ElCap Report 9/16/09

ElCap Report 9/16/09
By Tom Evans
Yo.. Another killer day here in the Valley!  The Big Stone is drawing them in now so any of you hiding behind your Momma’s skirt need to get with the program… there is room for you on the Captain.  You know I don’t much care to hang around the bridge if there is nothing to shoot so get on it now and avoid the late September crunch.  The Face lift is just a few days away so plan to work on it and then stay a few days extra and squeeze in that EC route you have been wanting to do.  The upper east side is seeing some action but the really big Trades on the lower east side are languishing in disuse.  So let's see some haul bags hanging over there soon.

Today’s report is brought to you by Mason who just pulled into the bridge as I was shutting down for the day.  The lad is psyched to be back in the Ditch and looking to do some free climbing on the Cap.  You may recall that he and Dude#1 did a nice send on Golden Gate last spring.
So here it is… fresh from the slowly decomposing brain of ElCap-Pics… today’s ElCap Report.  If you are not reading this from here in the Valley then read it and weep!!!

Zodiac:  From empty to loaded in just two short days.  The Korean team of two was on the route at the head of the line early in the day with a team of two right behind.  I think they are Joe and Trevor who came by the bridge and were shamed into getting right on the route instead of stalling around the car park.  The Koreans are moving right along and I last saw them climbing into the Great White Circle as I was departing.  The lads below, dressed in nice matching blue shirts, were not far behind and were leading just above the Black Tower as I departed.  Another team was fixed just behind them at 4 but went down to avoid the traffic today. Back on the route tomorrow Lads?

1)  Careful Bro... climbing the Black Tower on Zodiac



























Zenyatta Mondatta:  YES!!  Love to shoot this very attractive Bridwell classic and who is on it but Ottawa Doug, just in from the frozen north, and friend Mike, who just got off of his first EC route… a solo of Zodiac.  Doug looks great and is way psyched.  He brought me a fresh supply of south of the border cigars.  They humped freight last night late and early this morning and were seen fixing in the afternoon.  Orange and Red… now that is the shit for EC climbs!!!

2)  Ottawa Doug back on the Captian



























Trip:  The three person team made good progress today and are about to hit the bolt ladders this evening.  They are using their double ledge at the belays all day now and the Tourons are going wild to see them lounging around!  Off tomorrow?

3)  Moving the freight on Tangerine Trip.

































Lower down the three man team of Norwegians made it to the top of 4 today and were seen climbing the 5th as I left today.  Lars, Helge and Jens are sporting a sweet yellow haul bag and are dressed well enough to attract some attention from my lens.  This is a fit looking crew and should hit their stride on this route.

4)  Norwegians fixing on the 4th pitch of the Trip.


























Nose:  Ah yes… more of those Norwegians to see on this route.  The team of Leif and Ole are at the head of the line after climbing to ECT yesterday.  I arrived just a moment too late to watch them do the King Swing … they were last seen at the start of the Great Roof.  They are closely followed by a team of three Brits, Will, Al, and Oli are a pitch behind and I did see them KS in a pretty normal way after some confusion about the proper level to swing from.  I see them staying at C4 tonight.  With Lars and the lads going higher to C5.
5)  Nose traffic around the King Swing.



























6)  A little high on the King Swing.

























Lower down I recall seeing a team of two climbing to DT late in the afternoon after a slow march up the Stovelegs.  They climbed over Dolt and were seen heading to ECT for the night.
Several other teams are him hawing around the base seeking inspiration to commit.  A good kick in the pants is what they need!

Shield:  Word is that a solo woman, Chris Chan, who has bags on Mammoth, blasted today and also a couple of Limey’s are headed that way too.  Word has reached me that the Limey’s departed Mammoth today too.  I will not be able to see them until the Muir cut-off and will report the action then.

Salathe/Freerider:  Like I said yesterday, a couple of SAR pukes are working the top of the route and I verified that by spotting them working on the traverse under the headwall roof this afternoon.  Nice orange shirt Skiy but no shots for practicing!
Lower down there was a mob scene around lung ledge as a fleet of bright colored shirts jockeyed for position.  I think Ben and Jerry were the first out of the blocks this morning on the Hollow flake pitch.  Ben sends his love to his wife on her birthday.  They were doing the Ear as I left.  Behind them I hear are a team of 5 climbers of uncertain nationality.   Can you say “clusterfuck”?   High above the fray, heading off ECS toward the block are two Italians who climbed above Hollow Flake yesterday.  They were moving smartly along as I departed.

7)  In the Business on Hollow Flake Salathe Wall.



























8)  5.7 Chimney above the Hollow Flake Ledge on the Salathe Wall.


























Sunkist:  The saga continues.  You recall from yesterday that there are two teams of three playing tag up the headwall.  Well they are moving up nicely today.  But it seemed that the second party was having some difficulty with the pitch to the small roof and after a time a white line slinked down to the leading team and the problem was solved.  Nice light over there today!  Off tomorrow?
9)  Morning on Sunkist





























In other news:  The bridge was pretty devoid of climbers for most of the day.  Hayden came down and hung out after doing some climbing with REI folks over on the Pile.  James made a brief appearance looking for Mike and Kate.  E. Sloan and Amanda came by on his motorcycle, several other climbers cruised by … there was a rush of Tourons in the afternoon and I was glad to be out of there around 4pm.
I continue to have problems with my new camera, a Canon T1i, and shot with my old Sony alpha 100 today.  I spent many hours trying to process images last night with out much success.  So I was pretty tired today for lack of sleep and could already use a day off!!!  This ECR is more than an adventure.... it is a job!
So that’s the way it is for this the 16 of September, 2009.
Bye Bye… TME

Ottawa Doug and Svelt Mike B

Hi Tom,
Thanks for the picks of our Ottawa kin. Do they dress for success or what??? Good luck guys!
Dave R


go team ZM


Thanks for another fine report. Love the light on the sunkist pic!

Prod Says


hei tom

i`m following my freind helg(blue helmet) from Norway true youre lens,great reports..:)

cheers Roy, Oslo, Norway..

Great pictures as always

cant wait to get out there this weekend great report

Is that a new Camera/Lens


I'm seeing much more detail this season.. Have my eyes suddenly got better all the sudden?

New computer? Camera? or Lens?


Hiya, Tom, good to see that you're installed at one of the Best Vantages ever.

You go, man.
Cheers, Skully