ElCap Report

Welcome to the ElCap Report website.  Below you will find the reports I have written for the past several climbing seasons in Yosemite.  I use a 500mm and a 600mm lens for the images you will see below.  The early reports were written before I had my own website, so don't expect to see images with the early reports.  Originally the reports were done on Supertopo.com so you will find references to that site in the writings.  I started this site in late April of 2009 and have been pleased with the interest you readers have shown.  Website design and operation by Chris Falkenstein of El Portal, CA.  Many thanks Chris!!

IF YOU SEE ANY SPAM IN THE COMMENTS SECTIONS PLEASE DO NOT CLICK ON IT AS IT ONLY ENCOURAGES THEM!

DISCLAIMER: 

THESE REPORTS ARE THE MUSINGS OF AN OBSERVER WHO IS FAR FROM THE ACTION AND ANY RELATION TO THE TRUTH IS THE MEREST OF COINCIDENCE.  A SMALL PORTION OF WHAT IS WRITTEN IS SOMETIMES SIMPLY A FABRICATION, WRITTEN TO MAKE THE STORY "BETTER".  DON'T TAKE THIS STUFF TOO SERIOUSLY.  IT IS MEANT AS LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT, FOR THE MOST PART, ALTHOUGH I DO TRY TO GET THE CLIMBING FACTS RIGHT.  THESE REPORTS ARE WRITTEN FOR CLIMBERS, SO DON'T BE SURPRISED IF YOU, A NON-CLIMBER, DON'T GET THE TERMINOLOGY.  THIS REPORT IS IN NO WAY "OFFICIAL" AND IN NO WAY REFLECTS THE OPINION OF ANY GOVERNMENTAL OR PRIVATE AGENCY.  ALL CONTENT IS STRICTLY MY OPINION.  IF YOU DON'T WISH TO BE MENTIONED IN THE REPORT, OR PHOTOGRAPHED, JUST SEND ME AN EMAIL (CLICK "CONTACT" ABOVE) TO THAT EFFECT, OR COME BY THE BRIDGE, AND LET ME KNOW AND YOUR PRIVACY WILL BE RESPECTED.  NO ONE IS REQUIRED TO READ THE REPORT.. IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT THEN DON'T READ IT.  

Read and enjoy the exploits of the climbers who take on El Capitan.  They are a diverse group with a common bond and each has a unique story to tell.

Many thanks to those who have made a donation to the site... all donations are really appreciated, no matter the amount! The costs of doing all this far exceeds the amount of donations received, but without donations, the photography and Report would not be possible.  It is for all the readers of the report, and the climbers in it, that I spend time and money to keep this thing going.

Best wishes,  Tom Evans

  The "read more" for this section will give you additional information about getting pictures and processing, and comments.

ElCap Report 10/4/2022

ElCap Report 10/4/2022

By Tom Evans

Yo… Spectacular weather is holding firm with no rain in the forecast.  Lots of teams have come into the Valley and kit is being hauled to stage many more climbs.  Virginia/Trip is a popular choice these days as is Zodiac.  The Nose was empty this afternoon from Sickle ledge to the tree!  Salathe is also quite deserted these days with a wall-style team of two slugging it out in slings.  Don’t be shy Cubicle Pukes… it doesn’t get much better than it is here, right now.  However, Gray, brown, and black still infest the Captain, like rats on a ship.  I have bitched, moaned, pleaded and begged you “Heroes of the Useless”, to wear bright colors and yet you persist doing just the opposite.  You will see more proof that colors are the way to dress, in today’s report … pay attention!!  That is an order from the Captain!

ElCap Report 10/1/2022

ElCap Report 10/1/2022

By Tom Evans

Yo… Beautiful weather, although a little on the warm side, continues to draw climbers to El Capitan.  Several routes are getting attention and none are crowded.  This is the time for you to plan your escape to the land of adventure.  So, pack your haul bags and come on down!  Big names are arriving daily so stick with the ElCap Report to keep abreast of all the action.

ElCap Report 9/30/2022

ElCap Report 9/30/22

By Tom Evans

Yo… The weather is cutting us some slack with lower temperatures and still, crystal clear skies.  The action is picking up on the Great Rock with several different routes being done and none are crowded.  The Nose and Salathe are practically empty.  So shed the moniker of 'Cubical Puke' and get in on the action here in Yosemite.  The maples are turning yellow now, and the air has the smell of Fall.  It is a nostalgic time for me as Fall has many memories from years of climbing and shooting and I wonder just how many Falls I have left in my life... so like me... you should enjoy it the fullest!  

ElCap Report 9/27/2022

ElCap Report 9/27/22

By Tom Evans

Yo…The hot topic around here just happens to be the weather.  It has been sweltering for the past few days and looks to continue to the weekend.  This situation has severely affected the numbers of climbers on ElCap. Thus, the report is a bit on the thin side. We do have several solo climbers on “The Hill” as you will see below. As my FB followers learned recently.. I had my shooting kit fall to the deck resulting in my camera getting destroyed. I had to make the tiring drive to Fresno to get a new one.  Fortunately, the camera shop had one left and I got it. This would be a good time to donate to the site if you haven't yet. The camera ended up costing close to $900 and it is not cheap to live here in the Valley.  All donations are greatly appreciated!!  I do all this work so you can enjoy the events on the world's greatest climbing rock... our own... El Capitan!

 

ElCap Report 9/24/2022

ElCap Report 9/24/2022

By Tom Evans

Yo… Yep, I have returned for the Fall season and plan on being here, in the ECM, until November. I arrived on Thursday 22 September to find perfect weather for climbing ElCap!  You know what that means…. Cubicle Pukes, arise, leave your confines and get your sorry butts to the Valley of Adventure. I am here if you can’t make it, so you can still send with the senders and bail with the bailers on the ECR! The annual Face Lift is just about over after another successful year. As in the past, I will not be posting daily reports but plan to post solid coverage every couple of days. Stay tuned for all the latest news from the Epicenter of American big wall climbing!

ElCap Report 6/10/2022 The last report of the Spring Season 2022

ElCap Report 6/10/2022

By Tom Evans

Yo… Today is my last day of the season.  There are few climbers on ElCap now and the weather looks a lot more like summer than late spring.  The sun is higher and higher in the sky daily and that makes the photography more difficult and less rewarding for me.  So, for me, it is time to go home.  I want to thank all of you who have supported my efforts this spring season.  Special mention goes out to Erik Sloan and Tom and Sondra Herbert for letting me stay with them during the season.  Here are some of the last shots of this season for your viewing pleasure.

ElCap Report 6/7/2022 Nostalgia Edition

ElCap Report 6/7/2022  Nostalgia Edition

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Nice weather, few climbers.  I haven’t been able to take enough good shots to make up a report of late.  As you guys seem to like the old stuff I have grabbed some oldies from the files for your enjoyment. In no particular order.

ElCap Report 6/5/2022

ElCap Report 6/5/2022

By Tom Evans

Yo… We have had a slight change of the weather of late.  Cloudy with some rain showers is the situation now.  Fortunately, the showers are very brief and have caused no difficulties.  The next week looks to bring a warming trend. This season has seen fewer climbers than in the past and that is why the reports are a bit on the thin side.  We need volunteer’s folks… so get here and help me have a good shooting season… that is a direct order from Captain Tom.  Don’t trifle with me Pukes!

ElCap Report 6/3/2022

ElCap Report 6/3/2022

By Tom Evans

Yo… Excellent weather continues to bless this season but climbers seem to be few and far between. The Nose remains pretty empty save a few NIADS now and then.  If this keeps up I might as well go back home. So come on out and keep me here!

ElCap Report 6/1/2022

ElCap Report 6/1/22

By Tom Evans

Yo… The weather is clear and warm with a daily breeze blowing from the west which is normal for this time of year.  The Captain is not crowded at all and everything is open for your climbing pleasure. I am starting to get a little overwhelmed with all the folks who want their shots drop boxed to them… you will have to wait folks as the internet is not fast enough to upload all those high rez shots… so you might have to wait until July when I get back to the land of the fast internet.  Send me a reminder in 2 weeks and I will keep you on the list.  My first obligation is to do daily photos and processing right here. Also, if you are in the Valley, please come get your shots in person to save me time and effort.  I am in the Lodge Café from 7 to 9 am daily.  When I am shooting at the tree, I can’t download shots for you.

ElCap Report 5/29/2022

ELCap Report 5/29/22

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Interesting weather these days as a cold front swept in from the north and cleared the clouds away and brought bright skies and strong winds to the Valley.  Lots of cool routes going down now. Unlike past seasons the crowds are not a problem as you have your choice of any route you want. So come on out and join the lucky few who are enjoying the great weather.

ElCap Report 5/28/22

ElCap Report 5/28/22

By Tom Evans

Yo… Nice weather these past two days… cloudy and cool!  We are loving it after several days of hot weather. Lots of action but not much on the Big Two.  In fact,the Nose has been practically empty and Salathe is the same.  I hope you Cubicle Pukes at work are jonesin for some more shots of the big stone to keep your mornings worthwhile at work. Wake up!! This is the time to get your sorry asses out of the cubicle and on the road to Yosemite.

ElCap Report 5/23/22

  ElCap Report 5/23/22

By Tom Evans

Yo.. I arrived in Yosemite on Friday 5/20/22 after an 8-hour drive through the night, from my home in SoCal. The drive was difficult on the dark and windy night and by the time I arrived here at 4:05am I was exhausted.  I have been making a slow recovery. The good news is that the weather has been as good as any spring I have been here! Sunny and cool here in the Valley.  There are not a lot of wall climbers here and thus the routes have been the regular ones with a couple of exceptions you will read about below.

The permit system has rendered a huge reduction in Tourons and a new traffic pattern is keeping the traffic moving even on the weekends!  However, AMARK is trying to maximize profits by running very few shuttle buses and people are complaining about long waits at stops… up to an hour in some cases with only two buses running the entire loop.  So be warned and use a bike if you have one. It appears to me that most people are driving around instead of trying to use the buses. Masks are required on buses. Ok… enough system news for now.

As I have reached geezer status now, I will not be writing a lot of reports and the climbers you are interested in may not be on a particular report due to dark clothing (that epidemic continues here) or lack of identification, etc. So, Cubicle Pukes… this is it… you get what you get and your gonna love it anyway! Better yet get the hell out of that cubicle and come to the Valley. The place is deserted so you can climb anything you have a mind to. Or, just hang out in the meadow and enjoy the view and company.

Today's ElCap Report...written just for you... Unique in all the world!

 

ElCap Report 10/20/21

ElCap Report 10/20/21 

By Tom Evans

Yo… This is the last report of my abbreviated late Fall season.  The weather is threatening to end the season within the next few days.  As a result, I bailed for home on 10/20/21 as did many other people who took a hard look at the weather forecast.  For me this has been a really short season as I only got two weeks of shooting. The permit system seems to have been no big deal as many teams signed up.  It was nice to get back to Yosemite after an almost 2 year absence.  If you missed getting your pics from me while I was here, then use the contact button to contact me.  I need the climb and dates you did it and any identifying information you have .. like bag colors or clothing colors etc.

ElCap Report 10/16/2021

ElCap Report 10/16/2021

By Tom Evans

Yo… Several days of sunny and warm weather have been drawing climbers to the great wall.  Strangely enough, the upper east side is seeing more climbers than the Big Two these days.  Shortest Straw has been very popular, having women’s teams, solo’s, and men’s teams lining up for a shot at it.  There have been some free climbing attempts on other routes as well.  The season is winding down now as the extended weather forecast calls for rain and snow a week or so in the future.  The Nose has seen a higher than normal bail rate thus far.  For me the infection of ElCap by climbers wearing dark clothing has been particularly egregious, as it dulls my photo compositions. 

ElCap Report 10/14/21

ElCap Report 10/14/2021

By Tom Evans

Yo..  The Weather has been a little strange and that has affected climbing teams in different ways.  As you read on the previous report, we recently had a night of high winds combined with cold temperatures.  The woman’s team on the Straw kept going with apparently little trouble, while the men’s team on the Sea bailed because they lacked cold weather gear and suffered from the cold.  Piton Pete’s team were quite alarmed at the conditions and were fearful it would be very difficult to retreat as they felt the conditions hampered rope management.  Pete’s team bailed because his partner Kurt had serious back problems along with intestinal issues that incapacitated him.  The Green Bag team just kept rolling along, putting the pitches behind them.  This is the Fall season and the weather is uncertain some of the time… so any team should be prepared for anything from heat to freezing temperatures.  Don’t go on the Cap without a full kit.  Several people have died up there from the cold.  Climbers tend to see Yosemite as just “Fun in the Sun!”  The price for making that mistake can be your life!

ElCap Report 10/12/21

ElCap Report 10/12/2021

By Tom Evans

Yo… Nights have been cold and the days cool with some sun and wind.  There are some interesting routes being done as the big trades seem to be languishing in solitude with a few NIAD’s keeping it interesting. Many climbing friends have shown up and the line-up of vehicles seems to be fulling daily.  I will keep plugging along in the meadow just for you! Most reports, like this one, will be a consolidation of 2 or 3 of days of climbing.

10/12/21 8am.  BIG NEWS just in from Piton Pete who is trying to bail due to partner illness.  High winds buffeted the Captain all night and into the morning.  Pete says it is too cold and windy (70 mph) to rappel and the conditions are full on epic.  Hopefully the wind will back off as the day progresses.  Just goes to show you how important it is to be fully prepared for any circumstance. 

ElCap Report 10/9/21

 

ElCap Report 10/9/2021   First Report of the Fall season.  

By Tom Evans

All right folks, the ElCap Report is back, after 2 years of no reports amid the covid 19 restrictions. So, wake up Cubicle Pukes, and pay attention because cool things are happening and more are planned... So, where the hell are you???  I arrived in Yosemite Valley around 8am on October 6th after a drive of 7.5 hours, from my home in SoCal.  The driving was easy at night and I arrived to find ElCap with climbers on some really good routes… some I don’t usually see.  The Nose has been empty for the past two days.  The weather has been ok but the smoke has been a constant problem this season.  I am planning on being here until the end of the month, and am staying at site 36 in Camp 4.  I didn’t shoot on the 6th as I was pretty tired from the trip up and hit the sack around 6:30pm.  This report is a compilation of the past couple of days.

ElCap Report 5/18/2021

ElCap Report 5/18/2021 Special Report Wilderness Climbing Permit

Yo.. It has been a while since I wrote an ElCap Report as the Pandemic has locked many of us into our homes and out of Yosemite.  Recently the NPS released a new requirement for all climbers to apply for a Wilderness Climbing Permit (WCP going forward) if they spend one or more nights on a big wall climb.  Since everything over the elevation of about 4,000ft is considered wilderness, that applies to all big walls in Yosemite. Unfortunately, the roll-out was poorly handled and all it accomplished was hostility among many in the climbing community.  So, the ElCap Report (ECR going forward) known for its straightforward and credible reporting on all things ElCap (EC going forward) related, is going to give you the real dope on this latest eruption from the NPS. Understand, however that I am speaking only about the effect of the WCP on EC climbs, as I have no direct knowledge of any other climbs.

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