ElCap Report 6/23/09

ElCap Report 6/23/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… splendid day here… you missed it again didn’t you?  Lots of parties topping out today, so the routes are once again needing adventurers.  The weather has reached the early summer equilibrium, so now is the time to get that route in before the sweltering days of summer descend upon the place.
We had a nice hang at the bridge and I took some nice bridge shots …. But… wouldn’t you know… I forgot to put a memory card in my camera and thus lost all the shots.  Luke… those shots didn’t come out so we need to do them again if you are around tomorrow.

Today’s report is brought to you by Werner Braun who happened by to spend a little time with the bridge rats this afternoon.  Always a class act and always a good story or two to entertain and enlighten.  Thanks for always being here Werner, long may you run.
Today’s ElCap Report… it’s here… just for you… right now..

Waterfall route:  Well, Ammon and Cheryl seemed to be on a sit-in this morning and thus didn’t get rolling until late.  I think the proximity of their neighbors, PTPP and Kate, rubbed off to deter them from climbing in the morning.  However, by early afternoon they were on the move over some of the ugliest rock on the Captain.  Looked like Ammon was leading through a coal deposit!!
1)  Ammon, in the black.




























Bad Seed:  True to previous form, this team had a leisurely morning and were in no hurry to get to the business.  I didn’t see them climb anything, but in the early afternoon they went up, what I assume was a fixed pitch, to move some freight up the tracks.

Zodiac:  I watched Grover and Matt top out on this route in the early afternoon.  They made good time on the route and seemed to have a good time.  Plus they got to hang out with the Lithuanian kids for a couple of pitches yesterday.

North American Wall:  I picked up the lads as they lead the last pitch on this ancient classic.  They were down in the afternoon and said they had a good climb and that the route was anything but a trade route with some of the pitches having serious consequences if one pitched off…. So beware NA aspirants … it ain’t no Zodiac!
2)  Last pitch on the North American Wall Route.























Mescalito:  The solo topped out around 3pm today after climbing the last two pitches in the late morning.  Every solo I have talked to from this climb says it is a life altering experience.  So hopefully his life will be altered for the better and I can provide him with some remembrances of what may be the greatest days of his climbing life.  Congratulations and best wishes from all of us reading the ElCap Report.
3)  Top out, Mescalito, El Capitan.

























Lower down Josh McClure, started on the route today, solo.  He has done a ton of stuff with Ian and other climbers on the Captain.  He had 3 fixed and should be at Stork ledge as I type these words.  Have fun Josh and remember, your many friends are wishing you all the best.

Nose:  The three Euros topped out this morning as I first arrived.  Lower down the team that dragged up the Stovelegs yesterday were seen climbing to ECT and on to the King Swing.  Someone needs to talk to the prospective Nose climbers about this particular maneuver.  These guys were clueless, as are many others of late, about how the Swing is done and thus spent a couple of hours trying everything but the right thing!  The leader even jugged back up to the top of the Boot for a half an hour to talk it over with his partner.  As they say, “Even a blind squirrel will eventually dig up an acorn” and thus after a time they found a combination that worked and moved on.  There is, I hear, lots of water left on the route, so they might just get by even if they run short.
Lower down a strong team of three (seems like there are a lot of teams of three and four lately) cruised up the Stovelegs and were at ECT by early afternoon.  Hell, they might even go on to Camp 4 as the days are really long now and climbing is possible late into the evening.
4)  The last moves to ElCap Tower.





























The Shield:  Brian, Seth and Justin continue to roll up this great route.  I saw them heading to Chickenhead ledge early in the afternoon and if they are motivated just might head to the top late today… or not.
5)  Moving out early in the day on the Shield.


























Salathe:  I did see a team of two cross into the Hollow Flake and above in the late morning.  Looked like the hat that Young Strong Dave used to wear and I figure it just might be him and a partner as he has been lurking of late.
I saw them heading to the Ear as I left a little after 3:30 pm.

Blast from the Past: 
6)  The incomparable Huber Brothers, Alexander and Thomas, just down from the first free ascent of their Zodiac variation in 2003.  All the other photographers had taken the day off as this was to be a practice run.  It turned into the real thing and I was fortunate enough to be the only person to photograph it!  All the magazine shots and videos you see are pose downs!  Where do you go for the real shit?… ElCap Pics of course!!!


























In other news:  We had a good day here at the bridge.  A nice crew of friends was here around lunch time and we had a good time shooting the breeze about whatever.  I took several shots of the bridge rats but as mentioned above… forgot to put the memory card in the camera!  Duh!!  The afternoon saw an influx of Tourons and I was pretty busy with explaining everything anyone, with absolutely no knowledge of climbing, would ever want to know.  I am getting within a couple of weeks of my departure so if you want to be a “Hero of the ElCap Report” then you had better get your carcass out here in front of my big gun. 
So that’s the way it is for this the 23rd day of June 2009.
I’m out…. TME


Pirates AND canoes! Does it get any better?

Thanks for the...

good update on what I SHOULD have been doing on my birthday. Thanks as always Tom!

Dutch guy

Hello mr. Evans,
How is the Dutch guy doing on Lurking Fear?


oh and...

Good luck/safe climbing to Pte, Kate, ammon and Cheryl. badd ass mofo's representin on the hard stuff.

Congrats Grover and Brian(shield)!

Two of my best/favorite partners sending in my abscence, love it! Stoaked for you and proud of you guys. Brian especially has had a sick season wih NA, Zod solo and Shield. OOOHHHH

Matt (lambone)

Your reports keep me alive until this fall

Blast from the past - awesome, last pitch of NA - perfect color, Ammon coal mining -yikes, and that top out pic on Mescalito - Yaahh, that guy feels like a king!

Thanks a ton Tom.