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 10/17/2019

ElCap Report 10/17/19

By Tom Evans

Yo… Exceptionally stable weather has been the hallmark of this season. We have not had a drop of rain in daytime for the entire month I have been here.  The forecast continues to promise good weather.  I am leaving soon as I have other things on my agenda so keep that in mind and come see me in the Café morning or evening to get your shots…otherwise I can drop box them to you when I have time.  Lots of interesting climbing going on these days aside from the big trades… so come on out and see all the action or better yet get up on the big stone yourself.

ElCap Report 10/15/2019

ElCap Report 10/15/19

By Tom Evans

Yo… The smoke seems to have vanished as quickly as it appeared… so come on down!!  The climbing season has returned.  Lots of action off the trade routes to report on.  But the big trades are still getting most of the numbers. 

ElCap Report 10/10/2019

ElCap Report 10/10/19

By Tom Evans

Yo.. As you know by now, the weather is great but the air is not.  We have a big fire burning out to the west near Midpines. It is producing a lot of smoke and the prevailing west wind is bringing the smoke into the Valley where it is sitting and concentrating.  It does make for some interesting sunsets and views of a very red moon at night.  When it will disperse, no one knows.  To keep your mind off the smoke, I have written a report from shots taken over the last few days.  Later... 4pm this afternoon... the smoke is back since 1pm and it looks like the cycle will continue for some time... so ... stay away and keep checking back to find out what is up with the fire.

ElCap Report 10/9/2019

Big fire out to the west near Midpines.....Smoke thick in the Valley and it is not going away for several days.... don't come here until it clears ... maybe by the weekend.  

Capt. Tom

ElCap Report 10/7/2019

ElCap Report 10/7/19

By Tom Evans

Yo… Today was a beautiful day… right up until 1pm when the Valley filled with smoke from a fire near Midpines which was Zero percent contained.  Needless to say hwy 140 was closed this afternoon.  So I got a couple of hours extra time to finish images early and write this report.  The weather continues to hold.

ElCap Report 10/3/2019

ElCap Report 10/3/19

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Spectacular weather continues to dominate the season thus far.  Now that the Face Lift was successfully concluded, more climbers are here to infest the great rock.  Hopefully you, cubicle pukes, have caught the bug and are headed this way to join the crews up on the cliff or just hang in the meadow to do the “ElCap Lieback”.  Lots of interesting routes to report on this time, so tell the boss you have to take a break and come with old Capt. Tom to share the experiences of climbers on our favorite rock… El Capitan!  Sorry to have had so few reports thus far but I am finding that my available energy at 75 years of age is not what it used to be but I will do the best I can for you readers.

ElCap Report 9/28/2019

ElCap Report 9/28/2019

By Tom Evans

Yo… The weather has changed, the skies are dark and foreboding with some showers.  I am hanging in the café with the crew, staying dry and talking shit.  The Face Lift has, as expected, reduced the action on ElCap.  As a result, I haven’t had much to shoot but the big trade routes… so you get a lethal dose of familiar features today.  It has been unseasonably warm these past days and we await fall weathers return.  Later in the day now... the clouds cleared around noon but the wind is up and the temperature has dropped.  Looking at some rain late tonight or tomorrow morning.  I'm hanging in the Mt. Room Bar this evening.

ElCap Report 9/22/2019

ElCap Report 9/22/2019

By Tom Evans

Yo… Splendid weather has been holding firm here the first several days of my stay. But next week some rain is in the forecast and we are hoping it will not disrupt the Face Lift.  The action on ElCap has been mostly on the big trades with the exception of the huge rockfall scar from a couple of years ago, which you saw a shot of in the last report.  More on that below.  Climbers are coming now for the Face Lift and we expect for things to pick up after the clean-up if the weather holds.  Ok people, a lot of you are showing up on the cliff wearing gray, black, and other dark colors… not good for photos… so don’t expect to have your pic on the report if this describes you.

ElCap Report 9/20/2019

ElCap Report 9/20/2019

By Tom Evans

Yo.. I arrived yesterday after a nice, but long drive from my home in Southern California.  The weather is really fall like with cool days and cooler nights. The great rock is pretty empty with the exception of the Nose which is crowded in clumps.  I didn’t arrive in time to shoot yesterday but did get down to the ElCap meadow to shoot today.  I plan to have some reports this fall as I will be here until late October and will have time to get something up but at irregular intervals most likely.  So… stay tuned for all the news from the big stone along with some reporting on the Face Lift that will start early next week, and has excellent evening shows and fantastic prizes for the hard working volunteers.

ElCap Report 10/27/18 Last report of the Fall season.

ElCap Report 10/27/18  Last report of the Fall season.

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Great weather continued right to the end of the season.  My season that is, as the climbing season continues well into November or until the weather totally caves in.  We had a lot of action on the Cap this season with the big trades getting fully used, as well as climbs we don’t see done so much.  All in all, it was a good season with no really serious injures in the climbing community.  The two big climbing movies came out in Sept. and have been well attended with very positive reviews.  Seems like climbing movies are becoming more interesting to main stream viewers as well as climbers.  BTW if you have not contacted me about drop boxing your shots to you then you have to wait until Dec as I will be gone until then, starting Nov 4.  Let me know and I will put you on the list.... thanks!

ElCap Report 10/22/18

ElCap Report 10/22/18

By Tom Evans

Yo… The weather continues to make this an exceptional season for big wall climbing.  Lots of different climbs are being done along with the Big Trades that are still overloaded on most days.  We have had a few rescues these past days, mostly helicopter driven, of varying incidents… be careful out there folks!

ElCap Report: An afternoon walk in Yosemite, Fall 2018

ElCap Report: An afternoon walk in Yosemite, Fall 2018.

By Tom Evans

Yo… A little change of pace for this Report.  Yesterday afternoon I took an hour or so “off” from shooting down at ElCap, and took a walk starting from Camp 4.  It was so beautiful I have to share some shots with you.  The first few are from around Camp 4, my home for the past weeks.  As you can see they really pack campers into small spaces here… not so great for sleeping but we are just happy to be in Yosemite.  The green tent, in the second shot, is my humble abode.  I won’t describe the shots individually as anyone with a camera could have taken these shots just by walking around. The spacing of these is weird so just keep going down until you hit the next one.

ElCap Report 10/20/18 Speical rescue edition.

ElCap Report 10/20/18

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Very busy here due to the splendid weather so I am a little late getting caught up on reports.. sorry about that.  This is a short report on a recent helicopter involved rescue off he East Buttress of Middle Cathedral rock.  That same day there was a similar rescue off of the climb Super Slide.  Earlier the YOSAR ground team did an all-nighter off the death slabs below the NW Face of Half Dome.  So, the rescue teams here have been busy and fortunately we have had no really serious injuries thus far this season.

ElCap Report 10/18/18

ElCap Report 10/18/18

By Tom Evans

Yo… Man the solid weather has been here for so many days.. will it ever rain again?!  Take advantage of this you Cubicle Pukes, rise up, leave the office, and come to Yosemite asap!  I have had several days of many shots and have fallen behind on the Reports so I am posting them as I finish them…so this one is for Oct.18 and covers the time from the one before on Oct 15.

ElCap Report 10/15/18

ElCap Report 10/15/18

By Tom Evans

Yo… Killer weather these days, including some cold nights!  Lots of climbs going on now but the Nose has been virtually empty as has the Salathe.  Lots of traffic has been seen over on the North America Wall.  The season is in full swing now AND for the most part the NPS has taken Camp 4 back from the wild west show it had turned into.  So now you will need that parking pass to use the lot and they are checking sites for poachers and unregistered tents.  There is a $180 fine for failing to register! 

The leaves are rapidly turning their fall colors and the days are warm in the sunlit meadow but rather cool in the shade.. bring a jacket!  Remember these reports are not complete coverage of all the teams climbing, as the daily ones were in the past… your team might not get a mention or a shot in the report.  Get used to it, as I am not going back to the daily reports.

ElCap Report 10/9/18

ElCap Report 10/9/18

By Tom Evans

Yo… Splendid weather continues after the three days of not so good conditions.  The big routes are getting full attention now.  Today there were 18 parties on the Nose route, although mostly spread out pretty well except for the first 4 pitches which were loaded past capacity.  Other routes are available folks!  Zodiac only has one party, the Trip is empty, Mescalito has just one party and the NA has one new party and another that is about to finish.  So, pick a good route, that is not called the Nose or Salathe/Freerider!  The shots below are from the last few days.

ElCap Report 10/4/18

ElCap Report 10/4/18

By Tom Evans

Yo… Since the rains came a couple of days ago, I have been out and about taking some scenic shots.  Much easier to write about than climbing!  Speaking of climbing… Brett Evans, who is on the Trip, seems to have landed in the golden zone where it is dry and comfortable.  He has continued to climb pitches each day and is doing just fine.  No other teams, that I know of, are on the mountain.  Now folks…. Some of you have been jumping other peoples fixed lines so you won’t have to climb some pitches.  This practice is not ethical here in Yosemite.  You should do your own climbing and fixing.  At the very least you should find the people who fixed the lines and get permission to use those ropes.  OK?

ElCap Report 10/2/18

ElCap Report 10/2/18

By Tom Evans

Yo.. Great weather now… cooler with mostly sunny days and comfortable nights.  However, today is forecast to be the start of several days of rain, through Thursday.  Although we have had good action in the last several days, that will be changing very soon.  This report has shots over the past few days. Update:  It is now 8:30am and pouring rain... good luck out there!  I have just learned that the Para Climber made it off last night and that they are presently carrying her out via Tamarc flats trail. I also got down to ElCap around noon and saw Brett leading the pitch above the slab and he was in a dry area too.. looking good up there!

ElCap Report 9/28/18

ElCap Report 9/28/18

By Tom Evans

Yo… The weather is no longer on the warm side but has moved into the blazing hot region.  Most climbers have stayed away from the cliff or have tried and bailed from their chosen routes. Many climbers have volunteered to help clean up Yosemite via the Face Lift. However, the forecast is for cooler temps and possible rain early next week.  We could use some rain as Yosemite has become a dust bowl from all the logging and a long dry summer. The air still has some smoke at times as there are fires smoldering from the past few weeks.  Some hard core teams are still up there battling it out, seeking to realize their dream climbs.  Hey you lurkers... how about some donations to the site... I do this for your enjoyment and am getting hungry here! 

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