken the lead down low.

Very proud, very proud very proud!!!

Cheers all

That is some Nice action!

Thank you Tom for the nice report and the amaising shots. I hope you Are pleased with the result! Congrats to Hans and Alex! This record is such a motivator for the climbing community!


Very cool stuff. Nice wreath, Hans!

Thanks Tom!!!

Thanks Tom!!!

Looks like you are in good

Looks like you are in good company Tom.

Amazing. So wish I could've

Amazing. So wish I could've been there, but thank you so much for covering it! Can't wait 'til Reel Rock!