|Submitted by Tom Evans on Thu, 06/21/2012 - 00:17|
ElCap Report 6/20/12
By Tom Evans
Yo… Well it started out well enough with clear skies and nice breezes… The boys in the puzzle palace decided that it was a perfect day… warm, strong breezes, low humidity, dried forest … Yep! Perfect day for a controlled burn! By 2pm the air was thick with smoke, born into the Valley by the seasonal west wind. Seems that the term “controlled burn” is often an oxymoron around the Western United States. Hopefully, the formulas and ground conditions will make this a good one. Much of Yosemite is in dire need of an aggressive burning program and I’m sure it wouldn’t be happening if it wasn’t a good time. A small inconvenience for a few days, most likely.
Today’s ElCap Report…written just for you…unique in all the world!
Shortest Straw: Mark and Cheyne are putting the pitches behind them a bit faster than planned and most likely, they will be off tomorrow evening. Mark lead out of the Circle this morning and Cheyne took the difficult and somewhat, slimy, pitch after that.
Mark climbing the saw blade flake out of the Circle early this morning.
Cheyne cleaning, while the bags go skyward.
Cheyne Lempe leading through the somewhat drier slime, than in past years.
Tangerine Trip: Ki hyung Yoo, Myung Ho Kayg, Jong Eun Song, and Eee Soon Chung (a female climber) blasted on the route today. Try saying their names 5 times without stopping!! They are from the Extreme Team Riders Climbing School in Seoul, Korea. The climber leading the 5th pitch took a little tumble 30ft out from the belay but was soon back in the fight. They are planning several days on the route… the first team to climb it this season.
The famous, Black Cat, eyeing two of the climbers.
Mescalito: High on the face the team of three men, Dan Roberts, Pete Shepherd, and Steve Jones were climbing off the route when I last saw them. Nice ascent for these lads from across the Atlantic.
Mescalito boys, climbing high on the route, amidst some inspiring rock.
Lower down the Spray Brothers are still MIA, but have been replaced by another group of Korean Extreme Team climbers. They are Yong Chul Cho, Koo In Chung, Yoon Sun Chung (a female climber). They were climbing toward the Stork when I last noticed them through the smoke.
Korean crew and kit at the belay atop the third pitch.
New Dawn to Tribal: Adam Tischler and Jordan Webster are leading the charge up the right side of ECT, just ahead of Pete Zabrock, JP Brackin and Sayar Kuchenski. Pete and crew are going for New Dawn only but will be sharing the lower part of the route with Adam and Jordan. Maybe LLL for the lead group and for Pete tomorrow night.
Jordan at the belay with their plentiful kit.
Pete leading the rivet traverse to the start of the long corners of the right side of ECT.
Nose: The three teams in the Legs yesterday all arrived at the same place this morning and lined up to await their turn on the King Swing. The lead team flailed on the pitch for some time but eventually figured it out. I suppose to save time, the second party had their rope taken across the traverse do did not get to swing. The third team sent it in one run!
Waiting for the “Off belay” at the start of the pitch into ECT.
The line up at Texas Flake.
The mega-classic Boot Flake pose.
Lower down I did spot a team wandering into the Legs as the smoke enveloped the view.
I didn’t get out west but hear there is a party on Lurking Fear. The smoke was just too thick to make it worthwhile to expend the gas and time to shoot them.
In other news: Not much other news these days. There are still routes to be climbed and climbers making plans … so stay tuned for all the latest from the Bridge. My friend Peter, from Austria, came by the Bridge after soloing Zodiac over the past several days. He and his wife, Martina, are returning in Sept for some climbing.
So that’s the way it is, for this Wednesday, the 20th of June, 2012 and the first day of summer.
Remember my friends… the season is not over until the fat man says it is over!!