|Submitted by Tom Evans on Tue, 09/21/2010 - 04:26|
ElCap Report 9/20/10
By Tom Evans
Yo… certainly the best day of the season to date. It was the best of both seasons. Warm but not hot…cool but not cold ....the air was clear as a cool fall day…the light on ElCap was really nice too. The Cap is starting to get some teams on it and the shooting is getting better every day. I used a different lens today, a 500mm that gives some wider angle shots, when compared to the 800mm big gun I have used for the past couple of years. So the shots show much more of the pitches and I am able to crop them down to use in the Report as close ups… so far so good!
Today’s ElCap Report… written just for you… unique in all the world!
On the Waterfront: Eric and Holly are making good progress on the upper center of the route. I assume these pitches are going to make the effort worthwhile.
Eric hauling loads on the Waterfront.
Eagles Way: A team of three, Jim Gaun, Matt Smith, and Drew Marquardt, all from Flagstaff, have blasted on the route and are at present negotiating the chossy first 6 pitches.
Taking a break from the choss on Eagles Way.
Zodiac: The 5 man Korean team of, Jeon Yonghak, Sung Hang Kyling, Song Sung Sub, Shin Heedeok, and Kin Chang Hun are moving smartly up the route. They seem to be using a three man system to keep the leader constantly moving up. The other guys are in charge of freight handling. They climbed into the White Circle early this afternoon and were leading the Nipple pitch as I left. They seem to have everything under control and will be off in another day or two.
Three man lead team at the Nipple pitch.
Trip: I did see two guys start from the deck and climb the VA start to this often done Trade Route. They moved right along without any problems… they are sporting, but not using at the moment, a huge yellow cheater stick… one of those big yellow painting poles you get at the Home Depot! My pebble pinching bro, James, tells me that boulderers use them all the time for scrubbing off holds.
The Black Cat keeping an eye on the Trip crew.
Mescalito: Neil and Callum climbed the long, thin, pitches up to the Bismarck today. They made that ledge just as I left.
Rivet ladder high on Mescalito.
Nose: Two teams did NIAD’s today. A couple locals were off early and a team of (?) and (?) climbed rapidly up the route. They were off by mid afternoon. Nice climbing guys!
NIAD climber (?) heading out of Camp 5 early in the afternoon.
NIAD team topping out.
Lower down the Brits, Richard and Bernard, bivied at Camp 5 and soon were out of sight in the upper dihedrals.
Richard saying good bye to Camp 5.
Down at the Boot a team of three and a team of two got in a tangle and spent many hours trying to move past the King Swing. They were still jammed on the Boot at 4 pm when I departed. It wasn’t pretty up there!
The Stovelegs had a team of two who were painfully slow and were a long way from Dolt at 4 when I left… I don’t know about these guys… it will take a good dose of tenacity to get them up the route.
Albatross: I did catch a glimpse of Pete and JP three pitches above Mammoth Terrace this afternoon. They are using the more recent tactic of not climbing the bottom thousand feet, but just jugging and hauling up the fixed lines and then climbing. They are three days in so far.
Salathe: I saw Matt and Pinto climb past the Ear and on to ElCap Spire this afternoon. I guessed right that they fixed above Hollow Flake and bivied there last night. They are doing the original Salathe route and not the Monster variation.
Hauling kit to below the Alcove on the Salathe Wall.
Below them a team of 4 Italians appeared on the lower part of the route and quickly climbed to Hollow Flake. They seem to be fixing as high as possible and maybe returning to Hollow Flake for the night.
Three of the 4 Italian climbers on Hollow Flake Ledge.
In other news: Another quiet day here at the Bridge. The weather, as mentioned above, was perfect. The company was great and the Tourons were excited to see climbers and learn the real deal about the sport. The Ask a Climber Program is going well and lots of folks are involved. Tomorrow starts the Face Lift and several climbers from that effort came by the Bridge to see the action and hang out. All in all it was an excellent day!
With the Face Lift functions starting tonight the Report may be delayed or shortened as necessary so I can have a little fun with the Crew.
So that’s the way it is, on ElCap, for this the 20th day of September, 2010.