El Cap Report 05/24/07

ElCap Report 5/24/07

 By Tom Evans

Ok... it is that time again... go to your room, close the door, sit down and relax. It's time to take some time for yourself for a change... escape to Yosemite with me. Yes, it is ElCap Tom dishing the dirty and the delightful, fresh from the ElCap Bridge and brought to you directly, paper clipped on the wing of the raven I called down from above.  As you would expect, it was a fine day with lots of action on the big stone. But first a quick sidebar about this report... some of my good friends here have brought into question this report and whether or not it should be done anymore. They feel that anything that reports Valley doings on the net could be used by NPS to keep track of us, or follow our exploits in such a way as to compromise our positions here.  They would feel more secure if nothing was reported, even though I try my very best to give just general news with nothing specific about anyone in particular. I frankly didn’t even think about this aspect of the Report, as I was just having a little fun with it and hoping you were too... but they do have a good point and many have learned that any information is sometimes too much information... I need to know what you think too... It does take time to do these things and I guess I could be doing something else if that is what you think should be done. .. you make the call... have I said anything that is out of line in that dept.?  If so don’t post it here but email me...


Today’s news from the Mark of Zorro to the Black Dihedral... listen up, settle in, grab a beer and prop up your feet...

Today's ElCap Report...

Zodiac: Ricardo and Dan are in the lead of the train chugging up this fine route... the squids are close behind and have joined forces with the solo guy who I mentioned was looking good enough that I wondered what was going on with him letting everyone pass.. And sorry that I misidentified the climbers I referred to as Euro Squids... they are not ... they are an American and an Australian cleverly disguised as Eruo squids! Peanut ledge seems to the target of the pack tonight and they are all moving right along... Posse member Matt had fixed two when I left and may be blasting tomorrow... Trip: The well dressed solo climber was working on the 8th pitch when I left today and If you show up in the valley you can quickly see him as he has his ledge flagged with the rain fly attached!! Really!


NA Wall... Saw the girls going over the top around 3 pm today in good order... nice job ladies!! Pacific Ocean wall... the solo guy was creeping up the long thin seam a couple pitches below the continental shelf as I departed and seems to be talking and gesturing to someone... Some one who is invisible it turns out... ouhhhhhh.. yes I’m going to keep a close watch on this guy for sure...


South Seas to PO;  A really nice polish guy, Ragon, I shot last fall soloing on Zodiac, is back to give the big route a shot...I heard he has done the first pitch and is blasting although I have not seen him due to visibility limitations of my position. Best of luck to a solid climber who is trying to do it clean.. good luck on the heading pitches son!!


Mescalito: My man Ottawa Doug was in cruise mode today and I think he was on the 8th pitch when I retired to shoot a few shots of Piton Pete over on the LT. Oh yea, Piton Pete has made his yearly appearance so get ready for epicly long times on normally fast routes and a whole lot of EH'S eh?


The Nose: Alright, Alright... I know.. you want to hear about the Montana girls... right? Ok here it is... after a spirited fight with the King Swing yesterday we were all wondering just where the ladies would spend the night, as camp 4 seemed a bit beyond reach for them.  When I arrived, at 10am, they were hauling the bag to Camp 4 so I assume they spent the night on the little ledge after the pendulum into the gray bands. They went right on by camp 4 and onto the Great roof. As I left they were climbing Pancake flake, at 4pm. They should reach camp 5 tonight with a nicer ledge for a change!! The girls have turned out to be relentless ass kicking climbing machines.. not fast but not faltering either... Go girls! Another party was spotted at 4pm high in the summit dihedral with a couple to go to top out.. and there were several who were grinding up the stovelegs at a painfully slow rate, slowly broiling in the late afternoon sun.. one party pulled away and was seen at the bloody ledge when I left. Earlier in the day there was a convention held on sickle ledge of what appeared to be the flight deck crew of the USS Nimitz. It looked like they had gotten the blue light special on colorful T-shirts at KMart.. good for me but so many people there!!


 Muir: I caught sight of the SAR team of Jon Gleason and Brandon this morning when I caught Jon trying to catch a glimpse of the Montana Girls a short distance below him as he belayed at the start of the upper headwall... the route doesn’t go over there Jon!! Anyway they made nice progress and were doing the nice thin crack pitch above the sloping ledge as I departed. Also on the Muir I spotted Rob and Justin going for the from the ground free ascent of that route.. they were climbing into gray ledges at 4pm and looking wickedly strong and fast to that point... best to both of them... two of our finest climbers and people. Best of luck on the rest of the climb!


El Corazon: Yep ... I thought someone was lurking in the MM area and sure enough part of it is used on this route... there at a belay with a pile of baggage, which means a serious attempt.. was the powder blue windbreaker of the little wonder woman, Beth Rodden with hubby TC up cruising that beautiful splitter up to the start of the white band that crosses the shield headwall... guess they need a break from working Mescalito and want a few days of "fun climbing" on what may be an on sight of the route and second ascent!! It is really fun to watch such talented climbers climb... it is like ..."where is the hard part? It all looks so easy when they do it!!"


Salathe... usual day trippers working on FR and coming down or going up at dusk..


Dihedral WAll... always like to check that one as it was one of the first big routes on the cap and quite difficult and strenuous BITD... back in the day that is.. I tried it in 1972 with the old Chouinard butt bag/hammock and 85 pins!!! So glad not to have continued past the 4th pitch that time ... came back in 92 with the great Brad Jarret and saw what I would have been in for in 72 had we continued!! Anyway there is a party on the 3rd pitch so I will have to go down to make sure those lads have a good time of it..


In other news: ...Did see Ammon and Cheryl today as they were leaving the park.. seems that Ammon missed the crash pad bouldering and had an ankle dislocation that has him out for several weeks.. so home for recovery... get well soon Bro..


Well that is about it from the Bridge at the epicenter of the center of the Yosemite big wall scene... we had a lot of climbers by today and had a great time... several wanted to sit in the rocking chair and thus be at the exact center of the universe ... so now it is becoming a rite of passage to actually sit in the chair and rock back and forth a few times...

Until tomorrow this is your man Ansel Evans closing up the van, picking up some cig butts and beer cans and reminding you that if it wasn’t for me... I wouldn’t be here... ElCap-pics