El Cap Report 06/01/08

ElCap Report 6/01/08

 By Tom Evans

Yo… lots of action on the Captain today with Tommy and Beth doing their thing. Photographers hanging all over the route shooting every move. Large crowd of meadow watchers too. I would have gone out west to see better myself but I had things to do at the Bridge. Things like shooting the many “regular” climbers on the routes of their choice. You see, those hot dog photographers aren’t interested in you my dedicated reader. Nope, they just want the bucks and the bucks come from the climbing rags. Do Jimmy, Corey, Heinz, Linc ever come down the ropes and shoot shots of you?? Huh? No? You know why? Because to them you are just some Puke not worthy of the effort. So who does get the shots of you when you are at your limit on the route of your life? Do the climbing rags have a little drink stand set up so when you come down to the Bridge jonesin for a beer you can get one? Do the equipment makers who want your bucks offer you a chair and an ear for your story of the climb you just busted your ass to get up?? Does 5.10 send you shoes anytime you need them or do you pay full cost for yours? Do any of these people give a rodents rectum if you live or die?!! No! Nada! Nope! Well, that’s why I was not shooting the elite, big time, heroes… because I, ElCap-pics, am the guy you can trust to care about your climbs and dreams. I am the man who hands you that CD with you doing the King Swing, Salathe roof, or the Nipple pitch on Zodiac. I enjoy giving you that cold beer, hanging out with you and hearing your story. I want you to succeed and if you don’t then you have someone to commensurate with. Oh, I may give you a little poke in the ego but you know I am there for you. Plus you get all the news direct from the Captain itself… Patagonia, North Face, Alpinist? Do they give you the straight dope from the scene? I don’t think so brother! So keep that in mind when you read today’s ElCap Report, brought to you by the survivors of the wedding party at Coilers last night.

Zodiac: Team Muse was up and at it early today and got the Nipple pitch done and by afternoon Dave Lane was leading the Mark of Zorro pitch in cool breezes and bright sunlight. Spectacular day it was too… enjoy the shots of these guys seen below. Lower down Matt Thomsen fixed a couple more and will be blasting on his solo soon. He reported the climbing went well and he felt comfortable and confident.

Tangerine Trip: The Italian team of three moved off the route today late in the afternoon. I talked with one of the wifes, beautiful Fredrika, who said that next time the men would not be wearing mafia black shirts and would man up and get some color. Lower down the other Italian team, 4 in this party, was going up the middle of the route with the same NYC garbage collectors uniforms the upper team was decked out in. They were doing as well as could be expected for a party of four. Lower down a team of two Frenchmen were flying up the route when I arrived. They were dressed somewhat better, as the French tend to have a eye for correct attire.

See the leaders pic on the great 5th pitch below.

North American Wall: There were two teams left today and they were seen high on the route. The lower party of two did the “most spectacular lead in American climbing”, this morning and looked pretty going over that black roof pitch. Maybe off tomorrow. South Seas to Pacific Ocean: Pete and Mark were slugging it out in the Bearing Straits this morning and afternoon. Pete somehow came up with a lime green shirt that was visible from San Francisco.

See shot below taken just as the sun left that part of the face.

Mescalito: Lambone and Shipman had already done the Molar traverse by the time I got there and went on to do two more pitches as I was leaving. They are the best dressed on the wall and thus draw the camera to themselves. Lower down the party of two was making good progress up the long corner before the Molar Traverse. They look comfortable and I had thought they might actually catch team Lambone but that seems unlikely now. Simon, the Aussie, is going up in the morning for his solo attempt. Ollie and Chris are getting ready to go behind him and pass sometime early. This great route is always a good experience and a real physical test for the teams. Good luck to all!

New Dawn to Tribal: Yikes! The Aussies had a little too much alcohol on ECT and bailed today!! I am posting a shot of them under the title:

Bail of the Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nose: Well it started out looking pretty good on the Nose these past few days then a whole swarm of teams bailed like a party at the Drop Zone! Three different parties come down from above Dolt tower. Several more replacement parties are waiting in the wings for their chance to bail!! I did see several parties above the Gray Bands on the Great Roof and heading to camp 5 and also a team heading over the top.

See pic of a team on Pancake Flake below.

Magic Mushroom: Tommy, accompanied by his lovely wife Beth didn‘t, I hear, free the Mushroom in a day, but made a great effort only falling short at the end. A better climber and a better guy I do not know. They deserve all the success that their hard work brings them.

Salathe: It was hard to sort out the teams there as a couple were doing one day climbs, one team with concerned wives at the bridge were way behind their marks and it will be a long night for all involved. An Aussie team was giving the pitch above the Ear a hard look and it was spitting them out with relative ease. I hear the pitch is kind of nasty with the crux being fingers in small pin scars.. Maybe that’s why it is mostly left alone!! I did see a team of 3 doing the Roof pitch as I was leaving.

Out West: Steve came by and told about his teams effort at a push which ended at the start of the Grand Traverse 11 pitches up on LF. They were a little slow and low on energy but had a good time and got to climb some nice pitches.

In other news: Coilers wedding was a big hit and many people who have not been in the area for a long time were there. A good time was had by all. Nicki did leave for Queen of Spades on the Dome with a full complement of new wall food. He is psyched. Hollywood Hans stopped by the bridge for a chat and there are big plans in the wind for later in the month… more details as they develop. Pay attention Alex and Thomas! East and West will soon meet! Nice day at the bridge today with warm temps and a cool wind. The rock is busy so there is much to see. Loads of climbers stopped by for some hanging out and lounging with the bridge crew. Jody Langford is coming tomorrow with a replacement telescope for the one I crashed the other day. Thanks Jody!! I even saw Ivo do a drive-by on his way to climb something. He has been scarce of late. Lots of Colorado faces are here getting ready for climbs on the Cap including the Nose and El Nino, to name two. Double E and Danica’s sister are here getting on the Cap tomorrow.

So that's the way it is for this the first day of June 2008, the 68th anniversary of my parents wedding… sadly both are long gone and deeply missed.

Bye Bye! Ansel Evans