ElCap Report 9/30/09

ElCap Report 9/30/09
By Tom Evans
Yo… Wow, a perfect fall day here in the Valley!  Clear skies, warm sun and cool, crisp air.  SWEEEEEEEEEEETT!!!  The Wall Rats are scurrying up to the base and big climbs are in the offing.  Now is the time for all Cubicle Pukes to rise up and abandon the cubicles… head for the Valley.  You gotta  dance while the band is playing and it’s playing now! 
My man Regan, from Poland, just came in moments ago and is psyched to be back.  You may recall him from earlier ECR’s when he soloed Zodiac clean, soloed South Seas to PO, and last year soloed the Shield.  Anyway, his is back to climb the Captain again.

So, today’s ElCap Report is brought to you by Regan, fresh (stale actually) from a 2 day trip across the world to get here.
Today’s ElCap Report….. Written just for you…. Unique in all the world!

On the Waterfront:  Stevie moved his stuff onto the wall today and was climbing a couple of more pitches as I left in the afternoon.  His old school style harkens back to a different time and he works the system well.  But all that said… he still has that damned white shirt on!

Eagles Way:  Well it turns out that the two guys fixing over there are two of our best local women.  The very experienced team of Holly and Lorna was spotted fixing a couple today.  Lorna has a great looking red shirt and matching helmet while Holly has that damned white shirt on… oh well.
Maybe blasting soon?

Zodiac:  The Flagstaff boys climbed through the White Circle today and I had the pleasure of watching the leader take a nice whipper off the nipple pitch.  He was unhurt as the face is quite steep there!  Got the blood pumping I’m sure.
1)  Flag crew climbing into the White Circle.
























2)  Juggin to the White Circle.























3)  Cleaning the 9th pitch on Zodiac.



























4)  Nipple pitch from out west.





























Lower down the Canadian Crawlers sent their star player out on the sharp end for the Black Tower and the pitch into the Circle.  Ottawa Doug was in fighting form and carried the day!  They will most likely bivy there and head into the center pitch in the morning.  They seem to be having a good time up there, and under no stress…. not like on Tribal Dougie! 
5)  Dougs crew finishing up the Black Tower pitch.




























Lower down yet a team climbed the first two with and hauled the bag before starting the third pitch.
The solo from yesterday was not seen today.

There are climbers fixing on El Nino, The NA, and New Dawn but none were seen on the routes today.

The Nose:  Yes, yes … the Nose… The faster of the two teams in the Grey Bands yesterday was seen finishing the Changing Corners late in the day. 

6)  Changing Corners pitch on the Nose.






























The slower team stayed at C4 and climbed the Great Roof this afternoon and were in C5 as I left.

7)  Ben Emery giving the ElCap salute on the Great Roof.


























The three man team who spent yesterday on ECT climbed above there today doing the KS  and later climbing to C4. 

Lower down there were a three teams in the Legs with one departing to the ground early in the afternoon.  The top team of 3 was a pitch below Dolt at 3pm and the other team was a pitch below them slowly trying to free climb the pitch.
8)  Free climbing in the Stovelegs.



























Shield:  I think I saw the Brits bags just below the roof on the last pitch this morning but it was hard to tell.  In any event they are off the route by now.

Octopussy:  I did watch Kate leading this morning and afternoon while Pete did the dishes and sorted laundry at the belay!

9)  Another sunset from home for your pleasure.





















In other news:  Wonderful day here at the bridge, but a bit chilly here in the shade.  Moderate number of Tourons and almost no climbers in evidence.  Chris, starting on the Dawn Wall, came back with some smashed water bottles as a result of the bear attacking while he was leading the first pitch.  He was able to descend quickly enough to fight the bear off the haul bag he was preparing to haul when the attack occurred.  I guess solo climbers should get a friend to stand guard while they lead and haul the first pitch!
So that’s the way it is for this the last day of September 2009.
I’m out… Tom


Ben Emery on the Great Roof

He's the guy doing the El Cap salute.

Clint Cummins

Greetings from Overseas

Way to go Hollyyyy!! So pleased that your on a big wall again.

The swiss chicks that climbed the big stone in september salute all the wall rats and of course Tom Evans, even when you struggled with your new camera settings, the pics are cool, thanks a bunch!

Congrats go to Adrian and Silvia, for doing the Nose in heavy traffic in peace and style. Thx to Tom I could follow your ascent and watch our beta stick in action :-)

Hopefully see you again in the Valley some day, I will stay tuned in here to see what is happening on the big stone.

Gaby in Zurich

Okies Headin To Calif

Hey Tom, At one time it was the Dust Bowl and another time it was the Great Depression that had those in Oklahoma coming to California... Now it is the quest to become some of your Wall Rats and climb the infamous Nose on majestic El Cap. Be watching for a couple of young men to join you probably on the 10th of Oct, the team of Brandon and Jason fresh from the "24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell" in Arkansas last week. This should be FUN to watch.... thanks from an old Dad for all the great photos and colorful commentary. Keep an eye on them for me! You are now a daily must for our El Cap Report fix...
Blessings on You...
Bob in OKC

falling tree

Actually it makes no sound... because sound is by defination noise heard by humans.  It does make noise but not sound!!
Ascents make without my presence are still ascents but not photographed ascents!  However they do count!!!


Sound is not by definition "noise heard by humans". Per The New Oxford Dictionary - Sound: vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard. Note that it can be heard but does no have to. Sound is the vibrations not the hearing of them.

From Tom:  Websters "New American Dictionary"  has in its first defination ..  the sensation of hearing...  Mechanical energy transmitted by longitudinal pressure waves that is the stimulus to hearing. 2) Something heard...   Looks like the English and the Americans have a different definition for sound!

Metaphysical Question

We have all heard the question: If I tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a sound?

If you climb El Cap and Tom missed you, does it count as an ascent?


I carried two loads to Zodiac base in early September for a solo. First carry was water and the ledge, second was food and a bit more water. That cheeky bear punctured all my water bottles from the first carry and my dishes too, grrr!

Also, way to go Canadian Mafia!!!

Thanks Tom for the awesome reports,


That bear is TROUBLE! I've

That bear is TROUBLE! I've lost several bottles/stashes there while up fixing from the New Dawn/Mescalito Alcove.

flag crew

These guys were just climbing I the normal manner... a piece just pulled half way out to the Nipple and he wasn't back cleaning... no big deal.  The team is moving along well.

Prod sez.

Thanks. and how about some details on the Flagstaff crew on pitch 10. Were they cam hooking way out there? Details please.


bears eating soloists bags

In August the bear come and hijacked my bag whilst starting a solo of the Zodiac. He got my food out of the pig with the speed of a well trained special forces team. luckily he didnt damage anything really, just the food...and my tooth brush......


Hi Tom, Awesome report, as usual.....
I was thinkin', if ya brought only gear & cords on the first trip, & fix 1 at least, one could mitigate the bear phenomenon. or somethin'.....
Thanks, Skully

Truely Amazing

excellant set of photos Tom...

I take it you mention the cube-pukes for some really good reason... bwahhhahahaah

Oh, spit!!! That sunset just got placed on my desktop..

Thanks you for sharing your view of the world

'til next time